Why Rams could be easy pick for SBLIII
It was pretty much a toss-up which of the four conference championship teams would go on to win Super Bowl LIII. Now, after two crazy overtime games, we’re down to two contenders: the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams.
They’ll meet at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday, February 3, kicking off at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS. And it’s another virtual coin flip; the Patriots are available anywhere between –1.5 and –3 at press time. Before wagering on the big game, check out a Sportsbetting.ag review.
The game itself might be up for grabs, but if you’re betting on the Super Bowl the choice is easy: Take the Rams. Underdogs have done very well in this spot since the turn of the millennium, going 12-4 against the spread – and it all started when some unknown kid named Tom Brady led the upstart Patriots (+14) to a 20-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams at Super Bowl XXXVI.
American Top 10
What’s the secret sauce that makes these underdogs so profitable? Volume, volume, volume. The Super Bowl has become the No. 1 entertainment spectacle in the United States, if not the entire world; of the Top 10 television programs in U.S. history (according to the Nielsen ratings), nine of them are the last nine Super Bowl broadcasts. The 1983 M*A*S*H* finale is still up there at No. 9.
With more than 100 million American viewers expected to tune in, and countless others around the globe, it’s no wonder that Super Bowl Sunday has become the biggest day on the sports betting calendar. Many of those people will be placing the only NFL bets they’ll make all year, and they won’t be consulting their spreadsheets and power rankings, either – they’re betting on the Patriots, because they’re the Patriots. Advanced statistical analysis? More like five Super Bowls, Brady is the GOAT, yadda yadda.
Memories of Seattle
That flood of New England money has already begun. The Super Bowl LIII odds opened last Sunday as either a pick’em or with the Rams laying 1 point, but in a matter of minutes, the lines were marching towards the Patriots. The consensus numbers at Sportsbook Review show 69 percent of bettors on New England; as all that money comes in, the oddsmakers will naturally want to move the line and encourage more people to bet on the Rams, balancing the action on both sides and locking in a healthy profit for the bookies.
These early Super Bowl line moves are where sharp bettors can find their profit margin – and they move like this just about every year. The betting pattern for Super Bowl LIII is almost a carbon copy of Super Bowl XLVIII, where the Seattle Seahawks opened as 2-point favorites over the popular Denver Broncos, only to get hammered down to +2.5 in early action. Seattle won that game 43-8, but the result was almost beside the point; getting Seattle at +2.5 was an absolute bargain.
That’s the case with the Rams this year – in theory. They played at a higher level than New England during the regular season, outscoring opponents by a combined 143 points to 111 for the Patriots. And they’re even more potent now that late-season addition C.J. Anderson has been paired up with RB Todd Gurley in the backfield. The Pats, meanwhile, have a little less scoring punch now that WR Josh Gordon is no longer with the team.
The Patriots are a slippery bunch, though. They won their last two Super Bowls by the skin of their teeth, and they nearly mounted another late comeback during last year’s Big Game against the Philadelphia Eagles (+4) before losing 41-33. New England might have an easier time of it this year if rookie RB Sony Michel feasts on the soft underbelly of the Rams rush defense. But in what otherwise looks like a close game on paper, giving the Rams up to three points – and maybe more, if people keep betting on the Patriots – is a welcome gift for sharp bettors.