NFL Playoff Picture: Super Bowl Odds for Each Team in Postseason Hunt

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NFL Playoff Picture: Super Bowl Odds for Each Team in Postseason Hunt
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

With two weeks left in the 2012 NFL season, 19 of the 32 teams are still alive for playoff qualification. Seven teams have already clinched spots, leaving 12 teams fighting for the remaining five open slots. 

As recent playoff history has showed, any team that makes the dance has a chance to win its way to the Super Bowl. In fact, a team seeded fourth or worse has won the Super Bowl four times since 2006. 

Below, we break down the Super Bowl odds of each team in the postseason hunt. We used four categories to distinguish the teams: nearing zero, has a chance, strong contender and favorite. 

 

National Football Conference (NFC)

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Current Playoff Field

1. Atlanta Falcons (12-2)

The Falcons are likely to get a first-round bye, which means at least one playoff game in the Georgia Dome, where Atlanta is a perfect 7-0. An impressive win over the New York Giants in Week 15 might also be a springboard as the postseason approaches. 

Odds: Strong contender

 

2. San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1)

San Francisco's road win in New England proves this team can go anywhere and beat anyone. Some will point to zero wins against St. Louis as a big worrying point, but this is as complete of a football team as there is in the NFC. 

Odds: Favorite

 

3. Green Bay Packers (10-4)

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Maybe the Packers aren't winning in flashy, light-up-the-scoreboard ways in 2012. But grinding out tough victories could be better preparation for playoff football, especially with teams like San Francisco, Seattle and Washington as potential road blocks. Aaron Rodgers will always give the Packers a chance, too. 

Odds: Strong contender

 

4. Washington Redskins (8-6)

A five-game winning streak has elevated the Redskins into the top spot in the NFC East. With two wins to finish 2012, Washington will punch its ticket to the postseason. Once there, the Redskins would bring a top running game and one of the NFC's best turnover differentials. 

Odds: Has a chance

 

5. Seattle Seahawks (9-5)

The Seahawks seem to have a majority of the pieces in place to make a playoff run. Russell Wilson is playing at an elite level, Marshawn Lynch is a January running back and the defense is an attacking, turnover-causing unit. Can Seattle win three-straight road games, however? 

Odds: Has a chance

 

6. Minnesota Vikings (8-6)

The Vikings probably need wins over two playoff teams (at Houston, then home to Green Bay) to even have a chance at making the postseason. While not impossible, such a scenario seems like a stretch. And while Adrian Peterson is not from this world, Christian Ponder is as mortal as mortal gets in terms of quarterbacks. 

Odds: Nearing zero

 

In the Hunt

Chicago Bears (8-6)

With that offensive line and a beat-up defense that's fading fast, the Bears are long shots to even make the postseason. 

Odds: Nearing zero

 

Dallas Cowboys (8-6)

The Cowboys are starting to gain some mental toughness, which has always been a deciding factor in their annual demise. If Dallas gets into the postseason, it could make some noise. 

Odds: Has a chance

 

New York Giants (8-6)

We've seen this before. Written off by some, New York now needs two wins to make the postseason. Who is betting against the Giants doing it? New York can still beat each of the top NFC teams, too. 

Odds: Has a chance

 

St. Louis Rams (6-7-1)

The Rams are mathematically alive but mostly dead. They'd need a lot to happen to even make the playoff field. 

Odds: Nearing zero

 

New Orleans Saints (6-8)

The Saints are in the same boat as the Rams, needing a lot of help to make the playoff field. New Orleans needs major upgrades on defense to become a strong contender again in 2013.

Odds: Nearing zero

 

American Football Conference (AFC)

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Current Playoff Field

1. Houston Texans (12-2)

Houston has come up small against its best competition this season, which raises doubt of whether the Texans can win two big games to qualify for the Super Bowl. However, they'll likely clinch home-field advantage in the AFC bracket. Houston is still a touch matchup.

Odds: Strong contender

 

2. Denver Broncos (11-3)

Winners of nine straight games, Denver is nearing a lock for a first-round bye. With two wins to finish 2012, Peyton Manning would need just two postseason wins (with at least one coming at home) to make the big one. But more so than Manning, Denver's defense is possibly the best in the AFC and certainly of Super Bowl quality.

Odds: Favorite

 

3. New England Patriots (10-4) 

Are there big worries after falling behind 31-3 to the 49ers Sunday night, or built confidence after furiously storming back against the NFC's best defense? A loss is a loss, especially at home in December. However, the offense will give the Patriots a chance against any team in the AFC, home or away. 

Odds: Strong contender

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4. Baltimore Ravens (9-5)

Baltimore is fading fast, and you wonder if there's enough at quarterback and on defense to get things turned around in time. The Ravens would need to get hot fast to have a chance at making noise in January. 

Odds: Has a chance

 

5. Indianapolis Colts (9-5)

Andrew Luck and the Colts are the season's best story, but feel-good stories don't equal postseason wins. While this team is on the upswing, winning games on the road in January is much too tall a task, even for Luck. 

Odds: Nearing zero

 

6. Cincinnati Bengals (8-6)

Cincinnati has elite players at receiver (A.J. Green) and defensive tackle (Geno Atkins). But after those two, who scares you? The Bengals simply don't have enough difference makers to sustain a long postseason run, especially one that would likely involve winning three road games.

Odds: Nearing zero 

 

In the Hunt

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7)

This Steelers team feels much more like the 2009 version (9-7, missed playoffs) than the 2010 version (12-4, qualified for the Super Bowl). But if they qualify for the postseason (need a win over Cincinnati in Week 16), Ben Roethlisberger will always give Pittsburgh a chance to make a run. Still, the Steelers are not strong contenders. 

Odds: Has a chance

 

Miami Dolphins (6-8)

Despite being under .500, the Dolphins have a glimmer of hope. But in its first year under Joe Philbin, Miami simply isn't a team that could win a game come playoff time. 

Odds: Nearing zero

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