The New England Patriots are 4½-point favorites over the Philadelphia Eagles and the total is 48½ for Sunday’s game. A survey of opinions from Review-Journal staff members, other media, oddsmakers and professional bettors and handicappers:
Mark Anderson, Review-Journal: Patriots, 30-20
I thought it would be another close Patriots’ Super Bowl, but Bill Belichick seems relaxed by his standards. Tells me he knows something.
Johnny Avello, Wynn Las Vegas sports book director: Patriots, 31-20
With all things being equal, there is one element that is not: No. 12.
Bill Bradley, Review-Journal: Patriots, 35-31
Just like against the Seahawks, the Patriots defense will rise to the occasion by making a crucial stop in the waning seconds. But don’t bother taking the under.
Frank Carulli, professional sports bettor: Patriots, 31-21
The NFC is better than the AFC. The Eagles are better at almost every position. But Brady, Belichick and the mystique supersedes all else.
Steve Cofield, ESPN Radio 1100, SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio: Patriots, 30-13
Patriots save their best for last, winning their easiest ring in the final year together for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
Dave Cokin, ESPN Radio 1100: Patriots, 30-27
This should be a highly competitive and entertaining Super Bowl, but always have to lean Belichick-Brady to find a way late.
Jeff Davis, Caesars Entertainment bookmaker: Patriots, 30-10
Bill Belichick > Nick Foles. By a wide margin.
Joe D’Amico, Aasiwins.com: Patriots, 27-20
Led by Tom Brady, the New England offense can put up points on any team in the NFL, while the Patriots defense is tops in the league over the last 14 weeks.
Todd Dewey, Review-Journal: Patriots, 33-17
Give me the two GOATs (Brady and Belichick) over the two backup quarterbacks (Foles and Pederson) as the Pats pull away for their first Super Bowl blowout.
Chuck Esposito, Sunset Station sports book director: Patriots, 24-23
Tom Brady has 27 postseason wins, including five Super Bowls. Nick Foles has only 22 regular-season wins. Experience and Brady win out to bring home the Pats’ sixth Lombardi Trophy.
Patrick Everson, Covers.com: Eagles, 28-24
To beat Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, you have to be a risk-taker, a little more aggressive. Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson is just that, as shown in the NFC championship rout of Minnesota. It pays off again here.
Heidi Fang, Review-Journal: Eagles, 30-27
The Eagles managed their way past one of the top defenses in the league to get to the Super Bowl. With their strong offensive line, they find openings against the Patriots and control time of possession and upset their chances of taking home a sixth Super Bowl win.
Doug Fitz, Systemplays.com: Eagles, 26-20
Better defenses usually win championship games, and the Eagles are better in every significant defensive category.
Mark Franco, FrancoSports.com: Eagles, 30-27
Ajayi is the perfect power running back to exploit a weakness in the New England defense, and Nick Foles leads the charge toward an upset.
Bernie Fratto, ESPN Radio 1100: Eagles, 28-27
Philly has the best defensive front line in football. Parlay that with explosive playmaking under Doug Pederson’s aggressive offense vs. the Pats’ bottom-third-ranked secondary in passing yards allowed and yards per completion. Not hip to pick the Eagles? I don’t care. Fly Eagles fly.
Michael Gehlken, Review-Journal: Eagles, 20-17
Easy to waver on this pick with Brady and Belichick on opposite side. But Eagles own the better overall roster and should dominate the line of scrimmage.
Hank Goldberg, ESPN, JimFeist.com: Patriots, 31-27
It would not shock me if the Eagles win by controlling the ball. Their defense is good, and they can take the ball away. But it’s Brady again.
Sam Gordon, Review-Journal: Patriots, 31-27
The Patriots don’t blow anyone out in games like this, and Sunday won’t be an exception. Philadelphia has a deep and talented roster, but New England, well, New England has Tom Brady.
Ed Graney, Review-Journal: Patriots, 27-20
Tom Brady once ice fished, learned to milk cows and help tend to a dairy farm in Minnesota. And folks don’t think he can win a sixth Super Bowl in perfect indoor conditions against a backup quarterback? That’s a Bold (North) mistake.
Adam Hill, Review-Journal: Patriots, 24-23
I have no idea how it will happen or what bizarre circumstance will break their way this time, but I do know the Patriots always find some way to win.
Matt Holt, CG Technology sports book vice president: Patriots, 31-17
People always bet what they saw last, which was the Patriots struggling with Jacksonville and the Eagles rolling over Minnesota. Patriots roll Sunday and win this one going away.
Andy Iskoe, Thelogicalapproach.com: Eagles, 27-24
If the Eagles can overcome the challenge of their relative lack of Super Bowl experience, their roster matches up well against the Patriots, who were fortunate to win their last two Super Bowls over Seattle and Atlanta.
Ron Kantowski, Review Journal: Patriots, 24-17
Just because the Patriots are good. I’m not a fan of either team; I just have money on the Patriots. (That was actually NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s prediction. His guess is as good as mine.)
Doug Kezirian, ESPN SportsCenter anchor: Patriots, 27-16
The Eagles seem to have the necessary Tom Brady recipe with a potent pass rush, but I expect the Patriots to counteract that with screens and misdirection. I also envision Bill Belichick rattling Nick Foles, who will play his first road game this postseason.
Jay Kornegay, Westgate sports book director: Eagles, 23-20
Both defenses should make plays throughout to keep the game tight and low scoring. This time the comeback falls short and the Eagles hoist their first Lombardi Trophy.
