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  1. #1
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    Default NFL Trends and Indexes - Super Bowl ( Sunday, February 5)




    NFL Trends and Indexes

    Sunday, February 5

    Additional trends and information will be added as available.

    NOTE:
    As information becomes available, we will attempt to post the trends and indexes as soon as possible.
    Information is posted from what we believe are reliable sources.
    Any opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the posting member or BettorsChat.


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    Recap of Super Bowl LI betting action for week one, look ahead to week two

    "There’s been two times as many bets on the Patriots and about 1.7, 1.8 times more money on New England.”

    It’s been an interesting first week of wagering in the two-week run-up to Super Bowl 51, but with almost no exceptions, there’s been no change in the pointspread. We recap the past week of action on the big game, with insights from Johnny Avello, executive director of race and sports at Wynn Las Vegas on the Strip; Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management for CG Technology in Las Vegas; Scott Cooley, odds consultant for offshore sportsbook Bookmaker.eu; and Chris Andrews, sportsbook director at the South Point in Las Vegas.

    New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons – Open: +3 (-110); Move: +3 (even money); Move: +3 (-105); Move: +3 (-110)

    New England is on a two-month tear, having not lost a game since a mid-November 31-24 home setback to Seattle as a 7.5-point favorite. The Patriots (16-2 SU, 15-3 ATS) have since ripped off nine consecutive victories, going 8-1 ATS in that stretch. That includes last week’s 36-17 win over Pittsburgh as a 5.5-point home fave in the AFC Championship Game.

    Atlanta isn’t quite that hot, but has been no slouch of late either. The Falcons (13-5 SU, 12-6 ATS) are on a six-game win streak (5-1 ATS), pounding Green Bay 44-21 last week as a 6.5-point home chalk in the NFC Championship Game.

    Avello’s opening line was right on target with his previous projections: Patriots -3.

    “I opened this game 3, and that has been the AFC vs. the NFC for four months,” Avello said Monday, alluding to the fact that bettors could have gotten that number long ago on the conference vs. conference option on the betting board. “That line is always projected on the two best teams that’ll get there from each conference. And that’s exactly what happened. Now, my power ratings have the Patriots a bit higher, but I just felt there would be probably some Atlanta money that would come in late. That’s what I’m thinking of, late, because the early money so far has shown on the Patriots.”

    Indeed, by Tuesday, Avello had to adjust the price on New England from -110 to -120, though by Wednesday evening, it had climbed back down to the standard -110, where it remains today. Avello indicated the bulk of the action was public money.

    At CG sportsbooks, including at The Cosmopolitan, M and the Venetian, the line also opened -3, but on Wednesday the Patriots’ price bumped up a tick to -115.

    “We’ve seen a lot more Patriot action come in early on here, throughout this first week,” Simbal said Thursday morning. “In fact, there’s been two times as many bets on the Patriots and about 1.7, 1.8 times more money on New England.”

    That was primarily public money, as well, with no six-figure bets or even anything approaching such a sizable wager. Moneyline betting had also taken an interesting turn in the first few days of wagering at CG shops.

    “Generally, as we get closer to the game, the bettors will kind of (bet) on the moneyline on the ‘dog, trying to get that extra money. But what we’ve seen early on is people taking New England moneyline actually,” Simbal said. “So it’s kind of been interesting there, but we do expect some of that ‘dog moneyline action to come in next week.”

    Some of that seems to have arrived over the past three days. Late Thursday and through Friday, the price on both ATS and moneyline wagers moved at CG on the strength of Falcons cash. Atlanta +3 went from -105 to -120 – taking New England to even money at -3 – and the Falcons’ moneyline price, once as high as +145, dipped to +120.

    And on Sunday morning, Matthew Holt – the COO of CG Analytics, tweeted out: “Two massive six figure bets on Falcons (at +3) have evened up the betting handle right now at CG after almost all Patriots money early on.”

    Bookmaker.eu was also seeing some interesting swings from midweek through Sunday.

    Said Cooley on Thursday night: “The Patriots’ steam is picking up a bit. We've moved the -3 to -115 this evening, and the moneyline is at its highest point of -162. We are wary of moving off the key number because of the expectance of Falcons money, which we've seen during the last two weeks.

    “The wiseguys could be waiting on that hook (+3.5), and with our limits at $50,000 already, to be raised to $100,000 soon, we don't want to get lopsided on sharp money.”

    Then, much like at CG and other shops, Falcons money began hitting. Although Bookmaker.eu has stuck on that key number of 3, Atlanta’s price crept up to -120 before going back a notch to -115, while New England is now -105.

    The total has provided one of the more intriguing developments of Week 1 wagering, opening at Super Bowl record highs for sportsbooks in Nevada and offshore. CG opened at 58.5 and quickly went to 59.

    “This was an interesting one, because this was the thing that they bet right away,” Simbal said. “When we put up the line, they actually were faster to bet the over than either of the sides. We were at 60 at one point. That’s back down to 59 now. Kind of what we’re seeing is at 59, we’re getting some decent two-way action, 58.5 they’re betting over, 59.5 they’re betting under.

    “I think 59 is the number. You might end up seeing a 60 as we get to kickoff, because the public figures to bet the over.”

    Proposition bets are annually what really bolsters Super Bowl handle, and by Friday afternoon, sportsbooks all around Vegas had their hefty prop sheets out and on the betting board. At South Point, just south of the Strip, Andrews was seeing brisk prop business by Saturday afternoon.

    “There’s a lot of prop action,” he said, noting his place is offering approximately 300 of the alternative wagers. “We filled out most of the menu Friday. We’re pretty well set probably until next weekend, and then we’ll get some of those cross-sport props up. We did a lot of money the first full day.”

    With the huge tourist crowd prepping to converge on Vegas, there’s no doubt Andrews and his peers around town are going to do a lot more money this week.

  3. #3
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    Five simple rules for dipping your toes in Super Bowl betting

    The Julio Jones effect for Super Bowl LI: Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel will benefit from facing single coverage.

