Patriots Complete Miracle Comeback, Win Super Bowl 51
Down by 19 points in the fourth quarter, the New England Patriots stormed back to tie the Atlanta Falcons, then scored a touchdown on the first drive in overtime to win Super Bowl 51 by a final score of 34-28. The Patriots covered as 3-point favorites (–120) on the closing line, and their furious comeback cashed in the over on the 58-point total.
This was a historic game on so many levels. It was the first overtime game in Super Bowl history; that prop was available at +750 on the day of the Big Game. It was also the largest Super Bowl total ever, despite dipping from as high as 59.5 in early betting. It took New England’s rally (and Atlanta’s meltdown) for the game to go over the posted total – thanks to the biggest comeback the Super Bowl has ever seen.
Jumping to Conclusions
It seemed almost certain the Falcons were going to win this one. Their defense did a tremendous job in the first half, keeping the Patriots out of the end zone and scoring a touchdown of their own, courtesy of an 82-yard interception return by Robert Alford. That result was available on the Super Bowl props market at +160 for a special teams or defensive touchdown.
Even after the Patriots closed within eight points late in the fourth, computer projections had Atlanta at around 98% to win their first Super Bowl. But with under five minutes remaining and the ball on the New England 22, the Falcons began imploding. Matt Ryan was sacked for an 11-yard loss, Atlanta was flagged another 10 yards for holding on the next play, and they ended up punting. The rest is Super Bowl history.
The Big Game even managed to overshadow the rest of the night’s entertainment. Luke Bryan kicked things off with The Star-Spangled Banner, finishing his rendition in 2:04 (under 2:09). Then there was the opening coin toss, which came up tails. After a football break, Lady Gaga performed her halftime show, surprising bettors with a version of God Bless America from the roof of Houston’s NRG Stadium – and then bungee-jumped down to the field for the rest of her set. As a result, “Any Other Song” was the right choice at +110 for which song Lady Gaga would do first. Also, her hair was blonde (–500). At least some things are reasonably certain in this world.