NFL: Super Bowl 53 – New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams: Can the Rams Derail Tom Brady from Gridiron Immortality?
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, commencing this Sunday evening – kick: off due at 23:30 GMT – is the glittering party that 32 National Football League teams all wished to be invited to at the beginning of the season back in September. Just two teams – the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams have the opportunity to claim Super Bowl 53, in one of the greatest sporting occasions in the calendar year.
Due date: February 3rd, 23:30 GMT
In terms of Super Bowl experience, these two teams are on totally different levels. New England with legendary quarterback, Tom Brady calling the shots behind centre have been involved in eight previous Super Bowls since 2001, with five wins and three defeats. This is the eleventh appearance in total for the Patriots, who will look to equal the Pittsburgh Steelers’ total of six Super Bowl wins.
Sunday’s appearance for the Rams franchise, is just their fourth trip to the ‘Big Dance’ throughout their history in either Los Angeles and St Louis. It is seventeen years since the Rams – as St Louis – last made the Super Bowl – ironically in a 20-17 defeat to the Patriots, to give Brady his maiden Super Bowl ring.
Both teams ended the Regular Season as the number two seeds in their respective conferences, with New England ending the hopes of the American Football Conference’s number one seed, the Kansas City Chiefs, while the Rams extinguished the dreams of the top-ranked New Orleans Saints in a pair of titanic battles at the Conference Championship stage.
This particular matchup is so intriguing for several reasons. The Rams have spent a huge financial outlay over the last two seasons to form their roster into the most talented group in the National Football League. Star men across both sides of the ball are the norm for head coach, Sean McVey’s team, who definitely has the advantage over their opponents in terms of overall quality.
However, New England has arguably the greatest head coach and quarterback of all-time in Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. The tactical acumen of the Patriots pair is so vital to the team, who have been written off so many times throughout the course of this season, but once again, New England are back in the biggest show of them all to try and win another World Championship.
So, who will come out on top? In this preview, we will look at several betting markets for the big game to try and point our readers in the right direction for some winning selections for Super Bowl LIII.
This contest is one of the most eagerly anticipated Super Bowl games in recent years, not just for the talent on show, but because of the closely-matched nature of the two teams.
The current Match Odds for the game has New England as the bookmakers’ favourites to claim their sixth title. Betfred offers the best industry price at the time of writing of 10/13 on the Patriots to build on their win from 2017. William Hill and Betway are the best places to back the Rams currently as they offer 6/5 on a victory for the west coast outfit.
The experience and quality possessed by , Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick and their well-oiled playing staff will make this a hugely difficult task for the Rams – especially in such a high-profile game. Los Angeles have some exceptional players – on both sides of the ball – and a crucial factor could be the fitness of Rams’ running back, Todd Gurley, who has participated in a limited fashion so far in the postseason. His production is crucial to his team.
This game is tough to call, but my belief is that the Rams high-powered offense somehow, someway will find a way to win come Sunday night. The Match Odds price of 6/5 is reasonable value with Bet 365, William Hill and Betway and is narrowly preferred in this instance.
The general consensus of the handicap for Super Bowl 53 is for the New England Patriots to give a -2.5-point head start. For those who are not up to speed with Handicap Betting, it basically means that the Patriots must win by three points or more for your bet to win in this particular market.
The bonus for giving a head start in backing the Patriots in this type of bet is that the betting price is more appealing in comparison to the Match Odds market. Unibet are once offering the best odds in this particular market with New England –2.5 at 24/25. Conversely, the Rams have a +2.5-point head start on Sunday, and 888Sport offer 19/20 for LA to cover the spread.
Statistically, there is very little to split these two teams to offer some strong advice on who will win the game let alone the Spread market – they are just so evenly matched. The keys to victory from the Rams perspective, is to keep quarterback, Jared Goff away from pressure from the Patriots defense – and to keep tabs on Brady. The Rams conceded almost four points per game more than the Patriots over the regular season, but they have the advantage of the 2.5 start in this market.
Los Angeles antidote to the concession of more points is their own defensive pressure. Look for Aaron Donald in particular to cause havoc towards the Patriots’ offensive line. If the star defensive end can get pressure on Tom Brady, then the Rams chances of victory are hugely improved. We have already pinned our colours to the Rams mast, so the +2.5 points start has to be the call.
This betting market is similar to the Point Spread, but for punters who wish to gamble on how many points will be scored in the game on Sunday night.
Most bookmakers have set their handicap for this game at 56 points, with the opportunity to back either over or under that amount. If in the unlikely event that exactly 56 points is scored in the Super Bowl, then your stake would be refunded.
RedZoneSports are offering 28/29 for over 56.5 points which is effectively the best price on offer for the Over side of this market, while SportingBet are offering 10/11 for Under 56.5 points.
My personal opinion is that the bookmakers have set a pretty fair marker here. I believe that there could be more than the 56.5 points scored in this game. The Patriots averaged 27.3 points per game over the Regular Season, while the Rams scored 32.9 PPG and an expected repeat of those performances on Sunday would provide a winning selection.
First Touchdown Scorer
This is my personal favourite market of them all! With excellent odds available and lots of individual options, this type of bet can be very rewarding if selecting the correct option. Running backs, Sonny Michel (NE) and Todd Gurley (LAR) co-lead the betting to score first in Super Bowl 53 at the best industry price of 7/1 with William Hill.
My view on these bets and other leading players at the head of the market is that despite the obvious talents of those star runners, the teams involved in the Super Bowl have tended to look towards the ‘element of surprise’ for early forays towards the oppositions’ endzone.
With that in mind, my selections for this game will be split. I like to halve my betting stakes for the game to offer an opportunity at either end of the pitch. The players who take my eye are New England’s legendary tight end, Rob Gronkowski at 16/1 who is definitely overpriced with William Hill. For the Los Angeles Rams, wide receiver, Josh Reynolds has become a key component of the Rams’ offense and appeals at 16/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral.
Bookmakers like to offer several types of margins for this market, so it should be down to the individual to select which bracket suits their opinions best.
Most layers tend to bracket up margins in groups of six points, for example, 1-6. 7-12, 13-18 etc. 7/2 is the generally available price on New England to win by 1-6 points, while the Rams to win by 1-6 is a 4/1 chance with Betway and SportingBet. Betway offers the Patriots to win by 7-12 points at 11/2, while a Rams win by the same margin can be had at 6/1 with Betway once again.
Another market that catches my eye is the Half-Time/Full-Time result market. Considering the close nature of how both teams match-up, it could prove profitable to back New England to be leading at Half-Time, but for the Rams to win the game at 15/2 with BetFred.
This should be yet another entertaining Super Bowl, as I expect the Rams to prevail in a highly entertaining offensive battle.
- Los Angeles Rams to win by 1-6 points at 4/1 with Betway
- Over 56.5 points to be scored in Super Bowl 53 @ 28/29 with RedZoneSports
- Rob Gronkowski (16/1) William Hill and Josh Reynolds (16/1) Ladbrokes to score First Touchdown (split stakes)