    Occam’s razor is a philosophical principle that, in layman’s terms, essentially states that the simplest answer is generally the better answer.

    With a full two weeks separating Conference Championship weekend from Super Bowl Sunday, it’s easy to suffer from paralysis by over-analysis in regards to the myriad wagering opportunities the sports books present for this most holy of gambling holidays. Think about it: We aren’t even a full five days removed from the AFC and NFC Championship games and yet, the opening point spread of New England -3 over Atlanta for Super Bowl LI has already been dissected and discussed ad nauseam. And that’s before either team has even touched down in Houston to begin their preparations.

    So the purpose of this week’s NFL column is really quite simple: Take a deep breath, exercise patience and commence the process of dipping our toes into the water. What follows are my initial thoughts as to some integral angles worth pursing in a more in-depth fashion next week once we commence rolling out the absolute best Super Bowl LI gambling coverage available anywhere on the planet.

    1. Experience:
    The Patriots enter Super Bowl LI with a roster that includes 21 players with prior Super Bowl experience, an architect in Bill Belichick who will be coaching his 36th playoff game and a quarterback in Tom Brady who will be starting his 34th postseason contest. Conversely, the Falcons boast a roster with just four players who have prior Super Bowl experience, a head coach in Dan Quinn who is in just his second season on the job and a quarterback in Matt Ryan who is 3-4 lifetime in the postseason. New England knows how to handle the demands that come from friends, family, the media, etc. in the build-up to a Super Bowl appearance. Atlanta does not. Edge: New England.

    2. Julio Jones:
    The six-year veteran wideout ranked second in the NFL this season in receiving yards (1,409) and has been En fuego during the playoffs with 15 receptions for 247 yards and three scores through just eight quarters of action. But if there’s one thing we know about Bill Belichick, it’s that he’s a master at taking away an opponent’s top offensive weapon. In this case, that likely means playing man-to-man coverage on Jones with either cornerback Logan Ryan or Eric Rowe while simultaneously rolling a safety over the top to double-team the explosive Atlanta wide receiver. Whether or not Jones can fight through the double teams on Super Bowl Sunday is irrelevant. Instead, focus on the fact that Atlanta wide receivers Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel will benefit from facing single coverage for the better part of professional football’s ultimate game. And you know what that means, right? Yep, we’re most likely going to bet the OVERS on all receptions and receiving yards props involving both Sanu and Taylor.

    3. Unstoppable force vs. Immovable object:
    February 5 will mark the eighth time in Super Bowl history in which the NFL’s No. 1 scoring offense (Atlanta) goes head-to-head with the league’s No. 1 scoring defense (New England). In the previous seven title game encounters between the top offense and the top defense, the top defense has posted a record of 6-1 both straight-up and against-the-spread. Take a look:

    2014: Seattle 43, Denver (-2.5) 8
    1991: New York Giants 20, Buffalo (-7) 19
    1990: San Francisco (-12) 55, Denver 10
    1985: San Francisco (-3.5) 38, Miami 16
    1979: Pittsburgh (-3.5) 35, Dallas 31
    1970: Kansas City 23, Minnesota (-12) 7
    1967: Green Bay (-14) 35, Kansas City 10

    4. Points, points and more points:
    Super Bowl LI currently features a total of 58.5 points which, if it holds, would be the highest over/under in Super Bowl history. From a historical perspective, the OVER has cashed in four of the last six Super Bowls. In addition, the OVER is 4-1 in the five previous Super Bowls that have featured a matchup between the No. 1 scoring offense and No. 1 scoring defense (no total was offered for Super Bowl I). From a team perspective, the UNDER went 10-8 in New England games this year while the OVER went 15-2-1 in Atlanta contests this season. If you’re looking to make a contrarian play on the UNDER, you can go ahead and wait until Super Bowl Sunday, as the betting public will no doubt drive the current total higher prior to kickoff.

    5. The road less traveled:
    There’s no such thing as a “home team” when it comes to playing at a neutral site. There is, however, such a thing as a “road team” when it comes to playing at a neutral site, as each franchise will find itself in an unfamiliar city sleeping in unfamiliar beds while playing in an unfamiliar stadium. So don’t waste any of your precious time over the next week studying home trends. Instead, focus on how both New England and Atlanta performed away from their home confines this season. In regards to the Patriots, New England went 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS on the road in 2016 while winning by an average of 12.6 points per game. As for Atlanta, the Falcons went 6-2 SU and 7-1 ATS while outscoring the opposition by an average of 9.5 points per contest. The edge here may lie with the Patriots, but both of these organizations performed well above the norm when on the road in 2016.

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    Six mistakes Super Bowl bettors make

    The bigger the game the bigger the action - and unfortunately, the bigger the bloopers. Whether you're a seasoned sports bettor or wagering for the first time, the Super Bowl has a unique set of pitfalls to look out for. Jason Logan points out these mistakes before it's too late.

    Betting the Big Game?

    Of course you are. It’s the Super Bowl. What a stupid question.

    But massive matchups like the Super Bowl breed stupidity, especially when it comes to sports bettors. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time gambler or a seasoned sharp: the Super Bowl can make even the most disciplined bettor lose their god damn mind.

    There’s a little less than two weeks before the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots showdown in Houston on February 5. That’s more than enough time to completely tank your Super Bowl bets. It’s also plenty of time to heed these warnings.

    Here are six mistakes Super Bowl bettors can make:

    You bet too early/too late

    If you’ve been paying attention to the early line moves for Super Bowl LI, you’ve seen the Patriots go off at anything from -2.5 to -4, after kicking the snot out of the Pittsburgh in the AFC title game.

    If you’re a Pats backer and you didn’t get down on that small spread (which was offered before the AFC Championship was even over), you may have missed your chance. Maybe you jumped the gun and took Atlanta +2.5 and watched free points pass you by.

    First off, let those odds go, ‘cause man they’re gone. Second, breathe. Third, realize that there are two weeks of wagering to be had on this game and that 97 percent of the money doesn’t come in until the 48 hours before game time. That means movement is coming. Fourth, get an opinion and plan of attack. Know what you realistically want for a line and how much you want to pay for it.

