By VSiN staff
Heading into Super Bowl LI, the New England Patriots are 3-point favorites over the Atlanta Falcons. The total is 59. We surveyed VSiN staff, other media, oddsmakers and professional bettors for their picks.
The majority favor the Falcons straight up and against the spread. And they see the game finishing under the total.
Here's each pick and the thoughts behind them:
Gill Alexander, VSiN host: Patriots, 31-20
The Falcons’ leaky defense has been temporarily masked by having the good fortune of facing both a terrible Seahawks offensive line and a banged-up Packers line. No such luck versus the Patriots’ line in front of Tom Brady.
John Avello, Wynn Las Vegas sports book: Falcons, 31-27
You have to beat the business, and that’s what I call the Patriots. You have to come into the game totally prepared and not make mistakes. The Falcons are very confident and have enough offense to win.
Al Bernstein, VSiN host: Falcons, 27-24
Both teams will move the ball well, but Atlanta’s defense will find a way to get a key turnover or two.
Brian Blessing, Sportsbookradio.com: Falcons, 26-23
Of all things, the difference in this game could prove to be the two-headed monster of a running game the Falcons can employ. The Patriots don’t want to play in a track meet.
Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill sports books: Falcons, 28-27
It’s Matt Ryan’s year. I think he somehow finds a way to win and is MVP.
Ron Boyles, Las Vegas professional bettor: Falcons, 31-30
This will be close and high scoring. I do think the Patriots will stop Julio Jones, that will be Bill Belichick’s priority, but Devonta Freeman might have a huge game for the Falcons.
Norm Clarke, VSiN columnist: Falcons, 31-30
Atlanta has too many weapons. New England will miss injured tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Steve Cofield, ESPN Radio 1100: Patriots, 37-24
Little Shanny isn't outcoaching "Hat on Backwards" guy Matt Patricia. So the greatest coach and quarterback in the history of the NFL win their fifth Lombardi Trophy.
Dave Cokin, ESPN Radio 1100: Patriots, 30-24
When the No. 1 offense has faced the No. 1 defense, the defense has usually come out on top.
Todd Dewey, Las Vegas Review-Journal: Patriots, 38-31
Belichick’s defense does enough and Brady does more than enough to set up an awkward Lombardi Trophy presentation for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Chuck Edel, Las Vegas professional bettor: Falcons, 30-27
The Falcons are peaking coming into this game, and I like Atlanta in a close one.
Chuck Esposito, Sunset Station sports book director: Falcons, 31-26
Brady and Belichick together never have scored a point in the first quarter of a Super Bowl. If they don’t this time against the high-flying Falcons, this one won’t be that close. The mighty Dan Quinn will be hoisting the Lombardi.
Patrick Everson, Covers.com writer: Falcons, 31-28
Ryan and the Falcons solve Belichick’s defensive equation and score just enough points to pull off the modest upset.
Bernie Fratto, ESPN Radio 1100: Falcons, 31-27
In Week 10, the Seahawks bullied the Patriots. Nine weeks later, I saw the Falcons bully the bully. I can't get that visual out of my mind. Offensively, the Falcons can keep up. Defensively, they're opportunistic. And, they have embraced the underdog role.
Ed Graney, Las Vegas Review-Journal: Patriots, 31-23
When a leading story during Super Bowl week is about that lunatic Belichick's hoodie, you know the Pats aren't sweating this one.
Jay Kornegay, Westgate sports book director: Patriots, 28-27
Expect a very competitive game, but Brady and Belichick make the necessary adjustments to pull out the win.
Vinny Magliulo, Gaughan Gaming, VSiN: Patriots, 30-23
Two high-powered offenses, but the Pats hold an advantage of being experienced on this stage and have the better overall defense.
Tony Miller, Golden Nugget sports book director: Patriots, 31-30
Brady and the Patriots pull off a last-second, come-from-behind win to take home another Lombardi Trophy.
Brent Musburger, VSiN host: Falcons, 24-20
Ryan's MVP season continues. A lower-scoring game than most think.
Todd Musburger, VSiN co-founder: Falcons, 21-17
With high-powered offenses on both sides, the concentration for the past two weeks has been on how to stop the other guy. This will finish way under the total.
Mitch Moss, ESPN Radio 1100: Patriots, 34-23
I think we'll look back and say, how did Atlanta only score that many points? I expect the Falcons to move the football, but New England will force them to kick field goals.
Jay Rood, MGM Resorts sports books: Patriots, 29-27
I think both offenses are going to grind it out with long drives. It’s going to be a close game, and the Patriots probably pull it out.
Jeff Sherman, Westgate sports book manager: Falcons, 31-24
At the start of the playoffs, it was difficult for me to envision any team's offense keeping up with that of the Falcons.
Dave Tuley, ESPN.com/Chalk: Falcons, 34-33
I bet over 58 when the line opened. I might be a little biased with my 100-1 ticket on the Falcons (given out before the season on ESPN Insider) riding on the outcome. While I know the No. 1 scoring defense usually beats the No. 1 scoring offense in the Super Bowl, today's NFL is geared more than ever to offense, and Ryan has a few more weapons.
Matt Youmans, VSiN editor: Patriots, 30-24
Betting against Brady and Belichick is a tough way to make a living. I’ll side with the NFL’s No. 1 scoring defense and the Patriots’ big-game experience.
Straight-up picks: Falcons 14, Patriots 11
ATS picks: Falcons 16, Patriots 9
Total: Under 18, Over 6, Push 1