Undefeated Panthers slim favorites over Eagles on Sunday Night Football

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The Carolina Panthers will be gunning for a sixth consecutive straight-up victory and the 11th in their last 12 games when they play host to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football as 3-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Panthers improved to 5-0 SU last weekend with a 27-23 come-from-behind win over the Seattle Seahawks, picking up the against-the-spread victory as 7-point road underdogs and avenging their 31-17 loss to the Seahawks in last season’s playoffs.

Carolina takes a five-game SU home winning streak into Sunday night’s Eagles vs. Panthers betting matchup at Bank of America Stadium, but has struggled at the sportsbooks, going 2-3 ATS during the stretch.

Carolina was forced to overcome a second-half deficit in their 27-22 win over the New Orleans Saints in Week 3, but have otherwise been dominant this season, claiming victory by an average margin of 7.6 points per game.

The Eagles have recovered from their sluggish start with a pair of decisive wins in their last two outings, dominating the New York Giants 27-7 as 3.5-point chalk on Monday night after crushing the Saints 39-17 as 6.5-point favorites in Week 5.

But Philadelphia has produced mediocre results in recent road matchups, going 1-2 SU and ATS this season, including a 23-20 loss in Washington as 3-point favorites in Week 4, and are 4-6 SU and 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games.

In addition, Philadelphia has been a betting disappointment when pegged as underdogs, recording a 1-4 SU (2-3 ATS) record in their last five such games according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

Eagles pivot Sam Bradford has also faced adversity in previous visits to Carolina.

Bradford led the St. Louis Rams against the Panthers two years ago but came up short as 7-point underdogs in a 30-15 loss. The following summer Bradford suffered a knee injury in a preseason contest in Carolina that ended his 2014 campaign.

However, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft will be able to lean on the Eagles’ recent strong record against Carolina, with SU and ATS wins in five of their last seven meetings, including a lopsided 45-21 victory last season.

Bennett doesn’t fear backlash for skipping White House trip


HOUSTON (AP) Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett says he is not worried about upsetting team owner Robert Kraft by not attending New England’s trip to the White House as Super Bowl champions.

Bennett said after the Patriots’ 34-28 win over the Falcons on Sunday night that he’s “not going to go” to the traditional meet-and-greet with the president. It will be the first visit of a Super Bowl champion to Washington since Donald Trump was sworn into office.

Trump’s positions have alienated some athletes, which has raised questions about whether some might choose to skip the trip while the new president is in office.

But Bennett said he isn’t concerned about it and thinks the team believes “in whatever I want to do.”

Kraft is a supporter of Trump and attended a celebration dinner in Washington for him the night before his inauguration.

Patriots’ Tom Brady earns 4th Super Bowl MVP trophy with epic comeback


HOUSTON (AP) The greatest quarterback in NFL history led the biggest Super Bowl comeback to be the MVP on Sunday night.

Tom Brady rallied New England from a 25-point third-quarter deficit for a 34-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history to earn his fifth Super Bowl title and fourth MVP trophy.

“They’re all sweet,” he said. “They’re all different and this was just an incredible team and I’m just happy to be a part of it,” he said.

Brady threw touchdown passes of 5 and 6 yards in the second half and tied things at 28-28 when he connected withDanny Amendola on a 2-point conversion with 57 seconds left.

He then directed the drive in overtime which ended with a 2-yard run by James White to make the Patriots the first team to win a Super Bowl after trailing by more than 10 points.

“We all brought each other back,” he said. “We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle.”

His performance certainly wasn’t without its struggles. His incredible second half and overtime came after a first half where the Patriots managed just three points and he threw an interception which Robert Alford returned 82 yards for a touchdown. He was hurried and harassed for much of the games. The Falcons sacked him five times and hit him on another eight occasions.

He noted the beating he took when he was trying to recount the details of the comeback and couldn’t remember what the score was at one point in the rally.

“There was a lot of (stuff) that happened tonight,” he said. “I got hit pretty hard.”

His 466 yards passing are a Super Bowl record, surpassing the 414 yards Kurt Warner had 17 years ago. He also set a record for most passes completed in a Super Bowl with 43 and most attempts with 62.

He is the first to play in seven Super Bowls and the victory ties him with Charles Haley for most Super Bowl rings.

After all Brady has done in his career, was this his finest moment?

“Tom’s had a lot of great ones,” coach Bill Belichick said. “But, yeah tonight was one of them.”

It’s a triumphant end to a difficult season for Brady, who missed the first four games because of his “Deflategate” suspension and dealt with his mother Galynn Brady suffering through an undisclosed illness. The Super Bowl was the first game she’s attended all season.

“They’re all happy,” he said fighting back tears. “It’s nice to have everybody here and it’s going to be a great celebration tonight.”

He shared a quick moment with her right after the game, but was looking forward to more time with her in the upcoming days.

“It’s kind of madness after the game so I didn’t get much quality time with her but we’ll get it this week,” he said.

But he certainly wasn’t asking for sympathy for his rough road to this title though, chuckling when someone asked about the adversity the Patriots have gone through in the past couple of years.

“We’ve done pretty good over the last few years … so I don’t think anyone’s feeling bad for the Patriots,” he said. “I don’t think anyone feels bad for the Patriots.”

Brady also collected the MVP trophy in 2001, 2003 and 2014.

“It was just a lot of mental toughness by our team and we’re going to remember this one for the rest of our lives,” Brady said.

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