ESPN Super Bowl LII expert picks

Is this just a little blip along the way or the first signs that defending a title isn't nearly as easy as it might seem? If they win then I will lose. Matt Bowen, NFL writer: The Vikings are the heavy favorite in the NFC, picked to win the conference by 10 of our 11 prognosticators. Email Address Enter valid email address. Odds to win Super Bowl 53

Related Stories:

The basics

They win the turnover differential. Arguably the most impressive statistic in the Bill Belichick era is the Patriots are when they have a positive turnover differential including playoffs. So always start there when it comes to the team's chances at winning.

Danny Amendola , WR. Amendola has racked up yards and two touchdowns on 18 grabs this postseason. It's the route running, the quickness and the scheme in New England that makes him a prime X factor in the Super Bowl. Look at how the Patriots create space inside of the numbers or focus on Amendola's ability to shake coverage in a phone booth. This allows Brady to dice up the middle of the field on high-percentage throws in the short-to-intermediate passing game.

And that's a blueprint for success. The Patriots are the first team with 10 Super Bowl appearances. They're in their previous nine. The Steelers, Cowboys and Broncos are tied for the second-most appearances at eight apiece. They've proven they're an elite team that is able to overcome any obstacle, no matter the circumstance. Well, there's the whole Brady-Belichick thing. They've dominated the league for the past couple of decades, winning five championships.

One came against the Eagles after the regular season. They're going against legends, and doing so without their best player, Wentz. Eagles will win if: They're able to pressure Brady with their four-man rush. Their D-line has been the team's top strength over the course of the season. If defensive end Brandon Graham and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox are able to dominate, and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz doesn't have to bring many blitzes, the Eagles will be well-positioned to capture their first Lombardi Trophy.

Malcolm Jenkins , S. Jenkins' versatility should be on full display in what I expect to be an aggressive defensive game plan under Schwartz. Look for Jenkins to get some matchups against Rob Gronkowski pending his status.

He has the skill set and the physicality to compete in coverage. And don't forget about Jenkins coming hard off the edge in those Philadelphia blitz packages. Add in the ability to drop down as a run defender, and Jenkins can have a major impact against Brady and the Patriots' offense.

There are several similarities between the Eagles and the franchise's other two Super Bowl teams and All three started , set or matched franchise records in wins, finished in the top 10 in total offense and defense, lost their final game of the regular season and beat the Vikings in the playoffs.

Matt Bowen, NFL writer: Brady, Belichick and New England's ability to win critical game situations on the league's biggest stage. Domonique Foxworth, The Undefeated senior writer: My head tells me never bet against Brady, but my gut disagrees. My gut tells me that the Eagles will be able to move the ball and score against New England, more than the Patriots will against Philadelphia's defense and special teams. Mina Kimes, senior writer: Foles put up the performance of his career on Sunday.

Can we expect lightning to strike twice? Mike Sando, senior NFL writer: With Brady, the Patriots have the ability to play from well behind and still win. That separates New England. Kevin Seifert, national NFL writer: No one outsmarts the Patriots, even the Eagles' very formidable coaching staff.

While the Eagles were the most dominant team during conference championship weekend and have a terrific roster from top to bottom, the precision of the Patriots' offense balanced by an ascending and confident defense will propel this team to its sixth Lombardi Trophy.

To help make this website better, to improve and personalize your experience and for advertising purposes, are you happy to accept cookies and other technologies? The latest hit to them this offseason was the loss of their first-round pick to injury in training camp.

It feels like the hits are coming often, and the depth is challenged. There are more areas of concern on this team than we have seen for a while now. They could very easily still be as dominant as usual - and their division sure helps them out. But to see this team fall into the nine-win range wouldn't be that much of a surprise to me, either.

They are going to make the playoffs almost for sure, and that's all that really matters, but it is hard for me to get excited about this price in any way at all. It seems as we have gotten closer to the season that the enthusiasm around this team has dimmed somewhat. I'm not entirely sure why. I really liked the offseason they had, I am a believer in the coaching, and I think they are moving in the right direction with a strong core on both sides of the ball.

I really like where the team is at, and they are my top pick without hesitation. Carson Wentz has not come back quite as seamlessly from his injury as might have been ideal, and Nick Foles has looked awful in his last preseason action. Is this just a little blip along the way or the first signs that defending a title isn't nearly as easy as it might seem? I remain a little lukewarm about the team. I respect them and what they did last year, and the offseason was pretty solid, but defending is really tough, and they don't have a lot of prior playoff experience to draw on to help guide them.

I would buy or hold their stock over the next three to five years, but I would be braced for a bit of a dip in the performance this year. Well, no one hates anyone as much as I hate Marvin Lewis, but you get the idea. He believes that Tomlin represents mediocrity in every way and that he stands in the way of what this team could be accomplishing. He is killing their vibe, in the eyes of my buddy.

I'm not sure I entirely buy in, but I do agree that the Steelers of the last couple of years, haven't quite lived up to the sum of their parts - especially in crunch time.

Will this year be different? I'm not entirely convinced, but I'm not unconvinced either. Either way, I don't see a lot of value here. I like the Rams a little more than the Vikings, but not by much.