Those who have supreme confidence in a franchise can even place a wager—prior to Wild Card Weekend in most instances—on which team will win its respective conference and, eventually, the Super Bowl.
Let’s make some predictions on who will represent the AFC and NFC in the "Big Game" and take a look at the odds for each team competing in the postseason to win it all.
*Super Bowl odds courtesy of Bovada.lv
Projected AFC Champion: New England Patriots (8/5)
Before Week 17 concluded, it looked like the Pats would have a tough road back to the Super Bowl for the second straight year (and sixth time since the new millennium began), but things have changed thanks to Houston slipping from the No. 1 to 3 seed.
Tom Brady and the rest of the team now have a bye and home-field advantage up until the AFC Championship, a much-needed edge that will give coach Bill Belichick plenty of time to prepare and players a week to get healthy.
We expect New England will easily dispatch its divisional round opponent before traveling to Denver to take on the Broncos in the conference championship.
As great as the Broncos have been during their 11-game win streak, they haven’t faced anyone of note and were thoroughly dispatched by NE back in Week 5—the last time Denver lost.
It’ll be a closer matchup than the 31-21 result back in October, but the Patriots overall ability and veteran leadership will best a young team that just won’t be able to handle their sheer offensive firepower.
Projected NFC Champion: Seattle Seahawks (11/2)
This team is peaking at the perfect time, and no other group in the NFC bracket is scarier right now than the Seahawks.
While it’s unfortunate that this powerful home team will have to travel all the way to Washington for Wild Card Weekend, we believe that Russell Wilson’s development as a quarterback and the defense's drastic improvement on the road will be enough to get past the Redskins.
After that, the Seahawks would take on either the San Francisco 49ers or Atlanta Falcons. They have proven more than capable of dominating their NFC West rival, while the Dirty Birds are a notoriously bad playoff team with Matt Ryan under center.
Coach Pete Carroll should feel confident putting his squad up against anyone in this conference, and we predict Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and this tenacious Seattle defense will conquer the conference.
Super Bowl Prediction: Patriots over Seahawks (Correct matchup prop pays 15/1, Patriots win pays 4/1)
You can get a lot of value in betting these matchups, especially if a wild-card team is involved. At 15-1, we love the Patriots vs. Seahawks payout and think a lot of money will be made on this potential showdown.
If the Super Bowl winds up being played by these two teams, it would be foolish not to bet on the Patriots. They are hungry for a title and were spurned last year by the New York Giants, but they will not be bested again.
Seattle is a great team, but they have a lot of youthful players who aren’t used to the big stage. New England has plenty of veterans who have been here many times, and they are sick and tired of losing with the Lombardi Trophy on the line.
Remember, the 'Hawks also gave the Patriots a reality check back in Week 6, and there is going to be a chip on the shoulders of every New England player if they meet again.
It’ll be a close one, and we’re not sure what the spread would be yet, but getting down on the Pats before the playoffs starts is certainly a great value at 4/1.
Latest Super Bowl Odds for All Teams
*Odds are to win Super Bowl XLVII
Denver Broncos – 11/4
New England Patriots – 4/1
San Francisco 49ers – 6/1
Atlanta Falcons – 7/1
Green Bay Packers – 8/1
Seattle Seahawks – 11/1
Houston Texans – 15/1
Washington Redskins – 18/1
Baltimore Ravens – 22/1
Minnesota Vikings – 40/1
Cincinnati Bengals – 45/1
Indianapolis Colts – 45/1