Super Bowl Final Thoughts, Prop Bet Picks, Another College Football Playoff-like Shocker?
Check out the final thoughts on the Atlanta vs. New England Super Bowl, prediction, prop bet picks, what we learned from the College Football Playoff when it comes to big games, and why this is an easy call.
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Yeah, it’s not quite right to compare and contrast one game to another, one sport to another, or one season to another, and assume that history is going to repeat itself.
I’m sorry for that pretentious drivel. To put it another way – and this does relate to the Super Bowl analysis – I should’ve seen Deshaun Watson and Clemson coming, and I should learn from that when it comes to Atlanta vs. New England in the Super Bowl.
I picked it. I told everyone Clemson – right up until it was time to actually make a prediction, and then I bailed, whiffed, and jumped all over Alabama.
I got lazy.
I picked Texas to beat USC in the epic 2006 national championship, partly because the Longhorns were really that good, partly because the Trojans were just a bit overrated, and partly because of Vince Young. Relying on history, everything set up perfectly for the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship to mirror that Texas win, but I relied on the “I just can’t pick against Alabama in a national title” belief.
Of course Alabama was going to win, because Alabama wins national championships with that defense.
Of course Ohio State was going to win the Fiesta Bowl over Clemson, because it’s Urban Meyer, and he doesn’t lose games like that.
Of course New England is going to beat Atlanta, because New England wins Super Bowls, and because it’s Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
Or maybe I just haven’t learned my lesson.
Picking NFL games against the spread is a sucker bet – the lines are too tight, the talent disparity isn’t as great as the college game, everything is too even – but, in general, the Super Bowl is a breeze.
The general public usually falls for the 1) popular team and/or 2) the flashier offense. But if you go through the recent history of the game, when it comes down to an obvious great defense vs. obvious great offense battle, you take the great D, and you’ll probably win.
But that’s what I thought when it came to the College Football Playoff National Championship. There was no way, no how, No. 4 for the Tigers was going to beat that all-timer Crimson Tide D when it came down to crunch time.
However, going by Super Bowl history makes things a whole lot clearer.
Of course Denver was going to shut down Cam Newton and Carolina last year. If you didn’t see that one coming from ten miles away, you haven’t been watching your Super Bowls.
Yeah, okay, New England beat Seattle and its No. 1 D in XLIX, but that was sort of an outlier thanks to the epic Marshawn Lynch play-call whiff.
Seattle beating Denver in XLVIII was a layup of a call. San Francisco’s defense was statistically better than Baltimore’s in XLVII, but the Ravens defense was on a roll after shutting down the Patriots in the AFC Championship.
Pittsburgh’s D was No. 1 in 2008, and beat Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII, and was fourth defensively going into XL when it beat Seattle.
Always forgotten in time – considering the Brady-led O gets all the credit – was the 2004 New England D that finished second in the NFL and went on to beat Philadelphia, to go along with the Patriot defense that finished first in 2003 on the way to beating Carolina in XXXVIII. However, the Pats didn’t cover in either of those wins.
And, of course, there are the all-timer layup Super Bowl calls of Tampa Bay and its No. 1 D over the supposedly unstoppable Oakland offense in XXVII, and the Baltimore No. 1 defense that thumped the Giants in XXXV.
So what does any and all of this mean? The team with the far, far better defense – and an offense that’s really, really good, too – almost always rolls, both straight up and against the spread. This year, if the line was New England -7 or so, then it’s a tough one and the play might be the Falcons. But at -3?!
Forget all the other garbage you’ve been hearing. It’s just not any harder than this: New England has the NFL’s No. 1 defense, Atlanta is 27th. Atlanta has the No. 1 offense, but New England is third. The Patriots also led the regular season in scoring defense by a whopping 2.2 points per game.
Atlanta’s regular season scoring D? 27th.
Yeah, you always go with the great defense – unless Atlanta all of a sudden signs Deshaun Watson.
Now, on to the fun stuff. You want to know what’s going to happen for all the Super Bowl props before it all happens? Here you go.
This is all just for spits, giggles, and entertainment purposes only. However, just in case you dabble …
There are a million props, but these are the ones I like. If I were to take part in these sorts of things, I’d go with …
– Line: New England -3
– Coin Toss: Heads -105
– First TD Scorer: LeGarrette Blount +700
– Halftime Line: New England -1.5 (-110)
– Halftime Over/Under: Under 29
– Most Passing Yards, Game: Matt Ryan -130
– Most Receiving Yards, Game: Taylor Gabriel +750
– Will Atlanta Run For A TD: No +205 (it’s just too tasty with this NE D)
– Super Bowl MVP: LeGarrette Blount +1600
– Lada Gaga Final Halftime Song: Born This Way (for whatever you can find this for)
– Total Team Points: Over New England 30.5 (-140) (Atlanta gives up over 25 points per game)
– Will Team That Scores First Win?: Yes -155
– Will Team That Scores Last Win?: No +150
– First Scoring Play Will Be: Patriot Rushing TD +550
– Will Either Team Score 4 Unanswered Times: Yes +195
– Will Either Team Score 5 Unanswered Times: Yes +600 (yeah, it’s a sucker, but if you can buy the idea of 4 …)
– Result Of First Offensive Play: Penalty +1400 (again, sucker, but don’t you just feel a false start coming, or a pass interference on a deep shot?)
– Will There Be A Successful 2-Point Conversion: Yes +195
– First Half Winning Margin: Patriots by 10-12 points +900
AND FINALLY …
– Amount Of Calories I Will Consume On Sunday: Over 3,274.5