The New England Patriots battle the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta for the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl LIII – the single biggest betting event of the sports calendar.
If you’re still undecided when it comes to the best online betting sitesfor the Super Bowl point spread, we dissect both the AFC and NFC champions and what they need to do in order to cash in during the Big Game.
How Los Angeles covers
The Rams have a surplus of elite talent on both sides of the ball, with big-name playmakers stepping up during the team’s Super Bowl run. Offensively, Los Angeles has leaned on the ground game for ball control and balance in the postseason.
While star running back Todd Gurley has seen less action – yet still finding the end zone in both the Divisional Round and Conference Championship – backup rusher C.J. Anderson has been just as effective on the ground, picking up big gains and giving the Rams another option inside the red zone. Not only does the run game keep the Patriots defense guessing but it allows L.A. to chew up time of possession and keep Tom Brady and the New England offense off the field.
Jared Goff has played beyond his years in the postseason, making this L.A. attack very tough to game plan for. While he owns a QB rating of just 62.8, the third-year pro has made clutch throws as well as broken off some game-winning runs. Goff hasn’t let the pressure get to him, with a capable receiving corps behind him. Los Angeles is very good at keeping the chains moving on third and fourth down tries, and that is something the New England defense has prided itself on all season.
Defensively, the Rams seem to be tailormade to stop Brady. A powerful defensive line, featuring Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, is able to get interior pressure by simply rushing four. That’s been the secret sauce to stopping the Pats attack. The secondary is also loaded with playmakers in Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, and Nickell Robey-Coleman, who can lock up the New England receivers.
How New England covers
Despite a trend of slow starts in Super Bowl games, the Patriots have been very strong in the opening half during the postseason. The Patriots owned a 35-7 lead over the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC Divisional Round and were up 14-0 against the Kansas City Chiefs in the conference title game. If New England can stun an inexperienced Rams team early on, it may but L.A. in a tailspin in which it can’t recover.
Brady gets a lot of the credit but the New England ground attack has emerged as the engine behind this offense. Sony Michel is the bell cow back for the Pats, with James White and Rex Burkhead getting carries as well. New England has rolled over their last two opponents and dominated the football, leaving foes very little time to retort with points.
And of course, we’ve got to look at New England’s resume. This is the ninth Super Bowl appearance for Brady and Bill Belichick, and the crushing defeat of last year’s game to the Philadelphia Eagles is lingering over this franchise. The Pats won’t be as awe-struck in the Big Game, and that could give them the defining edge entering the fourth quarter.