Super Bowl Odds Update: Brady, Patriots stable betting favorites for Sunday

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Tom Brady will have a fully healthy Rob Gronkowski alongside him as he tries to defy both Father Time and some dubious history for prolific passers in the Super Bowl.

No news is apparently good news regarding the Super Bowl LII betting matchup for Sunday, as neither the Patriots nor the Eagles listed a single player on the injury report in advance of the championship game, which takes place at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday. That left the lines stable, with the defending champion Patriots listed as 4.5-point favorites with a 48-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Brady and the Patriots are shooting for a record-tying sixth Super Bowl win. Brady is also trying to become the first quarterback to lead the league in passing yards and lead his team to the championship in the same season. Teams with the league’s most prolific passer are 0-5 straight-up all-time in Super Bowls.

The Eagles, who are 15-3 SU and 12-6 against the spread, are an underdog for the seventh time this season. The good news, for Eagles backers and/or Patriots loathers, is that they are 4-2 both SU and ATS as a ‘dog this season, with one of the losses coming in a nothing game in Week 17.

While quarterback Nick Foles can run hot and cold, his offensive line has protected him very well so far in the playoffs. The Patriots, who were eighth in the league in sacks but 25th in yards per pass attempt allowed, cannot afford to give a quarterback time to make his reads.

Philadelphia’s most-used running back, Jay Ajayi (ankle), should be 100 percent by kickoff. The Eagles have had some key pieces on defense, cornerback Ronald Darby and defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, each need days off due to illness but each also practiced fully on Friday.

The Patriots, who are 15-3 SU and 12-6 ATS, have the edge in experience, with 31 players retained from the 2016 championship team, as well as the seven Super Bowl trips over the previous 16 years for the game-day brain trust of head coach Bill Belichick and Brady – the focus of many of the Super Bowl 52 prop bets set for Sunday.

Brady, despite seeing Gronkowski go down, did thrive in the AFC Championship Game against a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that was second in the NFL at 6.0 yards per pass allowed, just ahead of the Eagles’ 6.5. The Patriots might have to be pass-happy in order to negate an Eagles defensive front led by Fletcher Cox, and Philadelphia is decidedly average at covering tight ends and slot receivers – a spot where New England is in good hands thanks to Gronkowski and Danny Amendola.

Bettors will have to decide how pertinent the many positive Patriots trends are to this particular matchup. The Patriots are 9-1 SU and ATS in their last 10 games after an against-the-spread loss, but their last Super Bowl loss, in 2012, came after they did not cover in the AFC Championship Game. The Patriots are also 14-2 SU in their last 16 games after losing the previous game in a matchup, but that 2015 defeat against Philadelphia did not involve the current Eagles coaching staff under Doug Pederson.

The total has gone over in seven of the Eagles’ last nine games as underdogs, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. Meanwhile, the total has gone under in 10 of the Patriots’ last 14 games.

For more odds info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

NFL Draft Betting Value Rests Beyond Browns’ No. 1 Overall Pick

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The only certainty on the morning of the 2018 NFL draft is that the Cleveland Browns, with the No. 1 and 4 overall picks, will take a quarterback – which has created a ripple effect on other betting props.

Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold is the -180 favorite to be the No. 1 overall choice in the 2018 NFL draft that takes begins in Arlington, Texas on Thursday, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The other players in the No. 1 pick prop include three other quarterbacks, Wyoming’s Josh Allen (+175), Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield (+450) and UCLA’s Josh Rosen (+1800), plus Penn State running back Saquon Barkley (+600) and North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb (+4500).

Quarterbacks have been taken No. 1 in 12 of the last 17 drafts and no running back has been the top pick since 1995. Darnold’s price might reflect an expectation that his skillset is most in tune with conventional NFL thinking. If a bettor believes the Browns will buck convention, well, Allen is believed to have better physical tools and there is the Hail Mary option of Mayfield, whose competitiveness and athleticism is offset by being short for a NFL quarterback.

The quarterback-at-No. 1 argument adds values to other props. Barkley (+175) has the lowest price but is still plus money as the No. 2 overall selection on the 2018 NFL draft betting props board. The New York Giants have that pick and general manager Dave Gettleman does not have a history of trading down at the draft. The Giants haven’t indicated a focus on a QB, which seemingly rules out Darnold (+275), Allen (+350) and Rosen (+400).

The New York Jets are a lock to take a quarterback, creating a very tight No. 3 overall prop between Rosen (+140) and Mayfield (+160). The play there depends on what type of risk bettors believe the Jets want to take on: with Mayfield, the only knock is his height (a smidge about 6-foot), while Rosen battled concussions in college.

Between the Browns also holding the No. 4 choice and the Denver Broncos possibly trading down from No. 5, the +225 price on whether one of the first five picks will be traded is a very enticing proposition. The Buffalo Bills are one of the quarterback-hungry teams with two first-round picks they could ante to move up in the draft order, while speculation also has the New England Patriots looking to move up, since Tom Brady presumably will not play forever.

Position props can also be great fun. The over/under on quarterbacks selected in the first round is 5.5. Only once – the famed John Elway-Jim Kelly-Dan Marino draft in 1983 – have six QBs gone in the first round. Tying that record would require both Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph to go in the first round. The over/under on Jackson’s draft slot is 17.5

It is considered a thin year for elite wide receivers, so the -150 under on the 2.5 total seems like the percentage play. Teams have been wary of using first-rounders on running backs in recent years, but the total is only 1.5, making the -220 over a realistic hit since, after Barkley goes, only one team would have to take a chance on a back such as Louisiana State’s Derrius Guice or Georgia’s Sony Michel.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

 

 

Best ads from Super Bowl LII

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The best Super Bowl ads made us laugh, cry, and audibly wonder how much a trip to Australia would cost.

Here are some of the best ads from Super Bowl LII:

GOAT Ad: Doritos, Mountain Dew collaboration with Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman rapping Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott

Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman in any Super Bowl commercial was going to be epic, but having them RAP (lip sync, obviously) Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott?! That was what Super Bowl commercials are made for.

Leaving on a Jet Plane: Australia Tourism

It’s cold on the East Coast right now and Australia looks nice and warm, so this ad should move Australia to the next spot on your vacation list. The ad referenced a “remake” of ‘Crocodile Dundee’ with Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride, the incredible Australian wine, and stunning beaches.

Laugh Out Loud: NFL’s Dirty Dancing tribute ad

Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. had the time of their lives during Super Bowl LII, paying tribute to Dirty Dancing’s famous dance routine and acrobatic leap done by Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze.

You are, you’re a Superstar… commercial: Amazon

Amazon brought the star power to their Amazon Echo spot, with Gordon Ramsey, Cardi B, Leslie Jones, Rebel Wilson and Anthony Hopkins, filling in for a voiceless Amazon Alexa.

Get the tissues: Hyundai

Hyundai’s ad where car buyers meeting cancer patients that they helped by purchasing a car hit you right in the feels. It was obvious that every parent was on the edge of tears while watching the videos of patients saying thank you.

If you want to watch all of the Super Bowl ads, check them out here.