Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 12:48 PM
IT'S THE CALM BEFORE THE SUPER BOWL LII STORM - WE'LL GET YOU THROUGH THE SPORTS WEEKEND WITH MORE PATRIOTS/EAGLES GOODIES AHEAD AND WE CHECK OUT COLLEGE B-BALL'S SEC VS. BIG 12 ACTION AND MORE!!!
We know you're chomping at the bit to get to Super Bowl LII - the Sunday, February 4th battle for pro football supremacy just has to wait a little bit more but there is college football's Senior Bowl from Mobile on Saturday and then the NFL's Pro Bowl game on Sunday in Orlando, so you can gobble up a couple more gridiron goodies this final weekend in January.
Meanwhile, next week we're gonna devote much (if not all) of our Jim Sez column space on all the Super Bowl LII game plans/strategies/etc. and so hang tight for that but for right now we'll concentrate on some old time-tested theories on just who's gonna win SB 52 between the New England Patriots (- 4.5) and the Philadelphia Eagles:
First of all, it's always worth checking out who plays better in the specific pointspread roles. In other words, New England is 6-2 ATS (against the spread) away from its Foxboro digs this season while Philadelphia is 5-3 versus the vig away from "The Linc";
The Patriots - who opened as 6-point betting favorites for this game - are a composite 12-6 against the odds as chalk sides (a .667 winning rate) while the Eagles are 4-2 ATS as underdog sides (also a .667 winning percentage);
How have these Super Bowl-bound clubs fared when playing the other conference? Well, New England covered three-of-four games against the NFC South this year while Philadelphia split its four pointspread verdicts against the AFC West.
Finally, let's go back the past 10 years:
The Pats are a collective 10-9 against the numbers when playing in post-season games - not quite as good as you might have imagined and note that includes two-of-three Super Bowl spread covers during this time span (covers against Seattle and Atlanta in 2014 and '16, respectively and a spread loss to the New York Giants in 2011).
On the flip side, the Eagles are a dead-even but vig-losing 4-4 against the odds when playing in post-season games the past decade and that, of course, includes the home dog wins against Atlanta and Minnesota in this year's glorious playoff run.
So, we've given y'all some key facts/figures spreadwise as we draw nearer to Super Bowl LII and let's leave you with one last pointspread fact:
New England head coach Bill Belichick will enter this game with a career pointspread mark of 186-130-8 in his time with the Patriots - that's a .589 winning rate - while second-year Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson is 20-14 ATS overall (a .588 winning rate, almost exactly the same as the aforementioned Belichick).
Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will get you the winning Side & Totals plays on Super Bowl LII between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots on Sunday, February 4th when you check in with us then on game-day morning. Jim's gonna keep blasting the books with his NFL post-season winners so get 'em right here online or call 1-800-323-4453 and cash in big! Plus, there's a whole lot of College Basketball and NBA winners each and every day/night as the hardcourt action is really heating up this winter. So, keep rollin' in the profits here in 2018 with Jim Hurley's Network and count down with us towards Super Bowl Sunday!!!!
COLLEGE BASKETBALL'S WEEKEND REPORT
Okay, so if the above-mentioned Senior Bowl and NFL Pro Bowl doesn't grab you, then check out what's on the College Basketball docket for this winter weekend:
The Big 12 vs. SEC challenge is back with 10 big hoop games on the Saturday menu - note the Big 12 has never lost a challenge against the SEC in four prior years of play - and there's some dandy matchups on the card:
Baylor (12-8) at #20 Florida (14-6) - 12 p.m. ET, ESPN
The Gators average slightly more than 80 ppg but here the visiting Bears will welcome a speed-it-up approach; maybe the first team to 90 wins.
#14 Texas Tech (16-4) at South Carolina (13-7) - 12 p.m. ET, espn2
The Techsters have unraveled a bit lately with three losses in their last five games.
#12 Oklahoma (15-4) at Alabama (13-7) - 2:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
All eyes on OU Sooners' frosh megastar Trae Young (30.3 ppg) who may be getting sensitive to folks who claim he shoots too much. Hey, Oklahoma won't win here unless Young shoots it 25-or-more times.
Texas A&M (13-7) at #5 Kansas (16-4) - 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
The Jayhawks had their five-game SU (straight-up) winning streak snapped the other night with the 85-80 loss at Oklahoma and one thing that bogged down Bill Self's club was 32-of-71 shooting from the floor and only 10-of-32 makes from beyond the three-point stripe.
Kentucky (15-5) at #7 West Virginia (16-4) - 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Battle of old buddies John Calipari from the UK 'Cats and WVU's Bob Huggins and should anyone be surprised that the Mountaineers are holding folks to 65.8 ppg (that's second-best among all Big 12 teams)?
No doubt the Big 12 vs. SEC challenge should be a blast but the weekend's best head-to-head matchups are #2 Virginia at #4 Duke in a 2 p.m. ET tilt from Durham (on CBS) and the $64,000 question is at what speed is this game played. Any score in the 60s - of course - favors the visiting and underdog Wahoos.
On Sunday, #3 Purdue at Indiana is the marquee matchup of the day - the visiting Boilermakers are 20-2 overall and 9-0 SU in Big 10 play and beware Vincent Edwards who scored 30 points to lead a 92-88 non-cover win against Michigan this past Thursday night. Right now, there are three Purdue players averaging 14 ppg or more including 7-foot-2 C Isaac Haas who is shooting nearly 63 percent from the floor and better than 77 percent from the free-throw line.