Adam is a CBS Sports assistant managing editor who has been picking college football and NFL since 2002. Born and raised in Florida, he has been covering sports since 1996 when he began his own newsletter and has not stopped following the ins and outs of the games we love. Though he will take the occasional underdog, Adam often looks for value with the favorites, especially after sharp money comes in and lines fall below key numbers. In 2016 he cashed at a 62 percent rate and in 2017 he went 28-24 on NFL plays, capping off the season with the Eagles (+4.5) in Super Bowl 52. For Adam Silverstein media inquiries, contact SportsLine@CBSInteractive.com.
Florida?s lack of consistency this season is maddening, particularly for the Rowdy Reptiles, but the Gators have proven to be a team that is able to raise its game to match top-tier opponents. Florida is 6-2 against ranked teams this season and .500 against the NCAA Tournament field. Mike White appears to have gotten into his team's head late in the season for a furious finish despite the tough loss in the SEC Tournament. Let's not forget that UF has the second-most RP quadrant 1 wins in the nation (10) behind only North Carolina. Remember last year when Florida was considered a first-round upset candidate? Yeah, that team went to the Elite Eight ... just like the Gators have in each of their last five tourney appearances. I don't expect that to happen this year -- their frontcourt is basically nonexistent -- but they should be able to beat a St. Bonaventure team that has not played a top-30 defense and lost its only game against a top-40 offense (by 12). The Gators have both and will cover this one (though they'll probably see a double-digit lead dissipate late).
Taking the Eagles for all the reasons those who agree mention below. Mainly, I like getting 4 and 3 in the spread in a Pats Super Bowl. (Of course, that did come back to bite me last year.) I'm not quite sure Philadelphia pulls it out straight up, but I think this New England team is more susceptible than others in years past.
At some point, the edges have to matter. Philadelphia has homefield advantage, sure, but Minnesota enters with the better quarterback and defense, the latter of which is the No. 1 unit in the entire league. We just saw what happened with the Jaguars against the Patriots, and the Eagles do not have the players the Pats do on offense. This is going to be a close game, a nail-biter. But considering I'm getting just a field goal for a team that likely deserves to be a 4- or 5-point favorite, I have no issue siding with the Vikings to win and become the first team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium.
Initially, I was waiting for this line to hit 10 to take the Jaguars, and I was sure it was heading in that direction. Instead, due to a Tom Brady injury scare, it has plummeted. It looks like I missed the best-possible line here at -7 -- and if you can get it or buy it, you should -- but I don't mind laying the hook here. As talented as Jacksonville's defense may be this season, Brady and Bill Belichick are undefeated against first-time playoff starting quarterbacks. New England will take away the run (for the most part, Leonard Fournette will still get some of his) and force Blake Bortles to win the game. Good luck with that. Pats win by nine or more.
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