Many sports books are currently offering sports bettors with the opportunity to wager on the combined total number of sacks in Super Bowl 51. One of those sports books, the M Resort, has posted the following prop: Over/Under 3 1/2 Combined sacks in Super Bowl 51. Let’s discuss why the UNDER is a good investment.
One of the keys to avoiding sacks is by limiting the number of third-and-long situations an offense faces. The Falcons own the league’s best first-down offense, averaging a mind-boggling 7.58 yards per play (the Bears were a distant second at 6.70 yards per play).
It is not an overstatement to conclude that the 2016 Falcons were the best first-down offense in the history of the NFL. Approximately 40% of all sacks come on third down and sacks are nearly 70% more likely on third down than on first or second down.
Ryan has also grown more comfortable with throwing the ball to receivers other than Julio Jones, which gives him additional outlets/options before taking a sack. Specifically, Ryan has a 105.4 passer rating on 127 passes to Jones and a 126.3 passer rating on 389 throws to his other receiving weapons (other than Jones).
From 2013 to 2015, Ryan had a passer rating of 101.3 on throws to Jones, but only a 92.0 passer rating on throws to his other receivers.
Atlanta also benefits from continuity along its offensive line. Indeed, theFalcons’ offensive line is the only group in the NFL to start every game this season. Ryan Schraeder and right guard Chris Chester haven’t missed a down.
Center Alex Mack and left guard Andy Levitre have played 98 percent of the snaps, and Jake Matthews has played 95 percent. Since 2000, only 31 teams in the NFL have started the same five offensive linemen in all sixteen games.
Meanwhile, New England quarterbacks were sacked just 24 times in the 2016 regular season, the third lowest amount of the Bill Belichick era. The credit belongs to both offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, who have implemented schemes to avoid second and third-and-long situations where approximately 50% of sacks occur.
Tom Brady is completing 66.7% of his third down passes for an incredible passer rating of 127.7%. Finally, Brady’s quick-release has been well-documented and provides additional support for taking the UNDER 3.5 sacks in Super Bowl 51.