Free Super Bowl Picks 2019
I am writing this a couple days after the AFC Championship game ended and the Super Bowl matchup was set. It's way too early to lock in my final Super Bowl pick - though I feel closer to that point right now than I do a lot of years at this point. But most important numbers have been posted already, so it is never too early to look at them and see what stands out. And if we are going to look at the numbers, we might as well make some free Super Bowl picks. That's just how we roll:
1. The Line
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Before championship weekend, the Rams were set as 1.5-point favorites in a theoretical matchup with the Patriots. But as soon as the matchup was set, the line was actually posted with the Patriots favored by 1.5. And that wasn't enough for bettors - that number quickly climbed widely to two, is at 2.5 in most places, and can even be found at three at Bovada . And the movement is no surprise - a very strong majority of bets placed in early action have been on the current favorites. It would seem at this point anyway that the Patriots will remain the favorites up to game time without some major news developments, and it's possible we could see the line climb a little - though the key number of three will serve as a barrier to prevent it from climbing too high.
At this point I would be with the masses - I don't like doing that all the time, but I can't avoid it here. I'd take the best price I can get and take the favorite.
There are lots of different reasons for this pick, with experience in various forms being a big part of it. But beyond that it comes down to what I saw late in the two games on Sunday. Both teams won in overtime, but the Rams seemed to be playing the fourth quarter not to lose. They were slightly less bad than the Saints, and got incredibly lucky with that bad call, so they came out on top. The Patriots, meanwhile, went toe-to-toe with another heavyweight, didn't blink, and just kept swinging. I'd bet on the fighter every time, and we can do it here at a decent price.
2. The total
The total sits widely at 57.5, with 58 available in spots. The highest total we have seen in the Super Bowl is the 57 that the Patriots and Falcons went over in overtime two years ago. That number was at 58.5 at this point that year, so there is no guarantee that this number will be the highest ever.
At this point, the over feels like a sucker bet. The Patriots went under the total 11 of 16 times this season and went under their four highest numbers - all lower than this one. The Rams only went over in eight of 16 regular-season games. These are the second- and fourth-best offenses in the league, but that doesn't mean that both will reach their full potential. I really can't get behind the over here. But the under doesn't offer a lot of value, either. I'll be passing on the total.
3. The MVP
There is an interesting opportunity here if you like the Patriots to win outright. New England is at -145 on the moneyline. But Tom Brady is at +110 to win the MVP. There is obviously a very good chance that Brady will be MVP if the Patriots win. He has been MVP in four of the five wins. The one time he wasn't, the honor went to Deion Branch, his top receiver. He is the driving force here. So, you could easily justify the risk of taking the New England QB instead of betting the moneyline - a better return with not much more risk.
Nine of the last 12 MVP winners have been quarterbacks, so if you don't like the Patriots then you would have to look at Jared Goff. He's the second choice at +225. The Rams are at +125 on the moneyline, so Rams backers could make a similar argument that this is worth a look. Beyond those two, it's tough because there are no standout obvious picks. I'd take a look at Julian Edelman at +2500 or Rob Gronkowski at +4000 given the roles they played down the stretch in the AFC Championship Game. On the Rams side, Brandin Cooks is intriguing at +4000 both because of his big-play potential and because the angle of him having been with the Pats last year could attract voters in a close race.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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