The Super Bowl 51 matchup is set, and it features two prolific offenses. The Atlanta Falcons will face the New England Patriots in Houston, and there should be all sorts of fireworks. The Patriots have been installed as a field goal favorite.
A team gets three points for being on their home field, but obviously the Super Bowl is played on a neutral field. The number is not that oddsmakers think New England is three points better than Atlanta. Instead, they think that is a number that will get people betting evenly on both sides of it. If the house get bets split right down the middle, they win. They will adjust the line as many comes in, be it overwhelming public money, or specifically played sharp (professional bettors) money.
The two teams combined to score over 80 points in the conference championship games. That coupled with their season of offensive success has resulted in oddsmakers installing the highest point total in Super Bowl history. The number opened at 57 points in some sportsbooks, and climbed as high as 59 last night. I suspect we see the number continue to grow.
For the time being, I am inclined to take the Falcons +3. I initially thought about taking the OVER, but as the number climbs I am more inclined to take the UNDER. I think we’ll see heavy public money on the OVER given the offenses in play; particularly the Falcons offense. Atlanta has put up huge numbers against Seattle and Green Bay the last two weeks. Add in that I don’t think their defense will be able to stop the Patriots, and we are looking at the potential for big numbers. Betting the UNDER might prove to be the smart bet, but UNDER bettors will be sitting on pins and needles.