For most NFL fans the Super Bowl is an exciting day but in the UK it can end up being a full night’s party whether your team is playing or not. In fact often the most enjoyable Super Bowls are the ones your team aren’t playing in because you can relax and actually enjoy the game rather than having the nerves of fandom. However, I have seen this Super Bowl described as boring and unexciting on twitter and as much as I think that is so far from true that is how people feel so why not liven up your evening with a few bets to give you a rooting interest in the outcome of the game.
Two years ago I watched the Broncos Panthers game and made a solid profit from my Von Miller MVP bet and backing the Broncos to not choke at their second opportunity in three years. It made a game that I would have watched but wouldn’t have had much to root for a much more exciting evening for both myself and the people around me who got to watch my slowly developing nerves over whether Von Miller would get the Super Bowl MVP.
So in the spirit of that here are my picks for this year’s Super Bowl starting with the handicap and then looking at some guys I will be backing for MVP.
Odds and lines correct as of 01/02/2018
In contrast to the claims that the Patriots make for a boring Super Bowl the games they have been in over the last 15 or so years have actually been really exciting. Their first three Super Bowls were won by three points each. Their next two were lost by a combined seven points; the Seahawks victory was by four points and included one of the most amazing moments ever to decide the game. In fact last year was their biggest ever victory (six points) and they came back from 25 points down to win that so that was hardly boring either.
What I am getting at here is that generally the Patriots play in tight games on the biggest stage and I don’t expect this to be any different. For that reason I am backing the Eagles +4.5 because I struggle to see how with that defensive the Eagles get blown out. As a Patriots fan I really hope I am wrong because my heart would really appreciate an easy victory but I cannot see it happening (and no this isn’t an attempt at a reverse jinx I have actually put money on it).
Super Bowl MVP
Tom Brady @ 8/13
If the Patriots win this game it is tough to see how it isn’t Brady who gets MVP. A receiver is going to need at minimum two touchdowns and a ton of yards to take it from him and a running back is going to need something similar. I mean James White didn’t get it last year and he put up one of the great Super Bowl performances from a running back. It’s not a fun or a sexy bet but it is the sensible one if you’re confident the Patriots win this game.
Jay Ajayi @ 16/1 or LeGarette Blount @ 50/1
For the Eagles to win this game they need their run game to operate and run the clock. These are the two more powerful backs that can dominate the Patriots defensive line and grind them down. Corey Clement (300/1) will have his moments but he isn’t going to be a consistent contributor if the Eagles are to win. When the Eagles get near the goal line who do they trust? Nick Foles or one of these two backs? For me it has to be these two and therefore the possibility one of these has a two touchdown game in a Eagles win is possible enough to make these high upside relatively low risk bets.
Fletcher Cox @ 50/1
I mentioned above that I won on Von Miller a few years back and I could argue that had the Falcons won last year my bet on Grady Jarrett could have won too. Another part of the Eagles to winning the defence will need to dominate the Patriots. Cox is dynamic enough that he could cause fits for that line and if he can get to Brady he could force a fumble and get a couple of sacks. There is a good chance his contributions are game deciding and he takes home the MVP
Mike Gilleslee @ 500/1
I always gamble on a 500/1 player for MVP just for the fun of doing it and Gilleslee is just that. He isn’t even guaranteed to be active and if he is he may be the 4th string RB.
In addition, I just made the case for why it won’t be a Patriot other than Brady but at this price I am going to stick something on Gilleslee. The Patriots weakness is defence and the Eagles major strength is their pass rush. The Patriots will need to effectively rush the ball to slow that rush and Gilleslee could have that Jonas Gray freak game and end up with multiple touchdowns. Another low risk bet but the potential for monster rewards and the chance to look really smart at your Super Bowl party if he starts contributing.
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