Staring at the number of teams with Super Bowl odds left (four) reminds me how many football games are left this year (three) and that gives me a sad.
But we have to carry on anyway and provide you with the latest Vegas assessment of who will take home the Lombardi Trophy. As you might guess, the Patriots (1-1) are the top favorite, checking in at even money. New England looked great Sunday, but betting even money on a team to win two straight games is foolish.
The 49ers (15-4) are favored at Atlanta (by a whopping 4.5 points, no less), so it's no surprise they're the second-rated team by Vegas.
Conversely, we should expect Atlanta (11-2) to be the third favorite, and they are. They're also the largest home underdogs in Conference Championship history at 4.5 points. That's stunning. I love them as a value play, especially considering they get a home game and, if they advance to the Super Bowl, the familiarity of playing in New Orleans (a divisional opponent) and the bonus of playing in a dome. Did I mention I picked them to win the Super Bowl before the season began yet?
Baltimore checks in at 15-2, an unsurprising number given their weaknesses and the fact that the path to the Super Bowl goes through New England. I don't love betting against Ray Lewis and this "team of destiny" business, though.
And because we've got just four teams left, we also have a reasonably digestable set of Super Bowl matchup odds this week, too. You'll never guess what Vegas thinks the best matchup is!
Oh, you guessed Patriots-49ers (5-6)? Good guess. Second, as you might assume based on New England being the top favorite, is a Patriots-Falcons (9-4) Super Bowl.
The third matchup is Ravens-49ers (6-1). Falcons-Ravens (9-1) is the least likely matchup, according to Las Vegas. Honestly, the odds involved with Falcons-Ravens are almost good enough to warrant throwing something down.
Baltimore's been close to beating New England before (last year's Conference Championship Game) and actually beat them earlier this year. The Falcons are just getting disrespected on their home turf, and the 49ers are getting too much credit, in my mind.
Remember: the NFL rarely plays out the way everyone actually thinks it will.
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