Best Bets Against The Spread
What Super Bowl LI Spread Bets Should You Make?
By Bob Duff
What's the spread?
It's the first question a football bettor asks but when it comes to the Super Bowl, the more appropriate question to ask might be, "How many points am I getting?"
In Super Bowl play, every underdog has its day, or so it seems of late.
You know that old saying about the NFL, "On any given Sunday?" On Super Bowl Sunday, you give it up for the underdog.
Recently, the Super Bowl is proving to be a graveyard for favorites.
Through the past 10 Super Bowls, underdogs have won outright six times, including the last five Super Bowls. One favorite covered, another equaled the spread and two favorites won straight up but failed to cover the spread.
Take it back to the past 15 Super Bowls and the underdoog owns a 12-3 mark.
The New England Patriots are three-point favorites to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, and it isn't a stretch to understand why New England is the chosen team. The Patriots have won four Super Bowls during the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era and are the closest thing to a dynasty seen in the NFL since 2000.
Brady has earned a trio of Super Bowl MVP awards. New England hasve lost twice this season and just once since Brady returned from his four-game NFL suspension for his role in the Deflategate scandal.
Did someone say juggernaut?
Of all the things the Patriots have handled expertly over their run of excellence, being the chosen one isn't among them. New England is 0-2-2 when favored in a Super Bowl game.
The Patriots lost twice to the New York Giants as the favorite. They were a whopping 12-point pick over the Giants in Super Bowl XLII and lost 17-14. The 2.5-point choice in Super Bowl XLVI, New England fell 21-17 to the Giants.
On two other occasions, both as seven-point chalk, the Patriots won straight up but did not cover the spread. In Super Bowl XXXIV, they toppled the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 and in Super Bowl XXXVIII, captured a 32-29 decision over the Carolina Panthers.
On the other hand, the Brady-Belichick Patriots are 2-0 as a Super Bowl underdog. In Super Bowl XLIX, the Seattle Seahawks were a one-point choice but the Patriots won 28-24. And Brady and company earned their first Super Bowl title as 14-point underdogs to the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, winning 20-17.
The Falcons are only three point underdogs, but it's difficult to imagine them being underdogs at all after the season they've enjoyed. Atlanta have committed an NFL-low 11 giveaways, none at all during the playoffs. The offense averaged 33 points per game, finished second in passing yardage per game and fifith in rushing yardage per game.
Matt Ryan's quarterback rating is 117.1. He's thrown for 18 TDs and no interceptions over the last six games. Ryan is the first QB in NFL history to start all 16 games and average 9.25 yards per pass completion.
Atlanta have never won the Super Bowl, losing 34-19 to Denver in its only previous appearance in Super Bowl XXXIII. Teams playing in their second Super Bowl are 12-8 overall, and teams that lost their first Super Bowl are 8-7 in their second appearance.
The Falcons are known as the Dirty Birds but come Super Bowl Sunday, could very well be the latest dog to have their day.
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