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NFL

Super Bowl LIII Sportsbook

Los Angeles Rams (+2.5) vs New England Patriots (-2.5) — O/U 58

  • Sunday February 3rd, Atlanta, GA (Mercedes-Benz Stadium): 5:30 PM CST on CBS
  • We are FINALLY to the big after two weeks of being told that Sean McVay is young and I am so happy that shit is over with.
  • A lot of this match-up as been focused on the coaching match-up on radio row, and deservedly so. Many times the Patriots in the playoffs out coach the opposing staff and that because the biggest difference in a one score game.
  • Philadelphia last year proved to be up to the coaching challenge last year with the trick plays as the most obvious example, but the final touchdown pass from Nick Foles to Zach Ertz came out of a formation and motion the Eagles hadn’t used all year.
  • The Rams love to run their 11 personnel, they run it 77% of the time, more than any other team in football.  I would expect McVay to do what the Eagles did, find personnel groups and formations they haven’t used much this year and utilize those in key situations against the Patriots.
  • The Patriots offense wants to run the ball.  They’ve proven that in their games against the Chargers and Chiefs.  Well, in the playoffs the Rams have only given up 1.83 yards per rush on 1st down, 2.86 YPR on second down, 2 YPR on third down and 3.33 YPR on Fourth down. To put it short, the Rams front seven has played phenomenal against the run during the playoffs.
  • The Patriots offensively have averaged 4.54 YPR on first down.  That’s huge, that’s giving Tom Brady two more plays to get only 5 yards.  You bet on Tom Brady in that situation.  Something will have to give on first down in this game.
  • If the Rams can shut down the Patriots run offense during the early down, the Rams will have to get that pass defense stitched up.  Currently the Rams give up 8.5 yards per pass play on 1st down.  That won’t cut it.
  • Although I think the Patriots want to establish the run, don’t be surprised to see this team come out like they did against the Chargers with that quick passing game on early downs, and then really try to sprinkle in powerful runs early on in this game.
  • The Patriots have been run heavy on first down, but they become much more pass happy in later down.  On first down they have run the ball 48 times out of 80 plays.  Second Down? 20 rush in 56 plays. Third down? 11 rush on 33 plays. Again, this script could switch in this game if the Patriots decide the Rams back end is the weak part they want to attack. Spoiler, the Rams pass defense is their weakness.
  • The Rams on the other hand are much more balanced. 37 rushing plays on offense on first down in 64 attempts, split even on second down between rush and pass with 25 each, and 7 rush on third down in 27 attempts, 3 going for first downs.
  • So although both teams want to establish the run, the Rams really want to keep pounding the ball.  The Patriots want to establish that run, and then let Tom Brady play.  Which, why wouldn’t you he’s the best to ever play the game.
  • The Rams on first down were average 5.41 YPR, 4.16 YPR on second down, and only 2.14 YPR on third down. Their passing yards were not as impressive as the Patriots, only 6.07 YPP on 1st down, 8.36 YPP on 2nd down, and 6. 15 on third down.
  • New England’s defensive weakness is on third down, they are average 7.1 YPP, second down 5.62 YPP, and 6.48 YPP on first down. Rushing, the most they give up per rush is 3.43 yards on second down.  This is a stout run defense for New England also.
  • Bill Belichick always wants to take away what you do best.  For the Rams, that is play action.  The easy way to stop play action is to stop the run. Early on in the game, I’d look for some run blitzes, designed blitzes where the Patriots defenders will be disciplined enough and go for Goff on the actually play action or even the fakes.
  • Let’s pick an unsung hero from each team.  I like Tyler Higbee for the Rams.  He has 6 catches for 55 yards and a TD during the postseason.  I think he’s a guy Goff looks to on play action out in the flat and in the red zone.  For the Patriots it’s hard to pick a guy. I’d like to say Burkhead but he came up big last week, White obviously did well against the Chargers. Hogan has come up big in previous playoff games but if I’m the Rams, he’s a guy you have to keep track of.  Hogan a lot of the time may be lined up on Robey-Coleman.  And we know how much Tom Brady would LOVE to torch Coleman all game.
  • The most important unit in this game will be the Los Angeles Rams offensive line.  They are the key to winning this game for the Rams.  If they play well, that will allow the Rams to run the ball with Gurley and Anderson, and allow Goff to be successful on his play action.  If the Patriots front seven can win that match-up, it could be a long night for the Rams offense.
  • This game, more so than any other Patriots Super Bowls, has a chance to be a blowout.  Why do I say that?  I think Goff is susceptible to making mistakes under pressure. However, I don’t think that will happen.
  • The Rams defensive line has dominated the playoffs and I think they continue to do so and finally are the team to get to Brady.
  • I also like McVay to come in with a unique offensive game plan that throws the Patriots defense off a little bit.
  • When it comes to betting this game, I think you should just go money line on whoever you want to ride with.  The 2.5 points, screw it, just put down ML on Patriots and Rams.
  • I like the Rams in this game.  I like Gurley and Anderson to be successful running the ball and Aaron Donald dominates this game.  Tom Brady may be the best ever, but Aaron Donald will be the best football player on the field Sunday night.  Give me the under in this one as well.
    • 78% on New England & 53% on the Over.
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