SB 51 Expert Final Thoughts - New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons

Vince Lombardi Trophy

Kevin Stott

Saturday, February 4, 2017 5:58 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017 5:58 PM UTC

The Patriots and Falcons both head into Super Bowl 51 playing mistake-free football, the Point Spread and Total here look way too close to what might actually happen on Sunday evening, making for bettors to look elsewhere for an edge.

New England Patriots vs. Atlanta FalconsFOX, 6:30 p.m. EST

The AFC champion New England Patriots (16-2 SU, 15-3 ATS) face the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons (13-5 SU, 12-6 ATS) at NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday in Super Bowl 51 in a meeting between teams with combined 27-9 ATS records (75%).

Online Sportsbooks currently offer the Patriots as a 3-point favorites (+106, at Pinnacle). The Total currently ranging from 58 (at BetOnline) to 59 (at BetDSI). The Money Line sees New England at a low of -145 (at Bovada) with Atlanta at a high of +138 (at 5Dimes) while the 1st Half odds have the Patriots -1 (at BookMaker) to -1½ point chalks (at Pinnacle) with the 1st Half Total from 28½ (at Intertops) to 29½ (Over +116, at Pinnacle).

 New England Patriots

HC Belichick (174-124-7 ATS) and the Patriots (+500 to win Super Bowl 52 at BetDSI) head in with both an efficient Offense (27.6 ppg, #3 NFL) and under-appreciated Defense (15.6 ppg, #1) after making short work of the Texans and Steelers in the AFC Playoffs and the ongoing narrative is that New England (33-16-2 ATS L51 overall) takes away what an opponent does best on Offense, meaning Julio Jones may get double coverage or have Malcolm Butler trying to smother and frustrate him all day.

Without Gronkowski (Back) most of the season, QB Brady has effectively found ways to use Blount and Lewis out of the backfield while using Edelman, Hogan, Amendola, Floyd and Bennett as primary targets.

The Patriots are 18-0 SU when Lewis plays, 5-0 ATS L5 on FieldTurf and 5-1 ATS L6 Playoff games but New England is 1-4 ATS L5 Super Bowls and have scored 0 points with Brady in the First Quarter its L6 appearances. The Over is 58-28 L86 NE FieldTurf and 13-5 L18 January. The Over is 6-1 L7 Patriots Playoffs games and 59-28 L87 on FieldTurf.

 Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons (+1052 to win Super Bowl 52 at BetDSI) got it all together this season and it’s hard not to think second-year Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan is a big reason why the New Age Dirty Birds will be playing for the NFL championship and trying to win their first after losing to the Denver Broncos in their only other Super Bowl (XXXIII) back in 1999 (DEN -7½, 51½).

With Ryan (16 TD, 0 INTs L6 games), Running Backs Freeman and Coleman and Wide Receivers Jones and Sanu, Atlanta had the 8th highest scoring Offense in NFL history (33.8 ppg) and has scored 30+ points in 13-18 games.

Atlanta is 2-6 ATS L8 Playoff games but the Underdog is 4-1 ATS L5 in this infrequent series and this is definitely a game it can win despite having the 28th ranked Pass Defense (267 ypg). The Over is 12-0 L12 Falcons FieldTurf games, 4-0 L4 Playoffs games and 15-5-1 their L21 overall.


Some Different Betting Approaches For What Could Be a Close Game

With both sides likely to come out a bit nervous and tentative when they have the football that first time, taking a look at the 1st Quarter Under (13½ -135, BetOnline) seems worth a modest look, especially with the Patriots having scored 0 points in six Super Bowl appearances with Brady (+125 to win Super Bowl MVP, 5Dimes) at QB.

And eliminating the possibility of losing with a 1-, 2- or 3-point New England victory with the more than fair Moneyline prices out there in the marketplace, like the -145 now (Thursday) hanging at Bovada, seems wise as this could end up being a close game and maybe even a classic that comes down to the last possession with the experience of Belichick, Brady and this New England (4-0 ATS L4 vs. Falcons) dynasty winning the game and exorcising its Deflategate demons once and for all. The Point Spread and Total seem to be spot on for this Super Bowl.


PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Patriots 31 Falcons 28Free Super Bowl LI Pick: Patriots -145Best Line Offered: at Bovada

Free Prop Picks: 1st Quarter Under 13½ (BetOnline), Chris Hogan Over 57½ Receiving Yards (Bovada)

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