2017 Super Bowl Odds: Pats, Cowboys huge favorites heading into NFL playoffs
New England and Dallas are the prohibitive favorites but watch out for Green Bay and Pittsburgh
The NFL's regular season is over, the playoffs are here and the schedule is set. We know the higher seeds are pretty big favorites over the lower seeds and we know that Matt McGloin/Connor Cook and Brock Osweiler/Tom Savage are facing off in an actual, real-life playoff game.
Whereas we usually look to the previous week when checking out previous Super Bowl odds, we're going to do it a little differently and take a look at where these teams stood a full year ago. The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook tracks the odds from Jan. 1, 2016, through now, with just 12 teams remaining in the playoffs.
Two of them are substantially ahead of the rest.
1. New England Patriots (7-5, Previously 8-1 on Jan. 1, 2016): The Pats are guaranteed to play either Matt McGloin/Connor Cook, Matt Moore or Brock Osweiler/Tom Savage in their first playoff game. You can pencil them into the AFC Championship Game for a sixth straight season. If someone can upend the Steelers, they will waltz to the Super Bowl.
2. Dallas Cowboys (7-2, Previously 14-1): Some folks saw Dallas maybe slowing down during the stretch run of 2016, but it wasn't the case. Even a loss to the Eagles was fairly impressive considering it resulted in Tony Romo looking like a stud backup quarterback. Having a bye is a huge help for the NFC's best team, obviously.
3. Green Bay Packers (8-1, Previously 10-1): An easy spot to put these guys after Aaron Rodgers called his shot and the Packers ran the table. Green Bay fell as far as 80-1 at one point in the season, meaning there could be some dangerous money riding on the Packers right now. 8-1 isn't horrible odds for how warm this team has been. They get New York then will travel to Dallas or Atlanta if they win.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-1, Previously 8-1): Another white-hot team that comes into the playoffs streaking. Ben Roethlisberger is playing well but has another gear, while Le'Veon Bell threw his name into the MVP conversation with a late surge. Pittsburgh should continue leaning on him and could easily make it back to the Super Bowl given the lack of dangerous contenders in the AFC.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (10-1, Previously 20-1): The most underrated team in the playoffs. People aren't giving the Chiefs enough credit -- remember, they have the bye (not Pittsburgh) and they are well behind the Steelers in terms of odds, relative to their status as the No. 2 seed. Andy Reid is 19-2 after a bye in both the regular season and postseason, which is bad news for Pittsburgh if they win in the first round.
6. Atlanta Falcons (10-1, Previously 40-1): OK maybe these guys are the most underrated team in the playoffs. Atlanta also has the bye, yet is behind Green Bay in terms of odds. Matt Ryan is playing at an MVP level, Julio Jones has the potential to absolutely take over the playoffs and Dan Quinn has the defense playing better than people think.
7. Seattle Seahawks (12-1, Previously 8-1): This is about as far as we've seen Seattle slip this season, but it shouldn't be surprising given their struggles. Seattle couldn't really run the ball against the 49ers this past weekend and it's impossible to trust the Seahawks offensive line in the postseason. The defense hasn't been the same since Earl Thomas went down.
8. New York Giants (20-1, Previously 40-1): Do you believe in Eli Manning chugging magical playoff elixir and making another Super Bowl run? If so, these are pretty good odds. He has had great moments in the postseason and this season he again has a Giants defense capable of dominating teams (they've beaten the Cowboys twice) and one of the best receivers in the game in Odell Beckham Jr.
9. Houston Texans (80-1, Previously 40-1): Talk about a steep dropoff. That's what happens when you move from a quality quarterback to a combination of Tom Savage and Brock Osweiler. The Texans could certainly advance one round because they host the Raiders on Wild Card Weekend, but it's hard to imagine the journey going any further than that, especially since a Pittsburgh win would send them to New England for the divisional round.
10. Miami Dolphins (80-1, Previously 50-1): It's easy to see this moving a little higher if Ryan Tannehill were able to play, but Adam Gase made that sound like a pretty big stretch. The Dolphins also have the unfortunate responsibility of playing the Steelers in the first round -- a trip to Houston would be much more palatable. It's worth noting that Miami already beat Pittsburgh once this season, however.
11. Oakland Raiders (100-1, Previously 50-1): Clearly a huge Derek Carr factor here. The Raiders had a lock on the second seed until Carr went down and now they're underdogs to the Texans in the first round. They could certainly still pull an upset with either Matt McGloin or Connor Cook, but it's not feasible to seem them advancing. If Pittsburgh wins, they would head to New England for the divisional round.
12. Detroit Lions (100-1, Previously 40-1): That's a heck of a season for Jim Caldwell and Matthew Stafford to even make the playoffs. Their road to the Super Bowl is a ridiculously difficult one, however. First they travel to Seattle. A win would likely send them to Dallas (but also possibly Atlanta). They would need to win one more road game before playing in the Super Bowl. That's brutal for a team with a thin margin of error in a ton of games this year.
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