Philadelphia could be the most disrespected conference champion in NFL history.
The Eagles have played two home games as the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. And in each of those matchups, they've been underdogs. So, the Super Bowl will be familiar territory for the Eagles as oddsmakers and the betting public continue to dismiss Philadelphia as a strong Super Bowl contender without Carson Wentz at the quarterback position.
With one game left in the NFL season, here's the best bet for Super Bowl 52.
Playoffs: 6-4 ATS
Overall: 50-59-3 ATS
Philadelphia (+4.5) vs. New England
Oddsmakers went overboard right away with the spread at six points. The betting public has been going hard with the Eagles, so the number has shrunk to 4.5 points.
There's still a week remaining before the game, so I would expect the New England money to start coming in at some point. If you're looking at the Patriots, this is likely the best number you'll see. However, if you're like me, then wait a few days for the number to rise again when the New England fans start backing Tom Brady and company.
So why do I like the Eagles? There's a number of reasons, but most of all, I like that defense. Philadelphia's defense is by far the better of the two units. What the Eagles can do that many other teams cannot, is it can make New England a one-dimensional team.
The Patriots won't be able to run against the Eagles. And while Brady is the best of all-time, it won't be easy to consistently move the ball through the air against Philadelphia. Without the running game, the Eagles should be able to create pressure on Brady, which is the No. 1 way to defeat the Patriots.
I have concerns with the Eagles offensively, but the Patriots have been so bad at times on the defensive side of the ball, even Nick Foles may be able to move the ball.
Much like other Super Bowls we've seen New England play, this is going to be close. The Patriots don't blow out teams in these types of games. In Brady's seven Super Bowls, six of those games were decided by four points or less. And the only game decided by more than four points -- last year's win against Atlanta -- came in overtime after an epic comeback by New England.
Philadelphia actually matches up really well against New England. The Eagles have enough on the defensive side of the ball to make New England one-dimensional and the Patriots have been highly inconsistent on the defensive side of the ball. Even at this number, pounce on Philadelphia to cover. -- Go Against The Chalk with Philadelphia
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. Check out more at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH