Dog bites G.O.A.T. in action-packed Super Bowl

By Jeff Fogle  (VSiN City newsletter) 

Nick Foles turned out to be the hero for the Eagles and the Super Bowl MVP.
© USA Today Sports Images

The Eagles beat the Pats 41-33 in a wild Super Bowl shootout featuring more than 1,150 total yards. Key stats, plus a weekend basketball recap and a Big Monday preview from Greg Peterson right now in VSiN City. 

Super Bowl 52: A non-stop action thriller ends with the first ever Super Bowl championship for the Philadelphia Eagles

Wow…the first half was a pretty good game all by itself! Check out these stats at the 30-minute mark. Again, the raw numbers in total yardage, passing yardage, and rushing yardage were just for HALF a game…

First Half: Philadelphia (plus 3) 22 New England 12 

Yards-per-Play: Philadelphia 9.0, New England 9.7

Total Yardage: Philadelphia 323, New England 350

Third Down Pct: Philadelphia 63%, New England 33%

Turnovers: Philadelphia 1, New England 0

Rushing Yards: Philadelphia 107, New England 74

Passing Stats: Philadelphia 14-23-1-216, New England 12-24-0-276

TD Drive Lengths: Philadelphia 77-65-70, New England 90

The Patriots could only manage 12 points off one of the greatest big game first halves in league history. Nine-point-seven yards per play and no giveaways! They missed an extra point. They missed a short field goal. An inability to convert third downs didn’t help. Philadelphia’s chain-moving locomotive sparkled from the get-go. The interception came on an unfortunate tip that the Pats caught deep in their own territory. This is what two good quarterbacks can do with multiple receiving options when defenses are too afraid to apply pressure…indoors in great scoring conditions. At this point, the main question was whether or not the Eagles could keep it going for four full quarters. You knew Tom Brady would get the Pats back in the game.

Now the final box… 

Philadelphia (plus 4.5) 41 New England 33 

Yards-per-Play: Philadelphia 7.6, New England 8.5

Total Yardage: Philadelphia 538, New England 613

Third Down Pct: Philadelphia 63%, New England 50%

Turnovers: Philadelphia 1, New England 1

Rushing Yards: Philadelphia 164, New England 113

Passing Stats: Philadelphia 29-44-1-374, New England 28-49-0-500

TD Drive Lengths: Philadelphia 77-65-70-85-75, New England 90-75-75-75

Brady did bring the Patriots all the way back to take a 33-32 fourth-quarter lead. Philadelphia would drive the field for a dramatic go-ahead touchdown. Then, New England’s first turnover of the day came on a Brady fumble under pressure in the pocket. That set up an Eagles field goal and determined the game’s final margin. New England got close enough for a Hail Mary. Wasn’t answered. 

New England falls to 3-6 ATS in Super Bowls during the Belichick/Brady era. And, that’s 2-7 ATS at the end of regulation. Almost 1-8 ATS if not for the late turnover from Seattle a few years ago. 

That was part of our outline back in Friday’s preview…

"New England has established a history of not pulling away from quality opponents in Super Bowls. There’s little here to suggest that would change now unless Nick Foles folds under the pressure and makes a lot of mistakes. That certainly could happen in a “regression to the mean” spot off a peak outing…playing away from home rather than in front of a friendly crowd. If you’re betting New England to win big, you virtually NEED Foles to turn into a pumpkin. 

Our raw stats, adjusted downward for the absence of Wentz, suggest the pointspread is fair or a touch high. And, if Foles can distribute the ball as effectively Sunday as he did two weeks ago, there may not be a need to adjust anything downward. The version of Philadelphia that crushed Minnesota could certainly win the game outright. Likely another close, entertaining Super Bowl. Point spread value on the dog at plus 4 or more in that scenario." 

Definitely a close, entertaining Super Bowl. Foles showed no signs of folding under pressure, passing for 374 yards with only an unlucky pick. In two games in good scoring conditions (once he settled into the offense and got out of frigid weather), Foles has a passing line of 55-77-1-720. And that’s against an elite defense from Minnesota, and what had been an elite “points allowed” defense from New England over the season’s last few months. 

Congratulations to all of you who had Philadelphia straight up or plus the points. Over bettors never had to sweat. Monday morning and afternoon, we’ll likely be hearing about a tough year for sports books. The public likes betting Overs for teams and for props. This year’s props weren’t calibrated for a game with 1,151 yards! Congrats also to “Bettor X” who scored a big city-wide Eagles payoff on the money line price, to go along with a great World Series run. 

