For the first time in over a decade, the Patriots opened as an underdog in the Super Bowl, with Las Vegas installing the NFC champion Rams as a one-point favorite over Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in Super Bowl LIII, which you can stream right here on CBSSports.com.
You read that right: the Patriots opened as underdogs.
This little run as a dog didn’t last long: the line quickly moved to Patriots -1.5 at many sportsbooks, including the Westgate SuperBook. The line fluctuated back and forth between Patriots -1.5 and Patriots -2 in the initial minutes following New England’s win over the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
If the Patriots close as underdogs, it would be the first time they’ve held that distinction in a Super Bowl since the last time they played the Rams, way back in 2001 at the very beginning of their dynastic run of success in the NFL. That was Tom Brady’s first year as a starter, when the Patriots to win Belichick and Brady’s first Super Bowl.
The over/under is a bit shocking as well: it’s set at 58, which would be historically high. The Patriots-Falcons matchup several years ago closed at 57 points. The next closest over/under was 56.5, which was when the Colts and Saints met in the Super Bowl following the 2009 season.
Previous Patriots lines
The Patriots have appeared in a whopping eight Super Bowls under Bill Belichick prior to this matchup against the Rams, winning five of them and losing a pair to the Giants (as any Patriots fan will remind you) and one to the Eagles last year. This is the Patriots ninth Super Bowl appearance under Belichick and Brady. Say that out loud and just let it roll around for a little while.
Let’s look at the lines for the other games:
Patriots (-4.5) vs. Eagles: The Pats were big favorites against Nick Foles, which, well, we learned is a mistake. Never bet against Nick Foles. The Eagles won outright in a wild game.
Patriots (-3) vs. Falcons: One of the greatest comeback games in NFL history, the Patriots were down 28-3 and stormed back to not only win but cover the spread.
Patriots (-3) vs. Giants: Part deux.
Patriots (-12.5) vs. Giants: The original, modern David-Goliath situation, with the Giants taking down the undefeated Patriots team.
Patriots (-7) vs. Eagles: Belichick vs. Andy Reid, a game that featured the Eagles storming back late and covering despite a dominant performance by the Patriots.
Patriots (-7) vs. Panthers: A slow-starting game that ended up being a wild matchup between the Pats and the Panthers that had a ton of swings late.
Patriots (+14) vs. Rams: The Greatest Show on Turf looked like a dynasty in the making and the Patriots knocked them off to start their own party.