    Patriots fans, you may want to grab the -3 on your beloved team now. Books took early money on Belichick's boys and New England is the most public team in all of football - maybe in all of sports betting - so it may not get any better than giving a clean field goal. Falcons backers, you may want to wait out that movement and see if you can get a half-point hook on that line or maybe even Atlanta +4 before showtime.

    In the past two Super Bowls, there has been some very aggressive line movement. So hold tight, you might get what you want. That said, don’t let a solid number pass you by.

    Waiting out a line move (I think that's a Bob Seger song...) that may never come could have you scrambling on Super Sunday and playing an over-juiced number or grabbing a spread you’re not crazy about.

    Prop contradictions

    The best plan of attack for wagering on Super Bowl props is to start with the spread and total, and then work backwards. Figure out how the game will play out. If you have Atlanta to cover, then who and what will get it there.

    If you like the Under, make sure your prop plays coincide with those wagers. That means taking the Under in passing props, leaning toward the Over in rushing props and having a few more “No” than “Yes” bets.

    The worst thing you can do is have props that go against each other in the Super Bowl.

    If you think Matt Ryan continues the hot hand and lights the Patriots up for massive gains, then don’t load up on the Over in the Falcons' rushing yard props.

    Believe New England will slow the pace and eat up time of possession with a run-heavy playbook? You may want to shy away from Julian Edleman's Over on total receptions prop and instead think Over for how many carries LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis will have.

    Didn’t pay attention to prices

    One of the worst rookie mistakes a new bettor can muff is not paying attention to the juice attached to each wager. And especially come Super Bowl time, when you’re not just limited to a side and total, bettors can easily overpay for props and alternative wagers.

    Certain props can hold a hefty price tag, either set that way to draw action or adjusted after the betting market has had its say. Professional handicappers are always wary of high-priced moneyline favorites, setting a limit to just how much they’ll put down. Some pros won’t pay more than -150 for a bet and it may be a rule you integrate into your Super Bowl capping.

    On top of some extremely juiced prop prices, books limit the amount you can wager on these alternative bets. So, throwing down $20 on a -170 prop bet is only going to net you like $12 in profit. And playing vig-heavy props can turn a winning record into a loss. Nothing stings like going 5-3 on your bets and still ending up in the red.

    Halftime lines/chasing

    In a game as big as the Super Bowl, bettors can panic if things aren’t going according to plan by the time they start setting up the halftime show stage. That can often lead to people chasing their first-half prop losses and going against what they so intensely handicapped for the past two weeks.

    Halftime lines hold value, as do in-game live betting odds, if you have a strong opinion. Many times, when a game didn’t play to the oddsmakers’ expectations in the first two quarters – high total had low-scoring first half or favorite underperformed – things will correct themselves in the second half.

    But, when faced with the shame of a Super Bowl loss, some bettors will go against their existing bets just to have some black ink on the board. If they took the Over, and the halftime score is 10-7, they pull the trigger on the second-half Under. If they laid the favorite, and the chalk is getting beat up through two frames, then side with the underdog.

    As mentioned, these abnormalities often even out and bettors can quickly wipe out a winning bet – that was perfectly handicapped – with a horrific halftime wager or live bet placed in sheer panic.

    Too much media

    Trust your instincts when it comes to the Super Bowl line. If you’ve watched the NFL intensely each week since the preseason and haven’t missed a minute of playoff action, you already have a firm grip on the two Super Bowl teams and how things should shake down.

    If your knee-jerk reaction was “Atlanta +3 is easy money”, then it probably is. But for the next two weeks, the media is going to break down this game and put it back together 100 times. You will second guess your wager probably just as much.

    Like a promoter hyping up a title fight, the Super Bowl will be sold as the matchup of all matchups. Both sides will present excellent reasons why they’ll win. The public consensus will flip flop like fish. Sharps will be on the Patriots one day and the Falcons the next. Stat heads will throw trends and numbers at you that go all the way to the invention of the forward pass.

    And in the end, what was supposed to be a tightly-contested game with a field-goal spread is a 22-0 wash at halftime. So much for all the media hype.

    Stick to your guns. First instincts are usually the right ones. Don’t over-soak your brain in two weeks’ worth of media mush. Pick and choose who you listen to, or get your bets down and tune out the Big Game buzz until kickoff like avoiding Game of Thrones spoilers. I'm only on Season 2, damn it!

    You sucked all the fun out of it

    If you’re a fan of the Patriots or Falcons – you’ve earned the right to be a little uptight for this game. I would be if my team was playing in the Super Bowl. But for the rest of us losers, who are left to just bet on the Big Game, don’t ruin what is the final football game that matters until Week 1.

    Some guys think “Big Game” equals big bets. If you’ve been stashing your nickels away for a big-ass betting bonanza on Super Bowl Sunday, then have at it – but only if it’s within your means. Nothing takes the fun out of watching the Super Bowl like wondering how you’ll pay the rent after a disastrous interception in the end zone.

    And if you’re watching the game with friends or even in a sports bar around strangers, keep your rage in check. There’s no need to start dropping f-bombs and getting your Tom Brady Underoos in a bunch because you didn’t nail that coin flip bet.

    Sports betting is entertainment. And there’s no bigger show than the Super Bowl. Enjoy the game, win or lose.

