Ryan's patience will be key

Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan Super Bowl Betting Odds

All eyes will be on Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan when he takes the field at NRG Stadium in an attempt to win his first Super Bowl.

The 31-year-old enjoyed an outstanding 2016 season and is backed heavily to win the MVP award. He was the driving force behind their surge to an 11-5 record and a first-round bye in the playoffs before he produced exemplary performances against the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers to secure their Super Bowl berth.

Ryan will have to raise the level of his game against the New England Patriots and their number-one ranked scoring defense. Should he put in enough of a strong display to guide his side to victory then he will propel himself into the conversation of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL.

Many signal-callers have risen to the occasion to win the Vince Lombardi trophy, but battling Tom Brady will present a huge challenge. Only Eli Manning has bested Brady on the biggest stage, with the aid of two incredible catches from David Tyree and Mario Manningham respectively.

Ryan will need to be on the spot with almost every throw – as he has been for the majority of the season – to ensure that he is the man at centre stage with the confetti coming down at NRG Stadium.

Why Ryan Could Succeed

Ryan's patience will be key

The 31-year-old has been extremely impressive this season, bouncing back from his underwhelming 2015 campaign. Ryan struggled in his first season under offensive Kyle Shanahan, throwing just 21 touchdowns to 15 interceptions.

He and the coaching staff identified their issues during the off-season and their reliance on Julio Jones, who recorded 136 receptions in the 2015 campaign. Ryan made a point to spread the ball around to his new offensive weapons following the signings of Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel in the offense, while Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman elevated their displays.

Ryan has used Jones to open up space for his team-mates to thrive downfield as Sanu, Gabriel, Justin Hardy and Aldrick Robinson have all managed to contribute. Due to the quality of the 31-year-old and his top receiver, he has still managed to connect on passes to Jones with regularity that has allowed the Falcons to remain one of the most explosive teams in the NFL.

Due to the diversity of the options available Ryan has been able to find the open man with ease, limiting his mistakes. The Patriots’ defense thrives on mistakes and forcing their opponents to drive the length of the field to put points on the board. The only quarterback to give New England issues this season has been Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, who boasts a similar quality to Ryan.

Therefore should he maintain his form, the 31-year-old should be able to pick up yardage by throwing into the soft areas of the defense to move his team down the field. No team in the NFL can cover forever unless there is a strong pass-rush. New England does not boast a ferocious pass-rush, so Ryan should have ample time to sit back in the pocket and find the open man.

Why Ryan Could Fail

Ryan could be undone by the Patriots' physicality

The Patriots won their first Super Bowl in the 2001 campaign against a potent St Louis Rams offense. Led by MVP Kurt Warner and future Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk, the ‘greatest show on turf’ were expected to hammer Belichick’s men to claim their second Vince Lombardi trophy in three years. However, it did not go to plan as New England’s defense were extremely physical with all of the Rams’ offensive stars, leading to a pick-six of Warner by Ty Law and another fumble that set up a touchdown strike by Brady.

Belichick’s men have the personnel to put in a similar performance against the Falcons, whose offense is based on timing and precision. Should the Patriots get effective jams at the line of scrimmage to disrupt Atlanta’s passing game it could be enough to knock the entire offense out of rhythm. In a game expected to be a high-scoring affair Ryan and company cannot afford setbacks on numerous drives that could potentially force them to become one dimensional. They need to remain balanced and ahead of the curve to ensure that the Patriots are the team chasing the match.

The 31-year-old must not become too locked in on one target as New England will do their utmost to take Jones out of the match. Forcing the ball to the wideout could have disastrous consequences as losing the turnover battle in any match, but especially the Super Bowl is all but handing the game to the opposition. The Patriots will have a solid scheme in place to attempt to bait Ryan into mistakes and anything other than absolute precision could see a player like Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan or Devin McCourty take the ball the other way.

Betting Options

Whichever quarterback wins the contest will likely be Super Bowl MVP bar an unbelievable defensive performance or a truly dominant day from one of the wideouts. Therefore backing Ryan to win the Pete Rozelle trophy at +190   with Bovada sportsbook would be a prudent option if you’re backing an Atlanta triumph at NRG Stadium.

For the Falcons to win Ryan will need to have a big afternoon, therefore the appealing over for 315.5 passing yards at –  should be taken. It would be stunning if Atlanta were to win without a big passing day from the 31-year-old.

To score points the Falcons will also need to go through the air as the Patriots are extremely strong in their rush defense. If you’re backing the Patriots, take Ryan to throw under 2.5 touchdowns at +125   would be a fine bet to take given the club boast the best scoring defense in the NFL.

Brady set the NFL record for completions in the Super Bowl in the Patriots’ win over the Seattle Seahawks with 37. Ryan may have to better that to secure the win for the Falcons therefore take the over 25.5 completions at -140   as no matter what the result he will need to have thrown a lot.

Tips Summary

Matt Ryan To Win Super Bowl MVP
Sunday 5th February 18:40 ET (23:40 GMT)
Odds: +190

Matt Ryan To Throw Over 315.5 Yards
Sunday 5th February 18:40 ET (23:40 GMT)
Odds: -125

Matt Ryan To Throw Under 2.5 touchdowns
Sunday 5th February 18:40 ET (23:40 GMT)
Odds: +125

Matt Ryan To Complete Over 25.5 Passes
Sunday 5th February 18:40 ET (23:40 GMT)
Odds: -140

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