NFL Betting - How To Bet Super Bowl LI

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 4:27 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017 4:27 PM UTC

The highest over-under in Super Bowl history is on the board as the high-flying Falcons and Patriots square off to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. New England is a 3-point favorite, making it the ninth title game in a row to kick off under a touchdown. On paper, this should be a good one. Which side are you on?

Super Bowl LISunday, February 5, 2017



New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons

NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
6:30 p.m. ET


Point Spread Value

It is public knowledge at this point underdogs do pretty well in the Super Bowl. Since the introduction of the salary cap in 1994, they are 13-7-2 ATS overall, and 11-4 ATS in the last 15 years following the NFL’s expansion to 32 teams. Prior to this, chalk dominated with a 20-8 ATS record. Expect the line to come into play in this matchup. Ten of the last 15 Super Bowls have finished within one score of the spread.

So, where is the value in the point spread? That will likely be determined by the winner of the game with the line sitting at the key number of a field goal. An overwhelming sum of early bets and total money have come in on the Patriots (60 percent plus), but the majority of books have held firm on the number perhaps waiting for the deluge of public bets before adjusting.

This is the most heavily bet sporting event of the year, and the public tends to have a much greater impact on the line movement. With this understanding, this is a great time to own multiple online sports book accounts to take advantage of spread adjustments offering the half point. The hook should pop up and disappear more than once in coming days, and you’ll want to have access to the best number regardless of the side you choose.


Free NFL Pick: New England Patriots -3Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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The Survivor

Turnovers will determine the winner. The Patriots and Falcons topped the NFL in capitalizing off mistakes, compiling 59 and 52 net turnover points respectively. It’s a bit hackneyed to suggest this will affect the outcome of an NFL contest, but there is little separating the two teams on both sides of the ball. Each franchise rolls out similar offensive numbers, and although the Patriots hold an edge defensively, the Falcons’ unit improved immensely in the final games of the season.

Turnovers, though, are nearly impossible to predict. Atlanta gifted more than one in a contest once the entire season: a pair in its 26-24 Week 6 loss at Seattle. Luck has certainly played a factor, particularly in the face of some sloppy postseason play. Matt Ryan had two should-have-been INTs dropped last week by Packer defenders inside the red zone, and the Falcons scooped up all three game fumbles. They also recovered two of their own fumbles in the divisional round win over Seattle.

Since Week 12, the Patriots have two takeaways or more in every game but one. You can bet New England head coach Bill Belichick will make stripping the ball, in addition to preventing big plays, the top priority on defense. Look for Atlanta’s turnover fortune to take a turn for the worst. Pats win a tight shootout, 34-30.


Free NFL Pick: New England Patriots -150Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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Game Total

These teams are all offense. Per Football Outsiders, the Falcons and Patriots rank No. 1 and No. 2 in Offensive DVOA, which measures team efficiency according to success against league averages based on every play over the course of the season. A simpler way to look at this has Atlanta averaged .548 points per play (1st in the NFL), while New England posted .428 points per play (3rd).

Bill Barnwell at ESPN begged the question: Is this the highest-octane Super Bowl matchup ever based on offense? Using efficiency ranks, he determined it sits No. 8 all-time, but the most potent matchup in the last 20 years. The payoff here is that one of these teams is likely to rack up the points. The winner of the prior top 7 Super Bowls in Barnwell’s list put up at least 31 points in each with an average of 38 overall. In the betting market, all but one game went OVER the total. The average combined score amongst all: 56.8 points.


Free NFL Pick: Over 58.5Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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