The Experts Pick Super Bowl 51Noah Williams
The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons will meet Sunday (6:30 p.m. ET, FOX) in Super Bowl LI. The betting spread holding steady at 3-points in favor of the Pats. The game total is a preposterous 59-points.
As the teams prepare to hit the grid-iron, here is how the pros and experts are picking Super Bowl LI.
The Experts Pick Super Bowl 51
What: Super Bowl LI
Who: New England Patriots (14-2) vs Atlanta Falcons (11-5)
When: Sunday, February 5, 2017
Start Time: 6:30 PM ET
Where: Houston, TX
Stadium: NRG Stadium
Spread: Patriots -3
Moneyline: New England -150 vs Atlanta +140
Game Total: 59.5
Watch: FOX Sports
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews & Chris Myers
Listen: New England vs Atlanta
Donald Trump, President: New England
“You know, Tom Brady is a friend of mine. We play golf together,” said Trump. “Great quarterback. He’s a phenomenal guy and a great athlete. I’m with him, I feel the same age as him. It’s crazy.”
Michael Vick, former QB: Atlanta
"They got hot, put on a great performance in the playoffs and took advantage of the home field opportunities. I’m pumped for them, man. I’m excited as a fan, not only for the franchise but to see some good football."
Bill Simmons, The Ringer, The Boston Sports Guy: New England
"Oh. I mean. [LeGarrette] Blount could absolutely win it. [Julian] Edelman could win it. Deion Branch won [in the game against] the Eagles."
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Atlanta
"In the end, the Patriots will have the ball down 35-31 with a chance to go win it. This time, it won’t be a Brady late drive to a title. Instead, it will be a sack by Vic Beasley late to end the drive and give the Atlanta Falcons their first Super Bowl victory and give Ryan validation by some as a top quarterback."
Falcons 35, Patriots 31
FiveThirtyEight.com: New England
"Our forecast is based on 100,000 simulations of the season and updates after every game. Our model uses Elo ratings (a measure of strength based on head-to-head results and quality of opponent) to calculate teams’ chances of winning their regular-season games and advancing to and through the playoffs. "
Gerald McCoy, DT, Buccaneers: Atlanta to win Super Bowl 51
“Because they’re in the NFC South."
David-DeCastro, G, Steelers: New England wins Super Bowl 51
"They’ve got the experience, they’ve been there before, and they beat us up pretty good."
Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys: Atlanta
"As much as I love (Tom) Brady, I think the Falcons are going to take it. I just do. Because some teams just have that good old glow around them. I’m biased because I play for the Cowboys, (but) I think we’re the only team that had a shot at the Falcons. Because we would have kept Atlanta off the field. If the Patriots run game is strong that day … they’ve got a chance of beating the Falcons. But if it’s weak, the Falcons are going to blow them out."
Zach Brown, LB, Bills: New England
"They represent our conference, and if you’re not Eli Manning and the Giants — for some reason the Giants have Tom Brady’s number — I’ve got to go with Tom."
Michael Bennett, DE, Seahawks: New England
Jason Kelce, C, Eagles: Atlanta
"It’s hard to go against Brady, but right now Atlanta’s playing as good as I’ve ever seen. The way they beat Green Bay was just so dominant. It’s going to be kind of hard to go against them."
Aqib Talib, CB, Broncos: TOSS-UP
"I think it’s going to be a hell of a game, but I don’t know who’s going to win it. I’ve got experience with (the Patriots), but I’ve also got experience in the AFC South, so I’ve seen a lot of Matt Ryan. He came out the year I came out, and he’s a hell of a quarterback, and Kyle Shanahan is a hell of an OC. If anybody can score on New England it’s them, but I don’t know."
Patrick Peterson, CB, Cardinals: Atlanta
"Just because they’re very, very explosive. They’ve got the best offense in the league, and they’ve got Julio Jones and Matt Ryan."
Jimmy Graham, TE, Seahawks: New England
"Tom Brady’s been there a million times, and I’m sure he’ll do it again."
“In my mind he has [already] overtaken Joe Montana.” – @LT_21
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 31, 2017
Geno Atkins. DT, Bengals: New England
“It’s coaching and Tom Brady. I wouldn’t bet against those two."
Stephon Gilmore, S, Bills: New England
Jeremy Zuttah, C, Ravens: New England
"As much as it pains me to say, I’ve got to go with New England. You’d just be stupid to bet against Tom Brady at this point."
Joe Thomas, T, Browns: Toss-up
"It’s tough to pick. I think you’d be a fool to bet against the Patriots because of their experience and because they’re playing so well right now, but if you look at Atlanta they’re rolling just the same. It’s a coin flip."
Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers: New England
"Tom Brady is too hard to bet against. I think he’s the greatest player to play the game, even though I’m not a fan. Get that on the record. I’m a Peyton Manning guy. But I think he’s the best."
Mike Tolbert, FB, Panthers: New England
“27-14. I’m born and raised like 10 minutes from the Georgia Dome, but coming from the Carolina Panthers I kind of grew a deep hate for the Georgia Dome. So I just can’t (pick the Falcons)."
DeMarco Murray, RB, Titans: No Pick
“Yeah, I’m not picking that."
Eric Weddle, S, Ravens: New England
"They’re just too good. I think it’ll be a great game, but with (New England) having two weeks to prepare, that’ll be a challenge (for Atlanta)."
Cliff Avril, DE, Seahawks: Toss-up
"I’ve got mixed feelings because I’m friends with Martellus Bennett, and I would love for him to win it, but at the same time, Dan Quinn, we won a Super Bowl together, so I wouldn’t mind seeing him win. I’m just hoping for a good game."
Cordarelle Patterson, WR, Vikings: Atlanta
"Me personally, being from South Carolina, I’ve got to pick Atlanta. It’s not the home team, but it’s in my home area."
Richard Sherman, CB, Seahawks: Toss-up
"One of them is going to win. I have no idea. It’s two great teams going at it, and it’s going to be a great matchup."
Bobby Wagner, LB, Seahawks: Atlanta
"I wouldn’t mind Dan Quinn winning because I love Dan Quinn."
Fletcher Cox, DT, Eagles: No Pick
"I don’t even watch football. I really don’t even care."