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Super Bowl 51 picks against the spread: Can Patriots match 1989 49ers ATS record?

The Patriots are a field goal favorite in Super Bowl 51. Can they cover for a record-tying 16th time?

The 2017 Super Bowl kicks off later this afternoon with the New England Patriots facing the Atlanta Falcons. The Patriots enter the game as a field goal favorite, and look to be the first favorite to win the Super Bowl since the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl 45.

There is another interesting number on the line. The Patriots are 15-3 against the spread this season. The record for most wins against the spread is 16, set by the San Francisco 49ers in 1989. They entered the playoffs 14-2 SU and 13-3 ATS. They proceeded to steamroll through the playoffs with an average margin of victory of 33 points in their three postseason matchups.

I am picking the Falcons to spring the upset, however. The Patriots are a great football team, but Atlanta gets the benefit of playing on the NRG Stadium turf. Inclement weather is likely to mean the roof will be closed, which could keep them feeling even more like they are playing back at the Georgia Dome.

Public money has been coming in on the Patriots for much of the past two weeks. It did not result in the number moving, but the juice you pay on the Patriots increased as a result of it. There has been some late money on the Falcons, but not enough to make any drastic changes.

I have been going with Falcons 27-23. That would give them the outright win, and stay UNDER the record-setting 58 point total. That OVER is tempting with this Falcons offense, but I think they’re trying to draw in some suckers on that one. I’ll stick with Falcons and the UNDER.