Of the approximately 85% of sports gamblers who have taken the New England Patriots to cover the (-2.5) spread at the Super Bowl this Sunday, surely a large chunk are Boston-grown Pats supporters. Others may be die-hard believers in the New England passing game over any power punches the L.A. Rams can throw. Still others may simply think that there’s no stopping Bill Belichick’s team in consecutive Februaries.
Still another segment of Pats bettors may have been swayed by a striking trend.
As John Ewing of The Action Network points out, Tom Brady and the Patriots are a phenomenal 16-1 in the playoffs against teams they did not meet in the NFL’s regular season. The Rams did not host or visit the Patriots in 2018, putting Los Angeles firmly in the path of whatever silver bullet Brady keeps in stock just for taking on a stranger in the postseason.
Ewing argues that L.A. Rams gamblers have nothing to necessarily fear from the 16-1 trend, since New England was highly favored in a majority of the 17 contests and has not performed substantially better against the point spread when facing an unfamiliar opponent in a given playoff game.
However, no plus-.900 win % over a 17-game sample size is an accident. The Patriots are an extremely well-coached squad under Belichick, and always seem to cook up surprises (small or big) to keep opponents off-balance in the 1st and 2nd quarters of NFL contests.
It’s no wonder that teams who have seen the Pats’ act once already tend to be a little bit more poised when facing the Brady Bunch again in winter.
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