NFL Playoff Odds 2022: Super Bowl Lines for AFC, NFC Contenders After Week 17

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2022

NFL Playoff Odds 2022: Super Bowl Lines for AFC, NFC Contenders After Week 17

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    Emilee Chinn/Associated Press

    The playoff picture became clearer after Week 17 in the NFL, as did the favorites to hoist the coveted Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl champions.

    Green Bay once again asserted its dominance in the NFC, while Tennesee and Cincinnati presented resistance to a Kansas City-championed AFC.

    Those teams, plus the Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills all passed the eye test, but which squads have the attention of oddsmakers?

    Who do they favor to win Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, February 13?

    The answer will hardly be a surprise.

Latest Odds

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    Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

    Current Super Bowl Odds

    (Via DraftKings Sportsbook)

NFC Playoffs

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    Gail Burton/Associated Press

    Green Bay secured the top seed in the NFC playoffs Sunday with its win over Minnesota, and the Packers have looked nearly unbeatable all season.

    Aaron Rodgers is the front-runner to win the MVP award for the second, consecutive year, and with home-field advantage, the Packers will be the favorites in each of the playoff games in which they appear. And rightfully so. They have been the class of the conference all season long, and based on what we have seen on the field, it makes sense that oddsmakers would have them as favorites to hoist the trophy named after iconic Packers coach Steve Lombardi.

    But...we have seen this scenario play out before.

    Green Bay held home-field advantage a year ago, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers waltzed in, beat them at Lambeau Field and cashed their ticket to the Super Bowl.

    The "advantage" proved to be for naught, as the Packers were eliminated earlier than expected, their hopes and dreams dashed by Tom Brady and Co.

    That could happen again this year.

    The NFC is a stacked conference, with any number of teams capable of heading into Green Bay and knocking Rodgers, Davante Adams and the rest of the squad out of contention.

    The Los Angeles Rams are rediscovering their run game, thanks to Sony Michele, and are proving they can win even when quarterback Matthew Stafford struggles. Dallas has the offensive firepower to go point-for-point with the Packers, and Tampa Bay has the confidence of having beat Green Bay in the aforementioned game.

    Then there is Arizona, which regained much-needed momentum by way of their win over Dallas Sunday.

    Potent offenses and playmaking defenses make any one of those teams capable of dashing Rodgers' dreams of a second title.

    Still, with Green Bay appearing more determined than ever after consecutive losses in the NFC Championship Game, and sporting a top-10 defense, it will be a tall task to oust them in a playoff scenario that appears to favor them.

AFC Playoffs

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    Jeff Dean/Associated Press

    Kansas City may be the AFC favorite, thanks to experience, offensive weaponry and improved play by their once-maligned defense, but two teams are making things interesting as the regular season draws to its conclusion.

    The Tennessee Titans have already drubbed Patrick Mahomes and Co. once this season and, after Sunday's games, sits atop the conference. The Titans' ability to control the clock by running the ball and playing solid defense makes them a tough matchup for the Chiefs.

    Keeping Mahomes and the explosive Chiefs offense on the sidelines while milking the clock via a stout run game, powered by the battering ram that is D'Onta Foreman, is the recipe to defeat the two-time AFC champions.

    The Cincinnati Bengals concocted their own recipe: throw the ball to Ja'Marr Chase.

    The rookie wideout caught 11 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns in a victory over the Chiefs Sunday, owning the defense and catapulting the Bengals to a division title. Add his ability to take games over with quarterback Joe Burrow's red-hot run to end the season (971 yards, eight touchdowns, no interceptions in two games) and you have a team that can score with the Chiefs.

    That running back Joe Mixon is second in the league in total yards only strengthens the team's ability to hang with KC.

    One thing neither of those teams has that the Chiefs do, though, is a wealth of experience in championship games. Kansas City has competed in the last three AFC title games and in the last two Super Bowls. Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Chris Jones and Tyrann Mathieu know what it takes to win in high-pressure situations.

    That is something no stat line can account for.

    They may have lost Sunday. and both Tennessee and Cincinnati may be hitting their stride as the playoffs near, but Kansas City is rightly the favorite to win the Super Bowl from AFC.



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