The New England Patriots will have Rob Gronkowski in their Super Bowl LII lineup Sunday when they battle the Philadelphia Eagles as 4.5-point favorites on the NFL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Gronkowski had been under concussion protocol since sustaining a blow to the head two weeks ago in New England’s 24-20 AFC Championship Game victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars as 8-point chalk, but he has been cleared to play in Sunday evening’s Eagles vs. Patriots betting matchup at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The five-time All-Pro tight end has played a key role in the Patriots’ playoff success in recent years. Gronkowski has caught seven touchdown passes over his past seven postseason appearances, including a major score in New England’s 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks as 1-point underdogs at Super Bowl XLIX, and sits as a +900 bet on the Super Bowl MVP odds.
While the return of Gronkowski is good news for the Patriots, it has yet to improve the Patriots’ position on the Super Bowl odds. New England opened as a 6-point favorite before seeing the spread quickly slide to 4.5 points. However, bettors loyal to the Patriots also have benefited from a moneyline that opened at a lengthy -215 before moving to a more generous -175 at select sportsbooks.
The Patriots are competing in their eighth Super Bowl since 2002 and sport a lot of big-game experience, with 17 New England players having previously made Super Sunday appearances. Conversely, the Eagles roster includes just seven players who have previously played in the big game, including defensive end Chris Long and rusher LeGarrette Blount, who both earned rings a year ago as members of the Patriots.
However, depth of experience is no guarantee of success for New England, which has fallen to defeat in two of its past four Super Bowl appearances, and is just 1-3 straight up and against the spread in its past four playoff contests while favored by five or fewer points, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
The Eagles have proven to be a much stronger bet when pegged as narrow playoff underdogs. Philadelphia has marched to the Super Bowl despite being tagged as underdogs in each of its two postseason outings, including a dominating 38-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings as 3-point underdogs two weeks ago.
The Eagles also own an impressive 7-2 SU and ATS record over their past nine playoff dates as underdogs of five or fewer points, and are 3-2 SU and ATS in their past five games against New England as narrow underdogs.
Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports
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