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 betting line opened at a pick ‘em with the Patriots -119 chalk. That number took minutes to correct with a majority of the early wagering dollars aligning with the Patriots. The line jumped to -1 in favor of New England and then -1.5, -2 and -2.5 before falling back down to -2 with the betting line just 24 hours old. Since then, it has jumped back up to -2.5 with a whopping 83 percent of the bets taken riding the AFC champs. A bulk of the money line action at the best sportsbooks is also backing the Patriots who are currently locked in as -140 favorites to hoist the franchises second Lombardi Trophy in the last three seasons.
The total has seen action both ways in early wagering. Since initially opening at 58.5, there’s been a slight uptick in under money which has forced linemakers to move the number to beat down to 57.5 with only 53 percent of the bets expecting a low scorer to play out on Super Bowl Sunday.
The Patriots saw 11 of their 16 games play to low scorers in the regular season. The playoffs have been a different story. Both matchups against the Chargers and Chiefs zipped past the closing NFL odds, though the AFC title game looked to be a dead nuts under through 3+ quarters until the dam broke. Six of the nine games New England has played away from Gillette Stadium have cashed under tickets.
The Rams split against the total in the regular season with eight overs and eight unders. A majority of the high scorers came in the comforts of the Coliseum where they cashed at a 7-2 clip when you include the 30-22 win and cover against the Dallas Cowboys in the division round. Though the game against the Saints ended up going to overtime, the final score still failed to surpass the closing number moving the under to a moneymaking 7-2 when the team played away from Los Angeles.
Life is a Highway
New England wasn’t a very good team away from its stadium in the regular season with Bill Belichick’s squad only managing three wins through eight tries. Amongst the losses were ugly 31-20 and 26-10 defeats to the Jaguars and Lions respectively. They also got destroyed by the Titans in Tennessee 34-10 as near touchdown favorites. Who will ever forget the Miami Dolphins end game heroics to steal a 34-33 decision in Week 14? The Pats then closed their road schedule out with a 17-10 loss to the Steelers in Heinz Field.
Remember, the Patriots would’ve lost to the Chiefs had Dee Ford not lined up offside at such a crucial point in the game. Had he not, the current AFC champs would’ve dropped a third straight game on the road!
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While the Rams played in one of the weaker divisions in football, Sean McVay’s troops still went out and handled their business when forced to hit the highway. Jared Goff and company went on to win six of their eight played road games in the regular season with the pair of defeats coming against the Saints and Bears; a pair of playoff teams. One of those losses was avenged in the NFC title game. Though there’s an asterisk next to the win, it still moved them to 7-2 SU and 5-4 ATS when playing away from Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The caveat is the caliber of opposition with the triumphs coming against the Raiders, Seahawks, Broncos, 49ers, Lions and Cardinals. Only one of those teams qualified for the postseason, and Los Angeles was extremely lucky to get out of CenturyLink Field with the win. The 33-31 final saw them fail miserably in attempting to cover the 7.5 point spread at the best sportsbooks.
Though the Rams no longer reside in St. Louis, the franchise is still scorned by the shocking 20-17 defeat the heavily dogged Patriots handed them in Super Bowl XXXVI. The Rams closed as 14 point favorites to win that game but were never in a position to cover what ended up being an absurd number. It was the first of what would be many Super Bowl titles for the surefire Hall of Fame combo of Belichick and Brady. LA would love nothing more than to see it’s Hoodie in the making – Sean McVay – acquire his first and the franchises second Super Bowl title 17 years later.