NFL Playoff Predictions: Super Bowl Odds for Eligible Teams
The NFL season is winding down and there are several teams capable of making a run to the Super Bowl. The Green Bay Packers have the league's best record at 14-1 but they are beatable, and on any given Sunday a team can rise up and upset them.
The New England Patriots lead an AFC conference that is wide open. The Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers are all capable of winning the conference, which will make the playoffs really exciting.
Let's look at Super Bowl odds for teams who have clinched a playoff berth and those still in the race.
New England Patriots
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The New England Patriots are led by the best quarterback in football in Tom Brady, and despite their worst-ranked pass defense, Bill Belichick's team is still the favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
If there was a season that the Patriots could get away with a poor pass defense, it is this year.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is battling an injury, Texans quarterback TJ Yates is a rookie and has little NFL experience, and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has more interceptions than touchdown passes in his playoff career.
The Patriots and their high-scoring offense are the best team in the AFC.
Super Bowl Odds: 4 to 1
New York Jets
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The New York Jets lost a massively important game to the New York Giants in Week 16 and need the to win plus a Cincinnati Bengals loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the final week to make the playoffs.
The Jets have done well late over the past two seasons, but went just 2-2 this December and are currently on a two-game losing streak.
New York won't go anywhere near the Super Bowl this season.
Super Bowl Odds: 66 to 1
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The Baltimore Ravens can clinch a first-round bye and an AFC North division title in Week 17 with a win, and they have a very good chance to make the Super Bowl.
Even if linebacker Ray Lewis is battling an injury during the playoffs, the Ravens still have a spectacular defense, and with running back Ray Rice they have one of the most dangerous playmakers in the NFL.
Joe Flacco is the wild card for the Ravens. In his playoff career, he has just four touchdown passes with seven interceptions.
If he plays well in January, the Ravens have a strong chance to reach the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl Odds: 11 to 1
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Ben Roethlisberger's ankle injury will determine the fate of the Pittsburgh Steelers this season, but even with a hampered Big Ben, the team is still a top Super Bowl contender because of their strong defense.
The Steelers have the No. 1-ranked defense, which includes the league's best pass defense, too.
Roethlisberger is a tough player, but if he cannot be as good as his normal self in the playoffs. then Pittsburgh could struggle to reach a third Super Bowl in four years.
Super Bowl Odds: 14 to 1
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After falling to 7-6 three weeks ago, the Cincinnati Bengals have won two games in a row and if they beat the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17, they will make the playoffs as the last wild-card team in the AFC.
Rookie quarterback Andy Dalton has been very good this season, but the Bengals are not capable of winning a playoff game if they make the postseason.
Super Bowl Odds: 180 to 1
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The Houston Texans chances of winning the Super Bowl took a major hit when quarterback Matt Schaub went down for the season with an injury, and since backup Matt Leinart is gone for the season as well, the team has no shot to win the title this season.
Rookie quarterback TJ Yates has been unimpressive this season and won't be able to make big plays in pressure playoff moments. Despite a good running game and strong defense, the Texans won't win the Super Bowl this season, but they certainly could win a game in the wild-card round.
Super Bowl Odds: 33 to 1
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The Tennessee Titans put themselves in a difficult spot when they lost to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15, and at 8-7 they have to beat the Houston Texans in the final week with a lot of help to make the playoffs.
Even if by a miracle they get in, the Titans don't have a shot to beat any of the other AFC contenders in the playoffs, except maybe the Texans, who Tennessee is familiar with because the two teams are in the same division.
Super Bowl Odds: 300 to 1
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Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos have lost two straight games after Tebow went 7-1 as a starter this season.
Tebow threw four interceptions with just one touchdown last week in a terrible loss to the Buffalo Bills, and there are a lot of concerns surrounding Tebow heading into a possible playoff berth.
If the Broncos get into the postseason, they will not win a game, despite playing the wild-card game at home as the AFC West division champion.
Super Bowl Odds: 55 to 1
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The Raiders' 16-13 overtime win against the Kansas City Chiefs last week kept their playoff hopes alive, and if they beat the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos lose, then Oakland will get into the playoffs.
If the Raiders manage to sneak into the playoffs, they will not win a game. Quarterback Carson Palmer has been unimpressive this season and with Darren McFadden gone for the season with an injury, their running game is less powerful than it was earlier in the year.
Super Bowl Odds: 300 to 1
New York Giants
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The New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys will battle on Sunday night in a winner-take-all battle for the NFC East title.
The Giants are my pick to win this game and won the two teams' previous meeting in Week 14 in a thrilling 37-34 win.
Quarterback Eli Manning has been exceptional in the fourth quarter of games this season. Despite a lot of injuries on defense, the Giants are not a team I want to see in the playoffs.
Super Bowl Odds: 50 to 1
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The Dallas Cowboys have to beat the New York Giants in Week 17 to make the playoffs, and with Tony Romo ready go for Sunday's game despite injuring his hand last week, Dallas' offense has to produce.
The Cowboys are 1-3 in their last four games and their only win was against a bad Tampa Bay Buccaneers team.
The Cowboys scored just seven points last week to an under performing Eagles defense. Against the talented Giants defense, they have little chance of winning Sunday night.
Super Bowl Odds: 75 to 1
Green Bay Packers
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The Green Bay Packers are the best team in the NFL and only the New Orleans Saints and their great offense stand a chance to keep the Packers from reaching another Super Bowl.
The Packers have an elite passing offense led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is the likely choice for NFL MVP this season.
Their defense is not as strong as it was last season, but they are helped by opposing teams being pressured to score on nearly every drive because the offense scores so many points.
The Packers can only be beaten by themselves in the playoffs, and are the likely team to win the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl Odds: 2 to 1
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The Detroit Lions will make their first playoff appearance since 1999 this season and have a talented team capable of winning a game or even two in January.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson are an elite combo and always are a threat for a touchdown connection anywhere on the field.
The Lions' playoff success will be determined by the play of their defense, and if Ndamukong Suh can rush the passer effectively, then the team's secondary will be greatly helped.
Super Bowl Odds: 45 to 1
New Orleans Saints
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The New Orleans Saints are the biggest threat to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC playoffs this season, and Drew Brees is the one quarterback in the conference capable of outdueling Aaron Rodgers.
Brees is set to break Dan Marino's all-time record for most passing yards in a single season, and has a fabulous receiving corps.
The Saints defense will determine their success, as it has not played well at times this year and has given up a lot of points.
New Orleans would love a chance to avenge their 42-34 Week 1 loss the Packers, and they might just get it in a few weeks.
Super Bowl Odds: 6 to 1
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The Atlanta Falcons did not start off the season too well, but they have won seven of their last 10 games and with the Chicago Bears loss on Sunday, Atlanta has clinched a playoff spot.
Quarterback Matt Ryan is leading the No. 9-ranked passing offense in the NFL, and has several quality offensive weapons at his disposal such as wide receiver Roddy White and running back Michael Turner.
The Falcons also have the fourth-best run defense in football.
Atlanta is a good team, but they won't get past the divisional round of the playoffs.
Super Bowl Odds: 40 to 1
San Francisco 49ers
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The San Francisco 49ers have the league's best run defense and they have exceeded expectations this season with an 12-3 record.
However, the two best teams in the NFC that the 49ers would have to face this season, the Packers and Saints, both have elite passing offenses.
San Francisco is 18th against the pass and can be beaten by an elite quarterback. With that said, the 49ers play very good defense and can run the football well, which are two ingredients for success in the postseason.
Super Bowl Odds: 15 to 1