Online betting odds to win the Super Bowl and handicapping tips on what to look for in a Super Bowl champ!
While comparing today’s NFL odds to win each conference with the odds going into Wild Card weekend, it’s clear the outcomes did little to sway public opinion. An upset in Seattle or Pittsburgh may have bolstered odds for Dallas or Kansas City based on matchups, but favorites dominated the opening round.
New England (-188) is expected to stomp Houston and if so, they’ll have home field against either Kansas City (+400) or Pittsburgh (+400), who each saw their AFC Conference futures jump by 50 points.
The NFC leader is Dallas (+138) followed by Atlanta (+275), Green Bay (+350) and Seattle (+450). From a value perspective, both road dogs are worth a look in this option. Aaron Rodgers is throwing nothing but touchdowns but keep in mind, if both dogs were able to pull an upset in Round 2, the Seahawks would host the Conference Championship game as the 3rd seed. Suddenly that tie in Arizona wouldn’t seem so foolish!
Here are each team’s updated odds to bring home the Vince Lombardi Trophy in February. Houston might seem outlandish at 66 to 1, but just think of the hedging possibilities if they pulled an outright upset.
2. Cowboys +450
3. Falcons +700
T-4. Packers +750
T-4. Steelers +750
6. Chiefs +800
Pittsburgh looks like the best value play out of AFC and from the NFC, we would have to go with Seattle paying back at to 11 to 1. Green Bay is an intriguing option but the injury to Jordy Nelson hurts. Dallas is playing a rookie QB-RB combo but they have a veteran QB waiting in the wings and a top offensive line. Ezekiel Elliot is reportedly fine from his minor car accident Wednesday and Elliot rushed for 157 yards against the Packers in Week 6.
THE LOOK OF A CHAMP
With the help of Sports Database I was able to run some numbers back over the recent Super Bowl champions to identify some common characteristics that helped make them so successful. Here is a list of how this year’s pool stacks up in certain key categories.
1. Took Down a Heavyweight
Nine of the past 10 Super Bowl champs took down a recent Lombardi winner at some point in the postseason en route to the title. Only Pittsburgh, in 2008, made it through the playoffs with wins over the Chargers, Ravens and Cardinals. This is a tip of the cap to Green Bay for their win over New York (2011 Super Bowl champ).
2. Toss Out Straight-up Records
The past 14 Super Bowl champs finished the regular season with anywhere from nine to 14 straight-up wins. This year’s playoff pool entered with an identical range (Texans, Lions at 9 and New England at 14). Straight-up records certainly impact the odds but the fact is that beyond the Wild Card Round, playoff teams with a better SU record are only 38-percent against the spread. That’s a bolster stat this weekend for the Seahawks, Texans, Steelers and Packers.
3. Well Isn’t That Special
According to Football Outsiders, all four home sides this week have an advantage in Special Teams and Kansas City led the league in non-offensive TDs with eight, or roughly one every two games. Atlanta was tied for third in this category with five on the season and while defensive/special teams TDs can help pave a way to the playoffs, they are not a very stable ground upon which to build a legacy.
Give these teams points in any round of the playoffs and you’ve got a 50-percent chance of covering. Lay points with these teams, especially at home or on a neutral field, and your ATS record gets worse as the playoffs go on. In the Super Bowl, these faves are 2-6 ATS and in the Division Finals their record is 14-24 ATS (37%). This profile suggests a dog play AGAINST the Chiefs and/or Falcons in Round 2.