New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams
Date and Time: Sunday, February 3, 2019, 6:30 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Opening Super Bowl Odds: New England PK, 58.5
Super Bowl LIII TV Coverage: CBS
The Rams tied the Saints for the best record in the NFC, but ended up the No. 2 seed after dropping the regular season meeting. They would avenge that defeat in the NFC title game after tying the game in regulation and then kicking the game-winning field goal in the extra session after the defense came up with a huge interception of Drew Brees. The 26-23 outright win and cover moved Sean McVay’s troops to a perfect 2-0 against the spread after just barely covering the 7.5 point closing NFL odds in the 30-22 win against the Dallas Cowboys in the Division Round. Los Angeles stands 7-2 SU and 5-4 ATS on the road.
When the Patriots won the coin toss heading into overtime of the AFC Championship Game, you knew it was curtains on the Chiefs season. Hopefully you live bet the Patriots on the money line since Kansas City never even got a chance to possess the pigskin in the extra session and watched on in disappointment as New England celebrated their walk-off 37-31 outright win and cover as field goal underdogs. The triumph moved Bill Belichick’s squad to 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS dating back to the end of the regular season. As good New England looked in the title game, it’s struggled on the road overall in amassing 4-5 SU and ATS records.
Player To Watch
Jared Goff – The key to picking on the Patriots’ defense is through the air. New England’s pass defense leaves much to be desired with it getting ripped for an average of 246.4 yards per game ( No. 22 ) and an average of 1.9 passing touchdowns per game ( No. 26 ). Patrick Mahomes ripped their secondary for 295 yards and 3 TD in the AFC title game. Though most of the damage done was in garbage time, Philip Rivers still ended up throwing for 331 yards and three more touchdowns! Every opportunity will be there for Goff to have a banner showing in his first Super Bowl appearance, but will he take advantage of the situation and run with it?
That simply just hasn’t been the case since the Rams returned from their Week 12 bye. The former No. 1 draft pick has struggled mightily since only accruing one 300+ yard passing performance in the seven games played since. He’s got a plethora of talented receiving options to get the ball to in the forms of Brandon Cooks, Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds and even tight ends Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee. If that’s not enough, Todd Gurley is one of the best pass catching running backs in the business. If Goff goes up in flames, so too will the Los Angeles Rams.
1.2 – New England tied with the Indianapolis Colts in allowing an average of just 1.2 sacks per game. The output ranks out as No. 1 in the league! Tom Brady’s front wall didn’t allow a single sack to Joey Bosa and the Los Angeles Chargers, and then followed it up with another clean sheet against the Chiefs’ vaunted pass rush. Even though Aaron Donald logged a career-high 20.5 sacks in the regular season, the Rams still put forth a below average pass rush in only sacking opposing quarterbacks an average of 2.4 times per game. While LA’s pass defense has gotten much better with the return of Aqib Talib in the starting lineup, the unit still figures to have its hands full keeping the likes of Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski from blowing up. If Donald and his mates up front are unable to get consistent pressure on every Patriots possession, the Patriots are very likely to hang a crooked number on the scoreboard.
Bet Rams vs. Patriots at BookMaker.eu
I’ll admit, I didn’t have faith in the Patriots reaching the Super Bowl in back-to-back seasons. My call at the outset of the playoffs to represent the AFC was the Baltimore Ravens – Gross! I did however tab the Rams to be the last team standing in the NFC, and I can’t tell you how appreciative I was of the no-call that was made at the tail end of regulation versus the Saints considering I loaded up on the Rams on the pointspread and money line at the best online sportsbooks. This is one of the more nostalgic Super Bowl matchups for me since it was Super Bowl XXXVI that reeled in one of the biggest paydays of my sports betting career after Brady and company not only cashed in as double-digit underdogs on the spread but also cashed money line tickets as huge dogs as well. Bottom line, I was able to pay for my 2002 Chevy ZR2 Blazer in full and will never forget the feeling of plopping all that cash down in front of the salesman while in my 20s.
Back to the game at hand; I’m reversing course and going with the Rams in this one. In my opinion, they were the more complete team from beginning to end and have the more explosive players on both sides of the ball. Kurt Warner was thought to be unfadeable at the turn of the century. Now tom Brady is the GOAT. I faded Warner then and I have no problem fading Brady this time around. Take the points if you like, but you won’t need them!
NFL ATS Betting Pick: Los Angeles +120 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Rams 41 – Patriots 31