  5. #5
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    NFL
    Long Sheet

    Super Bowl


    Sunday, February 5

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NEW ENGLAND (16 - 2) vs. ATLANTA (13 - 5) - 2/5/2017, 6:30 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    NEW ENGLAND is 15-3 ATS (+11.7 Units) in all games this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 15-3 ATS (+11.7 Units) in all lined games this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 14-3 ATS (+10.7 Units) as a favorite this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 34-19 ATS (+13.1 Units) in all games where the total is greater than or equal to 49.5 since 1992.
    NEW ENGLAND is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) after 2 or more consecutive wins this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 81-53 ATS (+22.7 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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    NFL
    Short Sheet

    Super Bowl


    New England at Atlanta, 6:30 PM ET
    New England: 12-3 ATS after scoring 35 points or more last game
    New England: 8-1 OVER after 2 straight wins by 10 or more points
    Atlanta: 10-28 ATS after gaining 375 or more total yards in 2 consecutive games
    Atlanta: 9-0 OVER in all games where the total is greater than or equal to 49.5




    NFL

    Super Bowl


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    6:30 PM
    NEW ENGLAND vs. ATLANTA
    New England is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Atlanta
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of New England's last 6 games when playing Atlanta
    Atlanta is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against New England
    Atlanta is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing New England


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  6. #6
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    NFL
    Dunkel

    Super Bowl


    New England @ Atlanta

    Game 101-102
    February 5, 2017 @ 6:30 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    New England
    146.607
    Atlanta
    147.392
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    New England
    by 1
    61
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    New England
    by 3
    58 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Atlanta
    (+3); Over





    NFL
    Armadillo's Write-Up

    Super Bowl


    Falcons vs Patriots (-3, 58.5)— Here are my thoughts on the Super Bowl:


    Scores of the six Super Bowls with Brady/Belichick in them:

    SB36— NE 20, Rams 17
    SB38— NE 27, Carolina 24
    SB39— NE 24, Philadelphia 21
    SB42— Giants 17, NE 14
    SB46— Giants 21, NE 17
    SB49— NE 28, Seattle 24

    - Notice a pattern? All decided by 4 or less points.

    — Since 2010, NFL head coaches are 3-22 in their first game against Belichick. This will be Dan Quinn’s first game as a head coach against Belichick.

    — Patriots are 4-0 vs Falcons in the Brady era; three of those four games were in Atlanta.

    — New England is 13-1 in games Brady played this year; they lost 31-24 at home to Seattle on November 13. Patriots covered their last seven games.

    — Falcons won their last six games (5-1 vs spread), scoring 39 pts/game- they’re 5-1 SU as an underdog this year, with only loss at Philly, the same day the Patriots lost to Seattle.

    — Over is 15-2-1 in Atlanta games this season, 11-0 in domed stadiums; over is 7-7 in games Brady played in this year- last three Patriot games went over.

    — I’m not fond of QB’s playing in their first Super Bowl; you read articles about how the whole experience can be overwhelming for a first-timer.

    Prediction: New England, 31-27. Hope I’m wrong.
    Last edited by Udog; 01-31-2017 at 02:34 PM.

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    51 need-to-know betting notes for Super Bowl LI

    The NFC representative in the Super Bowl has won a staggering 17 of the last 19 coin flips.

    Much like a high-end Las Vegas buffet featuring bottomless mimosas, you’re about to embark on a diverse journey that offers a little bit of everything as it pertains to Super Bowl 51. From props to trends to a complete referee breakdown (Hello, Carl Cheffers!), the following rundown is designed to arm you with a plethora of useful intelligence heading into Sunday’s marquee showdown between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons.

    So tell the waiter to grab some champagne and to keep it coming. You’re not here to mingle, you’re in this for the long haul. Hey, you’ve got to get the casinos back in some way, shape or form, right?

    *All props courtesy of the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.

    1. Super Bowl 51 will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on Sunday, February 5 with kickoff scheduled for 6:30pm eastern. The home of the Houston Texans, NRG Stadium features an artificial playing surface known as UBU Sports Speed Series S5-M Synthetic Turf. Both the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons play their respective home games on artificial surfaces.

    In 13 games played on an artificial surface this season, the Patriots went 11-2 SU and 10-3 ATS while scoring an average of 29.2 points per contest. In those 13 matchups, the over was 7-6. At home, New England was 8-2 SU and 8-2 ATS while scoring an average of 28.4 points per game (Over: 6-4). Playing on an artificial surface away from Gillette Stadium, the Patriots went 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS while scoring an average of 32.0 points per contest (Under: 2-1).

    In 12 games played on an artificial surface this season, the Falcons went 8-4 SU and 7-5 ATS while scoring an average of 35.7 points per contest. In those 12 matchups, the over was a perfect 12-0. At home, Atlanta was 7-3 SU and 5-5 ATS while scoring an average of 36.0 points per game (Over: 10-0). Playing on an artificial surface away from the Georgia Dome, the Falcons went 1-1 SU and 2-0 ATS while scoring an average of 34.5 points per contest (Over: 2-0).

    2. In the six Super Bowls that the Patriots have played under head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, the average margin of victory was a minuscule 3.3 points, with no matchup being decided by more than four points. In order, here are the scoring differentials for New England’s last six Super Bowl appearances: 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4.

    3. The coin toss: In the previous 50 Super Bowls, “tails” holds the edge over “heads” by a 26-24 margin. Additionally, “tails” has come up in each of the last three Super Bowls.

    4. Coin toss continued: The NFC representative in the Super Bowl has won a staggering 17 of the last 19 coin flips.

    5. More coin toss! In the previous 50 Super Bowls, the winner of the coin toss has gone on to win the game 24 times. Carolina won the coin toss last year in Santa Clara, but went on to lose the game against Denver 24-10.

    6. Coin toss conclusion: In the six Super Bowls New England has played under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, the Patriots have won the coin toss exactly one time, which came in 2012 when New England fell 21-17 to the New York Giants in Indianapolis.

    7. The team to record the first score in the Super Bowl has gone on to win the game 34 times (34-16, 68%), which includes each of the last six Super Bowls. PROP: Will the team that scores first win the game: YES -175, NO +155.

    8. The Falcons are a rock-solid 9-1 this season when scoring first, but an average 4-4 when failing to score first.

    9. Experience: The New England roster features 21 players who have previously played in the Super Bowl. Conversely, the Atlanta roster includes just four players with prior Super Bowl experience.

    10. Barking dogs: The underdog has covered the point spread in an impressive 13 of the last 16 Super Bowls. Additionally, the dog has won outright in five straight and eight of the last nine Super Bowls.

