Blog Entry

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

Posted on: January 17, 2012 11:07 am
A rematch of the 2007 Super Bowl is almost likely at this point. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Earlier this month we took a look at the odds for teams to win the Super Bowl, just before the playoffs began. If you bet on the 49ers (+1200), you're feeling pretty good about life. If you bet on the Packers (+16), well, not so much.

The odds have been recalibrated in advance of the AFC and NFC Championship Games so let's take a look at who's likely (and unlikely) to win the Super Bowl. Plus: hypothetical Super Bowl matchups! All odds courtesy of

Odds to Win the Super Bowl

Team: New England Patriots
Super Bowl Odds: +120
Value of Bet: 4
What Has to Happen: The Pats defense has to show up for at least one more game and Tom Brady needs to keep being the angry, destructive cyborg that he was in the first half against the Broncos. The Patriots are a shockingly high favorite here given that they've got to win two games like everyone else, and given that the Ravens stomped their faces the last time Baltimore came to New England.
Fun Prop to Play This Weekend: Under on the longest touchdown of the game at 47.5. Both the Ravens and the Patriots give up long plays, but if you look at each of their last five games, most shots have been taken from 40 yards in. Only Torrey Smith represents a true "deep threat" on either team.

Team: San Francisco 49ers
Super Bowl Odds: +325
Value of Bet: 2
What Has to Happen: Alex Smith keeps getting his Joe Montana on. The defense has to play well, of course, but roughing up the Giants is different than roughing up the Saints; New Orleans is a finesse team (no offense to Drew Brees and Sean Payton). Once Pierre Thomas was knocked out, they struggled to punch the 49ers in the mouth. The Giants won't have the same problem and are infinitely tougher. Smith successfully orchestrating the offense gives San Francisco a tremendous advantage.
Fun Prop to Play This Weekend: Super Bowl UNDER at 50. You think 50 points are getting scored if we get 49ers vs. Ravens? It's not even a total backfire if the Giants make it: only once since 2005 (last year, in fact) has the Super Bowl gone over 50 points total.

Team: New York Giants
Super Bowl Odds: +325
Value of Bet: 3
What Has to Happen: The secondary needs to keep shutting folks down; they've done a tremendous job improving over the past four weeks or so. Also, Gregg Doyel pointed out that the Giants wanted to get physical with Jermichael Finley during the Packers game. They will need to do something similar with Vernon Davis (and then possibly Rob Gronkowski/Aaron Hernandez) if they plan on winning the Super Bowl. At the very least, they shouldn't leave Vernon in one-on-one coverage.
Fun Prop to Play This Weekend: Giants +4.5 versus Patriots in a hypothetical Super Bowl. Yes, you can bet on this. Crazy right? Already, no one believes in the Giants. Good times! (All future SB matchups listed below.

Team: Baltimore Ravens
Super Bowl Odds: +600
Value of Bet: 1
What Has to Happen: Joe Flacco and Cam Cameron have to get it together for two games and do their jobs more efficiently. Were it not for Jacoby Jones gifting the Ravens a touchdown on Sunday, Flacco might be the goat for a huge upset right now, and Cameron throwing with two minutes remaining and Houston trying to use their timeouts gave the Texans an additional possession. Do that against, say, Brady and Eli, and it'll burn you.
Fun Prop to Play This Weekend: The under on Ray Rice's rushing attempts. I don't even know what it is but I know Cameron will find a way to go under regardless.

Hypothetical Super Bowl Matchups
Patriots (-6.5) vs. 49ers: That's not a surprising line considering how strong the Patriots looked and it would generate a lot of action on each side of the ball. However, if the 49ers look good in taking down the Giants, I'd think this would open up closer to 3 than 7.

Patriots (-4.5) vs. Giants: The Giants would be somewhat surprising underdogs considering their strong run but remember that last time they were 12.5-point dogs (!) against the Patriots. So maybe this more reasonable. Best guess: the Giants would get a LOT of action and push this line down.

