For the eighth time in his 16 seasons as the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots, Tom Brady is going to the Super Bowl. But for the first time since the Patriots’ 18-0 team was nearly two-TD faves against the Giants, the public is lining up to bet against him in the Super Bowl. Even though the Pats opened as -6.0 favorites, the spread has been bet down to -4.5. The public normally prefers favorites, especially the Pats, but 59 percent of the spread and 65 percent of the moneyline tickets are on the Philadelphia Eagles.
There are some good reasons to like the Eagles: They have exceeded their Vegas expectations with backup quarterback Nick Foles almost as much as with Pro Bowl QB Carson Wentz. On top of that, they have an underappreciated passing edge against the Pats, who have allowed the NFL’s third-highest percentage of opponent points through the air.
Nevertheless, there is still a significant portion of the betting market backing the Pats. Why? Because they’re the Pats. They have Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, who should be able to create a winning game plan, especially with an extra week to prepare — or so the logic goes.
And so the question arises: What happens when the Patriots have multiple weeks to prepare for a game?