Super Bowl 2018: Latest Odds and Predictions for Biggest Stars

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 20, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 25: Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs with the ball against the Oakland Raiders at Lincoln Financial Field on December 25, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The 2000 New York Giants were one-point underdogs heading into their NFC Championship matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. It was a notable line considering that the Giants were at home and finished as the conference's No. 1 seed.

However, the Giants silenced the critics by delivering a dominant 41-0 victory to earn a trip to Super Bowl XXXV.

Seventeen years later, the Vikings are once again road favorites in the NFC Championship against an NFC East team that finished as the No. 1 seed. This time, however, it's the Philadelphia Eagles.

Although surprising results have been the norm in this postseason, don't hold your breath waiting for Philadelphia to beat Minnesota 41-0. Rather, this looks like a great game on paper, and the same goes for the AFC title matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots.

Here's a look at the latest odds for each conference championship game as well as the Super Bowl, both via OddsShark. You can also take a look at individual predictions for the players expected to do the best on Sunday.

                               

Conference Championship Schedule and Odds

Sunday, January 21, 3:05 p.m. ET on CBS: No. 3 Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 1 New England Patriots (-7.5, 46.5 O/U)

Sunday, January 21, 6:40 p.m. ET on Fox: No. 2 Minnesota Vikings at No. 1 Philadelphia Eagles (-3, 39 O/U)

                                                                                          

Super Bowl Schedule

Sunday, February 4, 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC: AFC champion vs. NFC champion at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis

                       

Super Bowl Odds (via OddsShark)

New England Patriots: EVEN

Minnesota Vikings: 9-4

Philadelphia Eagles: 13-2

Jacksonville Jaguars: 8-1

                                      

Championship Game Predictions

Vikings 17, Eagles 16

Patriots 27, Jaguars 16

                           

Player Predictions

Patriots QB Tom Brady

Talk about quarterback Tom Brady's injured right hand, which has him listed as questionable for the AFC Championship, will be water under the bridge at approximately 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Expect him to play and do well against a Jaguars defense that has dominated all season but just allowed six touchdowns against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jags may have trouble against the duo of running back Dion Lewis and tight end Rob Gronkowski, and Brady can find them all day.

Prediction: 20-for-30, 250 yards, 1 TD

                                     

Patriots RB Dion Lewis

This shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but the Jaguars gave up 100 or more rushing yards in each of their six losses this year.

The Pats should come into this game looking to pound the rock with Lewis, which they've done over the past three contests with much success. Lewis has been one of the league's most efficient runners and can take advantage of a Jaguars defense that allowed the seventh-most rushing yards per carry.

Prediction: 15 rushes, 75 yards, 2 TD; 5 catches, 40 yards

                               

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski

Is there a bigger nightmare to cover in the league than Patriots tight end Gronkowski?

The eighth-year pro enjoyed another great season in 2017, catching 69 passes for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 games. Remarkably, not only are those numbers well off his career-high totals, but none of them even finish in the top three.

Steelers tight end Vance McDonald posted a 10-catch performance against the Jaguars on Sunday. It's certainly possible that Gronk matches that total against a Jaguars defense that is tough but may not have answers to stop him.

Prediction: 10 catches, 120 yards, 1 TD

                                              

Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette and the offensive line are major keys to Jacksonville's success on Sunday. If they can get the run game going like they did against the Steelers, that will set the tone for the entire game and go a long way toward a win. if not, then it could be a long day for the Jags.

The guess here is that the rushing attack is hit or miss for four quarters, with the Jags producing some successful runs but never one for a long gain.

Prediction: 18 carries, 70 yards; 3 catches, 30 yards

                                

Jaguars WR Keelan Cole

Jaguars wideout Keelan Cole delivered one of the more clutch plays of the divisional round when he hauled in a 45-yard pass to set up running back Fournette's touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

Cole is a legitimate deep threat who has the skill set to change the game with one play. The guess here is that he and Blake Bortles connect on a long score Sunday to help the Jags stick around.

Prediction: 3 catches, 80 yards, 1 TD

                                                           

Eagles RB Corey Clement

This is a wild-card pick, but Eagles running back Corey Clement deserves more touches. The rookie out of Wisconsin rushed for 4.3 yards per carry during the regular season and scored six touchdowns on just 84 touches.

That incredible efficiency could be beneficial to the Eagles' hopes against the Vikings, who have one of the toughest defenses in the game.

If the Eagles' run game can't get going with Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount, then there's a chance the Eagles turn to Clement to provide a spark. 

Prediction: 5 carries, 30 yards; 5 catches, 40 yards, 1 TD

                              

Eagles TE Zach Ertz

Eagles tight end Zach Ertz has been one of the more consistent players at his position this year. The former Stanford Cardinal star played in 14 games, and he either caught five or more passes or hauled in a touchdown in 11 of them.

Notably, Ertz has done well with backup Nick Foles under center: He's caught 18 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown in three full games with him.

Look for another productive game from Ertz yet again.

Prediction: 5 catches, 60 yards

                                 

Vikings QB Case Keenum

Case Keenum is on his third team in four seasons and never started more than nine games in a single campaign until 2017. However, the new Vikings quarterback has been incredible in Minnesota, completing 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,547 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Look for him to have a good game against an Eagles pass defense that has given up a few big games through the air this year, namely three performances of 300 yards or more.

Prediction: 25-for-35, 250 passing yards, 2 TD

                     

Vikings WR Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs

If Keenum has a good game, then wideouts Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs could be the beneficiaries.

Both players enjoyed fantastic seasons this year, with Thielen leading the team in catches and yards (91 receptions and 1,276 yards) and Diggs tying for the team lead in touchdowns (eight).

They also finished one-two on the team in targets this year, so look for both of them to stay busy.

Prediction: 8 catches, 90 yards, 1 TD (Thielen); 6 catches, 70 yards, 1 TD (Diggs)

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