• Tony Bonk

1 Prediction, 8 Wagers - A Super Bowl Preview

Updated: Feb 5, 2019

Super Bowl 53: LA Rams vs NE Patriots -2.5

My Prediction

Rams 35

Patriots 28

My Wagers

1 - Rams money line +120

2 - 1Q over 10.5 +130

3 - 1H over 27.5 +110

4 - Brady over 26.5 completions -150

5 - Chris Hogan over 41.5 receiving yards - 115

6 - Gurley over 3.5 receptions -115

7 - Gurley over 33.5 receiving yards -120

8 - Robert Woods over 7.5 rushing yards -105


Going in reverse order of the above wagers, here why I'm taking these:

8 - Robert Woods over 7.5 rushing yards -105

I think the rams are going to try and stretch the field any way they can, meaning more chance for numerous jet sweeps and WR handoffs. NE has a big D and they are disciplined, but if you can get to the edge, there are yards to be had.

Woods has 19 carries this year, average 1.2 carries per game and 9.8 yard per game. At about -105, I love this one.

7 - Gurley over 33.5 receiving yards -120

6 - Gurley over 3.5 receptions -115

If the rams are stretching out the field, then getting Gurley out of the backfield to create matchup problems must happen for the rams to succeed.

The line for these props is close to Gurley's career averages of:

- 3.2 receptions and 32.5 receiving yards per game

However, since McVay took over, his averages are:

- 4.2 receptions and 47.2 receiving yards per game

The big issue here is if Gurley is hurt. Looking through the playoffs and back through December, with the @Det game on Dec. 2nd, here's Gurley receptions per game: 3, 3, 10, 2, 1. The 13 target 10 reception game against Phi stands out and then is followed by the playoff games where combined he had 5 targets and 3 receptions.

With the bye week to rest up and the need to stretch the pats D out, I think Gurley has a great chance for a big game through the air.

5 - Chris Hogan over 41.5 receiving yards - 115

Switching to the NE side, in their past two playoffs games their offense has been methodical and deadly, eating up lots of clock while staying efficient. Brady's rating is good all over the field, especially beyond 15 yards on 1st down (see pic below from Warren Sharp's great He has 110 attempts beyond 15 yards (6.1 per game) this season and I think with Edelman in the slot, Gronk supporting the O-Line (especially if tied or NE leading), then Hogan will provide the deep option.

In the past two games, Hogan has had 3 receptions for 13 yards on 5 targets (LAC) and 5 for 45 from 7 targets (@KC). The charger game was over at half time and I think we are more likely to see a similar target size to the KC game for Hogan.

Note, Hogan did have a large dip in stats in the middle of the year as Josh Gordon came on, but Hogan's stats have creep back up to pre-Gordon levels.

4 - Brady over 26.5 completions -150

Much has been said about LA's D-Line with Suh and Donald. To neutralize them, I think NE will have lots of quick throws, side screens, and essentially "extension of the run game" type throws. Additionally, if the rams can put up points (like I think they will) then Brady will be throwing much more and NE won't be able to lean on the run game as much.

3 - 1H over 27.5 +110

2 - 1Q over 10.5 +130

There are smart, smart people wagering on the under, especially the first half under, like Warren Sharp. I can not argue much with the "feel each other out" stages of a big game and both teams seeing what the run can do early (or using it to setup play-action or misdirection later in the game). However, I keep coming back to the excellent articles from Vincent Verhei of, where two things stuck out to me:

1. Rams run D is suspect

2. The Pats have been terrible when down 7+ points

Both of these points tell me it is extremely important for both teams to play with a lead in this game. For rams, they don't want NE to run it down their throats like NE did to LAC and KC, while on the NE side, that's exactly what they want!

I think there is a strong chance we see some deep throws and big play-type shots early in this game. I don't know if it will be in the first quarter or second, but I think it will happen in the first half. With both of these overs at + money, to me it's worth it to take both and lay off the full game total (56.5 as of writing), foreseeing an explosive section to the game and if one team gets ahead they are likely able to shorten the game from then on.

1 - Rams money line +120

Finally, the game pick!

The Rams have a better roster overall, an average QB, and a good innovative coach. The Patriots have the best coach and QB in history.

I had the Falcons when the Pats had their comeback, and last year had the Pats thinking they could limit the Foles-magic (both wrong...). Additionally, I think every time someone bets against Belichik the football gods send a reminder right after kickoff (usually with NE deferring and pinning the other team behind the 25 with a beautiful mortar-style kickoff) that he is smarter than his peers (and the rest of us) and you made a stupid bet.

This time around, I think it's close with the rams slowly pulling away by being able to win in the trenches (just enough pressure to throw off NE's run game and a few passes) and get a enough explosives plays to flip field position. NE makes a furious comeback but it's cut short, final score:

Rams 35

Patriots 28

Bonus - Props that look great but staying away from:

All Gronk related props. Through his career he always had the potential for a monster game, and there is nothing new here. Especially with rumors he is considering retirement you can see the pats feeding him the ball and finding the zones within the rams D. However, I think it's likely they keep him in to block and only use him as a receiver when needed. If they fall behind, they will need him a lot, however if NE controls the ball it will be on the ground, where Gronk is likely to be supporting the O-Line.


Great articles from Vincent Verhei of helped my research:

- The Keys to Beating LAR

- The Keys to Beating NE

***Post Game Update***

Every single prediction was wrong, 0-8...

Rams ML +120, 1Q Over, 1H Over - credit to the Pats D who switched up schemes going from man (most of the season) to zone for most of this game and the Rams never adjusted.

Hogan and Woods had their chance, and I'm still surprised Brady did not go over 26.5 completions, but the biggest atrocity? Gurley!!! How was he not involved in the pass and run game more. I do not understand it, maybe he is really injured and news will come out, but no reason why he was not more involved.

Congrats to the Pats, and bring on the offseason!

Enjoy the Game,

-The Bonks

The Bonks


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