Look for this year’s Super Bowl to resemble the past two, and not just because the New England Patriots are appearing in their third straight.
Super Bowl LIII is a matchup between two elite offenses, with playmakers aplenty on each side.
You have the flawlessness of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the genius of young Rams head coach Sean McVay, which is likely to overshadow the two great defensive minds in this game – Pats head coach Bill Belichick and Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
And for NFL betting fans looking beyond Super Bowl 2019 spread, over-under and moneyline bets, there are a ton of team prop bets – many involving offense and total scoring.
The more recent history of the Patriots in the Super Bowl suggest a high-scoring game to cover here. This will be the fourth Patriots appearance in the Super Bowl since they implemented a shotgun-based, up-tempo scheme that enables them to go at their own speed.
In their three other Super Bowl appearances, the games have produced 24 total touchdowns, an average of eight per game. Super Bowl LII, pitting the Patriots against the Eagles, produced nine touchdowns and Super Bowl LI that matched the Pats against the Falcons produced eight.
The Patriots lack naturally elite pass rushers and rely heavily on blitzing and man coverage, an area where Rams quarterback Jared Goff has flourished this year. The Rams have an excellent man-beater in Brandin Cooks, and running back Todd Gurley is a nightmare for linebackers in the passing game.
Seven times this season a game involving the Rams has produced at least seven touchdowns. Bet over 6.5 at -115 with Karamba. If you want to play it safer, take the over on 5.5 at -210.
Again, recent history indicates an easy cover for the home Rams. This is the Patriots’ worst defense in the past three years, ranking seventh in scoring and 23rd in total yards. Last year, they finished with the fifth-best scoring defense but still allowed five touchdowns to the Nick Foles-led Eagles.
Two years ago, the Patriots finished with the league’s No. 1 scoring defense and allowed four Falcons touchdowns (although one came from the Atlanta defense). Atlanta and Philadelphia were each top-three scoring offenses when they met the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
The Rams ranked second this year in scoring offense. Bet over 2.5 TDs at -115 with Betfair.
As safe of a bet as they come. In the eight prior Super Bowl appearances by the Patriots in the Brady-Belichick era, the Pats never turned the ball over more than twice and have only turned the ball over more than once in two.
Brady has played an entire Super Bowl without an interception four times and with one pick or fewer seven times. In total, the Patriots have committed nine turnovers in those eight Super Bowls under Brady and Belichick, an average of 1.1 per game. Bet under 1.5 TOs by New England at -175 with 888Sport.
The Patriots have been slow starters in each of their past three Super Bowls. Their opponents have scored 20 first in each of the past three. The Eagles were first to 15 and 20 last year in Super Bowl LII.
The Falcons were up 28-3 before infamously blowing it LI. The Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX took a 24-14 lead. The Patriots had stronger second halves in each of these games. Bet on the Rams to do it with William Hill. The Rams are also a good bet to be first to 15 at +102.
The Rams led the NFL in first downs this year. They were the only team to have more than 400. The Patriots finished eighth, 36 behind the Rams. This hasn’t been the best Patriots offense in recent history. This is the first year since 2015 the Pats finished outside the top three in scoring offense and outside top 4 in total yards. Bet the Rams with 888Sport.
Two-point conversions were up 50 percent from 2017 and the Rams finished with the NFL’s third-most two-point conversions in 2018, so why not capitalize on the season – and postseason-- trend? So far in these playoffs, a two-point conversion has been attempted in five of the eight games and converted in four of them.
Although no two-point conversions were attempted in the conference championship, the divisional round games featuring the Rams and Patriots combined each featured at least one two-point conversion scored.
There has also been a two-point conversion attempt in each of the past three Super Bowls and five altogether, with three of the attempts converted. Bet on it happening at +210 with Karamba.
The Rams aren’t sacking Brady twice. They don’t have an elite pass rusher outside of defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who’ll be double-teamed, and don’t have enough lock-down athletes on the back end to make Brady hold onto the ball.
Brady hasn’t been sacked on 90 attempts throughout the postseason despite facing the Chiefs and Chargers, who have excellent edge rush personnel.
The Eagles got Brady just once in last year’s Super Bowl. Brady has been sacked more than once in just one of his last five games. Brady has been sacked more than once in a playoff game just 20 times in 39 games, about a 50-percent clip. Bet this prop at +115 with Betfair.
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