The playoff picture is set. The Super Bowl favorites, such as the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, sit atop their respective conferences. Meanwhile, teams like the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers squeaked into the postseason and appear to be long shots to make play in February.
Whether a team earned a first-round bye or narrowly made the playoffs thanks to a win in the final week of the season, each team in the postseason has a chance to win the Super Bowl.
Before the Wild Card Round officially kicks off, here are the updated Super Bowl odds for each team.
All Super Bowl odds courtesy of Bovada.
|Super Bowl Odds For Every Playoff Team|
|San Francisco 49ers||13-2|
|New England Patriots||10-1|
|Green Bay Packers||16-1|
|New Orleans Saints||20-1|
|Kansas City Chiefs||25-1|
The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots have been the class of the AFC all season and head into the playoffs as the favorites to play in the AFC Championship Game to settle who is the best.
The Broncos have not only been one of the best teams in the AFC all season but possess a quarterback who has broken several records over his career and set another one in Week 17 of the season:
While Denver's defense has been questionable this season and ranks 22nd in the NFL in total defense, its offense has carried the load. With a receiving corps that includes Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Eric Decker and potentially Wes Welker, if he's recovered from his second concussion of the season, the Broncos still certainly look like the best team in the AFC.
As for the Patriots, losing Rob Gronkowski for the season appeared to be one injury that would change their season. But with Tom Brady at the helm, the Patriots have won two straight heading into the playoffs.
The passing game is still in good hands with Brady, and it appears the running game is still alive with LeGarrette Blount emerging as a power back for New England. ESPN tweeted out Blount's final statistics in the Patriots' Week 17 win over the Buffalo Bills:
Though the Patriots still aren't a perfect team and struggle defensively, ranking 25th in total defense, they are another strong team that has a great quarterback on their side.
OK, everyone expected the Seattle Seahawks to have a great season, but the Carolina Panthers were certainly not seen as favorites heading into the regular season. But both teams could fall prey to the surging San Francisco 49ers, who nearly overtook both teams in Week 17.
The Seahawks were seen as a favorite coming into the season and have been one of the best teams at home all season, which is where they'll stay throughout the playoffs. As the No. 1 seed and the NFC West winner, Seattle will look to become the second straight team out of the division to advance to the Super Bowl.
One of the most balanced teams in the NFL, Seattle has the No. 1 total defense and No. 4 rushing offense thanks to Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson. Addressing any concerns of Wilson crumbling under the pressure of the postseason, Will Brinson of CBSSports.com tweeted a quote from the second-year quarterback:
Just below the Seahawks are the Panthers, who have clinched a first-round bye and a home game in the divisional round of the playoffs. Like Seattle, Carolina has only lost one home game. Ironically enough, it came against the Seahawks themselves.
The Panthers got to the playoffs on an 11-1 run in their last 12 games after starting the season 1-3. Cam Newton and Carolina's offense might have been enough to win several games this season, but the defense, led by Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, ranks first in scoring, second in rushing yards per game and second overall.
With the 49ers boasting a defense that ranks just behind both Seattle and Carolina at third overall in the NFL, they are on a six-game winning streak coming into the playoffs. Thanks to great play from Colin Kaepernick and a slew of stars around the quarterback, including Vernon Davis, Frank Gore and Michael Crabtree, San Francisco could certainly have something to say about which team is playing in February out of the NFC.