NFL Pick’off – Super Bowl 51


Want to find out the winning formula for Super Bowl Sunday?

This Sunday I’ll make my coveted selection “Straight-Up” (SU) and “Against The Spread” (ATS) for Super Bowl 51.

The team listed in bold is the straight up pick, where as the red +/- indicates the pick when including the Vegas line.

I’ll provide a brief sentence or two of nonsense or logic (depending on the outcome), for what led me to that choice.

I’ve been competing against Catch-22’s NFL Senior Editor (Mark Staniusz) throughout the playoffs, and I will list his pick below.

Thanks for reading, hope some of this nonsense during the season helped you make a quasi-wise gambling decision without any stress or negative repercussions.

Enjoy the Super Bowl!

Conference Championships Results:

Mark 2-0 (SU) / 0-2 (ATS)

Phil 2-0 (SU) / 0-2 (ATS)



Are you psyched and ready for an incredible trip down the proverbial rabbit hole to determine the winner of Super Bowl LI?!

Here we go…




Touchdown Tommy & The Hood roll down to Houston to appear in their 7th Super Bowl as a dynamic duo. They’ve come a long way from that controversial playoff win over the Raiders back in 2001. A victory by the Patriots gives Tom Brady the most Super Bowl wins ever (5) by a QB. Without question, this is a legacy game for Brady and the Pats.

If you’re betting the logo, you should roll with the Patriots. They have the experience, the coaching wizardry, and have morphed into a 15-season AFC Dynasty. No matter where your allegiances lie, you have to give credit to an unfathomable and incredible run by this franchise, led by a 6th round Draft Pick.

The Patriots are a safe and calculated pick to obtain the Lombardi Trophy this year and would be the most obvious choice without extensive research.

Fu*k that.

On the surface (throwing out the regular season), the Atlanta Falcons roll into Houston having trounced the Seahawks by 16… and the (once mighty) Packers by 23.

Most impressive.




Conversely, the Patriots struggled with Brock Osweiler and the Texans, and then managed to pull away from an injury depleted Steelers team during their postseason run.


But here’s where things get interesting…

We’re going deep into the labyrinth of NFL psychology and history to pull out some gems to help add some ammunition to my pick.




January 28th, 2017, marked the beginning of the Year Of The Rooster in the Chinese Zodiac Calendar.

In the Tibetan zodiac and the Nepalese Gurung zodiac, the more generic “bird” is in place instead of the Rooster, but the image of the Rooster is often used to represent it.




So in a round about way, this is the year (in a 12-year cycle) of some form of an aviation themed creature.

Coincidentally enough, a falcon fits this description perfectly.

As we further delve into the zodiac calendar and the history of the Super Bowl we are met and rewarded with some notable clues along the way.

The last Year Of The Rooster was from February 9th, 2005 – January 28th, 2006.

Amazingly, this entire year fell sandwiched between two Super Bowl wins by the New England Patriots by a matter of days on either side.

The Pats won in the year of the Monkey and the year of the Dog, but somehow the mysterious ancient zodiac magic managed to prevent them from winning a Super Bowl in the Year Of The Rooster.

You see, the New England Patriots don’t win Super Bowls in the Year Of The Rooster.

It’s a scientific and historical fact.

Going deeper into the research, we can look at previous Super Bowl winners during the Year Of The Rooster with interesting patterns linked to this year’s game…




January 31st, 1993: The Dallas Cowboys won the Lombardi Trophy by beating the Buffalo Bills 52-17. That marked Troy Aikman’s first of 3 Super Bowl wins.




January 24th, 1982: On the last day of the Year Of The Rooster, Joe Montana led the San Francisco 49ers over the Cincinnati Bengals 26-21 at the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit. It would signify his first of 4 NFL Championships. It was also the first title ever for the 49ers.




January 11th, 1970: The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. This would prove to be the first (and only) Super Bowl win for the Chiefs.




So the pattern we need to recognize here is when the Super Bowl is played during the Year Of The Rooster… it’s a year of firsts.

This correlates nicely and specifically to Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons in 2017 (who have both never won a Super Bowl) and are playing in The Year Of The Rooster.

Too easy.




To add another interesting historical clue (and somewhat indisputable evidence), to the Falcons winning the Super Bowl this year… let’s go back even further to before the Lombardi Trophy ever existed.

The Year Of The Rooster in 1957 was bearing the elemental sign of FIRE in the heavenly branch.


Fire Rooster


The element plays an important role in Chinese astrology and feng shui. Fire is included in the 10 heavenly stems (the five elements in their yin yang forms), which combine with the 12 Earthly Branches (or Chinese signs of the zodiac), to form the 60 year cycle.

December 29th, 1957: The underdog Detroit Lions beat the Cleveland Browns 59-14 at Briggs Stadium in Detroit. The Lions were the underdog in the game because weeks earlier, their star quarterback Bobby Layne broke his right ankle.

The Cleveland Browns were 3 point favorites.

The New England Patriots are presently favored by 3 points.

2017 marks the year of the Fire Rooster, and the completion of a 60 year cycle which ends on February 15th, 2018.

The Detroit Lions as 3 point underdogs back in ’57 and then winning the NFL Championship, paves the way towards the clairvoyant result in 2017.

Clearly, the writing is on the wall kids…

Matty Ryan and the Dirty Birds fly in the Year Of The Fire Falcons.


Falcons Fire Rooster


No actual in-depth football analysis required.

Rest assured, you’re gambling against the ancient spiritual grain if you take the Patriots in this one.

New England @ Atlanta (+3)


Tuck Rule

2017 Playoffs: 6-4 (SU) / 2-8 (ATS)

2016 Season: 129-89-2 (SU) / 98-112-10 (ATS)



New England @ Atlanta (+3)



2017 Playoffs: 9-1 (SU) / 4-6 (ATS)

2016 Season: 136-84-2 (SU) / 105-105-10 (ATS)


*All NFL point spreads from www.vegasinsider.com (VI Consensus) as of 6:57 PM EST


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Follow authors: @Phil_Jones2020 and @MarkStaniusz













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