Super Bowl LI Picks ATS & Over/Under


A whole blog on just one freaking pick?!?  Well, two picks, but only one ATS.  Ok, so first things first, this is likely going to be a classic.  I’m going to be disappointed if this game is anything less than high scoring and down to the wire.  Two great QB’s, historic ramifications, it would be just a little short of shocking if these two didn’t produce a great game.


So with that being said, here is what I’m thinking for today.


The Falcons are likely the better team here.  But it’s tough to get past the fact that they’re going against Belichick and Brady.  All that experience, all those rings, two weeks for Belichick to prepare, it’s tough to ignore those things as not only the advantages, but the types of advantages that historically, at least in sports, that turn an underdog into a decided favorite (reading me for the first time?  I try to spell “American” when talking NFL).


But I believe that is getting very overrated.  The fact is that the Falcons blew out a good Seahawks team, and a Packers team which was the hottest in the league.  The questions about the Falcons being able to handle the pressure have been answered.  Under Mike Smith, this team had a tough time with the pressure.  But this is Dan Quinn’s team, and they have shown no signs all season of not being able to handle the pressure.  Also, they’re playing the Pats.  Maybe against a team playing in their first Super Bowl as a group like themselves the Falcons would have a tendency to buy their press clippings and not know how to deal with everything.  But against the Pats, they know they’ll need everyone going at their best to win so I believe at least from an effort standpoint that the Falcons will be peaking.


As for the Pats…


Did you know that Bill Belichick against the spread isn’t that great coming off of bye weeks?  I found this interesting, R.J. Bell of pulled out this stat on Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5 podcast yesterday that Belichick in week one, coming off bye weeks in the regular season and coming off bye weeks in the postseason all combined has a .500 record.  That’s it.  .500.  So for all this mystique about how the amazing Bill Belichick is a monster to deal with coming off bye weeks, that’s all his record is ATS.  So the betting public is drastically overrating that edge.


This isn’t to say the Pats can’t win.  Absolutely they can win!  But three points is too many.  I really wish it was 3.5 or 2.5, hence why Vegas is so good at this.  But it’s 3, and I think in the NFL these days with the extra point so difficult we are seeing many more one and two point games.  So betting a game with a spread of three is a lot less risky right now than it was two seasons ago when the EP was a gimme.


Then you have the over, and I frankly hate this.  I never win betting the under.  I had the under as my pick and as of writing this part I literally JUST changed my pick, because I literally NEVER win betting the under!  But it worries me.  On one hand, Vegas keeps trying to scare bettors off with these Falcons over/under’s by putting the number sky high.  So that’s my reasoning for the over pick.  But this game hurts offense a lot of the time.  Not every time, but a lot of the time because of the long stoppages, long half time, offense is all about rhythm and it gets hurt badly in this game.  I assume the Falcons know this, and I know the Pats know this, but it’s still scary for me.  But again, I can’t win betting the under!  And let’s be honest, it’s the Super Bowl.  Do you SERIOUSLY want to sit there and pull for points not to be scored?!  Let’s get real.  Sometimes it’s just fun to bet the side you’re pulling for.


So I’m guessing if you have read this whole thing already, you know where I’m going with these picks, but I’ll make it official:

Falcons +3

Over 58.5

At the end of the day, these two picks are betting on a classic.  Falcons keep it really tight, I believe this game is a total toss up, I’ll pick the Pats to win 31-29 in what’ll be a top five Super Bowl of all time.


Follow me on Twitter @TJ_Soups

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