Now we transition to a basketball-heavy approach (with some hockey) through March Madness. Let’s recap the losses by ranked college teams this past weekend. Then, Greg Peterson will preview Big Monday on ESPN for us. 

College Basketball: Weekend losses by ranked teams and updated “market” Power Ratings

Several ranked teams lost once again this past weekend. We'll look at the key stats in those encounters for potential March guidance. And, we'll update our “market” Power Ratings for the conferences in discussion as we move along. Games are listed in the order of the ranked loser.  

St. John’s (plus 11) 81, #4 Duke 77

Two-point Pct: Duke 48%, St. John’s 46% 

Three Pointers: Duke 9/20, St. John’s 8/17

Free Throws: Duke 20/29, St. John’s 13/18

Rebounds: Duke 36, St. John’s 33

Turnovers: Duke 18, St. John’s 11 

Kenpom-Sagarin-BPI: Duke 4-8-4, St. John’s 85-76-89

A bit of a media overreaction to the “St. John’s was 0-11 in Big East play” storyline. The Red Storm had been getting informed market respect in recent games. We talked about that the other night after St. John's lost a nailbiter to Xavier. If you’re tied with Xavier in the final moments…you can beat disinterested Duke. Obviously, turnovers were the only clear negative for Duke. A lot of favorites were lousy from three-point land Saturday. That WASN’T the case with Duke. Worse actually…because this wasn’t a “bad break” with poor shooting luck. It was poor concentration and effort for an alleged Final Four contender that missed the market by 15 points. You can see that our computer composite has St. John’s in the top 90. College hoops is so condensed this season that many of the highly regarded teams aren’t going to be as good as a top four or top eight computer ranking “usually” suggests. 

Big East estimated “market” Power Ratings: Villanova 88 at home…87 on the road, Xavier 81, Seton Hall 79, Butler 77, Creighton 77, Marquette 77, Providence 75, St. John’s 73, Georgetown 70, DePaul 69.

ACC estimated “market” Power Ratings: Duke 86, Virginia 86, North Carolina 83, Louisville 81 at home…79 on the road, Florida State 80, Clemson 79, Virginia Tech 78, Miami 77, Syracuse 77, Notre Dame 75, NC State 75, Georgia Tech 74, Wake Forest 73, Boston College 73, Pittsburgh 63.

Both conferences will be well-represented in the Big Dance and the NIT. The bubble is going to be huge in terms of “Dance quality.” Whoever loses the most nailbiters will take the worst of it come invitation time. 

Oklahoma State (plus 12) 84, #7 Kansas 79

Two-point Pct: Oklahoma State 57%, Kansas 53% 

Three Pointers: Oklahoma State 12/27, Kansas 8/22

Free Throws: Oklahoma State 8/13, Kansas 15/20

Rebounds: Oklahoma State 41, Kansas 28

Turnovers: Oklahoma State 16, Kansas 11

Kenpom-Sagarin-BPI: Oklahoma State 66-49-67, Kansas 11-5-7

Back when Kansas lost at home to Arizona State (who’s been a huge disappointment since then), we talked about how the Jayhawks may be getting too much respect on their home floor whenever a major conference team comes to visit. This makes Kansas 3-15 ATS its last 18 at home against the power conferences. Big 12 teams certainly aren’t intimidated. Look at the huge rebounding count for the visitor. Jayhawks were sluggish on defense outside of forcing turnovers. Still amazing that Kansas looks like a Final Four team on the road, but a Round of 32 loser so often in Lawrence. 

Texas (-3) 79, #12 Oklahoma 74

Two-point Pct: Oklahoma 73%, Texas 53% 

Three Pointers: Oklahoma 3/22, Texas 9/25

Free Throws: Oklahoma 7/11, Texas 20/27

Rebounds: Oklahoma 37, Texas 25

Turnovers: Oklahoma 17, Texas 13

Kenpom-Sagarin-BPI: Oklahoma 28-23-29, Texas 34-31-36

Trae Young was 7 of 22 shooting. His teammates were 25 of 40. So, the idea that he HAS to shoot because he doesn’t get much help from his teammates doesn’t hold up here. No reason to go 2 of 14 on treys when patiently working for good shots finds so many cheapies inside (20 of 35 on deuces for the Sooners). Young is still the MVP of the first half of the season, while trending toward being an irrelevant side attraction come March. His shoulders aren’t broad enough (yet) to carry the load this program is asking. And, he’s been too anxious to show off his shoulders when he wasn’t ready for that. OU is now 1-6 ATS its last seven games because the market has been slow to adjust from pre-fatigue performance. Texas has covered seven of eight, suffering bad officiating luck in what could have been a road win at Texas Tech the game prior. Really important to see decent three-point shooting for Texas. We mentioned back in the Portland tournament that the Horns would be dangerous if they ever figured out how to hold their own in that category. 

