NFL Super Bowl LI Betting Preview: New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons

2017 NFL Playoffs
Super Bowl LI
#1 New England Patriots vs #2 Atlanta Falcons
Sunday, February 5, 2017, 6:35 pm Eastern, TV: Fox
NRG Stadium – Houston, Texas
Opening Line: New England -3
Current Line: New England -3 (-115)
Opening Total: 57 1/2
Current Total: 58 1/2
Opening Money Line: Patriots -150 / Falcons +130
Current Money Line: Patriots -155 / Falcons +135

Patriots Falcons NFL Preview

New England head coach Bill Belichick looks to win his fifth Super Bowl title Sunday.

The 16-2 New England Patriots take on the 13-5 Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI Sunday in Houston. For the Patriots, they are looking for their fifth Super Bowl title since 2001, all under head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. Atlanta is playing in only their second ever Super Bowl and first since losing in 1998.

New England leads the series 7-6 against Atlanta. The Patriots have won four straight games in the series including 30-23 in Atlanta in 2013. The two teams play in Foxborough next season.

New England won the AFC East. The Patriots are the #1 seed in the AFC and had a first round bye. New England has won nine straight games including a 34-16 win over the #4 Houston Texans in the Divisional Playoffs and a 36-17 win over the #3 Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game two weeks ago. The Patriots advanced to the AFC Championship game for an NFL record sixth straight season, and to the Super Bowl for the second time in three seasons.

New England is coached by Bill Belichick. The Patriots lost 16-0 at Buffalo, and 31-24 at home to the Seattle Seahawks 31-24. The Patriots have road wins at the Arizona Cardinals 23-21, Cleveland Browns 33-13, Pittsburgh Steelers 27-16, Bills 41-25 San Francisco 49ers 30-17, New York Jets 22-17, Denver Broncos 16-3 and Miami Dolphins 35-14. New England has home wins over the Dolphins 31-24, Houston Texans 27-0, Cincinnati Bengals 35-17, Los Angeles Rams 26-10, Baltimore Ravens 30-23 and Jets 41-3. The Patriots were 5.5 point favorites against the Steelers and the total was 50. New England is 15-3 ATS and the total is 8-10 this season.

Atlanta won the NFC South and has won six straight games. The Falcons received a first round bye as the #2 seed in the NFC. Atlanta dismantled the #3 seed Seattle Seahawks 36-20 in the divisional game and 44-21 over the #4 seed Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship.

Atlanta is coached by Dan Quinn. The Falcons lost at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-24, San Diego Chargers 33-30 in overtime and Kansas City Chiefs 29-28, plus road losses at the Seattle Seahawks 26-24 and Philadelphia Eagles 24-15. Atlanta has road wins over the Oakland Raiders 35-28, New Orleans Saints 45-32, Denver Broncos 23-16, Buccaneers 43-28, Los Angeles Rams 42-14, and Carolina Panthers 33-16, plus home wins over the Panthers 48-33, Packers 33-32, Arizona Cardinals 38-19, San Francisco 49ers 41-13 and Saints 38-32. Atlanta was a 6.5 point favorite against Atlanta and the total was 59.5. The Falcons are 12-6 ATS and the total is 15-2-1 this season.

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The Patriots are outscoring opponents 28-16 this season. The Patriots are #3 in scoring and #1 in points allowed. New England averages 386 yards per game on offense including 269 passing and 117 rushing yards. New England is #7 or better in all three categories. The Patriots are allowing 326 yards per game on defense including 238 passing and 89 rushing yards. New England is #8 in total defense and #3 in rush defense. The Patriots are 112/239 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 83/224. New England has forced 24 sacks and allowed 34 this season. The Patriots are +12 in turnovers.

Tom Brady has completed 67.4% of his passes for 3,554 yards with 28 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 28 carries for 64 yards since coming back from a four game suspension. Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett started in place of Brady during his suspension. Garroppolo has completed 42/60 passes (70%) for 496 yards and 4 touchdowns, and also has 7 carries for 8 yards. Brissett completed 34 of 55 passes for 400 yards and also had 16 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown.

