There are 266 NFL games in the bag between the regular season and playoffs, and today we'll add one more: Super Bowl LIII. Will Belichick and Tom Brady add an unprecedented sixth title to their mantles? Or will Sean McVay add Lombardi Trophy No. 1 to his impressive resume? It's Patriots vs. Rams with everything on the line, and you can stream it right here on CBSSports.com.
On the betting market, the Rams surprisingly opened as one-point favorites on Championship Sunday before sharp money streamed in on the Patriots, making them favorites almost immediately after the opening line was posted. By early last week, the Patriots were up to 2.5-point favorites, where the line has mostly stayed at sportsbooks, though Rams +3 and Patriots -2 has been available in certain spots at times as well.
Which side is the smart side? And which props are worth your attention? We've got that all covered below with our expert picks from CBSSports.com and SportsLine. Good luck!
How to watch, stream Super Bowl LIII
Patriots vs. Rams odds, picks
- Open: Patriots -1.5, Over/Under 58
- Current: Patriots -2.5, Over/Under 56
"The Patriots don't blow out teams in the Super Bowl, and they won't here. In fact this one will come down to a late Tom Brady drive. This time, which will be different from their first Super Bowl meeting, he will need to get a touchdown late to win it. And he will. Just like in 2002, Brady will come up clutch in the big moment to win it. It will be the game that ends any argument about the greatest dynasty in sports and the greatest coach and quarterback in NFL history. Belichick and Brady -- the two constants from the first Super Bowl victory way back in 2002 -- will get it done again." -- Pete Prisco on of Patriots 24, Rams 20
Who wins Patriots vs. Rams? And which side of the spread has all the value, making it a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has returned nearly $4,000 to $100 bettors over the past two seasons!
"The Pats are road-grading folks with heavy offensive formations, and I suspect that happens against a Rams team that has struggled against the run. Wear down that defensive line, get them running side to side and then pick them apart on play-action. I see New England getting an early lead, the pressure getting to Jared Goff early, and the Rams playing much better in the second half to make it closer, but this result never really being in doubt. Too much Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and New England's rebuilt offensive line will carry the day." -- Jason La Canfora on of Patriots 35, Rams 27
I'm having a great season over at SportsLine, going 56-36-2 in my last 94 ATS picks, but I've been even better picking the Rams over the last few years. In fact, I've made 26 ATS picks for or against the Rams over the last two years, and I've hit 20 of them. You can head over to SportsLine (promo code WHITE to get your first month for $1) to see which side of the line I'm taking.
"Since the merger, just nine quarterbacks 25 years or younger have started a Super Bowl. Those quarterbacks are 4-5 in those games and in recent years -- since 2001, starting with this young fella named Tom Brady -- are actually 3-1 in these Super Bowls. But ... it's very helpful to have a top-shelf defense to fall back on when starting a young quarterback on the Super Bowl stage. The Rams defense has a Hall of Fame coordinator and a ton of talent, but they were 19th in DVOA this season. Sean McVay isn't a budding superstar coach because he's already a superstar. We might look back on this and say 'of course he outsmarted Belichick with two weeks to prepare' but that feels like an unlikely scenario." -- Will Brinson onof Patriots 31, Rams 28
Vegas legend Hammerin' Hank Goldberg is on an excellent run in the playoffs, going 3-0 on conference championship weekend with his best bets, taking the points in both games and the Over in Patriots-Chiefs. This week, he's all over the Under. This total is high considering New England has a strong pass defense, Hammer said, "and the Rams won't let Tom Brady stand back in the pocket all day like he did against the Chiefs." Who does he have against the spread? Check out his pick over at SportsLine.
More game predictions
- Jared Dubin:
- Ryan Wilson:
- John Breech:
- Sean Wagner-McGough:
- Tom Fornelli:
Super Bowl props
From Gladys Knight's anthem to who will score first to Maroon 5 to the Super Bowl MVP, get everything you need to make the right picks for Sunday in our Ultimate Super Bowl Props guide featuring odds and picks for 53 of the most popular prop bets Vegas has to offer.
Patriots to have more first downs
SportsLine has posted its 30 top prop picks, including top five selections from six of the site's analysts, including yours truly. Here's what I had to say about why I'm taking the Patriots to record more first downs, even if the initial stats suggest otherwise.
"The Rams rank first in picking up first downs this season, outpacing the Patriots 401-365 in the statistic," I told SportsLine. "So why am I taking New England? The Patriots' shift to a ground-and-pound team that focuses on running the ball with Sony Michel and getting short completions in the passing game, especially without Josh Gordon, has caused them to blow out teams in this stat the second half of the year, including 30-22 and 36-18 in their playoff games."
Rob Gronkowski to score first touchdown
If you're looking to take a shot on one of the index props with a plethora of options and potentially high payouts, Will Brinson suggests you look toward the "Who scores the first touchdown?" prop and.
"This is a massive overreaction to Gronk's struggles," Brinson said. "Maybe Aqib Talib is on him all game or in the red zone and that could be a difficult matchup. But he is still one of the best red zone targets we've ever seen and he could easily end up in single coverage down near the goal line. If that happens, I like his chances to win the battle and come down with the ball. In another year Gronk is much lower on this list (like 4-1 or 5-1). Take the value at 10-1."
Todd Gurley Over 61.5 rushing yards
In addition to SportsLine's top 30 props, Hammerin' Hank Goldberg also released his top five plays in the prop market. And that five-pack includes trusting Gurley to have a big game on the ground.
"The Patriots will stop the Rams from running inside with C.J. Anderson, so they're going to use Gurley a lot," Hammer told SportsLine. "He'll get outside and has a strong chance to break a long run."
Tom Brady Over 295.5 passing yards
Pete Prisco: "I think that's an Under."
Jamey Eisenberg: "Keeps going up."
Will Brinson: "Yeah, I saw 288."
Brinson: "He had 900 passing yards in his last two Super Bowl games."
Eisenberg: "I think I saw it correctly -- and totally off the top of my head -- but if you take his 16-game pace in the eight -- you know, just double his numbers from the Super Bowls: over 5,000 passing yards."
Brinson: "That's insane."
That's from Friday's edition of the Pick Six Podcast, hosted by Will Brinson five days a week and featuring nothing but NFL talk, from recapping games to insider buzz to picks and everything else you want to know. Listen to the Super Bowl picks pod below and subscribe!