Welcome to theBRKDWN’s betting guide for today’s big game featuring the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots. The story — A young upstart coach and a young QB versus a tenured QB and head coach tandem. Brady and Belichick return to Super Bowl for ninth time in their relationship. Goff and McVay look to prove that they can compete with the veterans.
All odds are provided by MyBookie.
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New England Patriots @ Los Angeles Rams
Today 6:30pm EST, Mercedez Benz Stadium (Atlanta, indoors)
Opening Lines: Rams -1, Total: 58.5
Current: Patriots -2.5, Total: 57 (Lines vary drastically. Some books at 56 others as high as 58)
SB Line Moves – Favor NE
This is the third SB that the Patriots did not open as favorites. The other two SB 36 (vs. Rams) and SB 49 (vs. Seahawks) they won both outright. Additionally, when the line moves as significantly as this, the results favor the team the line moved for — in our case, Patriots. Teams that had the line move 1.5 points in their favor for the Super Bowl won 14 of 16 times.
Overtime FG Winners – Favors LA
There have only been two teams in the history of the league to kick a FG in OT of the championship round to advance to the Super Bowl. The teams? 2007 Giants and 2011 Giants, both of which upset the New England Patriots. Although this is a small statistic, including regular season teams that won on a FG cover their next game at a 53% rate.
Storylines & Matchups
Brady and the Patriots have a few advantages when breaking this one down. Brady loves to attack a teams weaknesses. One of the weak links in the Rams coverage is the LB position. Brady and the Pats used this to their advantage versus Chiefs and Chargers and will continue that trend here courtesy of Gronk, White, and Burkhead. Expect to see Gronk getting 7-15 yard chunk gains with White and Burkhead catching screens and short routes too.
Which Goff Will We See
Goff and McVay have created an amazing offense that fired on all cylinders for the majority of the year. But, there are two sides to every story as shown above. It is worth noting, Patriots are one of the best man coverage teams and feature arguably the best man coverage DB in the league, Stephon Gilmore. I expect for Gilmore to lineup across Cooks, effectively eliminating him. This will leave Woods, Reynolds and Gurley as Goff’s most viable targets.
Patriots have spent the past four weeks showing that they are capable of running the ball with the best of them. NE has run over 100 yards (including 275 versus Buffalo) the past four weeks, with feature back Sony Michel getting the majority of the rushes. New England has held onto the ball and established the run which helped them control the time of possession significantly in the playoffs this year.
Rams also are extremely successful on the ground. Despite reduced action from Todd Gurley, the Rams have been able to let CJ Anderson take the majority of the workload with overall success. Many have wondered whether Gurley is injured as he barely saw the field last week. Unfortunately for Gurley, the Patriots struggle to stuff the run up the middle frequently which is where Anderson is best.
Battle of the Trenches
There is no understating how good these two offensive lines are… Both rank amongst the top 3 in adjusted sack and adjusted line yards per rush. Brady was only hit one time versus the Chiefs and was the second least pressured QB all season. On the other side, although very strong against the pass rush – the Rams excel at run blocking, leading the league in adjusted line yards per rush (setting the record for the Football Outsiders metric dating back to 1996). When discussing the trench battle, we must mention Suh and Donald who look to attack this Pats OL and pressure Brady. Although the Pats were second in adjusted sack, this will be their biggest test by far.
Rams Game Plan vs. Patriots Defense
First, Todd Gurley is one the best pass catching backs the league saw this year. The Patriots have struggled versus this spot and it will be interesting to see how McVay and Goff attack that. Secondly, the Rams are one of the heaviest play action teams in the league this is because they feature one of the best RB (Gurley) and CJ Anderson ability to run up the gut. NE can shut down the run through the Belichick strategy of eliminating their best player — they will aim to capitalize on Rams moving away from play action. Look for Belichick and Flores to come up with elaborate schemes to confuse the young QB and increase pressure from the LB spot with Van Noy and Hightower often rushing off the edge.
Brady vs. Rams Secondary
Tom Brady has made a living out of attacking weaknesses.This year Marcus Peters was one of the worst coverage CB in the league, often getting beat or flagged. Expect whomever lines up across from Peters (likely Dorsett) to see additional targets. It is worth noting Peters has been better since Aqib Talib returned. Robey-Coleman (of “NOLA No Call” fame) also notably called out Brady and it will be interesting to see how Brady and his slot receivers respond to that when facing Robey-Coleman.
Many are saying this is the old versus the new, and while that is true for their age — it is not true for their gameplans.
Bill Belichick has been at the forefront of playcalling revolution. Leading up to the AFC Championship, Belichick installed brand new plays into the Patriots offense. Who else would think to install new plays this late in the season?
McVay on the otherside has garnered rever around the league for his play calling abilities. His play-action and run heavy offense has led the Rams to two of their most successful seasons in recent memory. Who will outwit the other? Another key coaching matchup to keep eyes on is Patriots Offensive Coordinator, Josh McDaniels facing off versus the Los Angeles Rams Defensive Coordinator, Wade Phillips. Both of these guys are amongst the best in the game and it will be a real chess match.
- Patriots ML – I got Patriots at -1.5 but given the movement of the line, I think the safest bet is Patriots ML.
- First Half Under 28 – Alex and I are aligned on this one. Pats are notoriously slow to start SB (Brady has yet ot throw first quarter touchdown.) I also like the teams to take their time establishing gameplans and figuring one another out.
- Over 56 – Wait what?! Yes, you read that correct. After a slow 1H I expect both teams to come out in the second half ready to score some points. Look at the Chiefs/Pats which featured 48 second half points
- Rams Moneyline (+125 @ Mybookie.ag) – The path to victory for the Rams involves interior rush from Donald and Suh on defense, Gurley rushing the edge on offense.
- First Half Under 28 – Shop around for this. Many shops have it at 27. Mybookie.age currently has it at 27.5 Wait until closer to gametime when the public money drives the total up.
Don’t forget to checkout all our other Super bowl content here and check back as we will props today too!