New England is making their record-setting ninth Super Bowl appearance. If the Pats win, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will both have five Super Bowl victories – the most for a quarterback and coach in history.
Additional, the Patriots were Vegas’ favorite to win the championship this year, getting 6-1 odds. Meanwhile, the Falcons had the fifth-worst odds at 80-1.
More differences can be seen in Atlanta’s number of Super Bowl appearances since they’ve only made it here once, losing 34-19 to the Denver Broncos in 1999 (Super Bowl XXXIII).
While these two teams might have very different histories, they’re close in the betting spread. Let’s take a look at the betting line below and discuss which team will win this contest.
GTBets Line for Patriots (15-3 ATS) vs. Falcons (12-6 ATS)
Feb 5 @ 6:30pm EST
Atlanta +3 (-105); +142
New England -3 (-115); -162
Why New England (-3) Will Win
Say what you will about New England being cheaters, and hiring somebody (just kidding) to pull the fire alarm at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ hotel, but this team is a true NFL dynasty.
The Brady-Belichick combo has been marvelous since partnering up in 2000. They’re 4-2 in Super Bowls and have a strong chance to win a record-breaking fifth one this year – all the more-impressive when you consider that they lost the game’s best tight end late in the season.
Brady has been a huge part of this year’s run, setting an NFL record (yes, another record) for TD-to-INT with 28 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. He also threw for 3,554 yards despite serving a four-game suspension for Deflategate.
While Brady wasn’t sharp against the Houston Texans (287 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs), he was masterful against Pittsburgh, throwing for 384 yards and three touchdowns. He’s been here before several times, has the experience, and is playing as well as ever at age 39.
But what’s impressive about the Patriots is that their defense may be even better. They ranked eighth-overall in yards allowed (326.4) and first in scoring defense (15.3). The defense has been just as sharp as ever in the playoffs, intercepting Brock Osweiler three times and holding Houston to 16 points, while limiting a strong Pittsburgh team to 17 points.
Maybe the latter could’ve been a different game if Le’Veon Bell didn’t get hurt (groin) 6 carries into the game. Even then, it didn’t look like there was any stopping New England after the early flea-flicker touchdown from Brady to Chris Hogan.
This team is tough on both sides of the ball, and it’s hard to see them being denied their second title in the last three years.
Why Atlanta (+3) Will Win
While the Patriots have been impressive in the playoffs, so too have the Falcons. They scored at will on Seattle’s tough defense in a 36-20 divisional round victory, and destroyed the Green Bay Packers to the tune of 44-21.
Many expected the Packers to at least compete in the NFC Conference Championship, but they were quickly outclassed as Atlanta jumped out to a 31-0 lead. The fact that this team held Green Bay scoreless for the first two and a half quarters shows that Atlanta’s defense is better than advertised.
Speaking of which, the Falcons ranked 25th in giving up 371.2 yards per game. But some of this can be attributed to the offense, which scored quickly en route to putting up 33.8 points a game – the eighth-highest total in league history.
Atlanta has weapons all over the field, beginning with QB Matt Ryan, who won the MVP award after throwing for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns. He’s been amazing in the playoffs, throwing for 338 yards and 3 TDs against Seattle, along with 392 yards and 4 TDs against Green Bay.
Ryan has gone seven straight games without an interception, which is important because New England ranked third in forced turnovers (23).
The run game is headed by Devonta Freeman (1,079 rushing yards) and Tevin Coleman (520). Both of these players are also pass-catching threats, with Freeman catching 54 balls for 462 yards and Coleman hauling in 31 passes for 421 yards.
If there’s a team that can beat New England now, it’s definitely the Falcons. They dominated their two postseason games so far and are hungry for the franchise’s first championship.
Final Prediction on Patriots vs. Falcons
This certainly isn’t an easy game to pick a winner. Both teams outclassed their conferences en route to the Super Bowl, and both have a realistic chance of winning.
Ryan hasn’t thrown an interception since late November, while Atlanta has multiple weapons that make them dangerous. Their defense also performed well against the Packers before the dogs were called off.
New England’s offense is also good, with Brady having another outstanding season, and running back LeGarrette Blount scoring 19 rushing TDs so far.
But where we see the real separation is on the defensive side of the ball. While Atlanta stopped Green Bay, they haven’t been as consistent as the Patriots. That said, we see New England getting some crucial stops in this game.
History also goes in New England favor since the league MVP hasn’t won a Super Bowl since 1999 (Kurt Warner), and Brady has never lost a Super Bowl when seeing the opponent for the first time that season.
Final Score Prediction: New England wins 31-24
The GTBets over/under on this game is 58.5 (-110). With two high-powered offenses, it’s tough to say which way to bet. But considering New England’s ability to hold opponents – including even the Steelers – we slightly favor the under on this one.