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RAMS, PATRIOTS HEADING TO THE SUPER BOWL

Jan 28, 2002 6:06 AM

Las Vegas Sports Consultants have opened the St. Louis Rams as a 16-point favorite for next Sunday's Super Bowl against the surprising New England Patriots.

The Rams earned a trip to New Orleans with a hard-fought 29-24 victory over Philadelphia. The Eagles were able to cover the 11-point spread.

The Patriots continued to defy the experts with a 24-17 victory over the Steelers in Pittsburgh. New England was a 10-point underdog in most books.

The 16-point opening odds is the third highest in Super Bowl history and the most since San Francisco was an 18-point favorite over the San Diego Chargers in 1995. The 49ers won that game, 49-26.

The over/under for Super Bowl XXVI is 53 points.