The matchup is set and the New England Patriots will battle the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Returning to the big game for the seventh time in the last 16 years and looking for their fifth win during that span, the Patriots opened as a 3-point betting favorite.
And anyone who placed a futures bet a few months ago could be in for a nice payday, especially on the Falcons. New England opened the season at +675 on the Super Bowl LI odds, while Atlanta started out as a longshot at +6600.
New England booked its spot in the Super Bowl after breezing past the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 as a 6-point favorite in the AFC Championship Game. Tom Brady picked apart the Steelers defense in the win, passing for 384 yards with three touchdowns. Chris Hogan set a new franchise record with nine receptions for 180 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Atlanta had little trouble with the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game, crushing them 44-21 as a 6.5-point favorite. Matt Ryan delivered a dominating performance, passing for 392 yards with four touchdown strikes and a TD run. Julio Jones had nine receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
Both sides head into the Super Bowl riding winning streaks. New England has won their last nine games while going 8-1 against the spread. They’re also 6-1 straight up and 5-2 ATS in their last seven postseason games.
The Falcons have won six straight with a 5-1 ATS record. They’re 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS in their last four playoff games, and 2-6 ATS in their last eight games. For totals bettors the Falcons have been a must play on the OVER this season. Atlanta has gone OVER the total in their last eight games, and they’re 12-1 OVER in their last 13 outings.
The Patriots and Falcons last met in 2013. In that game the Falcons were a 2.5-point home favorite, but were upset 30-23. Including that win the Patriots have won their last four versus Atlanta both straight up and ATS.
Atlanta has suspect results against the AFC lately, with a 5-12 record ATS in their last 17 games against the conference. New England has owned NFC opponents at 7-2 SU in their last nine versus the conference.
The Super Bowl returns to Houston for the third time and first since 2004. In 2004 the Patriots faced the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVII at what was then called Reliant Stadium as a 7-point favorite. The Patriots won the game 32-29, but failed to cover the spread. The only other time Houston hosted the championship in 1974 the Miami Dolphins topped the Minnesota Vikings 24-7 as a 6.5-point favorite.
Looking at the recent Super Bowl trends the Patriots have to be pleased as the designated away team. In the last 10 Super Bowl matchups the away team is 8-2 SU and in the last five they are 4-1 ATS. However, the underdog Falcons will be happy to know that the favorite has lost the last five Super Bowls both SU and ATS.