    11. Super Bowl 51 will mark the eighth time in history in which the No. 1 scoring offense (Atlanta) will face the No. 1 scoring defense (New England) for the right to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy. In the previous seven instances in which the No. 1 scoring offense faced the No. 1 scoring defense in the Super Bowl, the No. 1 scoring defense has posted a record of 6-1 straight up and 6-1 against the spread.

    12. Barring some sort of shocking, unforeseen development over the next few days, Super Bowl 51 will mark the ninth consecutive year in which the NFL’s biggest game closed with a point spread of seven points or less. In addition, 2017 is expected to mark the 14th time in the last 15 years in which the closing number was seven points or less. The outlier of the group? Well, that would be the New England Patriots, who closed as 12-point favorites in 2008 against the New York Giants. The G-Men went on to shock the world by upending the 18-0 Patriots by a final score of 17-14.

    13. The OVER is a staggering 15-2-1 in the 18 games played by the Atlanta Falcons this season (10-0 home, 5-2-1 road).

    14. The highest closing total in Super Bowl history is 56.5 points, which came back in February of 2010 when the New Orleans Saints took on the Indianapolis Colts (the under cashed with a 31-17 Saints victory). At the moment, Super Bowl 51 features a total ranging from 58 points to 58.5 points, depending upon the sportsbook.

    15. Of the 50 previous Super Bowls to be played, only two (Patriots-Giants in 2008 and Saints-Colts in 2010) featured a closing total of 55 or more points. In both instances, the under cashed. In addition, just nine of the previous 50 Super Bowls have featured a closing total of 50 or more points. In those nine games, the under is 6-3.

    16. The New England Patriots enter Super Bowl 51 having gone a ridiculous 15-3 against the spread during the 2016-2017 regular season and playoffs. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons enter Super Bowl 51 having gone an impressive 12-6 against the spread during the 2016-2017 regular season and playoffs.

    17. 17-year officiating veteran Carl Cheffers has been tapped as the head referee for Super Bowl 51. This will be Cheffers’ first Super Bowl assignment as a referee. In the 17 games that Cheffers officiated this season, the over posted a record of 9-8.

    18. During the 2016 NFL season, Cheffers’ crew called an average of 12.82 penalties per game for an average of 109.94 penalty yards per game. This season, the league average was 13.33 penalties per game for 117.11 penalty yards per game.

    19. Cheffers didn’t officiate a single game this season that featured either the New England Patriots or Atlanta Falcons.

    20. Final word on Cheffers: The last thing the NFL wants is for its biggest game of the season, watched by millions around the world, to turn into a ref show complete with a plethora of yellow flags. So don’t be surprised if this officiating crew allows the Falcons and Patriots, especially on defense, to get away with an increased level of physical play. Over the last ten Super Bowls, the average number of total penalties enforced per game is 11.9. During the 2016 regular season alone, the average number of penalties enforced was 13.46. Cheffers already calls fewer penalties per game than the average ref, so the Patriots could have an edge here as they attempt to get very physical with superstar receiver Julio Jones.

    21. Per multiple reports, the NFL is requesting that the retractable roof at NRG Stadium in Houston remain open for Super Bowl 51. However, the final decision will be made on Super Bowl Sunday based on the weather. For those of you who are curious, it takes approximately ten minutes to close the roof at NRG Stadium. As of the time of this writing, Sunday’s forecast in Houston calls for a high of 79 degrees and a low of 62 degrees with a 20 percent chance of precipitation.

    22. The Patriots are an abysmal 1-4 ATS over their last five Super Bowl appearances.

    23. The Falcons have covered the point spread in five of their last six games overall.

    24. The Patriots have covered the point spread by an average of 9.4 points per game this season.

    25. The quarterback with the higher 2016 regular season passer rating has gone 7-2 SU and 8-1 ATS in the playoffs. This is good news for Falcons fans, as Matt Ryan finished the 2016 regular season ranked first in the NFL in passer rating (117.1), while Tom Brady finished second (112.2). Note: These numbers do not include the Oakland-Houston game, as Connor Cook started at quarterback for the Raiders without having previously established a “qualified” passer rating.

    26. File this under “absurd”: The Patriots have put points on the board in an astounding 31 consecutive quarters of football. For those of you scoring at home, the last time New England was blanked in a quarter occurred back on November 27 in New York against the Jets (first quarter). That’s a scoring streak that wound up one quarter shy of eight full games!

    27. The Falcons may possess a secret weapon in assistant general manager Scott Pioli, who worked with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick from 1992-2008 and served as Belichick’s top personnel man from 2000-2008. Pioli has an intimate understanding as to the inner workings of Belichick’s mind and approach to game-planning. And in a showdown that currently features a razor-thin three-point spread, any edge could ultimately prove to be the difference maker.

    28. MVP prop: For those of you interested in wagering on which player will win the Super Bowl 51 MVP award, take note that in the 50 previous Super Bowls, the MVP was awarded to a quarterback 27 times, a wide receiver 6 times, a running back 6 times, a linebacker 3 times, a defensive lineman 3 times, a cornerback twice and a safety, fullback and specialist once apiece.

    29. Through 50 Super Bowls, the first score of the game breaks down as follows: Touchdown 24 times, field goal 23 times, safety three times. PROP: First score of the game will be: Touchdown -190, Any other score +170.

    30. Speaking of who scores first, through 50 Super Bowls, here’s a breakdown of which position has recorded the first touchdown in the game: Wide receiver 23, running back 14, defense/special teams 5, tight end 4, quarterback 2, fullback 2.

    31. When the Patriots defeated the Seahawks in the Super Bowl two years ago, Bill Belichick received two Gatorade showers. The first was the color “blue,” while the second was the color “yellow.”

    32. Believe it or not, the Super Bowl has never gone into overtime. PROP: Will there be overtime: Yes +700, No -1100.

    33. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw three or more touchdown passes in eight of 14 games this season, including three of his last four outings. However, in six Super Bowl appearances, Brady has thrown three or more touchdown passes just twice (2004 vs. Carolina, 2015 vs. Seattle). PROP: Total touchdown passes thrown by Tom Brady: Over 2 (-250), Under 2 (+210).

