The linemakers over at Bovada.lv have updated their odds for each remaining franchise to win the “Big Game,” and they have been significantly reduced for most teams now that the first four games are over with.
Let’s take a look at each squad and their current Super Bowl odds going into the Divisional Round.
Denver Broncos: 11/4
Vegas loves Peyton Manning and the Broncos, and for good reason.
They are on an 11-game winning streak, coming off of a much-needed bye and play the lowly Ravens—one of the worst divisional winners in the postseason.
Even though Baltimore looked solid against the Indianapolis Colts last week, it likely doesn’t have what it takes to beat a team as good as Denver—especially after losing four of their last six contests.
We fully expect the Broncos to advance and host the AFC Championship in the Mile High, and it’s too hard to predict what will happen after.
New England Patriots: 7/2
The Pats should be the Broncos' opponent in the Conference Championship, as they have drawn the shaky Texans and should easily dispatch of their opponent on Sunday night.
New England handily beat up on Houston back in Week 14 during a Monday Night Football showdown, and has since seen star TE Rob Gronkowski return to the lineup.
Tom Brady and his offense possess too much firepower for the unstable Texans to overcome, and it should be a blowout victory for the Pats at Gillette Stadium.
Green Bay Packers: 6/1; San Francisco 49ers: 6/1
It’s interesting to note that both the Packers and 49ers are receiving the same Super Bowl odds, especially since Bovada has the Niners as three-point favorite in their upcoming matchup.
Should the Pack pull off the upset at Candlestick (the likely reason for their status as a three-point underdog), they will surely be projected to win the NFC Championship against either the Seahawks or Falcons.
I concur with the bookmaker’s opinion that the GB vs. SF battle is a de facto conference championship, and fully expect the winner to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Atlanta Falcons: 7/1; Seattle Seahawks: 7/1
Neither team has convinced the public that they are capable of winning the Super Bowl—which is why they are behind both the Packers and Niners in odds—but linemakers do realize anything could happen, which is why they aren’t too far back at 7-1 compared to 6-1.
It is worth pointing out that the Dirty Birds went 13-3 in the regular season and locked up home-field advantage through the playoffs, but will likely be a ‘dog in the Georgia Dome come the NFC Championship—if they are able to knock out the feisty but inexperienced ‘Hawks.
Seattle will not go down without a fight, as Russell Wilson and co. have proved they have the resolve to beat any team, anywhere, at any time. Expect a bloodbath that will alter the legacies of both the inexperienced Wilson and postseason winless Matt Ryan.
Baltimore Ravens: 18/1; Houston Texans: 18/1
These long-shots aren’t expected to get past the Divisional Round, but represent great value if you think they will be able to somehow pull out a victory this weekend.
Both are currently nine-point underdogs (according to Bovada.lv), and looked extremely shaky at the end of the 2012 regular season. Houston went from a solid No. 1 seed to the No. 3 over the last few weeks of the campaign, while Baltimore backed in and barely claimed the AFC North crown.
Again, these are huge gambles and neither squad has much of a chance to winning Super Bowl XLVII.