Patriots looking to break slump for betting favorites at Super Bowl LI

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With their vast collective edge in Super Bowl experience, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are favored against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, although that’s not always a harbinger of success.

The Patriots opened as the three-point favorite against the Falcons with a 58.5-point total in the Super Bowl LI matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The NFL’s championship game will be played on February 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston, with Brady trying to become the first quarterback with five Super Bowl victories while the Falcons will try to win their first championship.

The favored team is 0-5 straight-up and against the spread in the last five Super Bowl matchups, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The Patriots are also 1-4 ATS in their last five games in the Super Bowl, although three of those matchups saw them raise the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The other general trend is that the designated away team is 8-2 SU in the last 10 years, and New England will be considered the away team, just as it was when it defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX two seasons ago.

The Falcons, who are 13-5 SU and 12-6 ATS, have lost and failed to cover the spread in their last four games against the Patriots. The Falcons are also 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games against the AFC. A team’s more recent body of work can have more bearing than a sample stretching beyond a decade, though, and with Ryan as the triggerman in their well-balanced offense the Falcons are 6-2 SU and 7-1 ATS in their last eight games as an underdog.

They are also 6-2 SU and ATS in their last eight games against teams with winning records.

The Patriots are 16-2 SU and 15-3 ATS on the season, including a current 7-0 ATS run. New England’s ability to peak at the right time is not overestimated either, as they are 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS over the last three postseasons. They are also 6-1 SU in their last seven playoff games as a favorite, with the loss coming last season in the AFC Championship Game on the road against the Denver Broncos, who had a historically dominant defense.

The Patriots are 13-4 SU against the NFC over the last four seasons. The opposing quarterbacks of record for the losses were Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Sam Bradford and Cam Newton.

The total has gone OVER in the Falcons’ last eight games. The total has gone OVER in six of the Patriots’ last seven games against teams with winning records. The total has gone UNDER in three of the Patriots’ last four games in the Super Bowl.

Vince Young wants to play again, hires agent Leigh Steinberg

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 29:  Quarterback Vince Young #13 of the Green Bay Packers passes during the preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs on at Arrowhead Stadium on August 29, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Vince Young is hoping his football career isn’t over.

Young has hired agent Leigh Steinberg, who announced on Twitter today that Young has a “dream of playing more football.”

That Steinberg used the word “dream” suggests that he and Young realize it will be an uphill battle to get back to the NFL. Young hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2011, when he threw four touchdown passes and nine interceptions for the Eagles. He has spent time with the Bills, Packers and Browns since then but never made it past the preseason.

The fledgling Spring League has already said it would be interested in Young, so he’s got someone interested in him. But the Spring League is a long, long way from the NFL. It’s highly likely that Young has played his last NFL game, even if, at age 33, he’s not quite ready to say definitively that he’s done.

Report: NFL invited Chad Kelly to Combine, then rescinded invitation

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Chad Kelly #10 of the Mississippi Rebels drops back to pass against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the second quarter of the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly was not invited to the Scouting Combine. Or perhaps he was invited, only to later learn it was a non-vite or an un-vitation.

According to Bill Polian of ESPN, Kelly initially was invited to the Combine, only to have that invitation rescinded by the league office. Polian, who signed Chad’s uncle Jim Kelly in 1986 and has been close to Kelly’s family for decades, indicated that the family isn’t sure why the invitation was rescinded.

It’s obvious why Kelly won’t be at the Combine: The NFL implemented a new rule this year that players who have been convicted of violent crimes won’t be permitted, and Kelly pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct two years ago as part of a case in which he was initially accused of punching two people, threatening to shoot up a bar with an AK-47 and resisting arrest.

What’s unclear is why the league would initially invite Kelly, only to rescind that invitation later. It may be that this new policy hasn’t been thoroughly considered, and the league is still deciding which types of offenses merit exclusion from the Combine. A disorderly conduct plea might not necessarily keep a player from the Combine, but when that plea stemmed from an incident in which the player was initially accused of violence and serious threats, the NFL steers clear.