Patriots

New Jersey likes Patriots' chances to win Super Bowl LIII

New Jersey likes Patriots' chances to win Super Bowl LIII

New Jersey is officially open for sports betting, the third American state to do so, and if you're wondering how the oddsmakers are sizing up the New England Patriots, there's not much drama.

Taking in the scene at Monmouth Park on the first day of legalized sports betting in New Jersey, Sports Illustrated's Conor Orr relayed these odds for winning Super Bowl LIII next February in Atlanta.

Not surprisingly, the defending AFC champs lead the way at 6 to 1. But perhaps most surprisingly, the Browns don't have the worst odds in the NFL. Yes, despite an embarrassing 1-31 record over the last two seasons, the Browns currently have better odds than the Cardinals, Redskins, Dolphins and even the Bills, who are coming off their first postseason appearance in 18 years.

NFL rumors: Dolphins, Patriots' Brian Flores to meet again Wednesday night

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USA TODAY Sports Images

NFL rumors: Dolphins, Patriots' Brian Flores to meet again Wednesday night

The Miami Dolphins are hoping to make New England Patriots linebacker coach Brian Flores the franchise's next head coach, and NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reports the two sides will meet for the second time Wednesday night.

Here's the latest on the situation:

Flores has done a great job in New England and is in his first season as the defensive play caller. He reportedly impressed the Dolphins during his first interview, but also interviewed with a few other NFL teams. The Dolphins cannot officially hire Flores until after the Patriots play Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams on Feb. 3.

The Dolphins fired head coach Adam Gase on Dec. 31 after three seasons in charge. He went 23-25 with one playoff appearance.

Rapoport reported earlier Wednesday that former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano is "likely" to join the Patriots' defensive coaching staff.

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Trends favor Patriots over Rams in early Super Bowl odds

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AP Photo

Trends favor Patriots over Rams in early Super Bowl odds

The New England Patriots will be appearing in their third consecutive Super Bowl on February 3 in Atlanta, and bettors apparently believe that experience matters a lot in making them consensus 2.5-point favorites against the Los Angeles Rams at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Los Angeles is a +130 underdog on the moneyline of the Super Bowl odds.

Many books had opened the Rams as one-point favorites before early betting action turned the tide and moved them to underdogs for only the second time this season. The first time was in the NFC Championship Game on January 20.

That said, there are significant betting trends supporting New England in this role despite the fact the team fell short in a 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles as a 4.5-point favorite in the big game a year ago.

The Patriots are 37-9 straight up in their last 46 games when closing as favorites. On the flip side, Los Angeles is just 3-12 SU and 3-11-1 against the spread in its last 15 games as an underdog, including that recent 26-23 overtime win over the New Orleans Saints to advance to the Super Bowl.

New England is also coming off an OT victory, upsetting the Kansas City Chiefs 37-31 as a three-point underdog in the AFC Championship Game. The Patriots jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and then outlasted the Chiefs after a frantic fourth quarter that produced 38 points. 

Led by Super Bowl MVP odds favorite Tom Brady, they will be looking to tie a record with a sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy if he and his teammates can solve a strong Rams defense.

While Kansas City ranked near the bottom of most defensive categories during the regular season, Los Angeles is much better and has been even healthier in the playoffs. The addition of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh alongside All-Pro Aaron Donald could pose problems for Brady, putting pressure on New England's offensive line to perform well again.

The Patriots have not allowed a sack in their first two postseason games en route to the Super Bowl.

New England has won the past five meetings SU dating back to the last playoff matchup 17 years ago in Super Bowl 36, going 4-1 ATS during that stretch at online sports betting sites. The Rams are returning to the Super Bowl for the first time since then, and the Patriots have gone 4-3 in their last seven appearances between the 2003 and 2017 seasons, including three in the previous four years.

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