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Super Bowl 2017: Updated Odds and Predictions for Championship Tilt

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 12, 2017

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 1: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots warms up prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins on January 1, 2017 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Patriots defeated the Dolphins 35-14. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Unlike last season, when there was no true favorite to win the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots stand alone as the team sportsbooks deem to have the best shot at taking the Lombardi Trophy this season.

It's hard to argue otherwise, considering the Pats finished with a league-best 14-2 record and a 191-point differential.

The games aren't played on paper or in Las Vegas casinos, however, so let's take a brief look at the Super Bowl odds and provide the best value pick, the best sleeper selection and a prediction for the big game. 

Odds to Win Super Bowl LI
TeamOdds
New England Patriots+165
Dallas Cowboys+450
Atlanta Falcons+600
Pittsburgh Steelers+700
Green Bay Packers+700
Kansas City Chiefs+800
Seattle Seahawks+1200
Houston Texans+5000

Source: OddsShark

      

Best Value: Atlanta, +600

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons throws a pass during the second half against the New Orleans Saints at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C.  Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

To be honest, it's a little confusing that Atlanta is only slightly ahead of Pittsburgh and Green Bay on the Super Bowl odds table.

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Sure, the Packers and Steelers can lay claim to being as good or better than the Falcons, but Atlanta is a five-point home favorite against a Seattle team that has a losing road record (3-4-1), has to fly across the country and has arguably the worst offensive line in football. The Falcons can win this game by a few scores, putting them just two wins away from a Super Bowl title.

Green Bay and Pittsburgh aren't even favorites in their upcoming road matchups with Dallas and Kansas City, respectively.

Atlanta is lucky enough to be on the path of least resistance to the conference championship at the moment, so if you're in a betting mood and looking for good value in the mid-range, take the Falcons.

      

Sleeper: Kansas City, +800

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 08:  Safety Eric Berry #29 of the Kansas City Chiefs gets set on defense against the Oakland Raiders during the first half on December 8, 2016 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images
Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Kansas City isn't a very sexy team. The Chiefs aren't a "crown-jewel" franchise like the Packers, Steelers or Cowboys. They don't have household names the casual football fan knows. Their players don't appear in national commercials or host Saturday Night Live.

But they get the job done time and again and finished with a 12-4 record.

Kansas City is the slight favorite against Pittsburgh. If the Chiefs hold the Steelers off, they'll likely face New England, who is undoubtedly the best team remaining. That will be a tall order for the Chiefs, but look at who they have beaten this year:

-- Oakland Raiders (twice, with Derek Carr healthy and playing)

-- Atlanta Falcons (in the Georgia Dome)

-- The defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos (twice, including once by a 33-10 score)

-- Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts (in Lucas Oil Stadium by 16 points)

That's not a bad resume. Of course, the Chiefs also lost 43-14 in Pittsburgh in Week 4, but that feels like eons ago. Kansas City has gone 10-2 since then.

If the Chiefs break off a big play or two (as they are wont to do) against the Pats and pull off a big upset, then all of a sudden you're looking at multiplying your money by eight if the Chiefs beat the NFC representative.

If you're in Vegas and feeling lucky, go for it.

      

Prediction: New England, +165

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 29:  Tom Brady #12 and head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots reacts during the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on October 29, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty I
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Who are we kidding, though? The Patriots are the most well-rounded team since...the 2007 Patriots. However, that team started sputtering in the second half of the season and loafed through the playoffs before the New York Giants beat them in the Super Bowl. The weight of being undefeated eventually did them in.

This 14-2 Patriots team doesn't have to worry about that. The Pats are flying high, winners of seven straight and 11 of 12 since Tom Brady returned to the lineup. The defense is playing well, with the secondary shining brightly. Brady has three running backs, five receivers and a solid tight end to give the ball to every game. They also have more postseason experience than anyone in the league.

Furthermore, going back to the path-of-least-resistance point from earlier, New England gets to face Houston in the divisional round. Per OddsShark, the Pats are 15-point favorites against the Texans, who they beat 27-0 in Week 3 without Brady at quarterback. The Texans also finished with a negative-49 point differential in the regular season.

It's conceivable that the other three underdogs could pull off upsets (no team is facing more than a five-point spread, after all), but it seems just about impossible that Houston will knock off the Patriots in Gillette Stadium, meaning the Patriots have a big leg up on the rest of the field. 

Because the Pats are the best team left, and because they have the easiest road to the Super Bowl title, take them to win the Super Bowl 31-17 over Dallas.

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