Oddsmakers in Las Vegas set the opening line for Super Bowl LIII with the Los Angeles Rams (15-3) as a two-point underdog against the New England Patriots (13-5), who are appearing in their third consecutive Super Bowl.

Greg Zuerlein
LA Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein (4) kicking the game-winning field goal to clinch the NFC Championship for the Rams against the Saints in the New Orleans Superdome. (Image: AP)

Both road teams won their respective conference championships in overtime games. The Rams came from behind 13-0 to beat the Saints on overtime and win the NFC Championship 26-23. The New England Patriots won the AFC Championship by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 37-31 in overtime.

The Westgate Super Book in Las Vegas opened Super Bowl LIII with the Rams as a one-point favorite and the over/under at 58 points. The line quickly moved in favor of the Patriots, who are the consensus favorite across the board in Las Vegas and offshore.

SUPER BOWL LIII OPENING LINES:
Point Spread: New England Patriots -2
Over/Under: 58

The Super Bowl will take place on February 3, 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sean McVay and the Rams Super Bowl Bound

The top-seeded Saints came into the game as a three-point favorite in the NFC Championship against the #2 Rams. The Superdome is always loud, but it was rocking on gameday. Deafening crowd noise and helmet communication issues plagued Rams QB Jared Goff for the first half.

The Saints jumped out to a 13-0 lead. If it weren’t for solid Red Zone-defense from the Rams, they could have been down 21-0. The Rams offense finally woke up in the second quarter with a Todd Gurley touchdown. The Saints led 13-10 going into halftime.

In the third quarter, both teams traded touchdowns to make it 20-17. The Rams tied it up with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Drew Brees and the Saints marched down the field, but were kept out of the end zone once again. The Saints were robbed by a no-call on a clear pass inference play. They settled on a field goal to take the lead 23-20.

With 1:45 remaining, the Rams had enough time to get into position for a Greg Zuerlein field goal, which sent the game into overtime.

The Saints won the coin toss and opted to receive first. Drew Brees threw a rare interception and the Rams had their best field position of the game. The Rams won 26-23 on a 57-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein, his fourth of the afternoon and the longest game-winner in NFL playoff history.

“It’s unbelievable, man. I can’t put it into words,” said Rams QB Jared Goff. “The defense played the way they did to force it to overtime. The defense gets a pick and Greg makes a 57-yarder to win it. That was good from about 70. Unbelievable.”

Goff and the Rams avenged a week 9 loss in the Superdome. The Rams return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2001. The Rams last won the Super Bowl in the 1999 season when they were playing in St. Louis.

Patriots Going to the Super Bowl… Again

Ageless quarterback Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were playing in their 8th straight AFC Championship title game together. After going on the road and defeating the Chiefs in overtime, they will be appearing in their third straight Super Bowl.

The Patriots got on the board early and took a 14-0 lead. Their defense held the Chiefs in check in the first half and kept Patrick Mahomes out of the end zone. The Chiefs offense finally got cooking in the second half with four touchdowns, including three from Damien Williams. The Chiefs even scored 24 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime with the score tied at 31-31.

The Patriots prevailed in overtime and scored a touchdown on their first and only possession to clinch the AFC Championship.

“Overtime, on the road against a great team,” said Tom Brady. “They had no quit. Neither did we. We played our best football at the end. I don’t know, man, I’m tired. That was a hell of a game.”

The Patriots last won the title with a victory in Super Bowl LI two years ago against the Atlanta Falcons in overtime. The Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles last year in Super Bowl LII. Furthermore, the Pats will be appearing in their fourth Super Bowl in the last five years and their fifth Super Bowl over the last eight years.

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