Los Angeles Rams (13-3) vs. New England Patriots (11-5)
NFL Super Bowl LIII: 02-03-19 at 6:30PM ET (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA)
Line and odds: New England Patriots -2.5 – Over/Under: 58
ESPN NFL Picks New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams
Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots (+400)
Sony Michel is the running back with the most yards (242 yds) rushed in the postseason so his position on top of this list is no surprise. His great form has notably allowed him to score five touchdowns in only two games and break the rookie rushing touchdown record in the playoffs. New England’s style of play alternating between short passes and efficient rushes could allow the first round draft pick to get the first points of Super Bowl LIII, placing his odds at +400.
Todd Gurley II, RB, Los Angeles Rams (+450)
Gurley’s postseason has not been as impressive as his regular season. His incisive rushes still allowed him to score two touchdowns in as many games and post the third best average yards gained among running backs in the playoffs – 6.3 per carry. His talent will undoubtedly show on the big stage and the 10th pick of the 2015 draft will hope to correct his counter-performance (for his standards) against the Saints in the NFC title game. His odds to score the first TD are at +450.
Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams (+700)
Brandin Cooks has been very solid this season, posting an impressive 1,204 yards received, ranking him at 14th in the league in this category. In the all important NFC championship, he received a more than respectable 107 yards on 7 receptions and Jared Goff has in him a very reliable offensive option. Cooks – and Robert Woods who also sees his odds at (+700) – offers a refreshing alternative option if the Rams decide to go long.
Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams (+700)
Woods offers the same type of options as fellow WR Cooks at essentially the same elite level. He received fifteen more yards than his teammate in the league during the regular season, ranking one position higher at 13th in this category. His production is a little lower in the postseason averaging 51 yards per game – compared to 76.2 in the regular season. All in all, Woods and Cooks are examples of why the Rams come in this game as favourites to win: the team is simply stacked with offensive talents and possibilities.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots (+850)
Rob Gronkowski has averaged 52.5 yards per game and scored three touchdowns in the thirteen games of regular season he has played this year. This represents a fall of around 25 yards and five less TDs than last year. Despite these declining numbers, however, the New England juggernaut is still a weapon of choice in Bill Bielichick’s system. If the preferred option of Michel seems to struggle, Brady will probably turn to Gronk with whom he’s already won two Super Bowls, hence his odds at +850.
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots (+900)
This year’s postseason leader in yards received (247 yds) might be a long shot but he’s proven to be extraordinary in the playoffs so far. He has been able to lower the receiving concerns Pats’ fans might have had as Brady has few targets to turn to when passing. His energetic direction changes are a poison for defences and his AFC title game – 96 yards in 7 receptions – is the latest example of this to date. Although “the squirrel” is often used to move up the field, it wouldn’t be too shocking to see him snatch a touchdown on Sunday.
NFL Schedule Los Angeles Rams vs. New England Patriots