Posted 01/27/2019 at 04:06 PM
Two overtime championship games was about as good as it gets from a the perspective of a NFL fan but both games ended fairly unsettling, with the obvious officiating controversy in the NFC while the overtime rules left the league’s likely MVP without a chance to touch the ball in the extra session in the AFC.
While our 2018 preseason Annual had many forgettable results including our worst NFL season win total results ever, we did peg the Super Bowl matchup correctly last summer. We won’t take much credit for it as calling for the Patriots to be in the Super Bowl for the ninth time in 18 years isn’t exactly a bold call. The Rams were also among the favorites in the NFC last summer with splashy moves in the off-season and with Super Bowl LIII set this will be the 10th consecutive Super Bowl with a closing spread below 5.
The underdog has dominated the big game in recent years covering in 13 of the past 17 Super Bowls with the closing line underdog winning outright six of the past seven Super Bowls, and recall the lone favorite cover was New England’s wild comeback over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI, winning by six in overtime.
That matchup between a historically productive Falcons offense and the Patriots featured a closing total of 57, which this year’s game will certainly challenge as the highest in Super Bowl history. This will be the 10th Super Bowl with a total of 50 or higher with the ‘under’ 6-3 in those games including hitting in four of the past five instances. Five of the past six Super Bowls have played ‘over’ however and the past three games New England has been involved in featured scores of 52, 62, and 74.
The Patriots are now making their league-high 11th Super Bowl appearance including a ninth for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. New England has gone 5-5 S/U and 3-6-1 ATS in those games including failing to cover in five of the past seven trips. Two of those missed covers came in wins and every Super Bowl in the Belichick era for the Patriots has been a single-score game with wins by 3, 3, 3, 4, and 6 in OT, while losing by 3, 4, and last year by 8, coming up short on the final drive against Philadelphia.
Of the teams that New England has played in the Super Bowl only the Giants were able to return to the big game with the same coaching staff, beating New England again in the Super Bowl in 2012 after the stunning upset in 2008 to end the perfect season. This year’s Rams team appears positioned for long term success with a second year coach and a young quarterback. The Rams spent heavily on free agents last summer and there will be some cuts made this offseason regardless of the result Sunday. The Rams will also have a decision to make on Jared Goff entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract. His cap hit is just below 9 mm next season but after that the equation will change dramatically for the franchise. Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate…