From the looks of the Week 17 Super Bowl odds, Las Vegas continues to have as tough a time deciding who might hoist the Lombardi Trophy as bettors themselves.
One detail sticks out about the rankings—Las Vegas loves the NFC.
Why not? The NFC's been as competitive as ever all year long while the AFC, well, it has the AFC South.
In all seriousness, though, neither conference looks predictable when it comes to the postseason with so many dangerous teams on both sides and favorites looking vulnerable as of late. Here's a look at power rankings and how Las Vegas feels about each team.
Week 17 NFL Power Rankings and Super Bowl Odds
|4||Kansas City Chiefs||14-1|
|9||New England Patriots||7-2|
|11||Green Bay Packers||16-1|
|12||New York Jets||28-1|
|14||New York Giants||100-1|
|19||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||500-1|
|20||New Orleans Saints||1000-1|
|22||St. Louis Rams||1000-1|
|31||San Diego Chargers||1000-1|
|32||San Francisco 49ers||1000-1|
Odds via Odds Shark, rankings author's opinion.
Odds courtesy of Odds Shark.
Minnesota Vikings (28-1)
Does anybody want to play the Minnesota Vikings right now?
No would be the only correct answer. The Vikings continue to play out of their collective minds, almost upsetting the Arizona Cardinals in Arizona via a 23-20 loss in Week 14 before blowing away the Chicago Bears 38-17 and the New York Giants 49-17.
Mike Zimmer's team seems to have hit a peak at just the right time. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has six touchdowns to no picks over the team's last three games and Adrian Peterson has a pair of scores.
Zimmer certainly sees a change in his team as of late, according to the Vikings on Twitter:
Zimmer on his team’s response after losses to GB & SEA: "The mentality of our team has changed, for the better in my opinion.”— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 28, 2015
The defense remains the most impressive thing about a Zimmer-led team, though, with the unit sitting on 38 sacks and ranking sixth in the league by allowing just 19.3 points per game.
A division title isn't impossible for the Vikings now, though it will take overcoming the Green Bay Packers, a team they lost to earlier this year.
Regardless, the red-hot Vikings will hit the postseason. A strong defense in place and recent great performances by key players make them one of the top teams to watch and quite the intriguing line.
Washington is a good example of just how deep the NFC is this year.
Despite claiming the NFC East title, Kirk Cousins and Co. sit at this interesting line after a three-game win streak.
Cousins would be the main reason for Washington's playoff berth. He's completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 3,990 yards and 26 touchdowns while leaning on a star-studded cast of pass-catchers led by DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed.
Maybe Washington's run isn't so shocking, though, when digesting a note from Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post:
Amazing stat via @randyd223: Division champion Redskins have been underdogs in 13 of their 15 games, including in 7 of their 8 wins.— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) December 27, 2015
It seems quite the uphill climb for Washington in the postseason, especially with the offense having to compensate for a weak defense.
Maybe bettors shouldn't, either.
Cincinnati Bengals (20-1)
At first glance, the world seems over for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Most know about it, but for those who couldn't stay up late enough, McCarron injured his wrist in overtime on Monday Night Football against the Denver Broncos while trying to recover his fumbled snap that cost his team the game.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, though, it shouldn't prevent him from playing in Week 17:
Despite a sprained wrist, Bengals QB AJ McCarron is expected to play in Week 17 vs. Ravens, per ESPN's Ed Werder and multiple reports.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 29, 2015
Call it great news, as the Bengals can still gun for a first-round bye, which should get Dalton back in time before an elimination game.
More important, though, is the fact the Bengals even hung around with the Broncos on the road and in prime time given the presence of a backup under center. Thank the league's top scoring defense led by Geno Atkins, which allows just 17.5 points per game.
With an elite defense, Dalton possibly on his way back, Tyler Eifert for sure on his way back and other stars such as A.J. Green, the Bengals look like a great buy at the current asking price.