By Ben Sullivan

After New England beat the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime to conclude a thrilling AFC championship game, Vegas sportsbooks opened the Patriots as 1-point underdogs against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 53.

That didn’t last long.

Right after Bovada set the line, Patriots money started to flood in. As of Monday morning, the Pats’ +1 number had moved all the way to -2. Less than a day later, the Patriots’ spread reached the key number of -3 where it’s stayed since. The total was sitting at 57.5 as of this writing. Even though we’re a little under two weeks out from the big game in Atlanta, it’s safe to say oddsmakers are going to be Rams fans.

With both conference championship games going to overtime, the semifinals more than made up for a lackluster divisional round. New England’s 37-31 triumph over Kansas City was wild from start to finish, and now the Pats are heading back to the Super Bowl for the ninth time in the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era. The Patriots opened the season with +750 odds to win Super Bowl 53, and that number climbed as high as +800 prior to Week 16.

The Rams booked their ticket to Atlanta thanks to a 57-yard overtime field goal by Greg Zuerlein to top the New Orleans Saints 26-23 in heartbreaking fashion. L.A. got a little help from the officials with 1:49 remaining in the fourth quarter, as Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman got away with a blatant missed defensive pass interference call on Saints wide receiver Tommylee Lewis.

Saints head coach Sean Payton told reporters he spoke to the NFL’s head of officials about the play and was told it was a “blown call.” Regardless, the Rams are set for a Super Bowl 36 rematch against New England, 17 years after the Pats beat them 20-17 in the first championship of the Brady/Belichick era.

The Rams, who opened the campaign with a +1200 price to win Super Bowl 53, have seen that number steadily decline since Week 1.

The Rams seeing their role reverse from favorites to underdogs is not necessarily a bad thing, as dogs have won six of the last seven Super Bowls. In that span, underdogs are 6-1 ATS.

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