Patriots vs Rams: Experience gives New England the edge
Patriots vs Rams preview and predictions
Sunday's showdown in Atlanta features one familiar team and one seeking a long overdue success on NFL's biggest stage. The experience of New England means they start as favourites in the Patriots vs Rams betting odds.
The Patriots are eyeing a sixth title under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, while the Los Angeles Rams are aiming to win the franchise's first championship since 1999.
The Rams are appearing in their first season finale since 2002 and are up against the same opponents. Then known as the St Louis Rams, they lost 20-17 to the Patriots in their last appearance in the big game and have had to wait 17 years for revenge.
When is it? Sunday February 3rd
What time is kick off? 6:30 p.m. ET
Where is it being played? Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Which channel is it on? CBS
The Rams are back at the season finale after Greg Zuerlein hit a 57-yard field goal in overtime to clinch a 26-23 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
The NFC Championship Game was overshadowed by some questionable officiating calls and non calls, but the Rams defense proved to be the deciding factor. Los Angeles picked up two sacks and halted the Saints' final overtime drive with a John Johnson III interception.
The Rams continued to run the rock using both running backs Todd Gurley and CJ Anderson. Anderson led the team with 16 carries for 44 yards, while Gurley had his worst outing of the season and found himself with just five total touches; rushing four times for 10 yards with one touchdown and adding one reception for three yards.
Quarterback Jared Goff threw for 297 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while finding Brandin Cooks for seven receptions and 107 yards.
The Patriots reached a third consecutive appearance after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 37-31 in overtime.
New England won the overtime coin toss and Brady took care of the rest, leading the Patriots on a 13-play, 75-yard game-winning drive capped off by a Rex Burkhead two-yard rushing touchdown.
Brady completed 30-of-46 passes for 348 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions; Burkhead had 12 carries for 41 yards and two touchdowns.
Running back Sony Michel also had two rushing touchdowns of his own, leading the team with 29 carries for 113 yards.
Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski were Brady's favorite targets as usual; Edelman had a team-high seven receptions for 96 yards while Gronk caught six of 11 targets for 79 yards.
Patriots vs Rams betting odds: Spread
The Patriots are giving the Rams 2 points on the spread in the betting odds.
Nearly 85 percent of the public money is currently on the Patriots (-2) to claim another championship. Their playoff experience should be the difference maker, but don't be surprised if the Los Angeles running attack slows this game down to work in their favor.
The Patriots are averaging 39 ppg during the playoffs, with the Rams are averaging 28 ppg, and Los Angeles will have to keep Brady off the field if they want a chance of hanging around.
Although I think the Rams could have success and keep this game close, the Patriots should find a way to edge them out down the stretch.
We're backing the Patriots to cover as the first of our betting tips.
Patriots vs Rams betting odds: Over/Under
The over/under is totaled at 58 points in this matchup.
Our final score prediction: Los Angeles Rams 27, New England Patriots 30.
Take the under in this matchup as the next of our NFL picks and predictions.
Patriots vs Rams betting odds: Moneyline
Like the Rams to upset the Patriots in Atlanta? Betting $87 would win $100 profit.
Think New England will win yet another title? Spending $145 makes a $100 profit.
Patriots vs Rams betting odds: MVP
New England Patriots
Tom Brady 10/11
Sony Michel 15/1
James White 30/1
Julian Edelman 30/1
Rob Gronkowski 50/1
Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff 2/1
Todd Gurley 12/1
Aaron Donald 18/1
CJ Anderson 18/1
Brandin Cooks 40/1
The MVP typically goes to a quarterback. As expected, Brady is the outright favorite in the MVP betting odds to win the MVP for the fifth time in his career.
I'm picking the Patriots to win, so I'll take Brady to win the award. However, Sony Michel could also be a solid bet with 15/1 odds.
If you like the Rams, I'd lean more towards Aaron Donald at 18/1. Two of the last five MVP awards have gone to defensive players that take over and make game-changing plays.
Patriots vs Rams betting odds: First touchdown scorer
New England Patriots
Sony Michel +400
Julian Edeman +900
James White +850
Rob Gronkowski +850
Rex Burkhead +1300
Patriots Defense or Special Teams +3300
Los Angeles Rams
Todd Gurley +450
Robert Woods +700
Brandin Cooks +700
CJ Anderson +950
Tyler Higbee +2800
Rams Defense or Special Teams +3300
With the way both these teams run the football, I expect the first touchdown to come from a running back. Michel and Gurley are both the favorites, while back-ups Burkhead and Anderson are more long shots.
There is profit to potentially be made off Burkhead or Anderson if either can get the goal-line carry.
Former Patriot Cooks should also be in for a big game, and could very well make his presence felt with the first touchdown.
At (+700), Cooks could be a sneaky play for first touchdown or just an anytime scorer if you want to avoid the favorites with your NFL betting picks.
First touchdown pick: Todd Gurley (+450)
Where the game will be won or lost
Both these offenses are more than capable of putting points on the scoreboard, which is why defense will decide this matchup.
Brady is yet to be sacked during this postseason and if that continues on Sunday, Los Angeles will have a long day.
Defensive pressure is Brady's kryptonite. The Rams will need Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh and Dante Fowler to build off their performance in New Orleans and get after the quarterback.
New England picked up four sacks and a forced fumble against Kansas City.
If the Patriots defense can contain the LA running attack and generate pressure, the offense should be able to control the clock and dictate the game tempo.