Everything you need to know heading into Super Bowl LIII

David Eulitt/Getty ImagesThe New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams face off on Sunday in the biggest game of the year for the right to call themselves champions.
  • The Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots will meet in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday.
  • The game is set to kick off on CBS at 6:30 p.m. EST, with the Patriots currently listed as slight favourites to lift the Lombardi Trophy.
  • While the Patriots have advantages in a few key spots, the Rams should have enough talent to keep things close.
  • You can check out our full preview of the game below and follow all of our coverage of Super Bowl LIII here.

This Sunday the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots will meet in Super Bowl LIII, playing for the right to lift the Lombardi Trophy and call themselves champions.

Both teams are stocked with talented players on both sides of the ball. For the Patriots, it was a bumpier year than usual, but the outcome was the same, riding Tom Brady and the most reliable roster of role players in the NFL to their third straight Super Bowl. For the Rams, an offseason buying spree and a wunderkind head coach helped turn-around the perennial also-rans into Super Bowl contenders in just two years.

There’s no telling what will happen on Sunday, but for casual fans in need of a primer, there’s a few quick facts and basic storylines worth knowing before the game kicks off.


The basics:

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Who: Los Angeles Rams vs. New England Patriots

What:
Super Bowl LIII

When: 6:30 p.m. ET, Sunday, February 3

Where:Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta, Georgia


Where to watch?

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Super Bowl LIII will be broadcast on CBS, with Jim Nantz on play-by-play and Tony Romo providing colour commentary.

Online streams will be available to US audiences for free on CBSSports.com, the CBS Sports app, and CBS All Access.

You can also stream the game through the CBS All Access app for iPhones, iPads, Android, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, PS4, Roku, and Xbox. You can also watch through the Yahoo Sports app or on YouTube TV.

Cord cutters can learn more about where to watch the big game here.


Which team is favoured to win?

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Patriots are currently listed as 2.5-point favourites over the Rams.

For people who bet on the Patriots, New England will need to win by three or more points to cash their ticket, while Rams bettors can earn their winnings with a Rams win or a loss by two or less.

The over/under total on this game is currently listed at 56.5 points, meaning Las Vegas is expecting a shootout between the two teams.

As things stand, nearly 80% of the money is on the Patriots, meaning the sportsbooks will be rooting for the Rams.


Who’s hurt?

John McCoy/Getty Images

Both teams enter the Super Bowl relatively healthy, with no new major injuries to report.

Rams running back Todd Gurley only had four carries in the NFC Championship game but denied that the lack of action was related to his health, and is expected to be fully available on Sunday. Kicker Greg Zuerlein was listed as limited, but it appears the move is more out of precaution than anything significant.

For the Patriots, defensive tackle Malcom Brown was limited in practice, with the rest of the team listed as full participants.


How do the quarterbacks stack up?

David Eulitt/Getty Images

Tom Brady is the greatest of all time, and on Sunday has yet another opportunity to add to his unmatched resume. Even at 41, he’s rightfully one of the most feared quarterbacks in the NFL and is one of the few people who can walk into the Super Bowl and play like it is just another game.

Jared Goff is a fine, young quarterback, and has played the best football of his career in some of the biggest moments of the season for the Rams. That includes 465 yards and five touchdowns in a win against the Vikings, 391 yards and three touchdowns in a nail-biter in New Orleans, 413 yards and five total touchdowns in a win over the Chiefs.

If that Goff shows up on Sunday, the Rams will have a shot. But there’s little doubt that Brady and the Patriots have the advantage at the position.


Who has the coaching advantage?

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

No head coach in recent memory has earned as many headlines as Rams wunderkind Sean McVay, and rightfully so. The 33-year-old has proven in just two years that he’s more than capable of running an NFL franchise and managing the wide range of tasks that come with leading a team.

Still, there’s never been a coach better than Bill Belichick. Every year, no matter what injuries or roster upheaval or mid-season chaos might befall his team, Belichick seems to find a way to navigate the Patriots to at least the AFC Championship, and more often than not, the Super Bowl.

McVay will certainly come prepared, but Belichick has been here before and knows what it takes to win a Super Bowl.


Who is the potential X-factor?

Rob Leiter via Getty Images

Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh could potentially swing the game for the Rams.

The best duo of interior rushers in the NFL, Donald and Suh force opposing blockers into difficult decisions every snap.

Tom Brady is near-impossible to stop when he has time to set his feet, survey the field, and find the open man, but if Suh and Donald can force him outside the pocket and keep him relatively uncomfortable throughout the game, the Rams will have a much better shot at keeping pace.


Who has the edge?

Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

The Rams should have a chance in this game – the Patriots have played in eight Super Bowls, and never had one decided by more than one score.

But with their dynasty now lasting two decades, Belichick and Brady are a tough duo to doubt.

There’s a reason bettors immediately backed the Patriots when the line on this game was set in Las Vegas.


One Rams fact of note:

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Sean McVay has the chance to become the youngest head coach ever to win a Super Bowl.

McVay turned 33 on January 24, and is in just his second season as head coach of the Rams.

Mike Tomlin currently holds the record after winning the Super Bowl with the Steelers at 36 years old, also in his second season leading the team.


One Patriots fact of note:

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Tom Brady already has more Super Bowl wins than any other quarterback in NFL history.

On Sunday, he will play in his ninth Super Bowl, giving him more Super Bowl appearances than any other franchise in the league.

The Patriots dynasty is unlike anything we’ve seen in sports before.


More Super Bowl LIII coverage:

David Eulitt/Getty Images

The 31 best prop bets you can make on the greatest gambling day of the year – Super Bowl Sunday

From Trump tweets to a halftime Spongebob tribute – the 23 weirdest prop bets you can make on Super Bowl LIII

The 28 people who will determine the outcome of Super Bowl LIII, ranked

Food and concession prices at the Super Bowl will be ridiculously cheap compared to previous years

The game is the least important part of the Super Bowl for viewers

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