The road to the 2013 Super Bowl is officially underway with the NFL's opening Wild Card Weekend underway.
After a full 16-game regular season, fans and bettors have a full body of work to determine who is the favorite to hold up that Lombardi award at the end of the season.
With a solid mix of new faces and established veteran teams vying for the trophy, this is sure to be an intriguing postseason where anything can happen. However, that won't stop fans from picking their favorite to win the super bowl.
Here's how the top four favorites to win the whole thing stack up. All Super Bowl Odds courtesy of Bovada.
1. New England Patriots
Current Odds: 15/4
It's tough to bet against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
When it comes to the postseason, there's no position that is more important than the quarterback. While Peyton Manning's story is nice, Brady still remains the NFL's most deadly passer.
Brady is coming off of another incredible regular season in which he threw for 4,827 yards, 34 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.
The Broncos are considered the favorite to make it to the Super Bowl, but the Patriots are coming off of last season's Super Bowl appearance and played a more difficult schedule this season. That gives them the slight edge going into the playoffs.
2. Denver Broncos
Current Odds: 3/1
The Broncos come in with the best odds to win the Super Bowl and it's easy to see why.
Peyton Manning has made them the league's hottest team and the betting public seems to love their chances.
Manning has been incredible this season in his return and the up-tempo Broncos are riding an 11-game winning streak. The only problem is they have only played one playoff team during that streak.
The Broncos play well on both sides of the ball, but they haven't been tested in weeks. Their second-round matchup will be a good indicator, but a potential AFC championship game between the Broncos and Patriots may be a meeting between the NFL's two best teams.
3. San Francisco 49ers
Current Odds: 6/1
The Niners are a very different team than the Patriots and Broncos, but they are still extremely dangerous.
As evidenced by their 41-34 win against the Patriots in Week 15, they can play with anyone and are one of the league's elite teams.
The problem is that they can't play very well from behind. Just one week after beating the Patriots, the Seahawks crushed the Niners on the road 42-13.
Unlike the Broncos and Patriots, the Niners don't have an elite quarterback. In fact, we've never even seen quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a playoff game yet. When at their best, the Niners are among the best teams in the league.
However, they have too many holes to be an odds-on favorite at this point.
4. Atlanta Falcons
Current Odds: 15/2
The team with the league's best record doubles as the one with the most questions in the postseason.
The Falcons managed to go 13-3 in the regular season and have the advantage of being at home throughout the playoffs, but there isn't a whole lot of confidence in this team to get the job done.
That's probably because the Matt Ryan era hasn't led to successful postseasons in Atlanta. He's taken the team to the playoffs three times during his career, but has yet to lead them to a postseason win.
If Ryan can turn his 0-3 playoff record to 1-3, the faith in the Falcons and their Super Bowl odds may go up, but until they win that first one they will be doubted. Especially considering that only two of their 13 wins came against playoff teams.
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