The 14 NFL playoff places have been settled and each team has been seeded. The post-season begins on Saturday as the season becomes win or go home.
Last season’s two Super Bowl finalists enter as number 2 seeds in their respective Conferences as the Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans get the bye.
It’s Matt LeFleur’s Packers that are the Super Bowl favourites with the sportsbooks and have been for a couple of weeks now. With the best record in the league at 13-4, they look unstoppable with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback and look like the strongest team all around.
LeFleur has two legit running backs in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, homefield advantage in the snow at Green Bay, whilst the rest of the seeded times are used to playing in the sun; Tampa Bay, Dallas, Los Angeles and Arizona. They have a secondary that makes turnovers and in Davante Adams they have the best receiver in the league.
It’s difficult to see past Green Bay as the 15/4 favourites; the team we tipped at 17/1 earlier this season.
Kansas City (12-5) enter the playoffs as the 9/2 second favourites and have a favourable Wildcard weekend tie at home to the 9-7-1 Pittsburgh Steelers in what is expected to be Ben Roethlisberger’s final game.
The Chiefs should have a lot of success on both sides of the ball and potentially the opportunity to rotate players late in the third quarter to rest them for the Divisional Round. The Chiefs are as short as 1/7 on the money line to win Sunday Night Football.
Interestingly, the Buffalo Bills are the sportsbooks’ third favourites to win the Super Bowl at 7/1. They went 11-6 in the Regular season with notable losses to the New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans and thrashed by the Indianapolis Colts.
The Bills did end the season on a four-game winning streak, which included a 33-21 victory at New England. And it’s the Patriots who are visiting in the Wildcard round on Saturday night with Buffalo the 4-point favourites.
Both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans are next at 8/1.
Tampa Bay certainly look like the second favourites in the NFC, and should have few problems against the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday’s first Wildcard game. They would probably prefer Dallas than the LA Rams in the Divisional Round too, but that requires the Cowboys avoiding slipping up at home to the San Francisco 49ers.
At 8/1 they don’t seem great value at this point, especially if they need to go through both the Rams and Green Bay Packers. Head-to-head versus Packers I just don’t see them winning at Lambeau Field in back-to-back years.
Over in the AFC, Tennessee have the bye week but are only third favourites to win their Conference, despite beating both Kansas City and Buffalo this season. However, the absence of Derrick Henry over the second half of the season has left their offence exposed, which includes notable defeats to the Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers and a thrashing by the New England Patriots.
I believe the Titans are very fortunate to be in the position they are in and they won’t go deep in the post-season. A Divisional matchup versus 20/1 Cincinnati could be a field day for Ja’Marr Chase, but any upsets on Wildcard weekend could give Tennessee a winnable match to reach the Championship game.
The LA Rams are 9/1 after some final form in the final weeks of the season prior to a Week 18 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers. It means they face one of the toughest matches on Wildcard weekends as they host NFC West rivals Arizona. The Cardinals went 1-1 during the regular season, and are 25/1 to win the Super Bowl themselves. This game has been saved for Monday Night Football.
The final seed is the Dallas Cowboys, who are back at 12/1 to win the Super Bowl. I simply do not see them being able to go through the 49ers and/or Tampa Bay/LA and Green Bay, just to make the final showdown. These odds are simply way too short. You could have given me 50/1 and I wouldn’t have been interested.
Yes they have a good offence on their day, but how would they fair against a good defence like the Rams? How will they even perform against San Francisco? The defence has been weak for most of the season – Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady could early put up 400+ yards on them.
The full list of Super Bowl odds is as follows:
Green Bay Packers 15/4
Kansas City Chiefs 9/2
Buffalo Bills 7/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8/1
Tennessee Titans 8/1
LA Rams 9/1
Dallas Cowboys 12/1
Cincinnati Bengals 20/1
New England Patriots 20/1
Arizona Cardinals 25/1
San Francisco 49ers 25/1
Las Vegas Raiders 40/1
Philadelphia Eagles 60/1
Pittsburgh Steelers 66/1