Super Bowl 2019: Date, Kickoff Time and Patriots vs. Rams Favorite

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2019

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass during the first half of the AFC Championship NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The New England Patriots are trying to add another ring to their dynasty under head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, and they'll do so as the favored team at Super Bowl 53. 

New England is currently favored by 2.5 points for its Super Bowl 53 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams. 

Both teams qualified for the title clash at Mercedes-Benz Stadium by winning their respective conference championship games on the road.

If the Patriots come out on top Sunday, they'll head back home with their sixth championship in franchise history, while the Rams are in search of their second Super Bowl crown and first since moving to Los Angeles. 

                     

Super Bowl 53 Information

Date: Sunday, February 3

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Kickoff Time: 6:30 p.m. ET 

Favorite (via OddsShark): New England (-2.5) 

                           

It's easy to understand why the Patriots are favored, as they carry a wealth of experience into the Super Bowl. 

The Patriots have appeared in four of the last five championship clashes, and they're making their ninth Super Bowl appearance since Belichick and Brady combined forces. 

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The Super Bowl is one of the most competitive games of the NFL season, with eight of the last 11 title games decided by one possession. 

The only blowout in that sample size was Seattle's 43-8 trouncing over Denver in Super Bowl 48, but other than that, the margin of victory since 2008 has been one or two possessions. 

New England is no stranger to playing in tight Super Bowls, as all eight of its Super Bowl appearances since 2002 have had a margin of victory of eight points or less. 

The Patriots won their first three Super Bowl titles by three points, with the first championship won by Adam Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal against the St. Louis Rams at Super Bowl 36

New England Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) celebrates his 48-yard game-winning kick during Super Bowl XXXVI, a 20-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams on February 3, 2002, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sylvia Allen/Gett
Sylvia Allen/Getty Images

During the 2018 NFL season, the Patriots went 11-7 against the spread, while the Rams were 9-7-2, per OddsShark.

New England's average margin of victory in its 13 regular season and playoff victories stands at 14.5, which suggests a two-possession win and an easy cover if it comes out on top. 

However, in their regular-season contests against postseason qualifiers, the Patriots went 4-0 with an average margin of victory of 7.75, which is still a comfortable average if you plan to bet on the Patriots. 

As for the Rams, they went 4-3 in the regular season against franchises that qualified for the postseason, and in those games, the opponents were separated by an average of 6.85 points

Although only one of those contests was decided by less than 2.5 points, the Rams played some tight games against Seattle and Kansas City that can bolster the argument for the Super Bowl to be decided by a slim margin. 

Among the many factors that will be important in determining Sunday's result is scoring from red-zone opportunitiesor limiting the number of points scored, if you're looking at it from a defensive perspective. 

The Rams were able to hang around in the NFC Championship Game because they forced New Orleans to a pair of first-quarter field goals, while the Patriots weren't as successful stopping Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game, especially in the fourth quarter. 

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

New England carries a 59.6 percent red-zone conversion rate into the Super Bowl, and it's allowed opponents to score a touchdown on 58.7 of their red-zone possessions. 

Los Angeles possesses similar numbers, as it's scored touchdowns on 57.5 percent of its red-zone possessions and has a concession rate of 57.7 percent to opponents in the red zone. 

If one team is able to get a stop in the red zone that forces a field-goal attempt and then drives down the field to score a touchdown, a gap could open up on the scoreboard. 

The same logic can be applied to conversions on third and fourth down that could flip the complexion of the game. 

Given the marginal spread, we suggest that whichever side of the Super Bowl line you end up choosing, you do so with confidence that the team you pick will also hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

                            

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference

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