USA TODAY Sports
The greatest quarterback of all time just won the greatest football game of all time.
The New England Patriots came back from down 28-3 in the third quarter to win Super Bowl LI 34-28, in the first “Big Game” to go to overtime. James White’s two yard plunge into the endzone in the extra frame sealed the victory and the cover for the Patriots, who closed as 3-point chalk.
At one point New England was a 19.5-point underdog in live betting according to online sportsbook Sports Interaction and were available at 16/1 on in play moneyline betting at William Hill US when they trailed 28-9.
The 25 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and overtime by the Patriots also cashed the Over 57.5, which was the largest total in Super Bowl history. With the win, New England is now 5-2 straight up and 3-4 against the spread in the Super Bowl.
The decision shouldn’t bother sportbooks too greatly. William Hill US was reporting an insanely even handle right before kickoff, with 52 percent of spread and moneyline dollars on the Patriots. While 60 percent of the total wagers were on the Over.
Unfortunately for the Falcons Matt Ryan continue a dubious trend. The last eight regular season MVPs that played in the Super Bowl are now 0-8 SU/ATS.
The Falcons set the tone early on with the run game, as Devonta Freeman blasted the Patriots for 71 rushing yards on six carries in the first half, including a five yard run for a touchdown to open the scoring the second quarter.
Later Robert Alford picked off Tom Brady and returned it all the way for an 82-yard touchdown to make the score 21-3 Falcons and a Tevin Coleman third quarter score made it 28-3.
But, New England began to claw back, scoring a touchdown late in the third quarter. They followed that up with a field goal and then an Atlanta turnover led to a six-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola.
More late miscues forced the Falcons to punt instead of kicking a field goal to put them up 11. New England then marched down the field where James White scored his second of three touchdowns of the night. They then handed the ball back to White who converted on the two-point attempt.
New England is currently the 9/2 favorite to win Super Bowl LII.