SuperBowl 53 Preview/Picks

Few hours left until the last game of the season. SuperBowl 53. Biggest sportsevent of the year and millions around the world watching. For us bettors of course, with hundreds of props to choose from a interesting event too. 

We saw a lot of exiting games coming into this contest but also controversity when I think about the ending of the Saints-Rams game. Tonight the LA Rams and the NE Patriots clashes for the Lombarditrophy and SB53. I have a clean lean on one team and will explain my reasons.

Hot n`Cold: To get into this game the Patriots had to go toe-to-toe with the most frightening offense in the league and not blink. And they matched it blow-for-blow. They made big play after big play on third down and showed how tough they are when it matters most. And they acted like they weren’t surprised by it at all – appreciative, but not surprised. The Rams, on the other hand, limped their way through the fourth quarter against the Saints and needed criminal incompetence from the refs to get here. It was far from an inspiring path. If I have to choose between the team that came in on a roll and the one who should probably be at home, it doesn’t feel like a tough choice.

Brady over Goff: Tom Brady has been in the Super Bowl nine times. Nine. Nine times. If a guy plays nine years in the league, he has had one heck of a career. This guy has played nine years in this game. I know I keep saying it, but it feels like we are living in the middle of this so we can’t realize just how crazy it is. You might like the guy or hate him, but you can’t question that he is better at getting here than, and more experienced at being here than, anyone else. Jared Goff is just a little less experienced. To put it mildly. Brady has stepped up his game in a big way in the playoffs and has done so in his last few Super Bowl appearances, too. Goff has been a shadow of what he was earlier in the year. Choosing which guy to back is not tough – especially when the spread is not very big at all.

Experience: The Patriots need to be more concerned about being bored by being back yet again than by being overwhelmed by what they are facing. They have seen and done it all and know exactly what to expect from every moment leading up to the game and through it. The Rams are new to it, and so is almost everyone on the roster and the staff. They have to learn as they go, and that puts them at a significant disadvantage.

Coaches: Sean McVay is a very, very good coach. His turnaround in two years in charge of the Rams has been very impressive. However, he is very young and still has a lot left to learn. And when he is up against Bill Belichick and his comical amounts of success, it’s a total and utter mismatch.

Gurley is not 100%: If health wasn’t a concern, I would choose Todd Gurley over any other non-QB skill player in the game. And it probably wouldn’t be that much of a choice. But Gurley is a long way from right. He missed the last two games of the season, bounced back with a solid game against a truly-inept Dallas defense, and then didn’t really make an impression against the Saints. The extra week off comes at a good time for him, but it is hard to believe that he will suddenly be back to his old self. And that absence from this offense that is already really missing a key weapon in Cooper Kupp is a lot. Too much, perhaps.

New England’s line: Brady had enough time behind his offensive line last time out against Kansas City that oftentimes he could look at five different receivers, read a chapter or two of a book, and still have time to get a throw off. The line was a concern early on this year, but it has really crystalized as the season has gone along. Aaron Donald is a bigger force up front than the Patriots have seen, but the Rams don’t have a lot of depth and the chances are good that Brady will have plenty of time. And if he has time, then I want to be on his side.

Over/Under

This year’s Super Bowl opened with the highest posted total in history. The game actually opened at 58.5. But despite a majority of wagers coming in on the ‘over’, the books have started dropping the total first to 57.5 and then to its current station at 56.5. That is a great indication that some of the bigger bettors are going large on the ‘under’.

The highest closing total in Super Bowl history was two years ago when New England took on Atlanta in Super Bowl 51. That total closed at 57.5 and miraculously went ‘over’ when the Patriots scored 19 fourth quarter points to force overtime in an eventual 34-28 win.

The ‘over’ is 28-24 in the 52-year history of the Super Bowl. Seven of the first nine Super Bowls actually went ‘under’, which means that the ‘over’ has hit in 60 percent of the games over the next four decades (26-17). Five of the last six Super Bowls have beaten the total.

This total is massive. But it is not excessive. Since 2000, this is the sixth Super Bowl total posted at 50.0 or above. Here are the others:

2017: Atlanta-New England ‘Over’ 57.0 (34-28)

2012: N.Y. Giants-New England ‘Under’ 53.0 (21-17)

2010: New Orleans-Indianapolis ‘Under’ 57.0 (31-17)

2008: N.Y. Giants-New England ‘Under’ 55.0 (17-14)

2002: St. Louis-New England ‘Under’ 53.0 (20-17)

As you can see, going against the general public consensus in these games have been highly profitable. Four of the five games went ‘under’, and the one that went ‘over’ was by fluke luck. In fact, most of these games weren’t even close to the total with an average of just 43.2 points per game scored.

Further, New England has been involved in four of these five games with massive totals. And three of four times the Patriots have gone ‘under’.

The Patriots have gone ‘over’ in both of their playoff games. However, their high-scoring AFC title game had a bit of a misleading final score. There were 38 combined points scored in the fourth quarter alone, including 31 in the final eight minutes alone.

Even with that outburst the Patriots have gone ‘under’ in eight of their last 11 games overall this season. Though the ‘over’ is a hearty 7-1 in their last eight playoff games.

The Rams offense has been somewhat erratic since their record-setting shootout with the Chiefs. Los Angeles has averaged 27.7 points per game over their last seven outings, playing ‘under’ four times. That is over a touchdown lower than the 35.4 points per game they averaged in the 11 games prior to that.

We have 2 teams which are highly capable to put up points fast to get to that total. But think the Rams had not shown their best offensiveoutput over the last games, their best player Gurley not 100% and Cooper Kupp out injured.  I`m leaning towards the UNDER.

Playerprops/1.TD

 The first thing that stands out here is that the favorite is a Patriot, but the next four favorites are Rams. Neither team stands out as more likely to strike first. And that makes sense – both of these offensive staffs are strong and creative, so they are going to be ready for the opportunity given them if they win the toss and get the ball first. If the Patriots win the toss, then Sony Michel is a fitting favorite. He had only six regular-season touchdowns but has already scored five times in two playoff games and is being used heavily. If I was going to use a back, though, I would be more inclined to take James White because he is used more in the receiving game as well as on the ground. Phillip Dorsett has caught the only two touchdown passes for the Patriots in the playoffs so far as the team has gone to the ground once they have gotten close to the endzone. Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski are attractive as well because they were both used so effectively down the stretch in the Kansas City game and could be looked to in order to make a statement early here. And really, that’s the problem – I can make a solid enough case for five or six guys, with none in particular standing out.

If you believe the Rams will get the chance to strike first, then things are equally convoluted. Todd Gurley  slightly leads C.J. Anderson, with Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods just behind. Gurley would be the obvious choice if he was healthy, but he hasn’t been right for a while and is tough to trust at this price. But Anderson is only the best option if Gurley isn’t around, and we can’t be certain that Gurley will be out. That leaves us with one of the receivers. Since so much of the game is psychological at this level, I would lean towards Cooks. The Rams scoring early with a guy the Patriots discarded would be a strong message.

My Bets SuperBowl53:

New England Patriots – 2.5 til 2.02 (Coolbet) 7 units     

Game Total Under 56.5 til 1.93 (Coolbet) 4 units

1.TDscorer:Sony Michel til 7.75 (Coolbet)  2 units

1.TDscorer: Brandin Cooks til 11.00 (Coolbet) 2 units

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