    34. Speaking of Brady, the New England signal-caller recorded a completion of 40 or more yards in seven of 14 starts this season, including each of his last three outings. PROP: Longest completion by Tom Brady: Over/Under 39.5 yards (both options -110).

    35. Over/Under on length of time it takes Luke Bryan to sing the National Anthem: 2 minutes, 15 seconds. Be advised that when Bryan sung the National Anthem at the 2012 MLB All-Star game, he was clocked at 1 minute, 59 seconds.

    36. Here’s your rundown of how the last ten Super Bowl National Anthems have played out:

    Super Bowl 41: Billy Joel at 1:30
    Super Bowl 42: Jordin Sparks at 1:54
    Super Bowl 43: Jennifer Hudson at 2:10
    Super Bowl 44: Carrie Underwood at 1:47
    Super Bowl 45: Christina Aguilera at 1:54
    Super Bowl 46: Kelly Clarkson at 1:34
    Super Bowl 47: Alicia Keys at 2:35
    Super Bowl 48: Renee Fleming at 1:54
    Super Bowl 49: Idina Menzel at 2:04
    Super Bowl 50: Lady Gaga at 2:09 (somewhat controversial)

    37. Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman has recorded a reception of 27 or more yards in six of his last seven starts, which includes each of his last four outings. PROP: Longest reception made by Julian Edelman: Over/Under 26.5 yards (both options -110).

    38. Speaking of Edelman, the New England wideout has recorded 118 or more receiving yards in each of his last three starts. In addition, Edelman caught nine passes for 109 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots’ 28-24 Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks back in 2015. PROP: Total receiving yards by Julian Edelman: Over/Under 89.5 (both options -110).

    39. The Falcons are 6-2 ATS over their last eight games against teams with a winning record.

    40. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan attempted 39 or more passes in just two of 18 starts this season (Week 1 vs. Tampa Bay, Week 6 at Seattle). PROP: Over/Under total pass attempts for Matt Ryan: 38.5 (-110 both options).

    41. Defensive strategy: One element the Patriots excel at is their uncanny ability to significantly limit the opposing team’s most dangerous weapon. In this instance, that means Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones. Look for Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to employ bracket coverage on Jones, which means utilizing cornerback Logan Ryan or Eric Rowe to jam Jones at the line of scrimmage while rolling a safety over the top for additional help. This leads us to...

    42. PROP: Over/Under receiving yards for Julio Jones: 95.5 yards (-110 both ways). Remember, the Patriots held Steelers star wideout Antonio Brown to seven receptions for 77 yards and zero touchdowns in the AFC Championship game.

    43. Defensive strategy continued: This information may lead many of you to believe that Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu is in for a big afternoon. Perhaps. But take note that with Rowe or Ryan lining up on Jones, that leaves 2015 Pro Bowl cornerback Malcolm Butler free to cover Sanu 1-on-1. That’s a bad matchup for Sanu. PROP: Over/Under total receiving yards for Mohamed Sanu: 45.5 (-110 both options). Note: It’s very telling that Sanu’s Over/Under is listed at a lower total than:

    44. Defensive strategy complete: That brings us to Cleveland Browns castoff Taylor Gabriel, who has notched just 99 receptions in 42 career regular season appearances. At best, Gabriel is considered Atlanta’s No. 3 wide receiver. But if that’s the case, why is his Over/Under for receiving yards (50.5) listed at a higher total than Sanu’s? Hint, hint, you should consider playing the OVER here, as Gabriel will most likely have the most favorable defensive matchup of the group.

    45. Oh yeah, I’d also recommend playing the OVER on total receptions recorded by Taylor Gabriel (O/U 3.0, Over -120, Under EVEN).

    46. During the 2016 regular season, the New England Patriots defense surrendered a grand total of just six rushing touchdowns (fewest in NFL). Through two playoff games, this same defense surrendered only one rushing touchdown (vs. Pittsburgh). PROP: Will the Falcons score a rushing touchdown? Yes -230, No +195.

    47. According to our good friend Marc Lawrence of Playbook.com, when a team scores 40 or more points in a playoff game, that same team is a shocking 11-18 straight up and 4-24-1 ATS in their next outing. Take note that the Atlanta Falcons scored 44 points in their NFC Championship round victory over the Green Bay Packers.

    48. Only one team in Super Bowl history has scored more than 14 points during the first quarter, which occurred in 2014 when the Seattle Seahawks notched 16 points in the first quarter against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Seattle went on to win that game by a final score of 43-8.

    49. In the Super Bowl’s 50-year history, only six games (12 percent) have been decided by exactly three points. However, take note that five of those matchups have occurred since 2002 when Tom Brady and the Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams 20-17 in Super Bowl XXXVI. PROP: Will the Super Bowl be decided by exactly three points: Yes +425, No -550.

    50. For those of you interested in any proposition wagers that include an over/under on the final Nielsen Rating for Super Bowl 50, here’s how the last ten Super Bowls have broken down:

    Super Bowl 50 (Broncos-Panthers): 46.6
    Super Bowl 49 (Patriots-Seahawks): 47.5
    Super Bowl 48 (Seahawks-Broncos): 46.7
    Super Bowl 47 (Ravens-49ers): 46.3
    Super Bowl 46 (Giants-Patriots): 47
    Super Bowl 45 (Packers-Steelers): 46
    Super Bowl 44 (Saints-Colts): 45
    Super Bowl 43 (Steelers-Cardinals): 42
    Super Bowl 42 (Giants-Patriots): 43.1
    Super Bowl 41 (Colts-Bears): 42.6

    51. Through 50 Super Bowls, no team has ever been held scoreless and no kicker has ever converted an attempt from 55 yards or longer.

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    NFL's biggest betting mismatches: Super Bowl edition

    Malcolm Butler will be giving up four inches and 30 pounds to Julio Jones, making this one of the few mismatches the Falcons have at their disposal.

