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Early surge behind Patriots boosts them into favorites role for Super Bowl LIII

For the first time in more than a decade, the New England Patriots opened as an underdog for a Super Bowl.

But an immediate, decisive flow of early money behind Tom Brady’s team quickly pushed New England into an early favorite role against the Los Angeles Rams in the big game Feb. 3 at Atlanta.

The Rams were an early one-point pick immediately after the Patriots dispatched Kansas City in the AFC Championship Sunday night. But the line quickly moved to the Patriots at -1.5 at most sportsbooks, including the Westgate Sports Book. And the line has since fluctuated most places as New England has remained steady as a one- or two-point pick early Monday.

The Patriots have been favorites in six of their eight previous Super Bowl appearances. They were a pick ’em choice in Super Bowl 49 against Seattle four years ago. The only time New England was an underdog was as a 14-point underdog in Super Bowl 36 in 2002 in the only time they previously played the Rams for a championship.

New England claimed a 20-17 triumph in that game, starting a run of nine Super Bowl appearance and five Super Bowl appearances for Brady and Coach Bill Belichick over the last 17 years.

The over/under total for combined points scored in the upcoming Super Bowl is at 58, which would be the highest number in Super Bowl history. The previous top was the Patriots-Falcons total of 57 in Super Bowl two seasons ago.

It figures to be an interesting upcoming two weeks between the NFL’s most enduring dynasty and the NFL’s youngest coach in the Rams’ Sean McVay.

Tim Griffin

Tim Griffin

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