The New England Patriots are 3-point favorites over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI according to Bovada.lv, but that doesn’t mean that Vegas is respecting the Patriots. In fact, the New England defense should take offense to the Vegas odds.
Bovada has the over/under set at 59, which implies a high scoring Super Bowl- and the highest over/under for a Super Bowl in NFL history. In a vacuum, it makes some sense. Both the Patriots and Falcons have dominant offenses that blew out the competition en route to the Super Bowl.
But if we look closer, we see that the over/under for the NFC Championship Game between the Falcons and Green Bay Packers was set at 59.5. If the Patriots and Packers offenses are regarded as two of the best in the league, then Vegas is also implying that they expect the Patriots defense to fare roughly as well as the Packers defense was projected in the NFC title game.
This, of course, is crazy. Green Bay’s defense forced a lot of turnovers and they played well against the run at times, but they ranked 21st in points allowed per game and 28th in yards allowed per play. The Patriots defense ranks in the top 10 of most statistic and #1 in points allowed per game.
If the Patriots defense wants to add another chip on their shoulder, they can just look to the Super Bowl betting odds. They’re still not getting any respect.