Super Bowl 53 Over/Under Prediction
On Sunday night at 6:30 p.m. ET, the New England Patriots and L.A. Rams will meet in Super Bowl 53. The total is one of the highest in Super Bowl history, but the number has dropped a full two points from where it opened. Is there value in the under for bettors?
101 New England Patriots at 102 Los Angeles Rams
6:30 p.m. ET, Sunday, February 3, 2019
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Patriots are 2.5-point favorites to beat the Rams. The total, meanwhile, sits at 56 points. As of this writing, 73% of the public betting tickets are on the Patriots to cover the point spread.
New England Patriots
In an interview with ESPN's Jeff Darlington, Tom Brady confirmed there is "zero chance" that Super Bowl LIII will be his final game. Walking off with a win over the Rams—who Brady faced in his first Super Bowl 17 years ago—would be a magical capper to a storybook career, but apparently the future Hall of Famer has not entertained that possibility. Brady maintained that his plan is still to play until he's 45. That's ambitious, though as he proved a week ago in Kansas City, the 41-year-old is still a force to be reckoned with. Next week's title game in Atlanta will mark Brady's third straight Super Bowl appearance.
Los Angeles Rams
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Todd Gurley will not see workhorse usage in Sunday's Super Bowl LIII against the Patriots. He'll again split carries with C.J. Anderson, just as he did in previous games against Dallas and New Orleans. Per Rapsheet, the Rams' decision to scale back Gurley's workload is based on a "variety of factors" including his health and conditioning. "We said, 'Going forward, we got to make sure you're fresh, you're healthy,'" RBs coach Skip Peete told Rapoport last week. "The workload that you had prior to you sitting out, probably can't go that route right now. He understood that." Even with two weeks to prepare, it sounds like Gurley will have to settle for a committee role in Sunday's title game.
NFL Betting Trends
The over is 7-1 in the Patriots’ last eight playoff games but the under cashed in eight of their previous 11 games overall.
The over is 9-3 in the Rams’ last 12 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous contest.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Patriots had nearly as many rushes with two running backs on the field this postseason than the rest of the field combined. Fullback James Develin is a huge part of the team’s rushing success and at this point, Rob Gronkowski’s best asset is as a blocker, not as a pass-catcher. (Gronk has always been an underrated blocker but he has made his living killing opponents up the seam in the passing game because he’s such a mismatch.)
I mention Develin and the Patriots’ usage of two backs because I believe it factors into their offensive game plan for Super Bowl 53. Their power running game will help keep Sean McVay’s explosive offense off the field. Rookie Sony Michel has had an excellent postseason and if his success carries into tonight, then the Pats can maintain their ball-control offense, which was effective against the Chargers and Chiefs this January.
On the other side, if Rapoport’s report is correct and Gurley will not use workhorse usage, that means there’s more pressure on Jared Goff. The third-year pro has been outstanding this season, but he hasn’t been the same quarterback since Gurley and slot weapon Cooper Kupp got hurt. He’s a less efficient quarterback at the wheel of a less-efficient offense. It doesn’t mean the Rams can’t rack up a lot of points, but scoring hasn’t come as easily to them in the second half of the season as it did in the first.
The total has dropped two full points off the opening number of 58. That indicates sharp action on the under. If you like the under and you wait, recreational bettors could hammer the over and you can get a better number closer to kickoff. As of this writing, the number sits at 56, so that’s what I will use for this prediction.
Super Bowl 53 Prediction: Patriots/Rams under 56