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2018 Super Bowl Early Odds Analysis

Only four teams remain in the race for the 2018 Super Bowl. And, after this weekend’s Conference Championships, we’ll know which two will get a chance for the glory.

Which teams are favored by the odds at this point to win the Super Bowl? Let’s find out.

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Super Bowl LLI Early Odds Analysis

New England Patriots (Even)

The season hadn’t even started and the New England Patriots were the favorites to win the Super Bowl. The odds haven’t changed much from then till now because they’re still the favorites.

The Patriots made sure everyone knows they want their eigth title when they crushed the Tennessee Titans, who folded unable to pull off another come-from-behind win as they did against the Kansas City Chiefs a week prior.

Tom Brady also silenced the naysayers with another exceptional performance and completed 35 of 53 attempts for 337 yards and three touchdowns.

The Patriots defense also rose to the occasion, shutting down Tennessee’s offense most of the game.

New England is playing well on both sides of the ball and it’s rightfully so they’re considered to be one of the two teams competing for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

And if so, there’s no other team remaining with the experience the Patriots have in winning the game under these circumstances.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because the Patriots are focusing on next weekend’s task of winning the Conference Championship.

The Patriots also happen to have the most experience of any team in that regard; it’s hard to find a team that’s gone up against an opponent with similar characteristics as the Jaguars, not once but twice, and won the game.

New England did it in 2015 against the Seahawks and then, of course, last year’s epic comeback win against the Falcons.

Jacksonville Jaguars (+650)

Perhaps only a handful of people would’ve thought of seeing the Jaguars playing this late into the season. Yet, here they are.

And since to give credit where it’s due is warranted, a big part of the reason why the Jaguars are here is because of their defense, led by Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye.

An improved offense, designed to take advantage of a strong running game, has also proved extremely effective at doing its job.

The addition of rookie running back Leonard Fournette have given the Jaguars not only a wedge to open the ground attack, but also a way to take pressure off quarterback Blake Bortle’s shoulders.

The Jaguars might not get too much respect from the sportsbooks at +650 to win the Super Bowl, but considering how they made it to this game, I’d think twice of counting them out.

Nobody thought they were going to beat the Steelers and yet through a relentless defense they won. It’s something Tom Brady has likely thought about and undoubtedly seen on tape.

If the defense does, in fact, win the championship then the Jaguars are in a good position if they do their job well come game time.

Should the Jaguars defeat the Patriots, it’s hard to think they won’t win the Super Bowl. It doesn’t matter which team makes it out of the NFC.

If it’s the Vikings, they’ll only be playing the first team in Super Bowl history to play at home but details, details.

If it’s the Eagles, then it’d be a battle between underdogs. Maybe that would be an interesting thing to watch.

Minnesota Vikings (+220)

The Vikings have to give Saints’ safety Marcus Williams a lot of credit for them finding themselves in this game.

Had Williams not botched his tackle in the last play of the game, the Vikings would not be here.

Regardless of how they made it to this point, the Vikings now head to Philadelphia to face the Eagles on their home turf.

Now, there are a few things to consider regarding the Vikings. The offense struggled in the game against New Orleans and it’s hard to see them advancing to the Super Bowl and winning it playing like that.

Though Case Keenum is playing well, they have a lot of work to do in the running game. Against the Saints, they only picked up 95 yards on 29 carries.

If the Vikings want to make it out of the NFC Conference game with a win, they’ll need the running game to give Case Keenum a shot of establishing a flow.

It couldn’t be left unsaid, that Minnesota playing in the Super Bowl would not only make history, it would make a Vikings fan’s dreams come true.

Philadelphia Eagles (+650)

The Eagles find themselves in the same boat with the Jaguars. They’re also not getting a lot of respect from the oddsmakers, in fact, they will go into the NFC Championship as the underdogs in their own stadium.

At this point, Carson Wentz’ injury isn’t important. What’s important is how to get Nick Foles to rise up to the occasion and do the unlikely thing of leading the Eagles to a Super Bowl title.

They’ll have to get through the Vikings first, but that’s something that’s possible if they can figure out a game plan for Nick Foles such as the one that got them through their last game.

It’s going to be a big challenge; the Vikings have a tough-as-nails defense and an offense which could burn the defense, so they’ll have to play a perfect game.

What are your picks for the team that wins the 2018 Super Bowl?

Which team has the edge in Super Bowl 52? Both the Patriots and Eagles have strengths and weaknesses, but one way to figure out which team has the edge is to analyze their offense and defense.

