Because it’s nearly impossible for USA sports betting sites to factor in how a football ref will call a game, one thing is certain: Betting on this year’s Super Bowl just got a lot harder.
On Tuesday, the National Football League announced the officiating crew for Super Bowl LIII on February 3, 2019, in a press release.
The seven-man officiating crew will be led by referee John Parry, who is officiating his third Super Bowl in his 12-year career as a referee and 18th as an NFL official.
The crew also includes line judge Jeff Bergman, field judge Steve Zimmer, and back judge Terrance Miles—all calling their second Super Bowl. Additionally, umpire Fred Bryan, down judge Edgar Camp, and side judge Eugene Hall will be making their first appearance in the big game.
Although his name never got mentioned throughout the 2018 regular season, Parry is the ref of note here and made a highly questionable call during last week’s Cowboys-Rams divisional playoff game.
Before the end of the first half when the Cowboys had possession, quarterback Dak Prescott started to scramble and his own offensive lineman bear-hugged him from behind.
Prescott was then was briefly touched by Rams defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. and Parry blew the whistle, ending the play, crediting the Rams defense for the sack, and baffling everyone who was watching.
When asked after the game as to why he blew the play dead when Prescott was clearly not down by the defensive player, Parry said the call was made to protect the quarterback.
“From my view the quarterback’s progress had stopped moving forward,” Parry said. “There were hands around him and another defender was coming, so we went in the grasp to protect the quarterback.”
We’ll let you make the call for yourself.
Here’s the “sack” on Dak Prescott.— Tom Downey (@WhatGoingDowney) January 13, 2019
No idea how it’s blown dead and how the refs ignore the obvious head contact ot the QB.
A 100% garbage call by the refs pic.twitter.com/lkIWnEXIlN
Regardless, the news of Parry being the head official in Super Bowl LIII is big news for bettors. To assist your bets, here is the record of the four teams remaining in the playoffs when Parry has officiated one of their games since 2000, according to Pro Football Reference.
Kansas City Chiefs: 3-6 (2018: 0-0)
New England Patriots: 9-5 (2018: 0-1)
Los Angeles Rams: 7-0 (2018: 2-0)
New Orleans Saints: 6-7 (2018: 1-1)
When looking at the overall record and how teams fared in 2018 when Parry called a game, if the Rams make it to Super Bowl LIII, then they might have a bit of an edge since they are the only team without a loss if Parry is officiating on the field—something Cowboys fans wished they’d known prior to Rams game.
The Rams-Saints NFC title game and the Patriots-Chiefs AFC title game will be played on Sunday and will decide which two teams play in Super Bowl LIII. Parry will not be officiating either of the conference championship games.