There are plenty of headlines coming out of Atlanta as the 2019 Super Bowl approaches, with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS. Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson will reportedly split carries in L.A.'s backfield after they combined for 238 yards in the divisional round against the Cowboys. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium roof will be open for a pregame flyover and then closed for the duration of Rams vs. Patriots, the third year in a row the Super Bowl will be played indoors. And it's a revenge game for the Rams, who fell to the Patriots 17 years ago in Super Bowl XXXVI, the first title for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The 2019 Super Bowl spread opened at a pick'em in some markets, but has since moved to New England -2.5 in the latest Patriots vs. Rams odds. The Over-Under for projected points scored has also moved since opening at 58; it's 56 in the live 2019 Super Bowl odds. Before you enter any 2019 Super Bowl picks and Patriots vs. Rams predictions for Sunday's big game, check out what SportsLine's top NFL expert, R.J. White, just locked in.
White again emerged as the top pro football handicapper on SportsLine this season, hitting an astounding 62 percent of his spread selections and netting $100 bettors a profit of nearly $2,000. The stats guru also cashed big last season in the world's most prestigious sports handicapping tournament, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest, where he has driven deep two of the past four years.
White is on a rock-solid 56-36 run on NFL picks against the spread. What's more, White has a strong record of success in handicapping these teams, the Rams in particular. He boasts an impressive 20-6 spread mark in games involving the Rams over the past two seasons.
Two weeks ago, White advised SportsLine members that Los Angeles (-7) would have success running the ball against Dallas, which would be the difference-maker. The Rams piled up 273 ground yards in their eight-point victory. Anyone who followed White's advice booked another win.
Now, White has analyzed Rams vs. Patriots in Super Bowl LIII (stream live on fuboTV) from every angle and released a confident point-spread pick that is available at SportsLine.
White knows that the rapport New England's veteran cast of offensive playmakers has built with quarterback Tom Brady will be key on Sunday. Brady relies heavily on running back James White, wide receiver Julian Edelman, and tight end Rob Gronkowski when he needs a big play, and all three pass-catchers have a strong history of producing on the game's grandest stage.
Two Super Bowls ago, White was the focal point of New England's offense with six carries for 29 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 14 catches for 110 yards and another score. Meanwhile, Edelman's shining moment came in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seahawks, when he had nine catches for 109 yards and a touchdown. He also had a highlight-reel catch against the Falcons that was a major catalyst in the comeback win.
In Gronkowski's last two Super Bowl appearances, he's had 15 catches for 184 yards and three touchdowns. Reports also surfaced on Sunday that the legendary tight end is healthy entering the 2019 Super Bowl after an up and down season.
But just because New England features a veteran offense doesn't mean it will cover the Patriots vs. Rams spread.
White also knows that Rams quarterback Jared Goff had 32 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and a QB rating of 101.1 this season. With running backs Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson behind him, Goff used play-action on 35 percent of snaps in 2018, the most of any starting quarterback. That could be critical against a Patriots team that surrendered 13.5 pass yards per attempt against play-action, most in the league.
If anyone can figure out how to slow Brady, it's Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. In nine games against Brady, Phillips' defenses have held the three-time NFL MVP to below-average completion percentage (58.1), yards per attempt (7.1) and passer rating (91.2). The key in the most effective games against Brady was bringing pressure up the middle. And with Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh anchoring that part of the field, the Rams could force Brady out of his comfort zone.
We can tell you White is leaning toward the over, but his much stronger play is on the side. He has scoured this matchup and unearthed the critical X-factor that makes one side a must-back. He's only sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.
Who wins Rams vs. Patriots? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the 2019 Super Bowl spread you should jump on, all from the top NFL expert who's hitting 77 percent of his NFL picks on Rams games, and find out.