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Super Bowl LIII Picks Against the Spread

Welcome to the unofficial official Fake Pigskin Super Bowl LIII betting preview. Bobby Adcock, Brian Twinning and I are here to give you our favorite plays for the Big Game. Obviously you can pick a side or take stance on the total but the madness ensues when you dive into the prop bets.

There are yardage total over/unders, the coin toss, gatorade color and the like, but you can way more wild. There is cross-sport bets, wethere either kicker will miss a field goal and more. To see a full list and more prop thoughts head over to UPROXX.

Check out the favorite plays of the FP writers.

Kyle’s Pick:

LA Rams Todd Gurley

Jasen Vinlove – USA TODAY Sports

Todd Gurley OVER 3.5 receptions and 32.5 receiving yards

Maybe Todd Gurley is significantly hurt and this will look real dumb, but I think Gurley has a chance to make a real impact on this game. A quick aside, he is 16/1 to win the MVP which feels like tremendous value.

Gurley has been really quiet throughout the playoffs. It’s time to take the Maserati out of the garage and hit triple-digis on the highway. CJ Anderson has been beasting, which is wild to be writing in 2019. Coach Sean McVay has been able to rest his star RB and continue to win (**cough** RBs don’t matter *cough cough*) I expect to see everything Gurley has in this game.

This season he had 3 catches or more in every game besides one. He had 30 plus receiving in yards in 11 of the 14 games he played this season.

The Patriots are terrible against RBs catching the backfield. Damien Williams had 66 yards on 5 catches last week and most of that came in the second half when they realized just how bad New England was.

I also like this bet because Gurley will be apart of why the Rams are winning or competitive in this game. If the Pats play well early and the Rams have to throw to keep up, Gurley should still get work. Win-win!

As for my pick for the game, I’ll back the Rams. Per ESPN’s Chris Fallica, “In the last 12 pro football and FBS championship games, the underdog has won seven outright and covered 10 of the 12. And if it weren’t for a collapse by Atlanta and debatable/questionable play-calling by Seattle, underdogs would have covered all 12 and won nine outright.”

I honestly expect the Patriots to win in a crazy ending but something like 23-21 or 33-31.

Pick: Todd Gurley OVER 3.5 receptions and 32.5 receiving yards

Bobby’s Pick:

LA Rams McVay

Jayne Kamin-Oncea – USA TODAY Sports

Alternate line value – LA Rams -6.5 vs New England Patriots

Games like this typically transcend stats, conventional wisdom, or football logic. From purely a football standpoint, the Rams appear to have the strongest all-around team, and far more talent.

Watching the duo of Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh dominant the playoffs, taking away two of the top rushing attacks in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE is an edge the Patriots (or any other team for that matter) cannot match. How the Patriots approach this mismatch will likely be what determines the game. But, that’s the point. This isn’t just a football game. It’s a stage.

A stage where the Patriots leadership structure has lived for the better part of a decade. Does that mean their experience will give their offensive line Marvel Universe powers to block Donald and Suh for five hours? Not really.

However, the Patriots being here again isn’t a coincidence. It’s a result of consistently exploiting their opposition’s weaknesses, and/or taking away their strengths. In other words, I’m not sure what the hell they’ll do, but it’ll be something. And, in all likelihood, will be very effective which is why they are who they are, and Godspeed to anyone betting against them.

That said, if you feel strongly that the Rams have the better team as I do, and are inclined to put your money down to prove it, I’d suggest throwing down on alternate lines for a sweeter reward. Since 1990 there have been 29 Super Bowls. Just six of them have had margins of three points or less. That’s almost 80% of the time you can book this game being decided by four points or more during that stretch. Over the entire 52 game Super Bowl history, that trend gets much more entrenched as a rule.

Before 1990, just one more SB resulted in a margin of three points or less. That’s roughly 87% of the time this game has been decided by four points or more! From a gambling standpoint, there isn’t much more you can ask for in terms of value. Whether you go Rams or Patriots, past history suggests alternative lines are the best options strictly from a risk/reward approach.

It’s similar to my view on relationships: If I’m going to risk personal freedom, the reward better be a rich family, social status, or someone much better looking than me. It’s just common sense. And, there’s a completely logical case to be made for the Rams being worth the risk.

What if it simply turns out that the Rams are the better team? And, no matter what the Pats do, Donald and Suh’s evisceration of their run game, and interior pressure on passing downs is too much for Brady to overcome? It’s not unreasonable to suggest that is exactly how this plays out.

