Super Bowl LII: New England Patriots vs Philadelphia Eagles
The scene is well and truly set in Minneapolis.
So much has been said and written as the thoroughbreds prepare to clash with the fresh faces.
Yet, now is the time for the talking to stop, for the hype to end and for the action to begin.
As the New England Patriots, playing in a record 10th Super Bowl, get ready to face off against the Philadelphia Eagles, many of whom are playing in their first ever showpiece, the betting odds are overwhelming.
Indeed, why would sports betting fans not back the Patriots as they chase back-to-back titles and a third success in four years?
True, this may not be the best-ever Patriots team, but they do have the ultimate trump card, the ultimate pairing.
In coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady—survivors from the outfit which shattered Eagles’ dreams in the 2005 final—the Patriots remain the team to beat.
Victory would make them immortal, equalling the Pittsburgh Steelers’ long-time record of six Super Bowl titles.
It is for their character, as much as their talent, why they are clear favourites. That attribute was shown again as they reached this stage with a 24-20 comeback victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Of course, the Eagles, who thrashed Minnesota Vikings 38-7 to reach the US Bank Stadium, relish being an underdog.
Even coach Doug Pederson admits he has carried that mantle throughout his career.
So perhaps it isn’t quite as clear-cut as many feel.
Certainly, stop Brady and put him under pressure and there is a chance of a shock, although that is much easier said than done.
It is not just about Brady, of course.
If on form, the Pats’ Rob Gronkowski will shine. There’s also the likes of James White and Philadelphia’s Fletcher Cox and Nick Foles—once derided by his critics as a figure of fun—to watch out for on the biggest stage of all.
Experience should win the day and, based on superstition, it’s a cert, given that teams wearing white (just like the Patriots are this year) have won 12 of the past 13 titles.
But then again, this is the Super Bowl.
Let the battle commence!
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