The Atlanta Falcons will take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. Kickoff is set for 6:30 EST on Sunday, February 5th at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX. Taking a look at the Super Bowl odds, New England is currently a 3-point favorite with the total at 58.5 points.
Patriots vs Falcons Super Bowl 51 Vegas Betting Preview
New England secured a spot in the big game with a 36-17 blowout win over the Steelers in the AFC Championship. Not a big surprise to see the Patriots playing this time of year. This will be the 7th Super Bowl appearance for Tom Brady and Belichick (head coach). Belichick also went to 3 Super Bowls as an assistant coach.
Atlanta punched their ticket with a 44-21 win at home over Green Bay in the NFC Championship. It wasn’t so much the fact that the Falcons won that surprised people, but how they dominated. Nothing new for this Atlanta team. They have been flying under the radar all season. The Falcons had the No. 2 seed in the NFC, yet no one was picking them. Most were locked in on the Cowboys, Packers or Seahawks.
Inexperience is the only thing lacking with this team. Atlanta has just 4 players who have played in a Super Bowl before. In comparison, the Patriots have 21 players who have been here before.
Super Bowl LI Free Pick & Predictions: Pats -3
My early lean is to lay the points with the Patriots. While it’s not everything, I think the experience New England has of being in this spot, is an advantage. Two things that I look for when making my Super Bowl pick, is the team with the better defense and head coach. I think New England has the clear edge in both of those departments.
One of the big questions that I keep hearing in the media is how will the Patriots slow down Atlanta’s offense. I understand the question, given what the Falcons have done to Seattle and Green Bay. What is getting overlooked, is neither of those defenses were 100% in the secondary. Seattle was without Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman was playing on a bum knee. As for the Packers, that defense has been decimated for quite a while now.
New England finished 8th in the NFL in total defense (326.4 ypg) and 1st in points allowed (15.6 ppg). The Patriots don’t have a bunch of superstars on this side of the ball, but are solid across the board. More than anything, Belichick puts them in positions to excel. Each week he puts together a gameplan specific for the opponent they are playing. Trust me, if anyone can slow down the Falcons, it’s Belichick. Especially when you give him two weeks to prepare.
People should be asking how will Atlanta’s defense stop New England from scoring. The Patriots were 4th in the NFL in total offense (386.3 ypg) and 3rd in scoring (27.6 ppg). They put up 34 on the Texans and 36 on the Steelers in their two playoff games. Both of which I feel are better than what Atlanta faced.
The Falcons defense has looked good in their last two games playing with big leads. However, this is a unit that wasn’t anything special this year. Atlanta was 25th in total defense (371.2 ypg) and 27th in points allowed (25.4 ppg).
I almost get the feeling that a lot of the action here on the Falcons is more out the hate for the Patriots. Most of the public doesn’t like this team and are sick of them winning. The thing is, New England is 4-2 with Brady/Belichick in the Super Bowl. If not for two ridiculous drives by the Eli Manning, they would be 6-0.
Keep in mind those Giants teams that beat the Pats had incredible defenses that could get pressure on the quarterback. Atlanta has a great pass rusher in Vic Beasley, but were just 16th in the NFL in sacks as a team (34). New England will have a game plan in place to make sure Beasley doesn’t take over the game.
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