by Rick Snider

The Minnesota Vikings versus the New England Patriots – not a bad Super Bowl LII matchup.

Minnesota will become the first home team in Super Bowl history by beating the Philadelphia Eagles 17-13 in the NFC Championship on Sunday. Hours earlier, New England will survive the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-23 for the AFC crown.

Ultimately, Minnesota has the better quarterback to edge Philadelphia. Oh, the Eagles’ Nick Foles has done an admirable job as a late-season replacement for injured passer Carson Wentz. He’s 3-0 and basically fulfilled his one role – don’t blow it. Foles doesn’t have to win games, he just can’t lose them. The Eagles defense will keep the score low and certainly the home edge doesn’t hurt.

But think of Vikings quarterback Case Keenum versus Foles. Keenum is not only everyone’s darling, but he’s also a solid game manager with lots of late-game moxie. If the game is tight in the final minutes, here’s betting on Keenum to make a winning play.

Jacksonville shocked Pittsburgh in the divisional round because the Steelers were caught looking ahead to the Patriots. New England won’t make that mistake. Maybe Tom Brady’s sore hand alters the game plan, but New England will outsmart Jacksonville.

That said, the Patriots’ nine-point line is ridiculous. Take Jacksonville and the points in New England’s win. Go over 46 points. For Minnesota, give the 3.5 points in a nail-biter and under 38.5.

And save some of those earnings for the Super Bowl. You’re going to need it to spread around on the many propositional bets. (Take the under on national anthem’s time.)

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter @Snide_Remarks.

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