Super Bowl LI is just around the corner and with great football comes boundless betting options – so it is written, and so it is done.
While you may have read my main Super Bowl preview, there’s plenty of side markets available and this may be your best chance to grab some value.
The best approach here is see just what formation the offenses come out in most often. Shanahan will want to attack New England’s lack of depth at cornerback, so expect him to go with the pistol formation quite a lot.
The pistol formation is a modified shotgun formation, with the running back usually left off-set the quarterback for pass protection purposes.
This will utilise the wide receiver depth that the Falcons have. While he’s only twenty-one receptions this season, Justin Hardy (40/1) has caught four touchdown passes for Atlanta. He’s the value play here at a smashing price.
Gabriel has proven to be the X-factor in games where teams have schemed well to keep their bigger targets quiet. New England will probably end up in odd packages trying to keep up with Kyle Shanahan’s offense, and Gabriel will exploit any favourable matchup with his outrageous speed.
Feasibly, Gabriel could rattle off this bet in one play so I think there’s a real chance this one comes in.
I’ve spoken plenty of times about Belichick being able to nullify offensive weapons to a point, so the focus will probably be shifted towards the Gabriels, Hardys and Tammes to make big plays for the Dirty Birds.
These two are offensive giants. I understand that.
I also get that Super Bowls tend to be nervy in the opening half. The line here is seven touchdowns.
Back the unders (evens) just out of sheer probability.
This is really a combination of backing Atlanta, who I fancy heavily, and using the logic that New England will limit the free-running train that is Matt Ryan.
I don’t expect New England to score many points in general, so by that logic, the under 49.5 line is certainly more tempting than the main total points line, at 4/1.
Perhaps a little value play here might be used as a partial hedge on my main bets, and that’s Atlanta to win by 13 to 18 points (14/1).
This should cover my unders bet as well as providing a safety blanket in general – in case Atlanta completely get into rhythm.
It’s not completely unlikely that Altanta put up a lot of points, and I would suggest it’s far more likely than New England doing same.
Whatever bets you go with, remember – as soon as this game is over, we’re the furthest point away from football in the entire calendar year. Treasure it!
* All price correct at time of posting