    Here are the biggest betting mismatches for Super Bowl LI:

    Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots (-3, 58.5)

    The final game of the NFL season has arrived, as the Falcons and Patriots do battle to determine who will be crowned champion. As you can well imagine, Sunday's showdown features two teams that are rather evenly-matched - but that doesn't mean there aren't weaknesses on both sides that the opponent will look to exploit.
    Here are four of the more pronounced mismatches you'll find heading into Super Bowl LI in Houston:

    Patriots' red-zone scoring vs. Falcons' downfield defensive doldrums

    New England did just about anything it wanted on offense, scoring the most points in the AFC despite being without star quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of the regular season. Between Brady's sensational performance, a stout running game led by LeGarrette Blount and solid performances from the entire receiving corps, opposing teams had little shot at stopping the Patriots, especially in the red zone. And that just happens to be where the Falcons' defense struggles most.

    Coming into the final weekend of the season, New England ranks ninth in the NFL in percentage of red-zone visits converted into touchdowns at 63.8 percent. That rate is even higher over the Pats' last three games (69.2 percent). New England was almost equally proficient at home (64.1 percent) compared to the road (63.3 percent), but actually came in slightly lower than their 2015 red-zone TD rate (65.2 percent), which ranked fourth in the NFL.

    For as prolific as the Atlanta offense has been, the Falcons have been positively dismal when it comes to slowing down opposing teams inside the 20-yard line. Atlanta has posted the worst opponent red-zone touchdown rate in the league at 72.1 percent, and has been only slightly better over its previous three games (66.7 percent). With rates above 70 percent both at home and on the road, Atlanta has been consistently underwhelming - and it could cost the Falcons the Super Bowl.

    Patriots' yards after the catch vs. Falcons' YAC struggles

    How did Brady rack up more than 3,500 passing yards in just 12 games? The future Hall of Famer still has a great arm, but he also had plenty of help this season, and two guys in particular were pivotal to helping Brady reach the 3,500-yard plateau for the 14th time in his illustrious career. Yards gained after the catch helped New England roll past its opponents - and while Atlanta can certainly keep pace on offense, its defense had a rough season in the YAC department.

    The Patriots posted an average YAC of 6.34 yards per reception; coincidentally, only the Falcons have a higher YAC on the season (6.37). New England had a pair of players finish in the top eight in total YAC, with running back James White compiling 540 of his 551 total receiving yards after the catch - good for sixth in the league. Wide receiver Julian Edelman wasn't far behind, finishing with 505 yards after the catch - nearly half of his 1,106-yard tally for the season.

    White and Edelman will look to add to their lofty totals Sunday against a Falcons unit that was torched all season. Atlanta allowed the most yards after the catch in the league (2,126), their 132.9 YAC allowed per game slightly higher than that of the runner-up Indianapolis Colts (132.3). And if that wasn't alarming enough, the Patriots were the league's best in YAC allowed, limiting opponents to just 1,463 yards after the catch - an average of just 91.4 per contest.

    Julio Jones vs. Malcolm Butler and the Pats' secondary

    While the majority of the focus in this post has been on how the teams match up against one another on the whole, there's one pairing that could cause the Patriots fits on Sunday. Atlanta not only has superstars at quarterback and running back in Matt Ryan and Devonta Freeman, it also employs one of the league's most electrifying receivers in Julio Jones - and if Pro Football Focus's evaluation is any indication, the Patriots will have their hands full with him.

    Statistically, Jones had what could be considered an okay season by his lofty standards; he finished second in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,409, but scored just six touchdowns. But PFF held him in much higher regard, giving him the highest rating of any player at his position (95.4). His 94.6 receiving grade was nearly 2 1/2 points higher than runner-up Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and almost 6 1/2 points above Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown.

    The Patriots were able to negate Brown in the AFC Championship, limiting him to seven catches for 77 yards. That includes just two catches on four targets when Brown was covered by Malcolm Butler, who will likely draw the bulk of the action against Jones. But while Butler has plenty of PFF love on his side (89.8 rating, sixth at his position), he'll be giving up four inches and 30 pounds to Jones, making this one of the few mismatches the Falcons have at their disposal.

    Matt Ryan's improving pocket vs. Patriots' passive pass rush

    Ryan is an MVP candidate this season after posting career bests in passing yards (4,944) and touchdowns (38) while throwing a career-low seven interceptions - and it could have been even better than that had the Falcons' offensive line done a slightly better job of keeping him upright. But Ryan and the Falcons have had no such problems recently, and should enjoy another solid showing against a Patriots pass rush that has underwhelmed of late.

    Ryan has been sacked on 6.13 percent of his dropbacks so far this season, the 23rd-best rate in the NFL; of the nine teams behind Atlanta on the list, only Miami and Seattle made the playoffs. But things have improved dramatically over the past three games, with the Falcons allowing sacks on just 3.48 percent of plays over that span. That includes a zero-sack performance in their NFC Championship victory over the Green Bay Packers.

    New England's pass rush is trending in the opposite direction heading into Super Bowl LI. The Patriots, coincidentally, rank 23rd in the NFL in sack percentage at 5.14, but have recorded sacks on just 2.42 percent of opponent plays over their past three games. They didn't have a single sack in the AFC Championship, one year after positing the fifth-highest sack rate in football (7.25 percent). If Ryan can stay on his feet, the Falcons have a puncher's chance at taking home the Lombardi Trophy.

  9. #9
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    Super Bowl LI betting preview: Patriots vs Falcons
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    The Patriots are one of the best bets ever at 15-3 ATS, but the Falcons are no slouch either at 12-6 ATS. New England is currently 3-point chalk with Super Bowl LI on the line.

    New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons (+3, 58.5)

    The storyline for Super Bowl LI between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots could not be more simple or intriguing - the NFL's No. 1 offense squaring off against the league's stingiest defense. Yet when quarterback Matt Ryan and Atlanta's high-voltage offense take the field on Sunday night at Houston's NRG Stadium, solving New England's defense hardly is their only challenge. There also is a wall of history on the opposing sideline in the persons of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, widely considered among the best quarterbacks and coaches of all-time.