Super Bowl 52 Offense vs Defense Betting Analysis

New England Patriots

In the regular season, the Patriots offense averaged 28.6 points per game, which ranked them 2nd in the league this year. These numbers are despite the absence of their leading receiver, Julian Edelman, who did not play at all because of a season-ending knee injury suffered in the preseason.

Also, Tom Brady, the front-runner for the league’s MVP award, hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down despite many pundits clamoring on about his age. In fact, Brady ended the season with 4,577 yards, 32 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.

Other notables include Brandin Cooks, who was acquired from the Saints in the preseason, who ended the season with 1,082 yards and 7 touchdowns, and tight end Rob Gronkowski, probably the best tight end in the league, who finished with 1,084 yards and 8 touchdowns.

One thing to note, however, is that Gronkowski might miss the big game because of a concussion suffered in the AFC Championship game. This might give some reasons for concern over the Patriots chances of putting up points in the game.

New England Defense

The Patriots’ defense though not receiving of much respect actually was very good, holding opponents to 18.5 pints per game which was 5th in the league this year.

Despite a slew of injuries which hobbled them at some points, the defense did its job and came up big when it was needed.

Arguably, it was defense that got them through the AFC Championship game against the Jaguars.

Now, the Eagles will present a challenge to New England’s defense. Philadelphia will look to keep on changing its looks in hopes of creating opportunities to disrupt the Patriots’ game.

Not only will the D have to figure out how to rattle Foles’ cage, they’ll also have to contend with players such as tight end Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Torrey Smith, Jay Ajayi, and Trey Burton who are all dangerous as seen in the Eagles’ defeat of the touted Vikings defense.

If New England doesn’t take heed to shore up its defense, they might end up committing such costly mistakes as those made by Vikings cornerback Terence Newman that led to a 53-yard touchdown reception or that of Trae Wayne’s botched coverage on Torrey Smith that also led to a 41-yard scoring catch.

Expect an all-out battle between safety Patrick Chung and Ertz and between Agholor and cornerback Malcolm Butler.

Philadelphia Offense

The Eagles’ offense matched up to that of New England’s with an average of 28.6 points scored per game, but, of course, this was prior to Carson Wentz’ injury.

Wentz has the Eagles’ offense working like a well-oiled machine, to the point he had already gained to most touchdown passes in the NFL with three games remaining in the regular season.

However, since Wentz’ injury backup quarterback Nick Foles has filled in to surprise everyone. Foles’ contribution to the Eagles’ win over the Vikings cannot be understated, as he went on to throw for 350 yards and three touchdowns.

Philadelphia also has a great running game that averages 132 yards per game during the regular season, led by running back LeGarrette Blount who won the Super Bowl with the Patriots last season. Blount led the Eagles with 766 yards and two touchdowns, also being the difference-maker for the team in the playoffs.

The Eagles’ offense can land the Patriots into hot water because on the surface it’s very similar to that of the Chiefs that beat them in this year’s season-opener.

Now Foles seems to have meshed perfectly to the Eagles’ multi-look offense which could be their greatest weapon to defeat the Patriots.

Philadelphia’s game fits perfectly with Foles’ strengths while minimizing his weaknesses, so expect to see them changing the looks often to keep the Pat’s defense guessing.

The Eagles spread the ball very well; in fact, three of their receivers have gained over 700 yards and eight receiving touchdowns.

Philadelphia Defense

The defense is this team’s heart and soul since Wentz’ injury and this has continued all the way up to the Super Bowl. During the regular season, the held opponents to just 18.4 points per game and to seven PPG in the playoffs, but these averages are when they’ve played at home which might be reason for concern.

Philadelphia’s defensive unit has the gargantuan task of stopping the Tom Brady led Patriots offense which is practically impossible when they’re firing on all cylinders. Time and time over, we’ve all seen how the New England offense has come back to win the day.

Eagles’ defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz, must find a way to disrupt Brady and get him out of the pocket where there’s a better chance of slowing the Patriots advance.

If they cannot manage to rattle Brady, he will make you pay with extended plays that break down any coverage and wins games. While Brady is a master at reading plays, Schwartz is counting on his squad being aggressive and fast enough to keep Brady from doing too much damage.

Players such as Chris Long, who won a Super Bowl with the Patriots last year, and Malcolm Jenkins, will shoulder the responsibility of getting the job done on defense.

The Eagles defense should also be prepared to expect a huge battle from a Bill Belichick-coached team.

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