Super Bowl Breakdown
After a season full of big time games and memorable moments we are down to the final two teams and the big game is finally here. We have the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots set to square off for the super bowl title from Atlanta on Sunday. This article is going to breakdown the game and give some thoughts on both the DFS and Betting side of this great matchup.
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Rams vs Patriots : Patriots -2.5 O/U 56.5
Game Breakdown – The Patriots got here with a wild OT thriller at Kansas City, where they used their voodoo magic of winning every coin toss into a surgical drive to not even give Mahomes a chance to answer. They established the run early and often with Michel and then the usual suspects of Gronk, Edelman and White did a ton of the heavy lifting. The other thing to notice was KC was unable to get any pressure on Brady and when he has a clean pocket it makes the Patriots offense almost unstoppable. The Rams are going to have to find ways to make Brady uncomfortable and that is one of the keys to watch on Sunday in terms of unit by unit matchups. Look for the Patriots to try and spread the Rams out and I wouldn’t be shocked to see some no huddle up tempo early in the game to try and test the response of that Rams D.
The Rams got here with their own version of voodoo magic as they were dead and buried until a huge blown call gave them life and they took advantage. After forcing OT they were able to turn Brees over and then march down for a game winning field goal and book their trip to the big game. Jared Goff wasn’t sensational, but he certainly held his own and if I was a Rams fan I would be encouraged by what we saw in the NFC Championship game. The key for the Rams in this one is what is the status of Todd Gurley and will he return to the form we saw for the majority of the regular season? The CJ Anderson show has been a fun storyline in the playoffs, but I have to assume Gurley is a lot more injured then the Rams are letting on and it will be interesting to see where he is at after an extra week of rest. If the Rams are forced to really play catchup and lean on Goff too heavily it seems like a very narrow path to victory, despite Goff making some big throws down the stretch a few weeks ago.
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Betting Trends – The Spread opened at Patriots +1 and almost immediately heavy money came in moving the line to the Patriots -1. Since then the majority of the tickets have been on the Patriots and now we sit at Patriots -2.5 with a few days left until kickoff. I would expect that a lot of people who want to bet the Rams are waiting to see if the line will hit Rams +3 and at that point I would expect them to pull the trigger and cause a lot of resistance / buyback. +3 is such a key number is worth waiting IMO if you are looking to bet the Rams even though I am not sure it will actually creep that high. The total opened at 59 and money has poured in on that under causing a drop to 56.5. I think a lot of the value has been taken out if you are leaning under and for me I will probably just stay away or look to jump on something live where I think there may be an advantage.
DFS Thoughts – We have a massive showdown slate where if you get a unique team it probably means you did something absolutely insane. However there still is a ton of money up for grabs even if you are sharing it with a bunch of rando’s, and we want to use the same principles that we focused on all year to build. The key is using that narrative based game script to try and pick you players and determine who is an optimal player to use for the captain spot. From there you can obviously mix and match if you are MME and hope to hit that magic combination and grab a piece of the pie.
Todd Gurley to me is the most polarizing and interesting player on the slate from both a DFS and betting perspective. There is a ton of recency bias due to the time share and reduced workload causing him to be viewed and lined at a spot we never would have seen during the regular season. If he is back in form he will be a massive steal in props and even though he will carry plenty of ownership it still won’t be to the highs we would have seen in a different scenario.
On the Patriots side it is difficult as they have so many different options and love to change their attack from week to week. If they do decide to spread out the Rams and go up tempo its hard to not love Edelman and James White in terms of the main weapons for the Patriots. Guys like Hogan or even Dorsett I think have some merit if you think the Patriots come out throwing or fall behind, causing them to abandon Sony Michel later in the game.
My Picks –
Favorite Prop bet – CJ Anderson Under 55.5 Rushing/Receiving yards – I said that Anderson would have a massively reduced workload against New Orleans and was wrong, but I will continue to short him and bank that Gurley gets back to the workhorse role. Anderson is barely a threat in the receiving game so we really are trying to avoid a big game on the ground for him here. I don’t think he will see enough carries to give him a big shot to get over here and if the Rams fall behind that’s an even worse script for him and his potential output.
Longshot bet – Gronk to win MVP 30-1 – This is very narrative based as I’m banking on the Gronk retiring / lifetime achievement award if he grabs a TD or two and the Patriots win the game. He isn’t what he once was but showed against KC he still is a problem and a guy they will look to in the key moments. Obviously, Brady is the frontrunner if the Patriots win, and if the Rams win Gronk has no shot, but for 30-1 I think there is a reasonable window that he could snag the trophy especially if he decides to call it quits.
Game Prediction – It’s the Super Bowl so I have to make a pick even though I really don’t love a side here and probably will wait to see if the Rams move to +3. I was impressed with Goff and believe that the Patriots will see a different version of Todd Gurley than the Saints to deal with. Its always hard to go against Brady considering he has seen and done it all, but I think the Rams do just enough to pull out the victory and take home the Lombardi trophy. Rams 31 Patriots 27
Good Luck! – If you have any questions find me in the Awesemo.com premium slack chat or @JazzrazDFS on twitter.