Ben Rolfe (@benrolfe15) previews New England Patriots @ Los Angeles Rams and provides us with his best bets for the Super Bowl 53 analysing team news, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
New England Patriots @ Los Angeles Rams Super Bowl 53 Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 03/02/19
- Time: 23:30
- Venue: Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta Georgia
- Channel: Sky Sports Main Event
This should be a fun game of football between two very good teams. Both teams have shown the ability to play both offence and defence this season. However, both have also shown that they are vulnerable when attacked in the right way. That goes for both their offence and defence, and it means the game could be a tight low scoring affair, a shootout, or something in between.
The intriguing thing about this game is how both teams have stepped it up in a big way over the last three games. The Rams suddenly committed to a strong run game, which spluttered a little last week, but has been tough to stop. Their passing game can also turn it on at a moment’s notice and feeds off the play action. However, the sudden improvement in their defence over the last few weeks has been the most impressive. After struggling to put it all together with their big names all season, they are now looking the best they have all season.
The Patriots have also shown a big improvement in their offence. In the first half they have been efficient moving the ball and have caused issues for opposing defences. Their offence is looking at its most dangerous all season right now and there is no better time for that. Their defence has also been impressive, forcing 10 turnovers in the last five weeks. They have also restricted their opponents to just 60 yards rushing in the last two weeks. Some of that is due to their opponents chasing the game but they have also turned it on big time defensively in the last few weeks. It will surprise no one that the Patriots are clicking on both sides of the ball at the most important time in the season.
Both teams come into the game reasonably healthy. Most of the serious question marks are around fringe players on both sides. However, names to watch for the Rams include C.J. Anderson and Johnny Hekker, who have both been struggling with illness, and Greg Zuerlein, who has a left foot strain. All are expected to play but if any of them cannot suit up then they could be major losses for the Rams.
Head To Head
- The New England Patriots are 8-5 all-time against the Rams.
- The Patriots won their only Super Bowl matchup 20-17.
- The Patriots have won the last five games between the two teams, including their most recent meeting in 2016.
- Bill Belichick & Tom Brady are 5-1 against the Rams, as a head coach and quarterback combination.
Key Stats & Facts
- The Los Angeles Rams were the second highest scoring offence in the NFL this season, the Patriots were fourth.
- The Patriots allowed just the seventh most points scored against them this season, compared to the Rams who ranked 20th.
- The Rams have never won a Super Bowl while based in Los Angeles. Their only victory came as the St. Louis Rams in SB34. However, they would be the second team based in LA to win the Super Bowl, after the then LA Raiders won SB18.
- The Rams won the last Super Bowl to be hosted in Atlanta.
- The Patriots have a combined 87 Super Bowl appearances on their roster. The Rams have just four.
- New England Patriots 10/13
- Los Angeles Rams 6/5
My feeling is that this will be a close game. Both teams have the offence and the defence to stay in a close game and to stop this getting out of hand one way or another. We have also seen both teams change the momentum of a game and come back when they looked out of it at times this season. However, of the two teams the only one I can see running away with it the Rams. The Patriots will fight hard, we have seen that before, but they do not run away with Super Bowls. They play them tense and tight. Therefore, I am taking the Rams getting the 2.5 points.
In terms of the points I am staying clear of that total as I can see this game going either way. It could be another back-and-forth slug fest, or it could be a run heavy defensive game.
Therefore, I would rather turn my attention to MVP voting. The smart money is on one of the two quarterbacks but then you are essentially just betting on the team you think will win. There are two fun bets, but the great thing is both have story lines that give them a shot to win. The first is Aaron Donald, but then defensive players barely ever win. However, in many people’s mind Donald is the MVP of the entire league so winning the Super Bowl MVP would be a sweet consolation prize. The other fun bet is Rob Gronkowski, in what could be his final ever game. If the Patriots win then Brady is a virtual shoe in, but there is one way he does not win it. With the talk that Gronkowski retires after this game, if he has a monster game, he could snatch it from Brady.
In terms of prop betting there are a few nice-looking options. Cordarelle Patterson over 14.5 receiving yards is interesting as the Patriots have looked to take the odd shot down the middle of the field to him. If he catches one of them he will blow through this number and likely double it. Sony Michel has averaged over 25 carries in each of the last two weeks and has totaled over 200 rushing yards. This is the best offensive line the Rams have faced in the last few weeks, so the Patriots should be able to have more success running the ball than either the Cowboys or Saints. Finally, I think Josh Reynolds is the receiver who draws the weakest part of the Patriots secondary. Therefore, his line at 46.5 yards seems like one that could easily hit the over this week.