The Philadelphia Eagles easily won the NFL Championship game on Sunday over the Minnesota Vikings but have been given little respect from odds makers.
Most sportsbooks in Vegas and online have installed the New England Patriots as 5.5-point chalk (favorites) to beat Philadelphia in Super Bowl LII. Other betting houses have the odds as high as Patriots -6.5. The majority have the over/under point total for the game opening at 47.5.
New England is playing for its second consecutive title in the Super Bowl and its third in the last four seasons on February 4 when they face the Eagles in Minneapolis, Minnesota at U.S. Bank Stadium. In the previous 51 Super Bowls, the betting favorite has won 33 times.
Biggest Odds Since 2009
The opening line has made the Eagles the biggest underdogs in a Super Bowl since Super Bowl XLIII in 2009 when the NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals opened as 7-point dogs to the AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers.
New England is playing in its 10th Super Bowl following a second half rally in the AFC Championship to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Patriots trailed by 10 points with just nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter but scored 14 straight points to win 24-20.
Philadelphia did not have such a difficult game in the NFC Championship as the Eagles beat the Minnesota Vikings 38-7 to return to the Super Bowl for just the first time since Super Bowl XXXIX, played in February of 2006 following the 2005 NFL regular season, when they were beaten by the Patriots. It is just the third time the Eagles have played in the Super Bowl and they have yet to win one.
New England started the season as the consensus pick to win the Super Bowl opening the regular season with odds of 5 to 2. Following a shaky start after two early losses, the Patriots remained the favorite on sportsbooks nearly the entire regular season.
The Eagles opened the regular season with odds of 40 to 1 to win Super Bowl LII. With Carson Wentz at quarterback, the Eagles won 10 of their first 12 games but lost Wentz to a season ending knee injury at the start of December. Nick Foles took over the quarterback duties and has helped lead the team to the NFC title and an appearance in the Super Bowl.
For the next two weeks, the odds are going to move as public bettors make their wagers and sharp money peruses the numbers and waits to see if the line moves one way or the other before making their pick.
The two teams are going to be jawing back and forth at one another and to no one’s surprise it has already started. This might not have an effect on the odds for the game, but it adds to the intrigue of the game since one team may succeed in “getting inside the head’s” of their opponent.
Lane Johnson the right tackle for the Eagles said there is nothing more he would like to do than dethrone Patriots quarterback Tom Brady who he call “Pretty Boy Tom,” during an interview following the Eagles win on Sunday.
The Eagles are used to being the underdogs this postseason. They were underdogs for both the divisional round and Sunday’s NFC Championship Game. They overcame the odds in both to reach Super Bowl LII.
Eagles Have But One Destination
Malcolm Jenkins the starting safety for the Eagles called Brady the best all-time quarterback, but said that did not mean he cannot be beat. Jenkins said he and his teammates have a destination to reach and no matter who or what is in front of them, their only thoughts are reaching that final destination, which is lifting the Lombardi Trophy as champions of Super Bowl LII.
Jeffrey Lurie the owner of the Eagles echoed the same sentiment when receiving the George Halas trophy for being NFC Champions. Lurie said the team as not only going to play in Minneapolis, but has one more thing to do and that is winning one more game.
What do you think; does Philadelphia have a chance against New England?