2019 Super Bowl Betting Odds and Game Preview
After a season’s worth of spectacular NFL action, the final chapter of the season gets written on Sunday, February 3rd at 6:30pm Eastern time in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The New England Patriots are again protagonists in the story, and their rival this time around is the high-flying Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams finished the 2018 regular season with the league’s second-best yards per game average with 421, lead by a stellar RB in Todd Gurley who finished the regular season with 1,251 rushing yards, good enough for 4th place overall among RBs. Helping him was a young, dynamic QB in Jared Goff who had an arsenal of receivers to help him finish the regular season with 4,688 passing yards and give the Rams the best passing yards per game total in the regular season with 175. All year long Goff found receivers Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks downfield, providing the LA fans with the high-flying NFL offense that they had been missing.
In the playoffs, the Rams started by beating the Dallas Cowboys 30-22 in the Divisional round. LA jumped out to a 20-7 lead in the first half and never looked back, holding the Cowboy’s excellent run game to only 50 yards rushing, which was tied for the fewest allowed in a postseason game since 1984. The Rams then moved on to play the Saints, who they beat in a close and very controversial overtime game that ended after a no-call on what many perceived to be pass interference. In that game, the Saints managed to hold Gurley to only 5 touches and 13 yards, which raised doubts about how he might do in Sunday’s big game. He has been dealing with inflammation in his knee ever since late in the regular season, causing questions if he is at 100%.
On the other side of the ball, the Patriots stumbled a bit out of the gate to start 2018, losing two of their first three games. The poor start only served as a splash of cold water to the face, however, because Tom Brady and company went on to win their next 6 games before their week 11 bye before cruising to a first-place finish in the AFC East.
The Patriots did not have any standout players in the regular season; no Patriot finished in the top five of any of the major offensive or defensive categories, but all that changed once the playoffs came around; in postseason play, on offense the Patriots have the #1 passer in Tom Brady with 691 yards, while RB Sony Michel leads the league in rushing yards with 242 and WR Julian Edelman has been the league’s best receiver in the postseason with 247 yards.
Matchup-wise, this year’s Super Bowl will pit the brilliant Bill Belichick against the up and coming Sean McVay, who at age 33 is the youngest person ever to coach in a Super Bowl. The experience of Belichick and the Patriots will likely be a factor in this matchup, as the Patriots are going over the well-tread ground while the Rams are entering a territory the franchise has not seen since the early 2000s.
Belichick will likely try and get the most out of his secondaries Stephon Gilmore and JC Jackson, who will be facing a tough challenge in the Ram’s receiving corps. Meanwhile, C David Andrews will be pivotal in sealing LA’s defensive tackle and allowing Michel to penetrate LA’s run defense.
Andrews will see a lot of LA’s DT Aaron Donald, who lead the league in sacks during the regular season. Donald’s ability as a disrupter is second to none, as he can find ways to get inside and break up plays before they even get started.
This exciting matchup, loaded with compelling storylines, looks to be a fitting end to a fascinating NFL season. Will Brady get his swan song and go out a champ? Or will Gurley and his crew usher in a new era of Rams dominance? The only way to find out is by tuning in on Sunday!