NFL Picks Week #21 (Super Bowl LII)

NFL PICKS (WEEK #21 - Super Bowl LII)


University Professor. PhD in stats. Proud dad of 2 boys.



Hello my friends, yes, the Super Bowl is finally upon us! This two-week delay is killing me every year.

The Patriots overcame a 14-3 deficit to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars to punch their ticket for an eight time in the Brady/Belichick era. Meanwhile, the Eagles destroyed the Vikings 38-7 despite being home underdogs for the second straight week. Speaking of underdogs, according to Sports Interaction’s weekly article dogs have been 8-1-1 against the spread during the current playoffs! I was also surprised when I heard that the Patriots are the biggest favorites over the past 9 years in a Super Bowl game.

All right, it’s now time for my very last pick of the 2017 NFL season!

PICK #1: Philadelphia Eagles +4.5 vs New England Patriots

Let me be 100% clear to you: I am not going to bet this game because I don’t see enough value in this line. In other words, I’m not confident enough to put money at risk. My analysis tells me to bet Philadelphia, but I’m wary of fading New England considering they have been covering machines for a long time.

I absolutely love Doug Pederson’s play-calling offensively. I believe the Eagles’ offense is playing better than they normally should, based on the talent level. I’m not saying they don’t have good players, not at all. They do have some good playmakers. But smart play calls and blocking schemes are helping Philadelphia to score more points than they would under many other coaching staffs.

Historically, when Tom Brady loses a game it often happens because he got pressure in his face coming from the middle of the line. That’s exactly one of Philadelphia’s strengths, namely because of Fletcher Cox, who is literally a beast. I do believe the Eagles’ defense will be able to disrupt the high-octane New England offense and keep this game close. A straight up upset is also possible.

The Brady/Belichick duo has been to seven Super Bowls in the past. They are 5-2 straight up, but 3-4 against the spread. All of these games were decided by exactly three or four points, except last year’s overtime win which ended by a six-point margin. In other words, all of them were close. I don’t see why this year should be any different, especially considering how solid Philadelphia’s defense is. But the NFL sometimes finds ways to surprise us, so we’ll see!

Before New England’s comeback against the Falcons in last year’s Super Bowl, the underdog had covered 8 of the previous 9 Super Bowls. Is that just randomness, or are favorites feeling more nervous? In this case, the Patriots are used to playing the Big Game, so I’m not sure this stat is super relevant, albeit interesting to note.

The latest news regarding tight end Rob Gronkowski indicate he will be out there against the Eagles. He has been practicing fully, and is expected to be cleared from a concussion pretty soon.


This is it for this year’s NFL picks by Professor MJ, I really hope you were able to profit from them. It was a great season and I hope I can duplicate the results next year. Thank you very much for your attention, enjoy the game with your loved ones, bye guys!


Professor MJ