…And then there were 2! Before doing my best to break down the big game ahead, one of the best parts about the Super Bowl is the endless amount of prop bets. You can bet on just about everything imaginable. Here are some of my favourites:
Over/Under 1 minutes & 50 seconds for Gladys Knight to sing the National Anthem: I’m taking the over. Gladys’ nickname is the Empress of Soul, and she’s 74 years old. I think she’ll enjoy her moment in the spotlight and hold some notes nice and long.
Will Rob Gronkowski Have a Hand on His Heart During the National Anthem? The Pats come across as a hand-on-the-heart type of team, and Gronkowski is a team-player. I’m guessing yes on this one.
Coin Toss: I’m going with heads here. The Rams will win it and elect to receive.
Will Adam Levine be wearing at hat at the start of his Halftime performance? This is a pretty easy no. The guy has nice hair and this is his big moment to show it off.
What will be higher- Jared Goff’s passing yards or Manny Machado’s Next Contract Amount in Millions: While Machado was looking for a $300 million contract, it’s unlikely that will happen. Even if he finds a way to get $250 million, I’ll still take Goff’s passing yards here. He has plenty of weapons at his disposal, and the Pats haven’t exactly done a great job limiting passing yards in their past Super Bowls, giving up an average of 312.5 yards per game in the Brady/Belichick era, including 373 for Foles last year.
Over/Under 7.5 Punts: Always take the under here. Otherwise you’re cheering for a punt-filled game, and no one wants that.
Over/ Under 6 Receptions for James White: The over here is an easy choice. Kamara just had his way in the pass game against the Rams, and James White is a pass-catching machine. If the number was 10, I’d probably still take the over.
Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first in his speech?
Does not mention any of the above 4/1
The easy pick is that a QB will take home the MVP, and both are big-time team players. I’m going with thanking the teammates first.
Now for my Super Bowl prediction:
I’m sitting at 5-5 with my playoff picks so far, so let’s see if I can get over .500 here.
With the Patriots in the Super Bowl, you can count on the game being close. In every Brady/Belichick Super Bowl, the games have been decided by one score. I understand the aura surrounding the Pats. How can you bet against the greatest coach and QB in NFL history? Well, allow me to explain…
In order to beat the Pats, you have to play great football on one side of the ball. Not good, not very good, great. The Eagles did it with their offense, scoring 41 points and making Belichick’s decision to not play Malcolm Butler come back to bite him. The Giants did it on defense, limiting New England to a season low in points in both Super Bowls. Brady and the Pats scored just 31 points in the 2 games, with Brady getting sacked a combined 7 times, and the Pats run game struggling in both games.
On the opposite side of the ball, you need some magic. The Eagles received that from Brandon Graham’s strip sack, and the Giants had unbelievable catches from David Tyree in one Super Bowl, and Mario Manningham in the other.
I don’t anticipate the Rams playing dominate football on the defensive side of the ball. Yes, they’ve been solid defensively in the playoffs, and they’re much better defensively with a healthy Talib, but Brady & company are like a well-oiled machine. They spent much of this year trying to find their identity, and in the playoffs they’ve figured it out- Michel is running well, White and Edelman are used to perfection in the short to intermediate passing game, and then the likes of Gronkowski, Burkhead, Hogan and a few others get their number called in key spots as well.
Defensively, though, the Pats will have their hands full. Belichick likes to try to take away the opposition’s big weapon. They did this with Tyreek Hill in the AFC Championship game. The problem against the Rams, though, is that it’s they have so many great weapons. If Gurley is the player the Pats focus on, the Rams still have two 1200 yard WRs in Cooks and Woods, as well as CJ Anderson, who’s has 403 yards rushing and 6 yards per carry in 4 games as a Ram.
I expect both offenses to win in this game. The Rams spent the offseason loading up on defensive playmakers- Talib, Peters and Suh were added, and then Fowler came on board partway through the year. They also have that Aaron Donald guy. I expect one of these guys to come up with that Brandon Graham type play, allowing the Rams to win Super Bowl 53 by one score.
Final Score: Rams 34, Patriots 27
MVP: Jared Goff