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Patriots Lead Rams on Early Super Bowl Odds

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The New England Patriots will be searching for wins in consecutive contests away from the comfortable confines of Gillette Stadium for the first time since October when they take on the Los Angeles Rams in their third straight Super Sunday appearance as 3-point favorites on the Super Bowl odds.

New England put the brakes on a two-game straight-up slide on the road with last weekend’s 37-31 win over Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game, which also marked the team’s first road victory in the playoffs in four outings going into next weekend’s game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

That bodes well for the Patriots, who struggled in away contests during the 2018 NFL regular season, going 3-5 SU on the road after entering the season with outright wins in 14 of their previous 15 such outings.

Point production emerged as a real issue for New England in regular season road contests, with the team scoring over 20 points on just four occasions. The Patriots’ shaky performance directly impacted their position on the Super Bowl betting odds.

Following last season’s stunning 41-33 loss to Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles, New England opened the current campaign as strong +550 chalk on the NFL betting futures. But a shaky 1-2 SU start, which included outright road losses in Detroit and Jacksonville, quickly toppled the Patriots from their Super Bowl betting perch, while a 2-3 SU slide starting in mid-November left many bettors wondering if this was the end of the Patriots’ dynasty.

However, as opponents and bettors alike have learned, counting out New England is risky business. The Patriots have played some of their best football of the season during a 4-0 SU and against the spread run, outscoring opponents by a lopsided 140-71 margin to earn an unprecedented 11th trip to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl Betting Underdog Rams Back in Title Game

Conversely, the Rams look to complete the job of erasing a dismal playoff narrative in their first trip to the Super Bowl since 2002.

Los Angeles ended a 12-year playoff drought last season by winning 11 games and claiming its first NFC West title since 2003. The Rams effectively built on last year’s resurgence by starting the 2018 campaign on an eight-game SU win streak, which established them as favorites on the Super Bowl lines with odds as short as +275 in early November.

High expectations and stiff competition left the Rams facing a tough road in the second half of the schedule, both on the gridiron and on the NFL odds. A 45-35 loss in New Orleans in Week 9, followed by shaky offensive performances in consecutive losses to Chicago and Philadelphia, left some observers wondering whether the Rams could compete against the NFL’s elite.

The Rams also paid out against the spread in just four of their final 13 regular-season contests, raising further concerns as to how deserving the team was of their generous odds. Los Angeles has since silenced those concerns with four straight SU and ATS victories, but will have a mountain to climb in their bid to top the battle-ready Patriots for the first time in five meetings between these two teams since 2001.

*Odds as of January 22, 2019

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