How To Bet the Super Bowl LI Game Total and Why

Posted by Michael Hunt on Wednesday,February 1, 2017 8:32, EDT in

The NFL season comes to an end this Sunday from NRG Stadium in Houston as the AFC champion New England Patriots face the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Many expect this to be the highest-scoring Super Bowl in history and in fact the total of 59 is the game’s highest ever. So should you bet over or under? Let’s find out more in this exclusive Super Bowl LI betting preview.

How To Bet the Super Bowl LI Game Total and Why

“I’m a little nervous about that number, as most fans that come to Vegas like to bet the over, being the Super Bowl,” Las Vegas Westgate sports book director Jay Kornegay said. “We’re hoping that the high number will deter some of those over bettors to take the under and even it out a little more. But the early indicators look like they’re going to bet the over despite it being a record high.”

The over is 25-24 in the big game as there was no official total listed for the first one back in 1967). In 2010, when the total was a record-high 57, the under cashed in New Orleans’ 31-17 win over Indianapolis. Last year’s 24-10 Broncos win over Carolina easily stayed Under 43.5 and ended a three-year over streak.

The Falcons are a stunning 15-2- 1 on the over/under mark, easily the NFL’s most lopsided. New England’s top-ranked scoring defense helped the team stay under in 10 of 18 games. Here are the only two games for the Falcons that went under:

Week 5 vs. Broncos: The total was 44.5 and the Falcons won 23-16. That was a the second-fewest points scored this year for the NFL’s No. 1 offense. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman were effective running the ball, combining for 119 yards and a 4.4-yard average. Coleman showed off his breakaway speed by catching four passes for 132 yards to go with his 31 yards on six carries. Matt Ryan threw for 267 yards and only two of those (covering 29 yards) went to star receiver Julio Jones. The week before that game, Ryan threw for a franchise-record 503 yards vs. Carolina and Jones had a team-record 300 yards receiving.

Week 10 at Eagles: The total was 48.5 and Atlanta lost 24-15. Ryan threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Gabriel in the fourth quarter to give Atlanta a 15-13 lead, but Philadelphia answered with a TD. On Atlanta’s ensuing possession, Julio Jones dropped a pass on third-and- 12 and the Falcons punted away. Jones couldn’t make a difficult catch on fourth-and- 5 on Atlanta’s next drive. The Falcons came in averaging 33.8 points. But they settled for field goals of 38, 43 and 46 yards by Matt Bryant before Ryan connected with Gabriel.

The game in Houston is the 10th Super Bowl with a total over 50. Only three of the first nine have gone over, and two of those were by half a point. Four of the last six Super Bowls have gone over after a run of five unders in the previous six games.

The Patriots’ six Super Bowls with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have each been decided by four points or fewer. Only seven of the other 44 Super Bowls have been decided by four points or fewer. Thus I think this will be close game, and I can’t see each team putting up at least 30 points. So I recommend the under.