The Super Bowl spread gets all the media attention, with everyone giving their two cents on who will cover come Super Sunday. But what about the total?
The current Over/Under for Super Bowl LII between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots is set at 48 points. This number opened as low as 47 and has climbed as high as 49 at some select sportsbooks.
Since we’re still a week out from February 4, and the bulk of the action on the Big Game coming in the final 48 hours before kickoff, football bettors should expect to see more line movement when it comes to the Super Bowl total.
If you’re undecided on whether you want to wager the Over 48 points or the Under, here are some handicapping tips for both sides of this Super Bowl number:
Bet the Over
It’s the Super Bowl: do you really want to root for a low-scoring game? Excitement aside, the early line movement from wiseguys has revealed that they’re also expecting some fireworks in Minnesota next Sunday.
The Patriots are one of the most power offensive units in football history, and the 2017-18 edition of the Pats is no exception. New England is second in the NFL in scoring with more than 28 points per contest and has shown a tendency to turn it on when needed.
The Patriots put 35 points on Tennessee in the Divisional Round and then tossed 24 points on the board against the Jaguars’ stout defense – 14 of those in the fourth quarter. The Under is never safe with an attack this explosive, which has gone Over the total in eight of its last 10 playoff games.
The Eagles are no slouches either. While Nick Foles doesn’t have the same threat level as Carson Wentz, he’s made significant progress with this offense since taking over for the injured starter. His passer rating has been terrific in the postseason, including slicing the Vikings’ vaunted defense for 352 yards and three touchdowns in the NFC title game.
He’s backed behind a deep ground game that chewed up 96 yards against the Falcons and 110 versus Minnesota. New England hasn’t been great against the rush, allowing 4.6 yards per carry on the season, including 101 yards to Jacksonville in the conference title game.
Bet the Under
The Eagles best shot at winning this game isn’t going to be outgunning Tom Brady & Co. Philadelphia needs to hog the ball and control the pace of the game with a methodical attack. It chewed up 32 minutes of possession in the win against Atlanta – a 15-10 victory that stayed Under 40 points – and owned the football for 34 minutes in the blowout of the Vikings. That means a lot of short passes and runs, keeping the clock moving and scoreboard stagnant.
This pass rush has the ability to give Brady problems, much like the Jaguars did through three quarters in the AFC Championship. The Eagles can get adequate pressure and collapse the pocket by rushing only four and disguising blitzes, allowing linebackers to drop into coverage and force Brady to make tough, hurried throws. Philadelphia has played Under in three of its last four games overall, and is 4-10-1 Over/Under in its last 15 postseason appearances.
The Patriots defense, while giving up chunks of yardage this season, does a great job slamming the door when it comes to opponents putting up points. New England ranks fifth in points against, giving up just 18.5 points per contest. That stop unit has looked great in the playoffs, limiting the Titans to 14 points and putting the clamps on the Jaguars in the second half of the AFC title game. The Pats have stayed Under the total in five of their last seven games entering Super Bowl LII.