Last Updated: 2019-01-28
The Los Angeles Rams side of the equation is a lot more interesting than the New England Patriots side when it comes to player and team props. Many people are tired of seeing the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Bettors that don’t have any personal fandom on the line are simply looking for things to bet on when it comes to the big game. That’s why a newcomer to the party is so much more interesting than the same punch we’ve been forced to drink eight times over.
It is also more interesting simply because it is a higher-variance market. A lot of the Patriots players and the Super Bowl stylings of Bill Belichick are known commodities. With the Rams, we have to dig a little deeper. We have to study a little harder.
That’s what I’ve been doing with the Rams since this matchup was first set in stone. There are a lot of different ways to look at both of these teams, but the Rams are more of an unknown. Hell, there may even be an East Coast Bias to the Patriots and more unknowns about the Rams as a result.
Whatever the case and whatever the reason, the Rams are a lot more fun to look at for Super Bowl LIII. But, I am looking at everything. In follow-up articles, which I will hyperlink in each article, I’ll be looking at Patriots player and team props, game props, and the novelty/entertainment props. In each article, I’ll have anywhere from three to five of my favorite props for you to consider with my reasoning behind those picks.
Be sure to shop around for the best prices. I’ve listed odds at various sportsbooks here, but see what your outs have to offer and get the best of the number.
First Timeout – LA Rams (-115, BetDSI) – It turns out that BetDSI has the best price on this prop as well. You can find this at 5Dimes listed as “[Team] with two timeouts left first” and the Rams are -135. This is pretty cut and dry. The Rams have a Super Bowl rookie quarterback in Jared Goff. The Patriots have a very experienced QB in Tom Brady. The crowd noise should be fairly subdued at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but this will be a more Patriots-heavy crowd, so that could play a role.
Also, Brady has a lot more freedom to audible at the line of scrimmage. He’s done it a ton here in the playoffs. Goff may not be afforded that same luxury with the stakes as big as they are in this one.
Rams Punt Before Scoring (-105, 5Dimes) – This is actually worded as “LAR a punt before a LAR score”, just so that you can Ctrl+F and find it easier. You can also find it at BetDSI at -115. The Rams, amazingly enough, only averaged 33.1 yards per first drive during the regular season. For somebody as well-versed in analytics as Sean McVay, I was astonished to see that, but it’s hard to argue with the cold, hard facts.
The Patriots forced eight punts on opponents’ opening drives during the regular season, which was right around league average. The Rams had the fewest first-drive yards of any playoff team except for the Chargers. Usually a team puts together its best 10 or 15 plays with that “scripted” drive, but that hasn’t really worked out all that well for the Rams to date.
At least this one will have a quick resolution one way or another, but it is also appealing to me because nerves are going to be a very real thing for Jared Goff and his offensive teammates that are going through this Super Bowl thing for the first time.
Furthermore, the Patriots were one of six teams to not turn the ball over on their first drive of the game, so we shouldn’t have to worry all that much about a short field that keeps the Rams from punting.
Cory Littleton Over 8.5 Tackles + Assists (-110, 5Dimes) – This line is available at BetOnline at 7.5 with the over at -220. There should be other lines out there as the week goes along, with somebody likely splitting the difference with 8 at -140 or something like that. No matter what the Patriots do in this game, Cory Littleton should be a big factor.
If the Patriots run the rock with Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead, Littleton had 125 tackles on the season. In the playoffs, he has 17 tackles + assists in two games. If New England throws to James White, Littleton will likely spy him, as he had 13 passes defended during the season. Littleton only had four QB hits, so he doesn’t blitz a whole lot. He’ll be tasked with stopping the stable of backs for the Patriots.
I’d be stunned if he’s not all over the field. This is my favorite defensive prop bet of Super Bowl LIII.
Robert Woods Receiving Yards Over 70.5 (-110, 5Dimes) – Both BetOnline and DSI are dealing Over 70 at -130, so we’ll trade the half-yard for 20 cents of juice here. Woods has been targeted a lot this season by Jared Goff. He was targeted 18 times over the first two playoff games. His only game with less than seven targets since Week 10 came in the game against San Francisco in Week 17 when he was limited.
Purely from a math standpoint, Woods has averaged 8.6 targets per game over his last eight games. If we look at his 66.2 percent Catch%, that would be about 5.7 catches. His average yards per reception is 14.2 on the season. That puts us just shy of 81 yards.
From a matchup standpoint, Stephon Gilmore likely draws Brandin Cooks because the Patriots won’t want to take the chance of getting beat deep. That means Jason McCourty, or somebody else, draws Woods. That is a pretty good matchup for Woods. He’s become a very reliable route runner and is the closest thing to a possession receiver that the Rams have. We’ve seen the Patriots win a lot of playoff games with possession guys and McVay might as well take a page from that playbook.
Todd Gurley Under 67.5 Yards (-114; BetOnline & DSI); Longest Rush Under 18.5 Yards (-150, BetOnline) – Todd Gurley wasn’t himself late in the season. Maybe these two weeks off will be enough to get him back to something resembling 100 percent, but the Rams were scratching and clawing for the Super Bowl against the Saints and Gurley had four carries for 10 yards in the NFC Championship Game.
If I get burned here, so be it, but the Patriots are going to be ready for Gurley if he can go and he really hasn’t had a burst in most of his games lately. The smarter play for the Rams in this game is to use Gurley as a receiver and let him get into the open field, where his lack of quickness won’t create negative plays. Use him as a decoy or let him get some early yards through the air, but don’t chance getting behind the sticks.
The longest rush prop is at BetOnline and 5Dimes, though the 5D line is 16.5 with -110 on the under. Gurley’s 35-yard touchdown run against the Cowboys is one of five carries of 19 or more yards for Gurley since the start of November. That’s good enough for me to take a stab.
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