Vegas vs. Fantasy Super Bowl LII

By Armando Marsal
Armando Marsal It was not until I began playing DFS that I started using Vegas lines as part of my research and a determining factor when setting up my lineups. These lines can provide so much information each week. It gives you an idea of the potential game flow we could expect. High totals and close spreads, usually indicates a potential shootout. Whereas, a low total with a low spread is a game that is not expected to have a lot of fantasy goodness aside from the defenses. These lines are set by math wizards and some of the best handicappers in the world. They spend countless hours studying patterns, teams, and situations. For those who are not familiar, spreads are the amount of points a team is expected to win or lose by. The point total is the amount of points both teams combined are projected to score.

The Super Bowl is here and this is a day that there is a ton of betting action. Aside from the regular over/under and spread bets that there is just about all season, this week there is also a good amount of prop bets. You can bet who scores the first touchdown, who scores the first team touchdown, who is going to be the MVP, yardage props, score props, and so much more. Being that there is DFS this weekend, viewing all of these props could help you build a foundation to your research and maybe give you a slight edge over the people that do not take this step. Vegas numbers are not the end all be all, but they surely do give you some type of perspective as to what is expected in a game.

Let’s go right ahead and jump into it.
New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The over/under in this contest is currently 48.5 points and 57 percent of the bets are on the over. It has moved up 1.5 points from where it opened. The Patriots are 4.5 point favorites at this time, after opening up as six point favorites, and they are receiving 49 percent of the bets against the spread. Both teams have implied team totals of over three touchdowns, so this should be a high scoring event. As I am looking at these numbers, it suggests that a lot of bettors think this game is going to remain close and that there should be plenty of scoring, which is good for DFS.

The Patriots
The Eagles have a stout run defense and where a tad more generous against the pass, so this is a perfect spot for Tom Brady and his pass catchers. Brady is one of the best of all time, if not the best, in situations like these and he should have no trouble moving the ball through the air against this units. Being that the Eagles have a good pass rush, short quick passes make the most sense and that would benefit Danny Amendola who has had a very good post season thus far and also played a big role in last year’s Super Bowl, which means that he has proven that he can handle these high-pressure situations. Dion Lewis is also intriguing because although this is a tough run defense, Lewis is currently second in targets for the Patriots this post season and is very much involved in the pass game. Brandin Cooks is also a great option for this offense as he has quietly been peppered with 17 targets in two post season games this year and is coming off of a 100-yard game against the best pass defenses in the league. While he may not offer a high floor, he does provide a very nice ceiling and has slate-breaking upside. James White is someone I do not hear many people talk about, but he does have 12 targets in his last two games and found the pay dirt once. White was very efficient last post season and played well in the Super Bowl last year, so it would not be surprising to see him more involved in this game. You cannot talk about the Patriots and not mention Rob Gronkowski. He was concussed last game, but has been cleared and will be playing in this contest. There is probably no other player on this slate that offers the ceiling the Gronk does and his price suggests just that. I do like him a ton, but the way I am rostering my roster this weekend does not allow me to fit him in. However, I will not talk anyone out of rostering him. After all, he is the biggest favorite to score a touchdown today.

The Eagles
The Eagles have multiple interesting plays as well, starting with Alshon Jeffery. He has been solid this post season, catching 9-of-10 targets for 146 yards and two touchdowns. He is priced up high enough where people may be hesitant, but this is a game where I expect the Eagles to be chasing points, which would create more potential target opportunities. In addition, the Patriots did allow five receiving touchdowns to wide outs in the last four games of the season. Nick Foles is coming off of a huge game against a very tough Vikings defense and he displayed his upside, but whenever rostering him, you must be aware of the low floor he has. That said, the Patriots did allow the most passing yards to quarterbacks this season. Foles is going to have to play well in order for this game to be close and if you look at the Vegas numbers, which is what is expected. Nelson Agholor is intriguing as he has the best matchup of any receiver in this game, however, he is dealing with flu-like symptoms which is concerning because that really drains your energy. Zach Ertz is another intriguing options for Philadelphia, as he leads the team in targets this post season and is coming off of a nice performance. The only concern is that the Patriots are known for keeping the best player of the opposing team under control and that is exactly what Ertz is. Not to mention, New England did a good job against tight ends this season. The running back situation for the Eagles is tricky this weekend, because Jay Ajayi has been the lead back during the post season as far as touches and yardage is concerned, but Blount has scored a touchdown in each of the playoff games for Philly. If I play any of the two backs, I would lean on Blount because of the touchdown equity, but at this time I am not sure if any of them will be on my roster. The one last player for this offense that I want to talk about is Torrey Smith. He is currently second on Philadelphia in targets during the playoffs and although he is volatile, he does offer big play ability that can really catapult up the standing in a hurry. He is very cheap and could be one of the lower owned players this weekend.

Some Scoring Props
First TD Scorer
Rob Gronkowski (NE) +700
Brandin Cooks (NE) +1000
Danny Amendola (NE) +1000
Dion Lewis (NE) +1000
Zach Ertz (PHI) +1000
LeGarrette Blount (PHI) +1000
Alshon Jeffery (PHI) +1200
Jay Ajayi (PHI) +1200
Chris Hogan (NE) +1400
James White (NE) +1400
Rex Burkhead (NE) +1800
Nelson Agholor (PHI) +1800
Corey Clement (PHI) +2500
Torrey Smith (PHI) +2500
Tom Brady (NE) +3300
Nick Foles (PHI) +3300

Good luck to all this weekend!!! If you have any questions, you can always find me on Twitter: @Armando_Marsal