Running back LaGarrette Blount has 299 carries for 1,161 yards and 18 touchdowns, plus 7 catches for 38 yards. James White will also get some carries but has 60 catches for 551 yards and 5 touchdowns. Dion Lewis has 64 carries for 283 yards, plus 17 carries for 94 yards.

Receiver Julian Edelman has 98 catches for 1,106 yards and 3 touchdowns and 12 carries for 57 yards. Tight end Martellus Bennett has 55 catches for 701 yards and 7 touchdowns. He is probable with a knee injury. Chris Hogan has 38 catches for 680 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is probable with a thigh injury. Malcolm Mitchell has 32 catches for 401 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is probable with a knee injury.  Danny Amendola has 23 catches for 243 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is probable with an ankle injury.  Tight end Rob Gronkowski has 25 catches for 540 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is out for the season with a back injury. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski is probable with an illness.  Seven defensive players and two offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.

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Atlanta is outscoring teams 34-25 this season. The Falcons are #1 in scoring and #27 in points allowed. Atlanta averages 416 yards per game on offense including 295 passing yards and 121 rushing yards. Atlanta is in the top five in all three categories. On defense, Atlanta allows 371 yards per game including 267 passing and 105 rushing yards. Atlanta is #25 in total defense and #28 against the pass. The Falcons are 83/202 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 117/238. Atlanta has forced 34 sacks and allowed 37 this season. The Falcons are +11 in turnovers with 5 defensive touchdowns.

Quarterback Matt Ryan has completed 69.9% of his passes for 4,944 yards with 38 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, plus 35 carries for 117 yards. He won the MVP.

Running back Devonta Freeman has 227 carries for 1079 yards and 11 touchdowns and also has 54 catches for 462 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tevin Coleman has 118 carries for 520 yards and 8 touchdowns, and also has 31 catches for 421 yards and 3 touchdowns. Terron Ward has 31 carries for 151 yards.

Receiver Julio Jones has 83 catches for 1,409 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is probable with a toe injury that he has been battling for the second half of the season.  Mohamed Sanu has 59 catches for 653 yards and 4 touchdowns. Taylor Gabriel has 35 catches for 579 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is probable with a foot injury. Aldrick Robinson has 20 catches for 323 yards and 2 touchdowns. Austin Hooper has 19 catches for 271 yards and 3 touchdowns. Levine Toilolo has 13 catches for 264 yards and 2 touchdowns. Justin Hardy has 21 catches for 201 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tight end Jacob Tamme has 22 catches for 210 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is out with a shoulder injury. Nine defensive players are listed on the injury report for the Falcons.

New England is 7-0 ATS after allowing 350 total yards or more, 6-0 after a cover, 5-0 against teams with winning records, after passing for 250 yards or more and on fieldturf, 4-0 after a straight up win of 14 points or more, 5-1 in playoff games, 16-4-1 after allowing less than 90 rushing yards, 15-4-2 after allowing more than 250 passing yards, 15-5-1 after scoring more than 30 points, 20-8-2 after a straight up win, 33-16-2 overall, 78-38-2 after gaining more than 350 total yards, 1-4 in Super Bowl Games and in February. The Patriots have covered the last four games against the Falcons.

Atlanta is 4-0 ATS after gaining 350 total yards or more, 5-1 after passing for 250 yards or more, and overall, 4-1 after scoring more than 30 points, and after a straight up win, 6-2 against teams with winning records, and 2-6 in playoff games. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in this series recently.

The Patriots have the #1 scoring defense and the Falcons have the #1 scoring offense. Belichick is a master at removing the top offensive weapon from the opponent, which in this case is Julio Jones. Still the Falcons have so many weapons that it will be hard to slow them down. This should be a high scoring game, but I think the Patriots find a way to win. This could be the first ever Super Bowl to go into overtime.

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