2019 Super Bowl odds, line: Rams vs. Patriots picks and optimal predictions from expert who is 20-6 on L.A. games

 cbssports.com  02/02/2019 16:38:41   CBS Sports Staff

The 2019 Super Bowl is finally here. The New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams will battle for the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET. It's a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVI, the first of the Tom Brady era in New England, when the Patriots won on a last-second 48-yard field goal. The Rams were 14-point favorites in that game, one of the largest Super Bowl spreads ever, but the Patriots are favored by 2.5 on Sunday, up one from the opener. The latest Patriots vs. Rams odds also list an Over-Under of 56.5, the third-highest Super Bowl total ever. With the biggest age difference in Super Bowl history and each team's season on the line, make sure to see the latest Rams vs. Patriots picks and 2019 Super Bowl predictions from SportsLine's top NFL handicapper, R.J. White.

White again emerged as the top pro football handicapper on SportsLine this season, hitting an astounding 62 percent of his spread selections and netting $100 bettors a profit of nearly $2,000. The stats guru also cashed big last season in the world's most prestigious sports handicapping tournament, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest, where he has driven deep two of the past four years. 

White is on a rock-solid 56-36 run on NFL picks against the spread. What's more, White has a strong record of success in handicapping these teams, the Rams in particular. He boasts an impressive 20-6 spread mark in games involving the Rams over the past two seasons.

Two weeks ago, White advised SportsLine members that Los Angeles (-7) would have success running the ball against Dallas, which would be the difference-maker. The Rams piled up 273 ground yards in their eight-point victory. Anyone who followed White's advice booked another win. 

Now, White has analyzed Rams vs. Patriots in Super Bowl LIII (stream live on fuboTV) from every angle and released a confident point-spread pick that is available at SportsLine. 

White knows the Patriots have gotten it done on defense when it has mattered the most. On the surface, the Patriots weren't dominant on that side of the ball during the regular season, giving up 359.1 yards per game, ranking 21st in the NFL. Their 246.4 passing yards per game allowed ranked just 22nd in the league.

But many of those numbers can be attributed to opponents playing from behind. And in the numbers that really count, New England was impressive, ranking seventh in scoring defense (20.3). In the postseason, the Patriots held the Chargers to just 14 points through three quarters before giving up garbage-time points, and then held the Chiefs to 31, well under their season average. While Tom Brady and New England's offense will grab many of the headlines, New England's defense could be the key in getting a cover in Super Bowl 53.

But just because New England features an explosive offense doesn't mean it will cover the Patriots vs. Rams spread.

White also knows that after going from 4-12 to 11-5 in their first season under Sean McVay, the Rams have continued their progression as one of the most exciting young offenses in the NFL. Quarterback Jared Goff set career-highs in completion percentage, yards, touchdowns, yards per attempt, QB rating, and QBR. Meanwhile, wideouts Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods each eclipsed 1,200 yards receiving and Todd Gurley was named first-team All-Pro at running back. 

Combine that with the late emergence of C.J. Anderson, who has rushed for 299 yards while Gurley was out with a knee injury and another 167 since his return, and the Rams have a plethora of ways to attack a Patriots team that ranked 21st in total defense. McVay's system will force the Patriots to account for every player in the 2019 Super Bowl; that versatility is a huge asset for the Rams on Sunday.

We can tell you White is leaning toward the over, but his much stronger play is on the side. He has scoured this matchup and unearthed the critical X-factor that makes one side a must-back. He's only sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.

Who wins Rams vs. Patriots? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the 2019 Super Bowl spread you should jump on, all from the top NFL expert who's hitting 77 percent of his NFL picks on Rams games, and find out.

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