Dana Lane, DanaLaneSports.com: Eagles, 30-21
Eagles’ front four shuts down the Patriots’ running game while consistently harassing Brady.
Allen Leiker, Review-Journal: Patriots, 27-23
With a first-and-goal at the 1 with less than 30 seconds left, the Eagles call a pass instead of handing the ball to their closer, LeGarrette Blount. The Patriots intercept it.
Bryan Leonard Wagertalk.com: Patriots, 24-21
Eagles own the ground game, but the Pats have success through the air.
Vinny Magliulo, Gaughan Gaming sports book director, VSiN: Patriots, 27-20
The Eagles defense is the better of these two and has carried them, while the Pats’ defense bends but doesn’t break. However, the advantage of Tom Brady at quarterback and New England’s in-game adjustments are the difference makers.
Ed Malinowski, Stratosphere sports book director: Patriots, 24-13
One more for Brady and Belichick. This time, they cover.
Gilbert Manzano, Review-Journal: Patriots, 31-28
The Eagles’ stout offensive line and defensive line will give them an early lead, but Tom Terrific will find a way to lead the Patriots to another comeback.
Bruce Marshall, GoldSheet.com: Patriots, 24-16
Wherever he might be, Norm Snead probably doesn’t approve of this pick, though the under is my preferred recommendation.
Jason McCormick, Red Rock sports book director: Patriots, 27-24 (OT)
We went 50 Super Bowls with no overtime. This will make it two in a row. The GOAT, Tom Brady, gets his sixth ring and fifth MVP.
Mitch Moss, VSiN: Patriots, 27-20
Another ring for the GOATs, Brady and Belichick.
Brent Musburger, VSiN: Patriots, 24-20
Tom Brady has led the Patriots on a game-tying or game-winning fourth-quarter drive in all five of his Super Bowl wins. But Brady has not done it alone, and it’s his cast of supporting playmakers that has to give anyone pause before dropping a bet on the Eagles.
Tony Nevill, TI sports book director: Patriots, 26-21
Brandin Cooks cooks Eagles pass defense as Stephen Gostkowski kicks Patriots into another championship.
Wes Reynolds, @WesReynolds1: Eagles, 24-23
When in doubt, go with the better defense. Philly has had the best pass rush and pass defense in the playoffs.
Micah Roberts, Sportsline.com: Eagles, 24-23
Eagles defense does enough to slow Tom Brady, and Nick Foles manages an offensive game plan well, led by a running game the Pats can’t stop.
Jay Rood, MGM Resorts sports book director: Patriots, 19-17
Defense shows up big for Eagles but fails to seal the deal. And Brady, Belichick and the Boston boys pull out another come-from-behind win with a Gronk-dominated drive to finish the game.
Vic Salerno, US Fantasy president: Patriots, 35-20
Brady and Belichick too difficult for the Eagles.
Ed Salmons, Westgate sports book manager: Eagles, 27-10
Eagles win their first Super Bowl, with more on the way.
Ted Sevransky, Sportsmemo.com: Patriots, 34-14
If you think Nick Foles can do it again, that makes one of us. Experience and elite quarterback play matter on this stage.
Jeff Sherman, Westgate sports book manager: Eagles, 23-21
Had Wentz not been injured and playing in this game, the line would be around pick. After the initial shock of the Wentz injury, the Eagles have rebounded nicely and the team now has confidence in Foles. After doing the props and assessing the matchup, anything greater than Eagles plus 3 is value.
Alex B. Smith, axsmithsports.com: Patriots, 30-27
Tom Brady and Co. find another way to earn a close Super Bowl victory, but the tough Eagles squad hangs around for the cover.
Tom Spousta, Review-Journal: Eagles, 24-20
Forget Brady and Foles — Eagles have allowed only 17 postseason points and their defense delivers again in a Super Bowl taut with tension.
Brett Steidler, Review-Journal: Eagles, 30-24
A deep, relentless Eagles defensive line will give 40-year-old Tom Brady all he can handle. And they’ll do it for four whole quarters. Captain Comeback falls short this time.
Lee Sterling, Paramountsports.com: Eagles, 23-20
Tom Brady has Rob Gronkowski but not much else to get the job done vs. a top-notch defense.
Jeff Stoneback, The Mirage sports book director: Patriots, 28-13
Brady and Belichick against a backup quarterback and second-year coach results in an easy win for the Patriots.
Ken Thomson, SportsXRadio.com: Eagles, 27-23
Definition of insanity: Doing something over and over again and expecting a different result. OK, so I’m insane, I’ll bet against the Patriots again. Philly wins this one in the trenches.
Dave Tuley, VSiN: Eagles, 24-23
Eagles have the offense and defense to match up with the Patriots. And even though Belichick and Brady are legendary, their only Super Bowl win by more than 4½ points was last year (and only because of the OT rules).
Robert Walker, USBookmaking sports book director: Patriots, 27-23
It goes down to the wire, but Brady finds a way as usual.
Matt Youmans, VSiN: Patriots, 23-20
The Eagles are live ’dogs mostly because of their defense, but they are no longer home ’dogs, and there’s a difference. The Patriots are appearing in their eighth Super Bowl of the Belichick-Brady era, so roll with the NFL’s greatest coach-quarterback duo against Philadelphia’s backup quarterback.
Straight-up picks: Patriots 34, Eagles 18
ATS picks: Eagles 33, Patriots 19
Total: Under 30, Over 22