Super Bowl LI Over/Under Total Pick

Posted by Michael Hunt on Thursday,January 26, 2017 8:29, EST in

The Atlanta Falcons had one of the greatest offenses in NFL history in the regular season. They averaged 33.75 points, which tied for the eighth-most points ever in a season. The Falcons have been even better in the playoffs in scoring 80 points combined in their two wins. The New England Patriots led the NFL in scoring defense at 15.6 points per game. But they are no slouches on offense in averaging 35.0 points in the playoffs. It’s likely NFL MVP Matt Ryan vs. two-time NFL MVP and four-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady in Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5 in Houston. And we have the highest betting total in Super Bowl history. Let’s take a look at that Super Bowl 51 betting prediction.

Super Bowl LI Over/Under Total Pick

The total opened at 58 on NFL odds and has gone as high as 58.5 — it well could reach 60 by kickoff as bettors are generally hammering the over right now at MyBookie. The previous highest total was Super Bowl XLIV between Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints and Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts at 57. As for who came out on top, the Saints ended up winning the game by a final score of 31-17. The over is 25-24 in the big game — there was no official total listed for the first one back in 1967.

The Falcons score at an incredibly consistent rate, turning drives into touchdowns a league-leading 34.9 percent of the time. Over the past 20 years, only the 2007 Patriots — a unit that featured Brady at his peak and Randy Moss scoring an NFL-record 23 touchdowns — averaged more points per drive than the Falcons’ 3.06. Ryan set an NFL record this season by throwing touchdown passes to 13 different receivers. In addition, the Falcons are better than anyone else at taking advantage of opposing miscues. They did so twice in the NFC Championship Game blowout of Green Bay.

That No. 1 ranking for the Patriots’ defense might be misleading. New England had the easiest schedule of any defense in the NFL — a lineup led by a very mediocre group of quarterbacks. So the Patriots defense entered the playoffs essentially untested by any of the league’s best offenses. Despite the impressive raw numbers, New England’s defense finished the year just 16th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, which, among other things, weighs its rating based on opponent quality.

Of those 16 games, 13 came against passers who finished the year with at least 100 dropbacks. Overall, 39 quarterbacks hit the 100-dropback mark. None of the top 10 faced the Patriots. Four of those 13 games came against passers who were 32nd or worse in Passing Net Expected points per dropback. Only one was against a top-15 passer.

Think about the QBs the Patriots faced in these playoffs. In the divisional round, it was Houston’s Brock Osweiler. He might well be the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. In the AFC title game, it was Ben Roethlisberger. Very good player, two-time Super Bowl winner and potential future Hall of Famer. But Big Ben really struggled away from home this season and he didn’t have Pro Bowl running back Le’Veon Bell for most of the game vs. the Patriots.

Super Bowl LI Over/Under Total Pick & Prediction:

That’s a high total and if this game were outdoors, then I’d be skeptical. But it’s not, so go over. It is 15- 5-1 in the Falcons’ past 21 games overall. It’s 6-1 in the Patriots’ past seven overall.