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Is Cooks the Final Piece to Rams Super Bowl 53 Run?

Brandin Cooks carrying a football
Brandin Cooks is set to suit up for his third different team in as many years, as the wide receiver has been traded to the LA Rams. (Photo by Icon Sportswire)
  • The Rams have acquired Brandin Cooks from the Patriots
  • LA sends their first-round pick (23rd overall) to New England
  • Are the Rams being viewed as NFC favorites by betting sites?

Just in case it wasn’t already clear, the Los Angeles Rams have pushed every last chip from their stack into the Super Bowl 53 pot. After bolstering their defense with the additions of Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, and Ndamukong Suh, the Rams made another big splash yesterday when they acquired Brandin Cooks from the New England Patriots for the 23rd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Cooks fills the vacant deep-threat role in Sean McVay’s offense, which was previously served by Sammy Watkins – now a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. Watkins didn’t produce to the level LA was hoping for in his lone season with the team (just 593 receiving yards in 2017), but his team-high eight touchdown receptions did help the Rams rank first in scoring last season. McVay will be hoping Cooks can replicate his previous three 1,000-yard seasons in LA.

Jared Goff’s weapons now include Cooks (1,082 receiving yards in 2017), Robert Woods (781 receiving yards in 12 games last year), Cooper Kupp (869 receiving yards), and Todd Gurley (league-leading 2,093 yards from scrimmage and 19 TDs). In order for the Rams offense to stay as lethal, they will need either 6’5″ Tyler Higbee or 6’3″ Gerald Everett to emerge as a redzone threat.

Here’s how we expect Cooks to fit into the offense:

Prop Total
Over/Under receiving yards for Cooks in 2018 1150.5
Over/Under receiving touchdowns for Cooks in 2018 7.5
Over/Under rushing yards for Cooks in 2018 150.5
Over/Under plays longer than 40 yards for Cooks in 2018 8.5

The Rams have already seen their odds to win Super Bowl 53 get dramatically shorter after each move they have made.

And you can now find them as short as +800 at BetOnline, which puts them behind only the New England Patriots, surpassing the Philadelphia Eagles as NFC favorites on that site. Here’s BetOnline’s top five contenders for Super Bowl 53:

Team Odds to win Super Bowl 53
New England Patriots +550
Los Angeles Rams +800
Philadelphia Eagles +900
Minnesota Vikings +1000
Green Bay Packers +1200

One thing that stands out here is that four of the top six are NFC teams – Pittsburgh is tied with GB at +1200. The conference is going to be extremely competitive again, and could be won by at least six different teams.

On March 15, I recommended wagering both the Rams and New Orleans Saints in the NFC. With the recent moves, there’s not as much value with betting LA to win Super Bowl 53, but the Saints’ value has increased, as you can get New Orleans at +2200 at BetOnline.

There’s plenty of value in the AFC, as well, once you move beyond the Patriots and Steelers. You can have any of the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers, or Oakland Raiders at +2500. Personally, I’m loving the Chargers at that price. Not only do they have the defense to win a championship, but they have the best (most proven) QB of the bunch, as well.

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After receiving a bachelor's degree in communications, Matt spent two years with Rogers TV as a host, producer, and play-by-play commentator. He has been with us since 2016 and serves as SBD's editor-in-chief and sports betting expert.