Big 12 estimated “market” Power Ratings: Kansas 85, West Virginia 84, Texas Tech 81, Oklahoma 81 at home…80 on the road, TCU 81, Kansas State 80, Texas 80, Baylor 79, Oklahoma State 76, Iowa State 73.

Finally seeing West Virginia, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma drop from peaks that don’t seem predictive any more. TCU, Kansas State, and Texas are all scooting up at the same time. Would have been tough to imagine Texas laying -3 at home to Oklahoma a few weeks ago. Then the Horns covered the newly respectful line anyway. Going to be a heckuva conference tournament. 

Washington (plus 7) 78, #9 Arizona 75

Two-point Pct: Arizona 58%, Washington 45%

Three Pointers: Arizona 2/12, Washington 8/14

Free Throws: Arizona 11/15, Washington 10/16

Rebounds: Arizona 35, Washington 30

Turnovers: Arizona 12, Washington 9

Kenpom-Sagarin-BPI: Arizona 23-14-20, Washington 87-87-115

Arizona had floated back to the top 10 despite not playing to market expectations. Remember when the 0-3 debacle in the Bahamas dropped the Wildcats out of the rankings entirely? That was part of a 7-13 ATS run over 20 games…which is just 2-7 ATS the last nine. Tie-breaker here was poor three-point shooting. Arizona managed just 2 of 12. Washington hit a buzzer trey to win. Washington is trying to make a case for the bubble. You can see that the most respected computer measures don’t have the Huskies anywhere near the NCAA’s…and arguably not NIT caliber either. Washington is 6-1-1 ATS its last eight games, which is better form than the computers would suggest. 

Pac 12 estimated “market” Power Ratings: Arizona 84, USC 80, Arizona State 79, Oregon 79, UCLA 78, Utah 77, Stanford 75, Washington 74, Colorado 74 at home…73 on the road, Oregon State 73, Washington State 68, California 66.

If you’ve been watching games, or running algorithms, it’s possible that everyone from Arizona down to Stanford is two points too high in market perceptions. Arizona’s not playing like an 84, and hasn’t all season. Arizona State’s not looking much like a 79 either vs. the teams who know what they’re doing. 

Missouri (-2.5) 69, #21 Kentucky 60

Two-point Pct: Kentucky 40%, Missouri 67% 

Three Pointers: Kentucky 2/20, Missouri 7/23

Free Throws: Kentucky 16/23, Missouri 24/33

Rebounds: Kentucky 40, Missouri 36

Turnovers: Kentucky 12, Missouri 20

Kenpom-Sagarin-BPI: Kentucky 30-17-31, Missouri 37-38-47

Some in the media were marveling at Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky all losing on the same day. Tells you who hasn’t been following basketball this year. Kentucky was the underdog in Columbia, so this wasn’t even an upset. Two respected computers have Kentucky more as a #30 type team, and you have to wonder what Jeff Sagarin of USA Today has been drinking. That awful 2 of 20 mark on treys made it impossible to win. Kentucky’s defense forced 20 turnovers, and held Missouri to just 18 two-point attempts. The Tigers did make 12 of those 18 when getting inside. 

Alabama (plus 8) 66, #23 Florida 50

Two-point Pct: Alabama 64%, Florida 42% 

Three Pointers: Alabama 4/13, Florida 5/24

Free Throws: Alabama 6/12, Florida 7/11

Rebounds: Alabama 43, Florida 25

Turnovers: Alabama 19, Florida 12 

Kenpom-Sagarin-BPI: Alabama 48-45-51, Florida 38-36-34

Same old story for Florida. If the Gators can’t make their treys, they turn into a relative doormat. That may sound harsh. But, losing just six points in Power Ratings drops you from Sweet 16 consideration to out of the NCAA’s. If Florida is a couple of treys worse than par, they turn into alligator shoes. Today was a tone-setter for how the randomness of three-point shooting is going to infect the Dance. In our presentation order, Oklahoma was 3 of 22, Arizona 2 of 12, Kentucky 2 of 20, and Florida 5 of 24. Pencil in something like 10 of 22, and all are capable of beating Villanova, Virginia, or Purdue on a neutral court next month. Basketball roulette spins on that wheel. Often there’s nothing bettors can do about it beyond hoping the percentages take care of them over the long haul. 

