With the NFL’s four highest-scoring teams squaring off on Championship Sunday, every possible Super Bowl LIII matchup is compelling.
Whether it’s Rams-Chiefs, Chiefs-Saints, Saints-Patriots or Patriots-Rams, Las Vegas bookmakers are expecting plenty of points and Nevada’s fourth straight record Super Bowl betting handle.
“Those four are gold,” William Hill sports book director Nick Bogdanovich said. “It’s like choosing between a Rolls-Royce, a Bentley and a Mercedes. It doesn’t matter what you’re getting. It will be something good.
“It’ll be a record (handle), there’s no question about it. You can go over (last year’s total of $158.6 million) for whatever you want to win.”
The most appealing matchup for the books would be a rematch of the Rams’ 54-51 regular-season win over the Chiefs that was the third highest-scoring game in NFL history.
“Can it be a thriller like it was, with 105 points?” Bogdanovich said. “Highly doubtful. But that’s the Super Bowl I’m rooting for.”
The books have lines up on each potential Super Bowl matchup. Rams-Chiefs is a pick’em at the Westgate sports book and has the highest total at 63.
“We had a sharp guy bet under 63 on the look-ahead number,” Westgate sports book director John Murray said. “If it is the actual Super Bowl, by kickoff the total will be even higher. It will be in the mid-60s, and people are going to bet it over.
“And if it’s 54-51 again, we’re not going to do well on props.”
Each book has started working on the ever-popular Super Bowl props, which will be posted at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Westgate.
“The four teams that are left will really create a propatopia. The offensive props will be so much fun for this game,” Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito said. “The conditions on the turf in the dome (at Mercedes-Benz Stadium) in Georgia will be ideal from a prop standpoint and in-play (betting) and the game itself.”
Here’s a quick glance at the other three possible Super Bowl matchups:
Saints vs. Patriots
Line/Total: Saints -1½, 56½
Storyline: Tom Brady (41) vs. Drew Brees (40) in a battle of 40-something Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.
“If it’s the Saints and Patriots, we’re not going to be upset,” Esposito said. “Brees and Brady are two Hall of Famers and arguably two of the greatest quarterbacks ever.
“Brees can really cement his legacy with another Super Bowl win. It’s Brady and Belichick, love them or hate them. Part of what generates so much handle is people love to back them in the big game or go against them in the big game.”
This game has the lowest total of the four possible matchups.
Rams vs. Patriots
Line/Total: Pick, 57½
Storyline: Rematch of New England’s 20-17 win over the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.
“Tom Brady’s first ring was against Kurt Warner and the Rams, and could this possibly be his last one?” Esposito said.
The game also would feature an intriguing coaching showdown between young innovator Sean McVay and old master Bill Belichick.
“I think the Patriots would go off favored coming off a win at Kansas City,” Murray said.
Saints vs. Chiefs
Line/Total: Saints -1½, 59½
Storyline: Andy Reid still searching for his first Super Bowl title in 20-year NFL coaching career, and Brees vs. Patrick Mahomes.
“You’ve got two veteran coaches in Sean Payton and Andy Reid, and Reid’s taking his second team to a Super Bowl and still doesn’t have a ring,” Esposito said. “The big matchup there is the young quarterback in Mahomes against Brees. It looks like Mahomes will win the MVP for the regular season. Can Brees win the MVP in the Super Bowl?”
Possible Super Bowl lines
Posted at Westgate sports book
Rams Pick 63 Chiefs
Saints 1½ 56½ Patriots
Rams Pick 57½ Patriots
Saints 1½ 59½ Chiefs
Super Bowl LIII exacta
Posted at William Hill sports book
Chiefs over Saints +350
Saints over Chiefs +350
Chiefs over Rams +550
Saints over Patriots +550
Patriots over Saints 6-1
Rams over Chiefs 7-1
Patriots over Rams 9-1
Rams over Patriots 10-1