51 for LI: Super Bowl prediction poll
The New England Patriots are 3-point favorites over the Atlanta Falcons and the total is 59 in Sunday’s game. A survey of opinions by a total of 51 Review-Journal staff members, other media — including sports broadcasting icon Brent Musburger — oddsmakers, professional handicappers and one former Las Vegas mayor:
Mark Anderson, Review-Journal: Patriots, 31-27
As a Steelers fan, it pains me to say this, but Belichick and Brady are the real Killer B’s. Expect the Patriots to win, but their Super Bowls also tend to be close.
Johnny Avello, Wynn sports book director: Falcons, 31-27
In applying an analogy using a couple of older movies: I have unconditional respect for Bill Belichick and his blending of players to form the “The Brady Bunch,” but I’m buying a value ticket on the high-speed “Von Ryan’s Express.”
Brian Blessing, Sportsbookradio.com: Falcons, 26-23
The Falcons’ rushing game ultimately might be the difference. If Belichick takes Julio Jones away, Freeman and Coleman will have to get the job done.
Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill sports book director: Falcons, 31-28
Matty Ice has too many weapons for even the genius of Belichick to slow down.
Bill Bradley, Review-Journal: Patriots, 38-34
It will be an offensive show, but Falcons coach Dan Quinn will suffer deja vu — getting stopped at the goal line for the winning score as his Seahawks were two years ago against the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Steve Carp, Review-Journal: Patriots, 33-24
It’s the same old story — too much Tom Brady and Bill Belichick for the other team to overcome.
Norm Clarke, VSIN.com: Falcons, 31-30
Falcons have a lot of weapons, and Patriots will miss Gronk.
Steve Cofield, ESPN Radio 1100: Patriots, 37-24
The greatest coach and quarterback in the history of the NFL win their fifth Lombardi Trophy.
Dave Cokin, ESPN Radio 1100: Patriots, 30-24
When the No. 1 offense has faced the No. 1 defense, the defense has usually come out on top.
Glenn Cook, Review-Journal: Patriots, 38-17
Super Bowls featuring Belichick-coached Patriots teams are always really close games. That changes this year. Belichick and Brady get one for the thumb — with authority.
Joe D’Amico, AASIwins.com: Patriots, 31-24
Despite two explosive offenses, this game goes under the total, with the Belichick/Brady postseason experience edging the Falcons’ youngsters.
Todd Dewey, Review-Journal: Patriots, 38-31
The Falcons suffer the same fate as the eight other highest-scoring offenses in NFL history in failing to win the Super Bowl. This one’s for you, Roger!
Chuck Esposito, Sunset Station sports book director: Falcons, 31-26
Brady and Belichick together have never scored a point in the first quarter of a Super Bowl. If they don’t this time against the high-flying Falcons, the mighty Quinn will be hoisting the Lombardi.
Patrick Everson, Covers.com: Falcons, 31-28
Falcons offense finds a way to solve Bill Belichick and score just enough points to pull off the modest upset of the Patriots.
Royce Feour, Review-Journal (retired): Patriots, 31-27
Tom Brady might have to lead the Patriots to a late touchdown drive to hold off the Falcons in what should be one of the better Super Bowls in recent years.
Doug Fitz, Systemplays.com: Patriots, 30-21
The Patriots have the better overall defense, and that usually prevails over a flashy offense, as was the result last year.
Mark Franco, FrancoSports.com: Falcons, 31-28
The underdog has covered the point spread in an impressive 13 of the past 16 Super Bowls. The ’dog has won outright in five straight.
Bernie Fratto, BernieFratto.com: Falcons, 31-27
In Week 10, the Seahawks bullied the Patriots, and nine weeks later, the Falcons bullied the bully. Offensively, the Falcons can keep up, defensively they’re opportunistic, and they’ve embraced the underdog role.
Oscar Goodman, former Las Vegas mayor: Falcons, 28-24
Hungry and explosive!
Ed Graney, Review-Journal: Patriots, 31-23
Brady wins a fifth. Goodell fakes smile handing him MVP trophy. Mark Davis upstages both by announcing Donnie & Marie are giving him $650 million for a stadium.
Adam Hill, Review-Journal: Patriots, 37-10
Is anyone outside of New England and the franchise’s sizable bandwagon rooting for the Patriots? This prediction is based on the nightmare scenario of the Patriots not just winning but doing so in the least entertaining way possible.
Andy Iskoe, TheLogicalApproach.com: Patriots, 27-23
I feel better about the under than the side, but the Patriots have a significant edge in experience and should be more likely to make the key play at the critical time.
Ron Kantowski, Review-Journal: Falcons, 35-34
I also will take Bud Dry and the points should there be a Bud Bowl.
Doug Kezirian, ESPN anchor: Falcons, 33-31
I have zero confidence in this prediction, but I do like the idea of a missed PAT.
Jay Kornegay, Westgate sports book director: Patriots, 28-27
Brady and Belichick make enough in-game adjustments to overcome a great game by Ryan and company.
Dana Lane, DanaLaneSports.com: Falcons, 30-27
The Falcons’ offensive depth forces teams to pick their poison on defense, and I see a big day for Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman as the Patriots attempt to shut down the passing game.
