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: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2012 1:38 am

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

looks like the oxygen thieves,aka,sportswriters,lost a couple prime candidates for their MVP.....looks like brady and manning got a good shot....smith,flacco,no prayer....waiting for the story from the "experts" as to their new candidate..
The MVP's going to be Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees; the votes were due in a few weeks ago.

Since: May 26, 2010
Posted on: January 18, 2012 1:06 am

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

I am trying to figure out how the Giants wouldn't be the favorite against the Pats?? They already beat them this year and the Giants are definitely playing the best out of the remaining teams.

Since: Jan 6, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2012 12:14 am

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

Prisco really needs to decide whether or not he believes the Giants are a defensive team. I seem to remember him saying that they were an offensive team that can rush the passer, and that's it. Either way, the Giants defense isn't on par with the Ravens, but Flacco isn't on level with Manning either. Ultimately, I think it would make for an interesting, and very close, game.

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 11:00 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

Brandit, very solid point.  An earlier post I had showed that the ravens in pt differential (avg. pts scored per game vs/average pts allowed per game) where only 3 off from pats.  I think that is likely a result of quaity def. that each played.  The ravens played and beat more top 10 def than the patriots which is going to affect the statistics.  As such, even as a pats fan, I would hate to put a line on this one.  Despite overall record, there are two big games that stound out in my mind against ravens.  1. is loss from two years ago.  You guys were ball hawks on D in the first half and smoked us on the ground.  The second, is the 2007/2008 matchup where we were outplayed, but managed to win the game.  The vets on Offense for the Pats, and Vets on Defense for the Ravens know each other backward and forward.  Raven's are a hell of a team and have a functional offense with a great run game.  Key is going to be putting BAL in 3 and long consistently for NE and Key for Balt is figuring out how to adjust their zone D for crazy matchups.  Gonna be tough on both ends and should realy be fckn exiting to watch.  Love my Pats, so clearly leanig one way, but as an agnostic analyst, could be the best matchup all post-season.

Since: Oct 24, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 10:29 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

Thanks mtmman.....  for the correction.....

 I was breaking off a Deuce at the time of the post 

Since: Dec 17, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 10:25 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

When Giants play the Pats again, it's perfectly fine if they are the underdogs. They are the road warriors. Who cares that Giants beat Pats in NE at the time when they were not even playing their best football? I think anyone with any common sense knows that NFC winner is the champ. Pats beat a bunch of nobody's. Ravens D is overrated. Give me a break. Giants will introduce Mr. Brady to turf and grass again and Eli will finally earn the elite title. Eli owns Brady and nothing Pats do this year will change it.

Since: Jan 10, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2012 10:19 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

Has to be one of the dumbest posts of all time. Just like your coach. Shut up and get a clue. We'll see you twice again next year

Since: Dec 30, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 10:11 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

  Couldn't agree more. IT's not about single players but overall match ups. Everyone keeps talking
about Brady but don't look at the past history. That's why I put Flacco's numbers out there. Flacco is not
in the same league as Brady,but I think he has the better matchup. Everyone looks at Flacco's
numbers and think he's regressing. The fact is that he has played 12 games against top ten defense's this year.
    I like the Ravens chances as they always get up for the better teams. On the flip side, Brady is playing lights out
and with his weapons he could be a handfull. I think this game will be very close and could go either way.
    As to the point spread, I predict the public will be all over the Patriots. Anything over 7 1/2 and above I think the wise guys will be all over the Ravens. Learned a long time ago not to dwell on most recent game, good or bad. Anyway here's hoping for a great game!


Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: January 17, 2012 9:38 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

Brandits, gotta say, I like the use of stats in the argument.  However single player stats are a bit silly no?  Out of the three games you highlight, how many did the ravens win?  1?  Yup.  Think it comes down to this:
1) Patriots offense is particularly well suited to play the ravens D (2 tight end set gtees a zone D which Brady crushes) better than most teams.  That said, Ravens D, even against an offense that is suited to beat them are spectacular.
2) Raven's offense is particularly well suited to play Patriots (Def/Off).  A strong running attack in Ray Rice that likes to run stretch plays ensures a predictable Pat response.  If the Pats concentrate on taking away the run, Flacco/Smith/Evans/Boldin are more than capable of winning man D situations against the Pats.
Given that, I suspect this game will look a lot more like SF/NO than most would think.  I bet we see the Pats off. continue to be the Pats off, but I also think we see some nice through the air stats from Baltimore.
Given all of that, this game is gonna come down to mistakes and miscues.  If this game were in Baltimore, I think Ravens would be favored, but given their performance on the road, I don't think they win this one. 

Since: Dec 30, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2012 8:53 pm

Super Bowl Odds: Championship Game Previews

 Everyone keeps talking about Brady,like he dominates the Ravens. Lets look at the numbers!

  Last three games:

  Oct. 4 2009

  attempts 21 for 32   258 yds    1 td   0 int

  attempts 27 for 47   264 yds    2 td   1 int

  Oct. 17 2010

Brady      attempts 27 for 44    292 yds    1 td   2 int

Flacco     attempts  27 for 35   285 yds    2 td   0 int

  Jan. 10 2010

Brady     attempts 23 for 42    154 yds   2 td   3 int

Flacco    attempts  4 for 10      34 yds    0 td   1 int 
(Flacco didn't need to throww because Ravens dominated on the ground)


  Brady   704 yds  avg. yds. per game  234.6    4 td    5 int

  Flacco  583 yds  avg. yds per game   194.3     4 td   2 int
;      ( Take out game where Flacco didn't need to throw and his avg. yds per game was 274 yds.)

Where's this domination that all the Pat fans are talking about?

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