Ravens (-2) vs. 49ers: A two-point line means "We have no real idea, but I guess we like the Ravens." The over/under isn't listed but you best believe it's lower than the current line of 50. Defensive matchups like this put a lot of the weight on Flacco and Smith which is why no one knows.

Giants (-1) vs. Ravens: Again, no one knows. I'd personally love the Giants in this situation, because as hot as they've been, this line seems destined to climb. Plus, if you've got two really good defenses, don't you want the team with the elite quarterback? (That's not you, Joe Flacco.)

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Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:14 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

What rule is that?  The one when you look at him funny or fart in his direction and get a roughing the passer penalty?

Since: Jun 4, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:58 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

Is the Brady Rule still in effect in the AFC Championship game ?

Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:39 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

These final four teams all deserve to be here considering how well they have played but who are we kidding....A Ravens and 49's Superbowl?  That is a complete snoozer, The Ravens are the most boring team left in the playoffs and also the most vulnerable.  They are good at most things but not great.  Am I picking on the Ravens you ask?  Indeed I am, as much as I would like revenge from the Giants 2000 Superbowl loss I cannot support a team who has a player get away with _ _ _ _ _ _

I admit I am being totally biased here since I am a Giants fan but a re-match between the Patriots and Giants could be the largest Superbowl draw ever.

Since: Jan 10, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:35 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

Pats played a first place schedule. Yes they lost to a couple of good teams which is probably better than losing to the four dogs the Ravens lost to. How many offenses did you play in the top 10 this year? The answer is zero.
AFC North best division? I think that was disproved when both Cin and Pitt lost in the first round and didn't look good in either of them.
Hopefully it'll be a good game similar to the one the last time they played.

Since: Jan 10, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:10 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

Last time Ravens came to Foxboro they lost 23-20 in OT
Ravens are 1-6 lifetime against the Patriots.
In other words this game has no bearing on the others

Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:01 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews


you have to take the Good WITH the Bad.  Which team will show up, the 12-4, 8-0 @ home AFC North Champs, or the Ravens that lost on the Road to a 5-11 Jacksonville team and a 7-9 Seattle team.  That's how odds/favorites are done.  They would be different if Baltimore had homefield

Since: Aug 31, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:58 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

I agree with Byte Me. I am a Giants fan but all along felt that the Ravens were the best team in the AFC,.  All of a sudden New England scores some serious style points vs a "weak" playoff team in Denver and they catapult to the top.  I think Ravens win vs Pats, having a healthy Ed Reed will certainly help. I know a number of Pats fans are not confident vs the Ravens and rightfully so, they are one of those physical teams that have given them problems in past (ala Steelers and Giants).  Houston's defense is a lot better then people give them credit for, Flacco did not play well but that defense would stuff a lot of good offenses.  We will soon see.......

Since: Oct 24, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:42 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

LOL, why is the Patsies the fav? because they haven't beaten anyone yet this year? or because they have the best qb left, you saw what happens to the best qb's when they go up against the top def.... down went rodgers, down went brees.....

I keep coming to the point that the patsie have not played anyone this year.  they played the steelers and lost and they played the giants and lost.  they only play 2 teams with greater than 9 wins and lost to them both and one was in their own house, NYG.

Keep making the Ravens the underdogs.  they go 12-4 and win the AFC North, hardest division in the NFL...  they go 8-0 at home, 6-0 in their div and beat the bengals 2X, the steelers 2x, the texans 2x and the 9ers once...  7-0 against playoff teams.... 

Can anyone else say that in the playoffs?

And the 49er's fav over Bmore. Give me a freakin' break.

Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:27 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

Would love to see Giants Ravens

Since: Oct 13, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 11:17 am

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

The XXXV game was of course Balt winning 34-7 but keep in mind the Giants only points came on a kickoff return, so the Ravens D pitched a shutout that year.  Very rare!

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