When the over/under for Super Bowl 53 opened at 59 points at most sportsbooks, oddsmakers believed it was going to be an offensive affair. Bettors disagreed and have driven the line down to 56.
That is still close to the record of 57, set at Super Bowl 51 between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots won that game in overtime, 34-28, making over backers extremely happy.
Will the Patriots do the same thing this Sunday? They are playing the Los Angeles Rams, who are no stranger to putting plenty of points on the board. New England has the No. 1 offense, while the Rams are No. 2. It is a bit surprising that the over/under has dropped lower, considering Los Angeles averaged 32.9 points a game, and the Patriots averaged 27.2.
They’ll Score, but How?
Though the teams tout top-5 defenses, both will probably be able to score a healthy amount of points. The question is will it be on the ground, or in the air?
New England ranks first in passing yards in the league, and Tom Brady can still chuck it with the best of them. The veteran, who owns five Super Bowl rings, has a 65.8 passing completion percentage in the playoffs, and a quarterback rating of 97.7.
“Just a great quarterback making a lot of great decisions,” Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. “Gets the ball out of his hands and doesn’t let him get sacked and make a lot of bad decisions. He has a lot of experience to make all the right decisions, all the right moves. We’ve got to make his job harder.”
If the Rams have any success disrupting Brady, they have running back Sony Michel to diversify the offense. Michel has been a machine in the playoffs, rushing for 242 yards in two games.
For the Rams, they are going to have to hope running back Todd Gurley’s woeful performance against the Saints was an anomaly. Los Angeles has the No. 1 ranked rushing game, but have been stymied in the playoffs so far.
Can New England do the same? If they do the fate of the Rams will rest with quarterback Jared Goff. He will need to spread the ball around to his receivers and keep the Patriots defense off balance.
Offensive Prop Bets to Consider
Michel has been the team’s short-yard specialist and New England should be in a position to drive down the field and set up a short yardage situation. If that is the case, Michel has odds of +180 that he will score a touchdown in the first half.
If you believe the Patriots will dominate via the air, -180 odds exist for Brady throwing more than. 1.5 touchdown passes. A nice longshot bet would be Brady scoring a touchdown at 5/1.
Gurley should be a key to the team’s success and if he is truly healthy, and recovered fully from the inflammation in his knee, then choosing him at +170 to score in the first half might be a smart play. If you don’t believe he will be a factor, he is getting +140 odds that he won’t score a TD in the game.