In fact, that’s always been the formula for beating Brady. You have to get pressure from the guys on the line. Call me crazy, but arguably the best defensive tackle duo of this generation seems like the right ingredients to serve that dish. They certainly won’t be allowing 176 rushing yards like that paper mache Chiefs defense (yes, still perplexed and angry about the Colts) did two weeks ago. But wait… There’s more!

This Patriots bunch thrives on ball control, and keeping everything on schedule for TB12 to do the rest on third and short conversions. It’s all about long, sustained 70-80 yard touchdown drives, and winning time of possession. If my “Donald/Suh will dominate” theory holds up, that game plan will be nearly impossible to execute effectively. What? Another reason the Rams will cover alternate lines?

The Pats are not built to play from behind. With Gronk now in the Rocky Balboa stage of his career, and Edelmen easing off his “training supplement” regimen, TB12 just doesn’t have the fire power to take the top off the defense from any spot on the field. Their inability to generate big plays from base offensive sets does not bode well for any second half deficit. Nor does putting Brady’s geriatric athleticism in more predictable passing circumstances. Not convinced yet? How about the Patriots defensive issues?

To put it as eloquently as I possibly can, they’re pretty shitty. Once the Chiefs removed their collective head from their ass, they moved the ball at will in the AFC title game. Oh yea, and I’ve been hearing this Sean McVay guy is a decent offensive coach. All of this will undoubtedly result in a Patriots three touchdown victory. Either way, the alternate line will cover.

Pick: Rams -6.5 +225.

Here are some of my other long odds props I’m liking for Sunday…
  • Sony Michel Over 0.5 receptions -110 (classic tendency breaker by the Pats play)
  • Def/ST scores first TD +3300 (why not)
  • Cordarrelle Patterson scores first NE TD +1600
  • Aaron Donald MVP +1500
  • Ndamukong Suh MVP +10000 (if you’re feeling especially saucy)

Brian’s Pick:

Brady and Gronkowski are crucial players in this year's auction drafts (AJ Mast/AP Images)

AJ Mast – AP Images

New England -2.5 (-120), Over 58 (-110)

We’ve finally made it to the big game! The game where die hard, fair weather, and band wagon fans all align for one purpose! Make as many bets as possible and have a ton of fun. In addition to my picks for the game, I’ve added a few of my favorite Super Bowl 53 prop bets at the end of my prognostication of the game. I hope you enjoy and always remember, it all for FUN!

Great crunch time defense, and timely offense have granted the Rams a trip to Atlanta, but sluggish first quarters have plagued them. Throughout the playoffs, LA has scored only 6 points in the first quarter while allowing 20. As a matter of fact, every first quarter possession by Dallas and New Orleans resulted in points with the Saints helping the Rams by settling for two field goals on their first two drives. If the storyline stays the same, this movie could be a snoozer against New England.

The Patriots, the most despised NFL franchise over the last two decades has been dominant during the first quarter so far. The Pats have scored a touchdown on both of their opening drives, using an average of 7:38 of clock to do so. They scored on all 3 drives which began in the first quarter and their first four against the Chargers. Minus a disastrous mistake by Brady, New England would have scored a touchdown on all 5 possessions which began in the first quarter during the 2018-’19 playoffs.

I know, most will point to the Patriots lack of success in the first quarter of all their Super Bowls as they’ve only scored three, yes THREE points combined. It’s a new season and a new Patriots. This game could be decided in the first couple drives If the Patriots continue their first quarter success and jump out to an early touchdown lead. LA may see the ending credits sooner than expected. Conversely, if the Rams can control the flow by establishing the ground game their elite play-action pass attack could get rolling.

How do I see the game unfolding? I think the Patriots first quarter success will continue and they’ll jump out to an early two score lead forcing the Rams to play from behind the entire first half. The Rams may tie it up early in the third quarter, but New England will drive right back to take another touchdown lead and never look back. The Brady bunch will once again gather at the podium in acceptance of their 6th Lombardi trophy with a final score of New England 33, Rams 27.

Pick: New England -2.5 (-120), Over 58 (-110)

My picks with some of my favorite prop bets:
  • Coin will land Tails: -102
  • First touchdown of game: James Develin +3800
  • Will there be a successful 2 pt try: Yes +400
  • Yards of longest play: Over 23.5 yards +110
  • Chris Hogan Over 39.5 rec yards -115

Enjoy Super Bowl LII, all of its commercials, pomp and circumstance!

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