Basketball players aren’t football experts, but everybody becomes an expert when the Super Bowl comes around.
Super Bowl 51 between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons is set for Sunday at 6:30 p.m. We asked a few Heat players to give us their predictions on the big game for the latest installment of our question and answer segment we will bring you throughout the season.
Here’s what we got …
Luke Babbitt: “Patriots. I just think they have the experience. I’m not an expert, though.”
Goran Dragic: “I want Atlanta to win. Tom Brady, he’s got six appearances and he’s already won four. Atlanta, I like their quarterback (Matt Ryan). He didn’t win anything yet, so why not win it for the first time.”
Udonis Haslem: “Falcons, 28-17. I got a buddy on the coaching staff that I went to high school and the [University of Florida] with — Marquand Manuel (Atlanta secondary coach).”
Tyler Johnson: “Patriots, 37-30. I just can’t bet against them just because they’ve been there so many times. Not to say I don’t think Atlanta can’t pull it out, but I can’t bet against New England.”
James Johnson: “Falcons, 24-17. Just because it sounded good. I don’t watch much football.”
Rodney McGruder: “I think the Patriots are going to win. You can’t go against Brady. But (Falcons outside linebacker) Vic Beasley is looking good. It’s going to be tough. I’m just going to be a fan of this one. Udonis Haslem knows somebody that coaches for Atlanta, so I might have to go for Atlanta. I’m going for Atlanta, man.”
Willie Reed: “I actually don’t care about the Super Bowl now that the Chiefs are out. (Willie Reed is from Kansas City) I guess I would have to say I would like to see the Patriots win just because my son was actually born up there in that area in Springfield, Mass. He’s a hometown kid.”
Okaro White: “I wouldn’t bet because I can’t go against Tom Brady. But my boy plays for the Falcons, Devonta Freeman. I went to school with him at Florida State so I want him to win. He’s a good dude. But I think the Patriots are the favorites for sure. But hopefully my guy will win one, man. Matt Ryan has been playing just as good as Brady, if not maybe a little bit better. But Brady is Brady, man. I think Tom Brady is more motivated this Super Bowl because of the deflated balls and all that.”
Hassan Whiteside: “New England. You can’t pick against Tom Brady.”