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February 7, 2018 Staff Writer

NFL News

Super Bowl 53 Odds Roundup

We live in a world of Facebook instant messaging, Twitter and Snapchat. Instant gratification/entertainment. “We want what we want and we want it now!”

The various sportsbooks know this, and it’s why they released NFL futures odds to win Super Bowl 53 almost by the time Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was accepting MVP honors for leading his team to a 41-33 upset of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis.

The Eagles and Patriots put on an offensive show unlike any ever seen in the NFL. The 1,151 yards of offense were the most in league history for any game, regular season or playoffs. The Patriots had 613 of those yards – and never punted – yet became the first team ever to lose a game in which it had at least 600 yards.

Frankly, it took essentially a perfect game for the Eagles to win their first NFL title since 1960, well before the Super Bowl era. To little surprise, then, the Patriots remain the team to beat in 2018 as they are +600 favorites to win a sixth Super Bowl in the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era. The Patriots are now 5-3 in eight Super Bowls with that duo.

Brady already has confirmed he will return to play at age 42, and Belichick says he will be back despite some rumors of discord between the coach, Brady and owner Robert Kraft. Star tight end Rob Gronkowski made some noise about retiring after the loss to the Eagles, but that’s highly unlikely to happen. One trend New England will have to buck: No Super Bowl loser has returned to the big game since the Buffalo Bills made four straight in the early 1990s.

New England was the last team to win back-to-back Super Bowls, repeating in the 2004 season, and Philadelphia is +800 to end that drought. All Super Bowl winners tend to be picked apart by other teams in free agency as the NFL is a copycat league, but the core of players is in place. Most important, the Eagles get back superstar quarterback Carson Wentz, who was lost in Week 14 of the 2017 season to a torn ACL. That returns the hero Foles to a backup role – unless the Eagles are blown away by trade offers.

The Green Bay Packers missed the playoffs this past season at 7-9, the first time they had done so since Aaron Rodgers’ first year starting in 2011. Yet the Packers are +900 third-favorites for 2018 largely because Rodgers remains in his prime, and the reason the Pack struggled in 2017 was Rodgers missing a large chunk of the season to a broken collarbone.

The Minnesota Vikings (+1400), Pittsburgh Steelers (+1400) and San Francisco 49ers (+1600) round out the favorites. That 49ers number might shock some fans, but San Francisco closed last season with five straight wins under new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Going back to his Patriots days, Garoppolo is 7-0 as a starter in his NFL career.

Super Bowl 53 is Sunday, February 3, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The hometown Falcons are +1800 to win it all – no team has still played in a Super Bowl in its home stadium, although the Vikings got within a game in 2017.