Feb 2, 2002 9:42 PM

A consensus of Las Vegas oddsmakers polled by ESPN radio pick the New England Patriots to cover the 14-point spread, but lose Super Bowl XXXVI to the St. Louis Rams.

The results are opposite GT's Bookie Battle consensus, which revealed 39 of 61 (64 peercent) Las Vegas bookmakers picked the Rams to cover the pointspread. Bookies also backed the over by a margin of 45 to 16.

ABC and ESPN commentator Brent Musburger, who was in Las Vegas this week, said the majority of over 60 sports books contacted in the poll said that the Rams would not cover the 14-point spread.

The consensus also called for the game to go over the 53 1/2-point combined total. Most had St. Louis winning the contest outright.

Musburger predicted on ESPN radio Saturday morning that the Rams would win in a high-scoring struggle, 34-30.

The Super Bowl takes place Sunday at 3 p.m. PT.