Here at SB Nation, we’re big believers in the New England Patriots. All but one of our experts and the OddsShark computer predicted a sixth Super Bowl ring for Tom Brady and another duck boat parade through the tangled streets of Boston.
Those picks were a combination of several factors — New England’s blocking, the Rams’ lack of championship experience, reverse jinxes, the slowly creeping inevitability of Brady dad-dancing amid a cloud of confetti — along with 21 weeks of following each team closely as they took their winding paths to the biggest game of the year.
We’re not the only ones with predictions. Experts across the NFL landscape have made their prognostications in advance of Sunday’s game, and the common theme between all these picks is a strong lean toward the Pats. New England was a heavy favorite for bettors immediately after the AFC title game drew to a close, and that trend has rippled through the media as well.
So who is picking the Pats to add a sixth NFL championship banner to their stadium? And who thinks the Rams will stake their claim as one of the league’s elites?
ESPN went above and beyond, polling 97 employees for a comprehensive list of picks. 59 of those experts picked New England, while 38 rolled with Sean McVay’s Rams. The most common score was a 31-27 outcome, but former quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is predicting an instant classic. His prediction? Patriots 41, Rams 40.
Sports Illustrated turned to 14 writers under its The MMQB masthead for their predictions. 10 leaned toward Brady winning his sixth Super Bowl ring — and nine see him finishing the night with his fifth Super Bowl MVP honor. Sony Michel was the other Patriot to earn an MVP vote.
Eight writers, one prediction: a Patriots Super Bowl win. No one thinks New England will win by more than four points, however.
Robert Mays breaks down every key matchup here ... and sees LA escaping with a three-point win.
CBS also trotted out eight experts for their picks. Everyone but John Breech picked the Pats.
The CBS broadcast team
The team of James Brown, Phil Simms, Bill Cowher, and Boomer Esiason picked the Patriots before kickoff. Only Nate Burleson bet on the underdog.
USA Today asked five writers for their prediction. Only Rams Wire editor Cameron DaSilva backed LA.
SN snuck a prediction at the end of their game preview, suggesting the Pats won’t only win, but they’ll cover, too.
The voice of Jersey posted a clean sweep for the Patriots, 5-0.
Here’s what the President of the United States had to say about Sunday’s matchup during a pregame interview aired on CBS.
Interviewer: “You’re a Patriots fan, we know that. Are you predicting a win at the Super Bowl this year?”
Trump: “They have a very special owner and coach and certainly they have I guess the best quarterback of all time, so I would say they would win. As the expression goes, who knows? I hope it’s a great game.”
interviewer: “You’re still betting on Tom Brady to pull this off?”
“I am. You have the combination of the coach also, who’s the best, and the owner. It’s a great chemistry on that team. A team needs chemistry, and they certainly have it, so I think they’ll do well, but we’ll see what happens.”
I just time traveled into the future Rams win 27 to 20— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) February 3, 2019
Why would Jose lie about something as important as time travel?
Our final tally
Experts (and presidents) picking the Patriots: 105 (68.2%)
Experts (and Bash Brothers) picking the Rams: 49 (31.8%)