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Super Bowl viewing guide: What to watch for

Posted: 8:05 PM, Feb 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-01 20:05:58-05

Pregame fun

During the nearly six hours of pregame coverage before Sunday’s Super Bowl, CBS News’ Margaret Brennan will sit down with President Donald Trump for a rare interview for a non-Fox station. Trump has shied away from doing interviews not on Fox networks since a 2017 interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt. During Trump’s interview with Holt, he conceded that the Russia collusion probe was on his mind when he fired FBI Director James Comey.

Shortly before kickoff, Gladys Knight will perform the national anthem.

Betting on the Super Bowl

The New England Patriots are 2.5-point favorites over the Rams as of Friday. The betting line has fluctuated at times, as the Rams opened as 1-point favorites over the Patriots.

There are other ways to bet on Sunday’s big game if you are looking to gamble. According to Odds Shark, you can bet on whether Knight will keep her national anthem performance to one minute, 47 seconds; you could bet on whether any players take a knee during the national anthem; or whether Christina Aguilera shows up during the Halftime Show.

The teams

The New England Patriots enter as slight favorites. With Tom Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as head coach, the Patriots have been the NFL’s dynasty of the 21st century. This year’s Super Bowl marks the ninth time since 2002 the Patriots are in the Super Bowl. In that span, New England has won five Super Bowls.

New England went 11-5 this year, and despite its dynasty status, had to fight with a younger Kansas City Chiefs squad that forced overtime in the AFC title game two weeks ago.

Despite being a veteran squad, the Patriots arguably got their biggest spark this year from rookie running back Sony Michel who helped New England to the fifth-best rushing offense in the league.

The Los Angeles Rams are just two years removed from a 4-12 season. In just their third season in Los Angeles, the Rams have quickly become a title contender. Young offensive mastermind Sean McVay has created an offense that is one of the league’s most dynamic. While Jared Goff has quickly become one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks in just his third year in the league, running back Todd Gurley has kept NFL defenses guessing all year long. Gurley was the third-leading rusher in the NFL in 2018.

Gurley was limited in the NFC title game with a knee injury. McVay said Gurley was 100 percent.

In the booth

Experienced play-by-play man Jim Nantz will call his fifth Super Bowl for CBS. He will be joined by first-time Super Bowl commentator Tony Romo, who gave a wildly-praised performance in the NFC title game two weeks ago. Numerous people on social media pointed out Romo’s ability to predict plays before the snap.

Halftime performance

Maroon 5 will lead halftime festivities at the Super Bowl this year. It was widely reported that the Super Bowl had difficulties finding acts to perform at this year’s halftime show as a number of performers said they would not perform as an act of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.

Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine told "Entertainment Tonight" that he expects some backlash for agreeing to perform in the Super Bowl, but was okay with it.

"I'm not in the right profession if I can't handle a little bit of controversy. It's what it is. We expected it. We'd like to move on from it and speak through the music," Levine told “ET. "I silenced all the noise and listened to myself and made my decision based upon how I felt."

Ad time

While there were a few notable examples of advertisements that getting rejected from the broadcast, most notably one promoting medical marijuana, the slate of commercials this year is sure not to disappoint.

Already, several dozen Super Bowl advertisements have either been officially released, or leaked online, taking away some of the suspense. We won’t spoil the fun for you in this article, but you can find some of the commercials here .