Conference championship Sunday saw upsets in both the NFC and AFC, leaving us with a Super Bowl LIII matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots from Atlanta on Feb. 3.
Was that the greatest conference championship Sunday ever? Both title games went to overtime, the first time that has happened. And for just the fourth time since the merger, both road teams won. So, it’s the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams facing the AFC champion New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. It’s the third time Atlanta hosts the NFL title game but first in that spectacular stadium.
For more on the betting odds for the big game, Sports Interaction has written detailed articles on the Super Bowl LII player prop bets, as well as analysis and predictions for the Super Bowl 53 team prop bets.
Super Bowl LIII Point Spread and Betting Analysis
This is a Super Bowl rematch. The Tom Brady/Bill Belichick dynasty with the Patriots began on Feb. 3, 2002, in Super Bowl XXXVI as Brady, then largely an unknown, led a 20-17 upset of Kurt Warner and the heavily favored St. Louis Rams. This is the ninth Super Bowl trip for Brady and Belichick, which is just absurd, and third straight. Only the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins franchises had reached at least three straight Super Bowls. It’s the first trip for the Rams since that XXXVI loss.
The Patriots and Rams last played late in the 2016 regular season, with New England winning easily 26-10 at home. That Rams team, though, was terrible and still coached by the forgettable Jeff Fisher. QB Jared Goff was an overwhelmed rookie.
New England Patriots
The Patriots and Brady both looked very mortal at times this season, yet a switch appears to have been flipped in these playoffs. New England had no trouble in the Divisional Round in beating the L.A. Chargers, and on Sunday upset the top-seeded Chiefs in Kansas City, 37-31 in overtime. The Patriots won the coin toss in OT and drove right down the field for the TD and victory. Just like they did against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Brady is now 3-0 in overtime in his playoff career. His opponents didn’t touch the ball in any of those wins. Many think the NFL should change that rule.
Rookie Sony Michel came up big again vs. the Chiefs with 113 yards rushing and two scores. He has five rushing TDs in this postseason, the first rookie with that many in a single postseason in league history. Don’t be surprised if this is the final game in the Hall of Fame career of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams will be the home team in the Super Bowl. They are incredibly fortunate to be here as one of the worst no calls in league history on an obvious pass interference benefited the Rams in Sunday’s upset of the Saints. If that’s called, and the league has admitted it should have been, New Orleans almost surely wins with a chip-shot field goal in the final seconds of regulation. Instead, the Rams tied it on a late field goal and won it on Greg Zuerlein’s 57-yard field goal in OT. An interception of Drew Brees set that up – it was Brees’ first career interception in overtime.
The Rams had been down 13-0 after one quarter. They are now an NFL-best 14-3 on the road over the last two seasons including playoffs. New Orleans had been 6-0 all-time in home playoff games with Brees.