NFL Football Betting: Super Bowl LIII Preview

Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta puts the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl for the third straight season. The Patriots will face the Los Angeles Rams, who are in the Super Bowl for the second time as a Los Angeles-based franchise. The Rams made Super Bowl XIV in 1980, then made two Super Bowls as the St. Louis Rams. This is their first Super Bowl since Super Bowl XXXVI, when they were in St. Louis. That Super Bowl came against the Patriots in Tom Brady’s very first Super Bowl appearance in 2002. Seventeen years later, Brady is back for his ninth Super Bowl, the most by any quarterback.

Game Preview: New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams
Odds: Patriots -2.5

The reality about New England Super Bowls in the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era is that they are regularly close. The first one in 2002 was a one-possession game. The second one in 2004, then the third one in 2005, the fourth one in 2008, the fifth one in 2012, the sixth one in 2015, the seventh one in 2017, and the eighth one in 2018, were all one-possession games, with a final margin of eight points or fewer. The Patriots don’t get blown out, and they don’t blow out the opposition. It would be a surprise if this game is a runaway victory for either team, which is weird to say, given that both offenses are capable of exploding, which opens the door to a game which ends with a 42-28 or 38-21 score. Super Bowl history is very consistent in showing that the Patriots produce close Super Bowls.

What will make the difference, then? Last year, Nick Foles confounded the Patriots’ defense in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. This year, Jared Goff will try to break down the Pats’ defense. The Rams’ offense roared through the first three-fourths of the season, culminating with that memorable 54-51 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football in late November. Since then, the Rams’ offense hasn’t been nearly as explosive. It settled for a lot of field goals in the divisional round against Dallas, and then did much the same against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game. New England will give up lots of yards, but as long as it can hold the Rams to a few field goals on red-zone possessions, that should be more than enough for Tom Brady to win his sixth Super Bowl by at least three points. The Patriots are the more proven team with an offense which is making more big plays.

Pick: Patriots -2.5

Super Bowl 53 Total
Over-Under: 56.5

The Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl produced more than 70 points last year. The Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl two years ago produced over 60 points. These are two of the highest-scoring teams in the NFL, and while the defenses were good enough to get these teams this far, the offenses are the strengths of each team, with innovative coaches who know how to scheme on offense and put their skill position players in the right spots at the right times. This is also a domed stadium with a fast track – that also favors the offenses and placekickers. Points should be scored in bunches and carry this game over the number.

Pick: Over