#Betting101: Early Super Bowl Wagering Heavy on Eagles

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Jason Lake

Monday, January 22, 2018 9:42 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 9:42 PM UTC

The New England Patriots might be football’s alpha team, but the Philadelphia Eagles are scooping up all the early Super Bowl LII betting action on the NFL odds board.

Super Bowl LII: Early Action on Eagles

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Free NFL Pick: Eagles +5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

We’ve finally made it. Only two teams remain in the NFL playoffs: the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (15-3 SU, 12-6 ATS) and the Philadelphia Eagles (15-3 SU, 12-6 ATS), who will meet at Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis. No surprise to see the Patriots here, of course. And the Eagles? They were a fashionable darkhorse pick at around +4500 on the preseason Super Bowl futures market, compared to +450 for the Patriots.

The Eagles are still fashionable. New England opened as a 6-point favorite on neutral ground, and according to the early expanded consensus reports, 53 percent of early bettors are on the defending champs -- but 93 percent of the amount wagered is on Philadelphia. That’s enough sharp action to move the Super Bowl spread at BetOnline to five points as we go to press. The total has also bumped up in early betting, from 46.5 points to 48. If you want a piece of this betting value, you’d better act quickly.

Too Much Pressure?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Eagles are the “right” choice on the NFL odds board. Out of all the Super Bowls, only twice have the sportsbooks come out on the short end. The betting public almost always comes in and puts way too much money on the glamour team – usually the favorites – leaving tremendous value for anyone willing to bet the other side. The Patriots are that glamour team.

You can easily see this betting pattern by looking at how the Patriots performed in each round of the playoffs since their breakthrough Super Bowl victory at the end of the 2001 season:

Wild Card: 2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS
Divisional Round: 11-2 SU, 8-5 ATS
Conference Championship: 7-4 SU, 4-7 ATS
Super Bowl: 4-2 SU, 2-4 ATS

Notice how New England’s performance against the spread declines as they get deeper into the playoffs. They still win most of the time, but as more and more recreational bettors enter the marketplace, it gets harder and harder for the Patriots to cover. This list would look even worse for New England had they not pulled their two most recent Super Bowl victories out of their secret hiding place.

Timing Is Everything

Naturally, we’re recommending the Eagles for your Super Bowl LII picks. And like we said, you’d better act fast if you want to get them at a good price. The other option is to wait until closer to kickoff, anticipating that even more public money will come in on New England during Super Bowl weekend itself. But it’s not a stone-cold lock that casual bettors will stick with the Patriots. Don’t forget post-Spygate Super Bowl XLII, where the public turned on the Pats and sided with the New York Giants as 12-point underdogs. The Giants won 17-14 in one of the two Super Bowls where the sportsbooks took a bath.

In the meantime, keep it dialed to SBR between now and Feb. 4 for more Super Bowl LII betting info and analysis. And as always, may the prolate spheroid be with you.

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