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Super Bowl 51 picks: 15 predictions straight up, against the spread

The NN staff puts together predictions for Super Bowl 51.

The weekend is here and Super Bowl 51 is two days away. We’ll have plenty more coverage heading into the weekend, but in the meantime, I thought it would be a good time to collect predictions from contributors to the site.

The Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots square off on Sunday in Houston. We have 15 predictions, and the Falcons are the straight up pick in ten of them. The Patriots are a field goal favorite, and of the five New England picks, two of them have a push, both with a final score of 34-31. That means 13 people gave the Falcons covering the spread.

The Patriots are 15-3 against the spread this season, and a cover against the Falcons on Sunday would match the 1989 San Francisco 49ers for most games covering the spread in a single season. That 49ers team was 14-2 straight up in the regular season, and 13-3 ATS. They covered in all three playoff games to close at 16-3 ATS. That’s one more reason to root against the Patriots!

Here are the picks from our writers.

Fooch: Falcons 27-23

James: Patriots 34-24

Bill Belichick cannot lose. He cannot be defeated. He is the ultimate evil and the ultimate evil will always prevail. We are doomed and the Falcons are doomed

Jennifer: Falcons 35-27

ATL has them on the ropes the whole game. That would make me happy.

Pat: Falcons 34-31

It's always priceless when Bill Belichick and Tom Brady lose, and it's going to happen.

Oscar: Falcons 31-27

David: Patriots 38-27

Greg: Falcons 44-38

Atlanta wins in a barn burner.

Mark: Falcons 21-19

Surprisingly low-scoring game. Matty Ice wins it in final seconds on a QB keeper no one saw coming.

Chris: Patriots 31-20

SSU: Falcons 27-24

Falcons jump out early, Brady stages a furious comeback to tie the games but loses on a last second field goal by the Falcons as time expires.

ak4niner: Falcons 34-28

Extra just because: New England is ahead by one late in the fourth (due to a missed xp by the Falcons). Atlanta drives the field and scores a TD in the final moments.

Alex: Falcons 31-27

I think the Pats will be ahead for most of this game, and right before the 2 minute warning Matt Ryan connects with Julio Jones. Then after Brady gets his team all the way inside the red zone it's the Falcons defense that stands tall and stops Brady and company as the Falcons claim their 1st Super Bowl.

Kris: Patriots 34-31

I hope I'm wrong, I'd like to see Atlanta win.

Billy: Falcons 34-27

Kyle Shanahan rides off to the sunset and boards the plane straight to Santa Clara

Joe: Patriots 34-31

I am going to go against the grain to make things interesting. Belichick comes in with a great defensive game plan and shuts down the Falcon holding them to just 7 points in the first half. New England 17 Atlanta 7 at the half.

Shanahan makes some brilliant changes at the half and the Falcon score a touchdown and a field goal early to tie the score before Brady comes back with a 17 yard TD pass to none other than new acquisition Michael Floyd and the Patriots once again pull ahead 24-17. They continue to trade touchdowns until the Patriots kick a field goal with time running out and pull out a 34-31 win. Might happen!