Super Bowl LI is set and will take place at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The latest point spread released by odds makers has the New England Patriots favored by three points over the Atlanta Falcons. Not surprising when you consider the advantages that the Patriots have over the Falcons.
Betting lines change throughout the two week build up to the championship game.However, it seems the line spread will continue to favor New England and stay in the realm of three to three and a half points.
Let’s have a look at why New England is being favoured early on:
BILL BELICHICK vs DAN QUINN
This will be the first time these coaches go head to head, the glaring difference between them is experience. Bill Belichick has been to eight Super Bowls in his career. Six with the Patriots and two as defensive coordinator with the New York Giants. Dan Quinn won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014, serving as the defensive coordinator under Pete Carroll. This will be his first trip to the Super Bowl as a head coach.
Belichick is widely considered one of the best coaches in NFL history. His preparation and game planning is second to none. His team is always prepared and disciplined on the football field, Belichick is 25-10 in the playoffs as a head coach. Dan Quinn will have the grueling task of game planning for Belichick’s defensive unit, who are playing at their peak.
TOM BRADY vs MATT RYAN
Both quarterbacks are playing at a MVP level this season, Brady might lose the MVP race to Ryan considering he missed the first four games of the season. The Falcons are coming off a convincing win against the Green Bay Packers where Ryan dominated, throwing 392 yards and four touchdowns.
Brady is playing like a man possessed, whether he is motivated by the deflategate scandal or not, he is playing at an all-time great level. Brady has the most wins in playoff history, as well as four Super Bowl rings and three MVP’s for his performances in the championship games.
Ryan is going to his first Super Bowl in his career, he has played in six playoff games and owns a 2-4 record, not to say that will effect his performance but experience matters. Atlanta has the number one scoring offense in the NFL, coupled with star receiver Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu in the slot. Devonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman also pack a punch in the back field and can run the ball when needed.
Brady might not have a receiver the caliber of a Julio Jones, but the Patriots have a system in place. Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola collectively carry the load on offense. Tight end Martellus Bennett has been battling an ankle injury, but will still be needed in the game.
LeGarrette Blount has been a game changer along with Dion Lewis. Both running backs offer speed and power that will be needed for Brady to keep the Falcons defense on their heels.
PATRIOTS DEFENSE vs FALCONS DEFENSE
New England are ranked number one in scoring defense and Atlanta claim the number one spot in scoring offense. The old adage is that defense wins championships could be the case in this match up. Both offenses could perform at a high level, subsequently, the game could come down to one or two stops near the end.
The Patriots have the better all around defense, and the back field with Malcolm Butler and Ryan Logan, in addition to Pro Bowl safety Devin McCourty patrolling the lanes. Their defensive front is not one that will feast on the quarterback, but they keep him guessing. It is a collective effort by a defense that is extremely disciplined and play to their strengths, they do not play “hero ball” or miss assignments.
The Falcons on the other hand have a young defensive unit with immense talent. Vic Beasley leads the league with 15.5 sacks and Dwight Freeney is a veteran presence on the defense and has been solid this season. The defense proved it’s legitimacy after shutting down the Packers, and Aaron Rodgers.
The build up to Super Bowl LI is always an enjoyable time for fans and pundits. There will be ample material that will capture the imagination of sports radio and talk shows. Stay tuned as we take a deeper look into which players will have the biggest impact in the championship game.
The Vegas insider lists numerous odds that you can check out on their site for further information.