    Ryan is expected to be named the NFL's Most Valuable Player following a brilliant season in which the Falcons averaged 33.8 points, but the Patriots are making a record ninth appearance in the Super Bowl - including seven since 2001 behind the Belichick-Brady tandem. "I don't think there's much Bill and his staff hasn't seen before," Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, poised to become the next coach of the San Francisco 49ers, told reporters. "They've seen a lot of football and they do it as good as anyone." Brady is making his seventh appearance on the league's grandest stage, earning three Super Bowl MVP awards and leading New England to four championships along the way. The Patriots yielded a league-low 15.6 points per game, setting up the sixth matchup since the NFL merger in which the top-scoring offense opposes the team that permitted the fewest points (the defense has prevailed in four of the first five meetings).

    TV:
    6:30 p.m. ET, FOX.

    LINE HISTORY:
    The Patriots opened as 3-point favorites immediately following the Conference Championship games two weeks ago and the spread has yet to move off that key opening number. The total hit the betting board at 58 and has crept up slightly to 58.5.
    WEATHER REPORT:
    NRG Stadium in Houston is a retractable domed stadium. There have been reports that the league has requested for the roof to be open if weather allows (most likely due to Lady Gaga's halftime performance which could take place partially high above field level). If the roof is, in fact, open for the game the forecast is calling for overcast skies with temperatures in the mid-70's for game time.

    WHAT SHARPS SAY:
    "The biggest x-factor from a handicapping standpoint in this game is the difference in experience between the two teams and how much of a role that will play in the outcome. New England quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick are the most experienced duo in Super Bowl history, while Atlanta is one of the most inexperienced teams in Super Bowl history. However, first-year head coach Dan Quinn was in the Super Bowl two of the past three years as an assistant coach with the Seattle Seahawks, including facing the Patriots two years ago." - Steve Merril

    WHAT BOOKS SAY:
    "Currently, we have 54 percent of the handle on the Patriots. The public is fairly split on their pick and the sharps that have showed up so far are on the Falcons. The total is not as balanced as we have almost 75 percent of the action on the over. If we move off the key number of -3 it will most likely be the day of the game." Scott Cooley of BookMaker.eu

    INJURY REPORT:


    Patriots - WR M. Mitchell (Probable, knee), TE M. Bennett (Probable, knee), WR C. Hogan (Probable, thigh), WR D. Amendola (Probable, ankle), RB B. Bolden (probable, knee), LB D. Hightower (Probable, shoulder), DL J. Sheard (Probable, knee), K S. Gostkowski (Probable, illness), QB J. Brissett (Questionable, thumb), CB C. Jones (Questionable, knee), DB N. Ebner (Questionable, concussion), G T. Jackson (I-R, knee), TE R. Gronkowski (I-R, back), T S. Vollmer (I-R, knee), LB J. Freeny (I-R, shoulder), TE G. Scruggs (I-R, knee).

    Falcons - C A. Mack (probable, ankle), WR Julio Jones (Probable, toe), DE A. Clayborn (I-R, bicep), S K. Ishmael (I-R, shoulder), TE J. Tamme (I-R, shoulder), CB D. Trufant (I-R, pectoral), DE D. Shelby (I-R, achilles), LB S. Weatherspoon (I-R, achilles), NT C. Mayes (I-R, foot), LB T. Starr (I-R, undisclosed), CB A. King (I-R, foot), WR D. Fuller (I-R, shoulder).

    ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (16-2, 15-3 ATS, 8-10 O/U):
    Despite its status as the toughest defense against which to score, New England is not viewed in the same light as the dominant unit that carried Denver to last year's Super Bowl win despite limiting eight of its last nine opponents to 17 points or fewer. The Patriots rank in the middle of the pack in sacks (34) and interceptions (13), but they are No. 3 against the run, allowing 83.9 yards per contest, and eighth overall with 308.9 yards per game surrendered. While New England scored six fewer points per game than Atlanta for the season, it averaged 30 since the return of Brady, who threw 28 touchdown passes and two interceptions in 12 games and carved up Pittsburgh for 384 yards and three TDs in the AFC title game. Chris Hogan had a breakout game with nine catches for 180 yards and two scores versus the Steelers, while Julian Edelman recorded a team-high 98 receptions and LeGarrette Blount registered an NFL-leading 18 rushing touchdowns during the regular season.

    ABOUT THE FALCONS (13-5, 12-6 ATS, 15-2-1 O/U):
    Ryan rebounded from a pedestrian 2015 campaign with a spectacular season, setting career highs in passer rating (117.1), yards (4,944), completion percentage (69.9) and touchdowns (38) while tossing only seven interceptions. Ryan was superb in playoff routs of Seattle and Green Bay (730 yards, seven TDs, zero INTs) and has a near-unstoppable weapon in wideout Julio Jones, who despite battling injuries still wracked up 1,409 yards in receiving and riddled the Packers by making nine catches for 180 yards and two scores in the NFC Championship Game. The Falcons also feature a strong 1-2 punch in the backfield, with the tandem of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combining for 19 rushing touchdowns while adding 85 catches and five scores through the air. Linebacker Vic Beasley registered 15.5 sacks to lead an improved defense that allowed 25.4 points per game for the season, although it held six of its last eight opponents to 21 or fewer.

    TRENDS:


    * Patriots are 5-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
    * Falcons are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
    * Over is 6-1 in Patriots last 7 playoff games.
    * Over is 4-0 in Falcons last 4 playoff games.
    * Patriots are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
    * Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings.

    CONSENSUS:
    51 percent of bettors are siding with the underdog Atlanta Falcons. As for the total, 70 percent of wagers from users are on the Over.


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  10. #10
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    Falcons' Pro Bowl center Alex Mack WILL play in #SuperBowl with a fractured fibula. Ouch.
    Line: Atl +3

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