6-5. It all comes down to this...whether Bokolis is going to send everybody to the window yet again.
Falcons (+3) over Patriots - The prevailing thought from the pundits- Bokolis realizes that those words are dripping with incongruous juxtapositions- is that the Falcons have the better players, but Brady and Belichick, Belichick and Brady... This is in the vein of what Bokolis brought up in the conference championship predictions. Sure that holds water, that this pair, with so much championship game experience, would rise to the challenge and the moment.
Then, on the heels of Matt Ryan being awarded the league MVP, they hit you with the nugget, that the league MVP has had a shit time of it in the ensuing super bowl. So, whythefuck do you award this thing the night before the super bowl?! To debunk such a statistic, since the MVP is a subjective award, maybe the guy wasn't the real MVP. Didn't Bokolis say it was the E-Double? I forget. Regardless, my cognitive dissonance is screaming that it's high time for mean reversion.
Bokolis can point to the Patriots' soft schedule; someone else can point to Brady being 11-1 against that schedule. Someone else can point to the Falcons' inexperience; Bokolis can say that it doesn't mean shit and these Falcons have lit up every team they've played, including the Broncos, whose defense didn't slip all that much from last year's vintage, yet pounded the Patriots. Pundit A will say that Belichick will look to take away the Falcons' biggest threat; pundit B will tell you that the Falcons were 6-0 and lit it up when Julio Jones was not a factor.
With Brady/Belichick, of the Patriots six super bowl games, five have come down to the last minute. All of them have been decided by three or four points. The Patriots are 4-2 straight up, but 2-4 ATS. They have not scored in any of the opening quarters. Of the 17 times the underdog has won, the average point spread was 6.6. Of the 19 games in which the the line settled at 4 or less, the underdog has won 9 of those games outright, but did not cover in any of the losses*.
* This assumes 49 was pickem and 13 was -4 and the game was a push.
The point is, supporters of both sides can make compelling and confusing cases with statistics and conjecture, but it doesn't mean much.
It seems rather clear that the Falcons do have the better roster. What we don't know is whether turnovers will factor, whether Belichick will carve out a large enough tactical advantage to overcome this, whether the Patriots' defense will continue their red-zone stinginess. Bokolis believes all of those variables will have to come up for the Patriots for them to win this game.
Bokolis' view is that, the Falcons defense is being sold short, and that the Pats receivers will be proven to be shaky. If the Falcons score three TDs, the Falcons will likely win; if they score four TDs, the Patriots are fucked. I'm leaning towards that latter one.
Bokolis is only cosigning the Falcons, but here's some other stuff that is worth what is being paid to view it: the Pats should stay below 30 and the Falcons are about 50-50 to reach their 27, but will not cosign any position on the total number. The play will be to buy two points on the Falcons and lay the -150 on +5. Even though the lines on the prop bets are ripoffs grabbing the Falcons to win the first quarter is also likely. Of course, if they don't win the first quarter, they are unlikely to win the game. Since the Pats have all fallen on 3 and 4-point margins of victory, I'm also going to look into margins as well.