Right out of the gate I am not buying into the experience and been here before theory. These guys are grown men and professionals who are on TV all the time, in video games and basically have played in tons of big games during their careers. So what if New England has played in the Super Bowl numerous times? It is not like the Patriots have a track record of dominating performances in the Super Bowl. Are they going to reflect on all the close games (4 by 3 points, 2 by 4) or needing the miracle INT vs the Seahawks? I do not think the Patriots can stop the Falcons potent offense for four straight quarters. Math nerds say 4 yards is the magic number to average on 1st down to keep the drive alive and the Atlanta Falcons average 8.10, the highest in the NFL. When ranking opponents by defensive strength, Atlanta played the second toughest schedule in the NFL but still finished second in yards at 415.8 and put up 33.8 points per game and so far have averaged 40 in the playoffs. Even if we concede and say the Patriots stop Julio Jones, the Falcons are too deep for that to effect their offense. The Denver Broncos came at Atlanta with this approach and kept Julio Jones to only 2 catches for 29 yards, but Ryan just went to Coleman who put up 132 yards and Sanu (averaged 14.3 on 3 catches). Don’t forgot Matt Ryan set an NFL record this season tossing touchdowns to 13 different players.
When looking at the Super Bowl total, I lean on the UNDER. Close to 70% of early public action is on the OVER, but Pinnacle is at 58.5 OVER +102 and UNDER -113 despite 71% of their action on the total on the OVER (click for latest Super Bowl Odds). People are not giving the Falcons defense the respect they deserve, mainly because their defensive stats are skewed because Atlanta usually leads early and going into the 4th quarter. Atlanta gave up over 9 points in the 4th qt on average this season, while the league average is under a TD. Why the 4th quarter? Well, garbage time equals garbage stats. Atlanta was up over a TD at the half on average and scored 8.6 points in the 3rd vs 3.9 for their opponent (thus extending the lead), so 4th quarter garbage yards and points (for example they were up 42-0 on Rams going into 4th and won the game 42-14) are misleading when just looking at the box score.
Johnny Detroit’s Super Bowl Pick: Atlanta Falcons 27 and New England Patriots 24
Super Bowl LI Props, Picks and Handicapping Tips
Direct from Las Vegas, WagerTalk.com TV host Marco D’Angelo (@MarcoInVegas), Sports Cheetah (@SportsCheetah) and Ralph Michaels (@CalSportsLV) break down Vegas Super Bowl LI Props and share their picks and handicapping tips for the big game on Sunday (Super Bowl LI Sunday, February 5, 6:30 PM on FOX from NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas between the New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons).
Super Bowl Props:
Devonta Freeman over 12.5 longest reception
Devonta Freeman over 33.5 receiving yards
Look for Matt Ryan to dump the ball off to Freeman early and often to counter the Patriots attempt to lock down the potent Falcons WR corps. How did Freeman do vs Seattle and Green Bay? 42 receiving yards (long of 19) vs the Packers and 80 yards (long of 53) vs the Seahawks.
Mohamed Sanu over 17.5 for longest reception
With an average of around 11 yards per reception, I think he will be the WR that Ryan is going to focus on when going deep to open up the run and foil the attempt to shut down Julio Jones. MAKE SURE TO SHOP this and ALL props. For example, this one varies from 15.5 at bovada to 18.5 at sportsbook.com.
Tom Brady more gross passing yards in 2nd half
Assuming the first quarter is more of a feeling out process and we like the Falcons to win the game, Brady will have to try and make things happen in the 4th quarter. Most of the Super Bowls involving the Patriots have come down to the final drive, so either it will be passing yards from Brady trying to win or passing yards in garbage time if the Falcons can get a decent lead in the second half.
Super Bowl MVP Matt Ryan at 2-1. The last WR to win was Holmes for the Steelers vs the Cardinals and outside of a QB the MVP has went to a LB in recent years. We look for the Falcons to win and “Matty Ice” to spread the ball around and getting 2-1 (+200) is better than the +130 on the Falcons to win the game outright. Pretty much backing that for the Falcons to win the Super Bowl it will be due to Ryan and rather take +200 on the MVP prop.
Super Bowl Novelty Props:
Donald Trump under 7.5 tweets and UNDER 2.5 during Super Bowl kickoff to final whistle
This one opened around 6.5 and the POTUS averages around 7 tweets per day. There was no mention of players or teams ALL DAY in the Division and Conference Championship rounds and total tweets on those days were 5 and 4. The Donald likes attention and the majority of the country will be enjoying the game and not glued to his Twitter or politics, so assume he takes it easy on tweets Super Bowl Sunday.
Here are the actual Super Bowl props sheets from four major Las Vegas sportsbooks:
2017 Super Bowl Props, Picks and Betting Tips
Direct from Las Vegas, WagerTalk TV host Scott Spreitzer (@scottwins) and Bryan Leonard (@BLeonardSports) break down Vegas Super Bowl LI Props and share their picks and betting tips for the big game on Sunday (Super Bowl LI Sunday, February 5, 6:30 PM on FOX from NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas between the New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons).