Patriots open as favorites over Falcons in Super Bowl LI, with a record over/under

Shutdown Corner

Las Vegas is expecting a lot of points in Super Bowl LI.

The betting line for the Super Bowl was released Sunday night before the New England Patriots’ destruction of the Pittsburgh Steelers was even finished, and it opened with the Patriots as a 3-point favorite over the Atlanta Falcons. That’s from Jeff Sherman, the manager of the sportsbook at Las Vegas Westgate.

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The opening over/under was 58, according to Sherman. That would be a Super Bowl record if it holds – there is often line movement as bettors load up on one side or the other – beating the old mark of 57 in Super Bowl XLIV between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints, according to VegasInsider.com’s Super Bowl betting line history. The Colts and Saints scored 48 total points, going under the total.

Tom Brady and the Patriots are favored over Atlanta in Super Bowl LI. (AP)
Tom Brady and the Patriots are favored over Atlanta in Super Bowl LI. (AP)

The Falcons might have driven the betting line down a bit with an impressive performance Sunday. Sportsline.com, citing BookMaker.eu’s look-ahead lines, predicted all four possible lines before the championship games and it said the Patriots would be 7.5-point favorites against Atlanta. Even if that look-ahead line was off, it’s safe to say Atlanta made quite an impression with an easy 44-21 win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC title game.

Being a favorite in the Super Bowl hasn’t been a good thing in recent seasons. Not counting Super Bowl XLIX between the Patriots-Seattle Seahawks, which closed as a pick ’em, favorites have lost four straight Super Bowls straight up according to VegasInsider.com. The last favorite to win the Super Bowl was the Packers over the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV at the end of the 2010 season.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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