Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, February 4, 2019 at 12:00 AM
SUPER BOWL LIII - PATRIOTS KO RAMS 13-3 IN DEFENSIVE DOGFIGHT AS N'ENGLAND ROLLS TO A SIXTH TITLE ... HURLEY CONTINUES BIG GAME WIN STREAK, TABS TE UNDER!
A QUICK GLANCE AT 2019 NFL FAVORITES FOR THE LOMBARDI TROPHY ...
COLLEGE ROUND-BALL NEWS / NOTES
Just call it the Joy of Six ... As in a record-tying six Super Bowl trophies for the inimitable and peerless New England Patriots.
Sure, the Pats didn't exactly light up the scoreboard as they did in previous playoff wins this year against the Los Angeles Chargers (a 41-28 win/cover) and the Kansas City Chiefs (a dramatic 37-31 overtime win as 3.5-point underdogs) - they had one snap in the red zone and scored a touchdown on that one single, solitary snap - but that was one masterful defensive showing against an oft-clueless Rams QB Jared Goff who was not exactly helped by rotten field position right throughout Super Bowl 53.
The proverbial bottom line is this was a 3-3 game with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game when Patriots' QB Tom Brady orchestrated an uber-efficient 5-play / 69-yard touchdown and that was the diff: Brady to TE Rob Gronkowski completion for 18 yards; Brady to MVP wide receiver Julian Edelman for 13 yards; Brady to RB Rex Burkhead for 7 yards; Brady to Gronkowski for 29 yards (the sweetest pass in the game); and then a two-yard touchdown run by RB Sony Michel.
It was Brady (262 yards passing with 0 TDs / 1 INT) at his best on a night when he wasn't always so good - but it was Goff throwing too late for back-in-the-end-zone WR Brandin Cooks and later there was Cooks playing dropsy with a beautiful Goff aerial that should have knotted the game at 10 apiece. Instead, the 27-yard spiral was incomplete and the pick by Pats' CB Stephon Gilmore invariably made it game/set/match.
You may have known that New England entered SB 53 at 5-3 SU (straight-up) but just 3-5 ATS (against the spread) in prior Super Bowls under head coach Bill Belichick and the aforementioned Brady but can we remind y'all that the Patriots have sported winning / or at least .500 spread seasons for the last dozen years in a row now.
We'll dig deeper into Super Bowl LIII in just a moment but first this quick-hitter reminder ...
Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers beat the Las Vegas and offshore books throughout the NFL Playoffs / Super Bowl LIII and so it's time to move on to the hardwood -- so cash in big with NBA and College Basketball Winners starting tonight here online or 1-800-323-4453. Keep rollin' in the profits with Jim Hurley and make sure you're getting all the b-ball winners this month of February as we say farewell to another great Football Season!
SUPER BOWL LIII
NEW ENGLAND 13, LOS ANGELES RAMS 3 - Just consider that last year there were 74 points scored in Philadelphia's epic Super Bowl victory against the then 4.5-point favored Patriots ... yes, one of the easiest "overs" ever ... and New England's 33 points were not enough to get mission accomplished. This year, one touchdown and a pair of PK Stephen Gostkowski FGs were enough to slam the lid on the franchise's sixth Super Bowl crown, thus tying the Pats with the Pittsburgh Steelers who have not won a Super Bowl since 2008.
Yes, maybe the easiest "under" winner in creation, and Jim Hurley had it!.
The Pats covered their final four games this year including these three post-season tilts and - believe it or not - New England now owns a ridiculous 10-3 ATS mark in post-season games since a non-cover AFC Divisional playoff win against Baltimore back in 2014 (that's a .769 winning rate for these 13 games) and overall Belichick is 197-138-9 ATS all-time as the Pats' coach ... a wow-like .588 winning rate.
Hats off to a New England secondary that deserves an "A+" grade, an offensive line that deserves an "A" and then there was Edelman (10 catches for 141 yards) who wound up an easy MVP choice.
Goff was terrible, RB Todd Gurley (10 carries for 35 yards) invisible again and the Rams' O-line just didn't grant Goff enough time to get comfy. Maybe next year.
2019 NFL ODDS TO WIN IT ALL
Guess the oddsmakers out there just never learn! The early-bird Odds to Win it All for the 2019 NFL Season are out and the now-defending champion New England Patriots are listed at 10-to-1 - so that means the Kansas City Chiefs (7-to-1), the Los Angeles Rams (8-to-1) and New Orleans Saints (also 8-to-1) are all shorter-priced favs to snag Super Bowl 54.
Okay, so the Pats did open this year at 6-to-1 - the shortest-priced team out there at season's start - so the Las Vegas folks did "get it right" this year but guess there's some doubting of Belichick/Brady next year and we say proceed at your own risk. Right? If you're looking for a dark horse team to win the next Super Bowl, we say consider a pair of AFC South squads - the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts are 25-to-1 each - as long as their QBs stay in one piece.
COLLEGE ROUND-BALL NOTEBOOK
Everyone's quick to be handing out their #1 NCAA Tournament seeds these days - Duke and Virginia appear lead-pipe cinches but there is still a month remaining in the regular season / mini-tournaments - but better not sleep on the two teams that currently "sandwich" #2 Duke and #3 Virginia in the current Associated Press poll.
Note that #1 Tennessee averages nearly 87 ppg and that ranks fifth-best among all Division I teams while #4 Gonzaga ranks first among all D-1 teams in scoring offense at 91.2 ppg - so will high-powered offenses from outside the mighty (but slightly overrated) ACC get the brass ring this year or should we once again doubt the March coaching acumen of Tennessee's Rick Barnes and Gonzaga's Mark Few.
Hate to spread the word but we'd take 50 other major-college coaches to win a big game in March before we selected either Barnes or Few. While we're at it, right this moment our Coach of the Year is Virginia Tech's Buzz Williams ... got a problem with that?
NOTE: Catch our College Hoop updates plus lots more in the next edition of Jim Sez.