Super Bowl betting takes a lot of in-depth research if you want to wager with some degree of confidence. It is important to see a complete picture and think analytically, because some numbers can be deceptive.
We are going to put the matchups under the microscope here, but before you dive in, you should get an understanding of the betting lines. Our researchers have identified the top Super Bowl LIII sports betting sites, and they are listed below.
When the Patriots Have the Ball
The New England Patriots will be guided by the man that many people call the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady has five Super Bowl rings, and he was the most valuable player in four of those games. His presence is a major positive for the AFC Champions, and he certainly won’t be rattled by the big stage.
The playoffs are a brand-new season, and the Pats are leading all teams in 2018 postseason passing yards by a large margin. Tom has passed for 691 yards, and Drew Brees is second with 525. However, Brady has thrown just two TD passes to match his two interceptions. This is key: New England is the only team that made the playoffs this year that has not allowed a quarterback sack.
With the help of expert play calling by offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Brady, White, Edelman, Gronk and the rest of the cast can definitely beat a team through the air. This being stated, the passing game is that much more effective when you can run the ball with some level of consistency.
In the two playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl, he amassed 242 yards on 53 attempts, and he found the end zone five times. He’s the horse, but they can also mix in Rex Burkhead and James White here and there, though White is much more of a threat in the passing game.
Can the Rams Stop Them?
The Los Angeles Rams have some highly paid, big-time players on the defensive side of the ball, led by defensive tackle Aaron Donald and nose tackle Ndamukong Suh. In spite of this, over the course of the 2018 campaign, they struggled against the run at times.
Dallas and Ezekiel Elliott rely on running the football, and they ran for 1953 yards before they met the Rams in the playoffs on January 12. On that day, they were shut down to the tune of a mere 50 yards on the ground. The Rams have stifled these two very good running games, so there is every reason to believe they can make it tough on Sony Michel and company.
On the passing defense side, the Rams were in the middle of the pack before the playoffs started. In the game against the Cowboys, Dak Prescott completed 20 of 32 passes for 266 yards, one TD, and no picks. His QBR in that game was 99.2, so he had decent success through the air against the L.A. defense. It was much tougher sledding for Drew Brees in the next Rams game. He was 26-40 for 249 with two touchdowns, a 60.1 quarterback rating, and a back breaking interception in overtime (though there was pass interference on that pass, too.)
The braintrust of the Patriots is known for dishing out the unexpected. Dallas has what may be the most uncreative, predictable offense in the league. Brees had a bad game, and let’s face it, the Rams didn’t really win. The officials handed them their Super Bowl berth on a silver platter.
I think the Patriots will be able to mix it up and confuse the Rams defense enough to put at least 30 points on the board when it’s all said and done.
When the Rams Have the Ball
The Los Angeles Rams offense will be led by 24 year old quarterback Jared Goff, the Cal-Berkeley standout that was the first pick in the 2016 NFL draft. Overall, he had a breakout year in 2018 with 4688 passing yards, 32 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and a 101.1 quarterback rating. In his two playoff games this year, he has thrown the ball 68 times and completed 40 of the passes for a 58.8 completion percentage. He has completed a single touchdown pass, and he has been picked once.
The Rams had a fantastic running game all year long, led by Pro Bowler Todd Gurley. They gained a total of 2231 yards on the ground, with Gurley accounting for 1251 of them. He ran for 17 touchdowns. He is also a very productive receiver out of the backfield. Gurley caught 59 passes for 580 yards and four touchdowns.
Many people would say that Todd Gurley should be seriously considered for MVP honors, but he is shrouded in mystery going into the Super Bowl. He suffered an apparent knee injury during the game with the Philadelphia Eagles on December 16, and he has been sparsely utilized since then.
In the NFC Championship game against the New Orleans Saints, he ran the ball four times for 10 yards, and he caught one pass for three yards and he dropped the other two that were thrown to him. After the game, he said that he was not hurt; he just played “sorry.” When he is right and on the field, he may be the best offensive player in the NFL. All games are difficult to handicap, but his hazy status really muddies the waters when you look at this game from a betting perspective.
But wait…is it possible that he wasn’t 100% going in, and he reinjured himself against Dallas? I used to live in Athens, and I’m a big UGA fan. In 2014, he was a junior, and he was expected to be the top pick in the draft. Unfortunately, he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in a game against Auburn in November of that year.
His injury affected his status on draft day, but he was coming along well. Gurley was taken of the board by the Rams with the 10th pick of the first round. Their faith in him was rewarded when he gained over 1100 yards during his rookie year. The injury that he sustained against the Eagles in December was a left knee issue. It has been dubbed “inflammation” by the Rams when they talk about it. I’m no doctor, but sustained inflammation is not normal.
This is just speculation mind you, but to me, there is reason to believe that Los Angeles is using him as a decoy. They don’t want to risk a career ending left knee blowout to win one game, even if it’s the Super Bowl. I could be totally wrong, but I think my reasoning makes sense.
If his performance is any indication, he does indeed have plenty left in the tank. He ran for well over 100 yards in his first three games in a Rams uniform, and he crossed the goal line with the ball four times. It got much tougher for C.J. in the not-so-friendly confines of the Superdome in New Orleans. He carried the rock 16 times for 44 yards, which is a 2.7 yards per carry average.
New England’s Defense
The Patriots passing defense was mediocre at best during the season, ranking 22nd in yards allowed. However, they were quite good when it comes to takeaways. There were tied with the Rams for third with 18 picks.
On the negative side of the ledger, only the Oakland Raiders had fewer sacks than the New Englanders. The Pats were tied with the Giants for the next-to-last spot with just 30 sacks. In this category, a different team has shown up for Bill Belichick in the playoffs. The Pats have sacked the QB six times in the two games that they won to earn the right to play in Super Bowl LIII.
In the playoffs, the Chargers managed 19 yards rushing against the New England defense. In fairness, they were getting blown out early on, so they were forced to pass on almost every play.
Damien Williams of the Chiefs touched them up for all of 30 yards in the AFC Championship game, and Patrick Mahomes scrambled for 11 yards on two attempts. That was the extent of the Chiefs ground attack.
Who’s Got the Edge?
In my humble opinion, the answer to this question boils down to which Todd Gurley shows up in the Super Bowl. If he can’t play effectively, Bill Belichick and Brian Flores (who is reportedly going to get the Dolphins head coaching job) should be able to devise a scheme to bottle up Anderson. After all, the Saints had no problem shutting him down.
That would put a lot of pressure on Goff, and over recent weeks, head coach and play caller Sean McVay has been trying to put him in very safe situations. I think they will be forced to throw the ball a lot, and they will gain their fair share of yards.
But at the end of the day, they may find it hard to get the ball into the end zone. Until they prove themselves on this kind of stage, I have to lean toward Belichick and the Pats.