The New England Patriots are taking on the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51 on Sunday evening. The game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on FOX. The Super Bowl Odds for the game have the Patriots favored by a field goal to pick up the win.
Super Bowl Odds
New England -3
Total: 58.5 points
New England has won nine straight games entering Super Bowl 51 and this is the seventh time Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will be playing in the NFL’s ultimate game. They beat the Seahawks in Super Bowl 49 and have won four of the six title games they’ve played in. Ironic enough, but a pair of Eli Manning-led New York Giants teams have kept the Brady/Belichick combination from being the most impressive duo in the history of American sports. Together, they’ve already won 24 post-season playoff games. As it is, Brady can win his fifth Super Bowl title here, which would end all talk of who the greatest quarterback in the history of the league is.
Atlanta has had an amazing season, Matt Ryan has had his best season as an NFL quarterback and the offensive line has been strong in front of him. The Falcons led the league in scoring at 33.8 points per game and they averaged better than a yard more per play than the league average.
While the Falcon offense has been superior, the defense has played strong as well, holding five of the last six opponents to 21 points or fewer. While their overall numbers aren’t great (27th in points allowed at 25.4 per game), head coach Pat Quinn has helped them play better as the season has moved along. In the playoffs the Falcons have up 20 to Seattle and 21 to Green Bay against teams with post-season veteran quarterbacks.
New England’s defense has been arguably the best in pro football as well this season, they surrendered just under 16 points per game and played at a high level despite continuing to be a team filled with no superstars on that side of the football.
Brady and the Patriot offense will look to utilize that short passing game. One of Atlanta’s defensive goals has to be putting pressure on Brady, but if his offensive line can play well and allow him to get the ball out quickly, the Patriots should be able to move the football with Julian Edelman and the gang catching passes.
The Falcons have the big-play threat in Julio Jones and the two backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman can catch passes out of the backfield as well. Atlanta did not turn it over twice in any game this season, so this game should be a clean game between two solid teams.
Brady is 4-0 against the Falcons in his career, throwing nine touchdowns and only one pick. Ryan had his best season yet with 4,900 yards and 38 scores. The quarterback play should be excellent in this game and Ryan will be the best quarterback the Patriots have seen all season.
Turnovers could be the difference here. The two teams tied for the fewest in the league with just 11 giveaways this season and Atlanta has turned it over just once the last six games. They’re also playing inside a dome here, which should give them some confidence as well.
This is the biggest game in Brady’s career, because it obviously determines what his legacy could be. No quarterback has won five Super Bowls (Brady has four, along with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw) but with a win here, Brady elevates himself even higher in the history of NFL greatness. New England has been in this situation before and the experience could play a role in this one.
Free Pick: New England 31, Atlanta 24
Atlanta Falcons Defense Underrated? (Super Bowl LI Betting)
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