The Super Bowl is the most heavily bet sporting event in America. If you can’t decide what to choose between the game spread, over/under, team totals, etc, that’s OK, because Vegas also offers more “prop” bets than you can ever imagine (more about them here). But for the sake of this article, I want to throw out my official picks for the game.
New England -3 (ML -150) vs. Atlanta +3 (ML +135)
I have to side with the almighty Patriots here. This may sound crazy, but the Patriots are actually due to win the big game. Despite seemingly appearing here every other year, and despite dominating the AFC and playoffs for the last 16 years, they actually only have one Super Bowl win (two losses) in the last 12 or so seasons to show for their dominance.
On the contrary, Atlanta is more than due; they haven’t won a Super Bowl in their franchise history. But I don’t think it’s do or die for them; I think the Falcons will be around for years to come. They have a good coaching staff, a really young defense, and a ton of offensive weapons that will all be around for a couple years at least. I think they are ultimately another year or two away, and their defense just isn’t enough to contain the Patriots’ balanced offense.
Furthermore, defense typically gets the upper hand in the Super Bowl. Teams that lead the league in scoring (Falcons this year) are 1-5 in the Super Bowl since 2000. The Patriots have a solid enough defense to slow down the Falcons, and the Falcons run defense, I think, is going to be the problem for them on Sunday.
My official play would be Patriots ML -150 to be safe (haven’t won a Super Bowl by more than 4 points), but I would side with them -3 as well.
A lot of people are expecting a ton of points, and rightfully so; both offenses have the ability to score every time they touch the ball. But I think the Patriots are going to try to slow the game down and control the flow of the game; they should run the ball and expose the Falcons’ weakest link. Furthermore, it’s the Super Bowl. The Falcons only have four players with experience in this game (Patriots 22), and I think nerves will come out early.
Official plays: Patriots ML, -3, U 58.5