Pretty much everyone expected the New England Patriots to make it back to the Super Bowl. The defending champions were +350 on the Super Bowl 52 odds board heading into the 2017 NFL preseason, and they didn’t have much competition to worry about in the AFC. The Philadelphia Eagles are another story. They were a sexy dark horse pick at +4000, but a dark horse nonetheless in the double-tough NFC. By the time the dust had settled, both the Patriots and Eagles were No. 1 seeds for the postseason. They enter Sunday’s Big Game (6:30 PM ET, NBC) with exactly the same record: 15-3 SU and 12-6 ATS.

The NFL playoff odds don’t see it as an equal matchup. The Patriots are 4.5-point favorites at press time, down from –6 at the open, with the total pegged at 48.5 points. If Carson Wentz were still Philadelphia’s starting quarterback, this might be a pick ‘em, but Wentz (torn knee) has been replaced by Nick Foles, who hasn’t played at a very high level since making the Pro Bowl in 2013. Can Foles and the Eagles defy the NFL game odds and win the championship?
 

Eagles vs. Patriots Odds Ready to Move?

This won’t be the first time these two teams have met in the Big Game. Back at Super Bowl XXXIX, at the end of the 2004 season, the Patriots beat the Eagles 24-21 as 7-point favorites at Alltel Stadium (now EverBank Field) in Jacksonville. This was the third title for New England under the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady regime; Philadelphia had Andy Reid as their head coach and Donovan McNabb as their quarterback.

There’s something to be said for consistency. NFL betting is very much about the coaches and the quarterbacks, so the fact that the Patriots are 4-6 SU and 2-7 ATS lifetime against the Eagles (regular season and playoffs) doesn’t matter much. Sunday will be the first time these two teams have met since Doug Pederson took over as head coach of the Eagles before the 2016 campaign. However, Pederson was on Reid’s staff from 2009-2012, and followed him to the Kansas City Chiefs to serve as offensive coordinator from 2013-15.

Most of the early money that has already been bet on Super Bowl 52 has come in on Philadelphia, which is why the Eagles have moved from +6 to +4.5. But those odds can and probably will move back in New England’s direction over the weekend. The Patriots have been a very popular pick among casual fans who bet on NFL games during the playoffs, especially during the later rounds, and those fans tend to place their bets closer to game day. Foles doesn’t inspire nearly as much confidence in this larger betting market as Brady does. But the Patriots are 4-2 SU and 2-4 ATS at the Super Bowl since Brady won his first ring – and they were very close to going 2-4 SU and 0-6 ATS. We just might see the end of the Belichick-Brady Era this Sunday, and the beginning of a new dynasty in Philadelphia.

 

*Odds as of February 2, 2018