SEC estimated “market” Power Ratings: Auburn 83, Florida 82, Tennessee 81 at home…79 on the road, Kentucky 80, Texas A&M 80 at home…79 on the road, Arkansas 79 at home…77 on the road, Missouri 79 at home…77 on the road, Alabama 78, South Carolina 76, Mississippi State 76, Georgia 76, LSU 75 at home…74 on the road, Ole Miss 74, Vanderbilt 74.

Auburn won again Saturday, covering some point spreads (final margin landed near the number). Auburn is 16-5 ATS for the season if you call Saturday a winner. It is now THREE games clear in the SEC straight up standings over both Florida and Kentucky. Stunning margin of error for the stretch run. 

We wanted to post updated “market” Power Ratings for all the major conferences. There weren’t any losses by ranked teams in the Big Ten. Let’s just go to those rankings before getting the “Big Monday” ESPN previews from Greg Peterson. 

Big Ten estimated “market” Power Ratings: Purdue 86, Michigan State 85, Ohio State 82, Michigan 80, Penn State 78, Maryland 77, Nebraska 75, Northwestern 75, Indiana 74, Wisconsin 72, Iowa 72, Illinois 72, Minnesota 71, Rutgers 68.

Purdue has failed to cover four straight, and may be dropping down a smidge in the very near future. Going to get interesting in the middle as somebody besides the four teams in the 80’s tries to earn a Dance bid. 

College Basketball: “Running the Floor with Greg Peterson”

Syracuse At Louisville (7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN)

Opening Line: Louisville -7

Offensive Efficiency: Syracuse #202, Louisville #94

Defensive Efficiency: Syracuse #12, Louisville #41

Rebound Rate: Syracuse #34, Louisville #161

Percent of Shots are 3s: Syracuse #284, Louisville #234

Free Throw Shooting Percentage: Syracuse #132, Louisville #77

Pace: Syracuse #325, Louisville #92

Syracuse and Louisville are two of the least efficient offenses in the ACC, but Syracuse offsets being in the bottom half of the country in offense with the second-most efficient defense in the conference behind only Virginia.

Syracuse plays the traditional 2-3 zone defense, which makes it difficult for opponents to get into the paint, but often allows open 3-point looks. With Louisville being a team that relies much more on dribbling to the basket and banging down low than jump shooting, this is the type of defense that could present issues to the Cardinals.

Louisville likes to push the tempo a bit more while Syracuse is among the slowest 10 percent of the nation. Though Louisville is not a team that takes a ton of 3s, Syracuse takes even fewer, with its 3-point rate ranking in the bottom 20 percent of the country.

This has the makings of a defensive orientated game with a quicker pace favoring Louisville and a slower tempo playing into the hands of Syracuse.

Syracuse’s lack of scoring options has been an issue this year. The Orange get over 71 percent of their points from the starting backcourt. If Syracuse can get some contributions from its big men, it will bode well for its hopes to cover.

West Virginia At Oklahoma (9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN)

Opening Line: Oklahoma -2

Offensive Efficiency: West Virginia #37, Oklahoma #23

Defensive Efficiency: West Virginia #9, Oklahoma #190

Rebound Rate: West Virginia #59, Oklahoma #109

Percent of Shots are 3s: West Virginia #91, Oklahoma #83

Free Throw Shooting Percentage: West Virginia #42, Oklahoma #66

Pace: West Virginia #88, Oklahoma #3

Oklahoma will look to avenge its loss from earlier in the season to West Virginia on January 6.

Turnovers have been an issue for the Sooners, and West Virginia makes a living off causing turnovers. The Mountaineers play a press defense for a full 40 minutes, using a deep bench to keep players fresh while playing a style that can cause opponents to tire quickly.

Oklahoma is a team that wants to make games a track meet and is third in the country in fastest pace of play, which makes it a strength on strength battle.

Both these teams have been exposed to a certain extent recently. West Virginia has not been defending the 3-point line in recent weeks while Oklahoma’s turnovers and inability to rebound has been its bugaboo.

Oklahoma has recently been living and dying by Trae Young’s 3-point shooting and the style of play he presents. He’s had as many as 39 shot attempts and as few as nine in games the past three weeks and still leads the country in points and assists per game.

Whether or not Young can get the ball through the press is what will likely be a huge factor in determining which team wins and covers.

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Back with you Tuesday. Thanks to everyone who joined us on twitter during the Super Bowl. Fun for VSiN City to contribute to the feed throughout the exciting live big game broadcasts at the website and on Sirius 204. 

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