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
Will C.J. Anderson Score a Touchdown: No -168
The Big Mac of running backs has made a tremendous impact to the Rams offense since being signed late in the season. Since being inked to a deal heading into LA’s road tilt in the desert against the Arizona Cardinals, Anderson has rushed for 120+ yards in three of his four played games. That’s saying something considering he was sitting on his couch eating pork rinds before getting the call. His overall body of work has seen him rush for 466 yards on 82 overall carries which equates to a 5.7 yard per carry average. More importantly for this prop investment at top rated sportsbooks, he scored a total of 4 TD all on the ground. Considering not a single one was tallied through the air, I find it hard to believe he crosses the goal line against a New England defense that only allows 0.5 rushing TD per game. If anyone is hitting pay dirt against the Pats out of the backfield, it’s going to be Todd Gurley!
James White Total Receiving Yards: Under 51.5 +102
White was a main contributor to New England’s potent passing attack to this point. He made some serious hay early on in the season when Julian Edelman was suspended for four games. During that stretch, he reeled in 22 receptions for 193 yards and 3 TD. But since Michel and Burkhead returned to the starting lineup at the tail end of the season, White hasn’t been utilized in the passing game nearly as much. Save for the blowup game against the Chargers in which he caught 15 of 17 targets and turned them into 97 scoreless yards, No. 28 hasn’t been very impactful. He only went for 49 receiving yards on 4 receptions against the Chiefs porous pass defense, and had been held to less than 51.5 receiving yards in each of New England’s last four regular season matchups.
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The Rams defense has done a solid job limiting opposing pass catching running backs by holding them to just 598 yards and 4 TD on 94 overall receptions. An average of just 33.2 yards per game. It simply shut Ezekiel Elliott down in the Division Round! While Alvin Kamara lit the unit up for 96 yards on 11 receptions, White is no Kamara nor will he be utilized in the passing game nearly as much as the Saints Pro Bowl running back was. Take the plus-money return and hit the under at offshore sportsbooks!
Who Will Have more Rushing Yards: Todd Gurley +10.5 -106
I simply can’t believe the value oozing out of this wager! As good a season Sony Michel had in his rookie campaign, Gurley is by far the better of the two running backs both running the pigskin and snatching it out of the air. The qualifier for that statement is when 100 percent healthy! The outcome of this investment ultimately depends on Gurley’s health. He was a shadow of himself at the tail end of the regular season as well as both playoff games. However, he’s had two weeks to get his knee right and by all accounts LA’s coaching staff expects him to be his old self when he takes to the field on Super Bowl Sunday. If that’s truly the case, New England doesn’t have an all-around running back on its roster in the same stratosphere as the Rams primary ball carrier. With the Patriots and Rams each conceding 4.8 yards per carry overall, any one of these running backs could take the bull by the horns and have a monster game. But the kicker is getting the 10.5 yard head start with Gurley whom I expect outrushes Michel regardless. Now got get another cortisone shot and go to work Mr. Gurley!