Super Bowl tips: Best NFL bets for Rams v Patriots
Make the most of the biggest night in American sport with Jack Green's tips for the last game of the NFL season.
Another year, another Super Bowl appearance for the New England Patriots.
The 11-time AFC champions have been far from their best this season, but they’ve turned it on over the past two weeks to reach the big game for the third successive year.
They saw off the Los Angeles – a popular upset pick – in the divisional round three weeks ago before going to Kansas City and pulling off an impressive 37-31 win over the Chiefs a fortnight ago.
Those victories, along with the playoff pedigree of coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, mean it’s no surprise to see the Patriots are narrow favourites on Sunday.
They might be receiving more respect than they deserve, however, given that they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles a year ago and now face the Los Angeles Rams, who are just as formidable as last season’s champions.
Los Angeles scored the second-most points of any team in the regular season, and though they have slowed down offensively in the playoffs, their defence has stepped up, holding the New Orleans Saints to just 10 points in the last three quarters of the NFC Championship game.
Brady’s only weakness is against pressure up the middle, and the Rams have the best interior linemen in the NFL in Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh.
That tandem made life very difficult for Saints quarterback Drew Brees, and can do the same to Brady on Sunday night.
Jared Goff will be key for the Rams.
They relied upon the 24-year-old quarterback against the Saints with running back Todd Gurley inexplicably benched, and Goff delivered with an excellent second-half performance in a tricky environment.
If Goff can avoid turnovers and take some shots downfield against a Patriots defence that has struggled at times this season, the Rams +2.5 looks a good bet at .
It’s also worth backing over 56.5 total points at , given that the last two Super Bowls – both of which involved the Patriots – finished 34-28 and 41-33.
Despite the improvements that both of these teams have made defensively, both of them remain elite offensive teams and shouldn’t have much problem putting up 30 points each.
If you’re looking for a #BetYourWay, the Rams to win with both Gurley and Julian Edelman to score a touchdown looks a decent price at .
Gurley has scored at least one touchdown in 14 of his 16 starts this season, while Edelman has found the endzone for the Patriots four times in his last eight games.
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