Allen Leiker, Review-Journal: Patriots, 28-23
How’s this for a Hollywood ending: Game ends, MVP-to-be Tom Brady shakes hands with Falcons, then runs off the field, followed by teammates, coaches and owner. A deflated Roger Goodell is handed a note from a ball boy written by Brady with instructions on what to do with the trophies.
Bryan Leonard, WagerTalk.com: Patriots, 27-23
Lower scoring than expected as the Pats take away the Falcons’ medium-to-long pass game.
Vinny Magliulo, Gaughan Gaming, VSIN.com: Patriots, 30-23
Two high-powered offenses, but the Pats hold an advantage of being experienced on this stage and have the better overall defense.
Ed Malinowski, Stratosphere sports book director: Patriots, 30-28
Falcons come up just short against the greatest quarterback-coach combo ever.
Art Manteris, Station Casinos sports books: Falcons, 28-24
Atlanta is fast, hungry, healthy and peaking.
Gilbert Manzano, Review-Journal: Falcons, 38-35
Dan Quinn almost beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl two years and now has a young, fast defense in Atlanta with an explosive offense. Quinn gets the job done this time.
Bruce Marshall, Goldsheet.com: Falcons, 33-29
Pick your poison for Bill Belichick, as the myriad Falcons weapons will prove too much for even the Patriots to slow.
Jason McCormick, Red Rock sports book director: Patriots, 31-24
In seven meetings between the No. 1 scoring offense and No. 1 scoring defense in the Super Bowl, the defensive team has won six times, and the Falcons just don’t have enough defense to stop TB12 and company.
Tony Miller, Golden Nugget sports book director: Patriots, 31-30
The old master (Tom Brady) comes through at the end of the game to guide the Patriots to another title in one of the best Super Bowls ever.
Mitch Moss, ESPN Radio 1100: Patriots, 34-23
Atlanta will move the ball on New England’s defense, but Belichick and his staff will find a way to make the Falcons settle for field goals.
Keith Moyer, Review-Journal: Falcons, 24-20
The Patriots have played an easier schedule this season and the Falcons defense easily stopped Aaron Rodgers and Co.
Brent Musburger, VSIN.com: Falcons, 28-24
Everybody tells me that I should not bet against Belichick. That’s why I’m going the other way.
Tony Nevill, TI sports book director: Patriots, 34-28
Brady’s game plan, with the support of coach Bill Belichick, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, will show the Falcons how footballs fly (inflated/deflated).
Wes Reynolds, @WesReynolds1: Falcons, 30-23
Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli learned at the knee of Bill Belichick when the Patriots began their ascent to the top of the NFL. The students best the teacher on Sunday.
Jay Rood, MGM Resorts sports book director: Patriots, 29-27
ABB: Always Bet Belichick. … Not so fast, my friend. Pats win in come-from-behind fashion again.
Ed Salmons, Westgate sports book manager: Patriots, 31-28
The Patriots win their fifth Super Bowl and the lines to cash tickets will take days.
Jon Saraceno, Review-Journal: Patriots, 38-17
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have waited all season for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to look them in the eyes while handing over the Lombardi Trophy.
Ted Sevransky, Sportsmemo.com: Falcons, 37-21
The Falcons’ offense is more explosive and dynamic than anything the Pats have seen all season, and Dan Quinn’s young defense has improved by leaps and bounds in recent weeks.
Jeff Sherman, Westgate sports book manager: Falcons, 31-24
At start of playoffs, it was difficult for me to envision any team’s offense keeping up with that of the Falcons.
Brett Steidler, Review-Journal: Falcons, 33-30
It’s hard to pick against Brady and Belichick in the big one, but this highly rated Pats defense hasn’t had to deal with anything like a (relatively) healthy Quintorris Lopez Jones.
Jeff Stoneback, Mirage sports book manager: Falcons, 38-33
The Falcons offense continues to click, as Atlanta gets an early lead and hangs on late to defeat Brady and the Patriots.
Dave Tuley, ESPN.com: Falcons, 34-33
I expect a high-scoring game, and while I know the No. 1 scoring defense usually beats the No. 1 scoring offense in the Super Bowl, today’s NFL is geared more than ever to offense, and Ryan has just a few more weapons to help him get the win over Brady.
Mal Van Valkenburg, Review-Journal: Falcons, 31-24
The Falcons have too many weapons for the Patriots to neutralize everything, and Atlanta’s defense will slow Tom Brady and Co.
Jonathan Von Tobel, ESPN Radio 1100: Falcons, 33-28
The talk leading up to Sunday is about how the Patriots will stop Julio Jones, but Matt Ryan has too many weapons for New England to handle.
Matt Youmans, VSIN.com, ESPN Radio 1100: Patriots, 30-24
Betting against Brady and Belichick is a tough way to make a living. I’ll side with the NFL’s No. 1 scoring defense and the Patriots’ big-game experience.
Straight-up picks: Patriots 26, Falcons 25
ATS picks: Falcons 29, Patriots 21, Push 1
Total: Under 33, Over 14, Push 4