The NFL Playoffs finally begin on Saturday when Wild Card Weekend kicks off. The Jaguars will face the Bills, the Chiefs play the Titans, the Falcons play the Rams and the Saints host the Panthers. With only 12 teams left, betting gets a lot clearer -- albeit more difficult. The Ravens and Chargers held bettors until the last week, but ultimately came up just shy of the postseason. The same goes for the Seahawks, who will try to reload after an ugly 2017. The Patriots and Vikings lead their respective conferences in odds, while the Steelers and the Saints are the runners-up.
Super Bowl LII odds
|Team||Vegas SB odds||SB%||Vegas conference odds||CONF%|
|New England Patriots||2/1||31.55%||2/3||47.81%|
|New Orleans Saints||5/1||8.61%||11/4||13.30%|
|Los Angeles Rams||12/1||8.61%||5/1||18.02%|
|Kansas City Chiefs||20/1||7.39%||10/1||13.47%|
All roads to the Super Bowl go through Foxborough, so it's only right that the Patriots should be favorites in the NFL. Although the Vikings could play a home Super Bowl if they make it, the Patriots have looked absurdly dominant as the season has progressed, and they've only gotten stronger. However, if Minnesota has anything to say about it, it won't be an easy road. The defense is among the most stifling in the NFL, and Case Keenum has the Vikings winning games. If there's one thing that we know about Super Bowl teams, it's that a great defense tends to take teams a long way.
The other contenders
The Saints and the Steelers are runners-up in their conferences, as the Saints stumbled against the Buccaneers in Week 17 but may have made their path a bit less brutal for it. They'll be playing the Panthers, a team they've beaten twice, on Sunday to round out the wild-card slate. The Falcons, the third team representing the NFC South, will be playing the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday.
In the AFC, the Bills eked their way into the playoffs to snap the longest playoff drought in sports, and will play against the Jaguars, whose odds have increased with each passing week. The Titans survived and will play the Chiefs at always-hostile Arrowhead Stadium. The Titans and Bills are being given the worst odds by bettors.
The Eagles are the x-factor in these playoffs, and we'll see how they compete without Carson Wentz. They will have a week to rest their bones while waiting to see who they'll play. The odds-on favorite for that is the fourth-seeded Saints, but a lot of variables lead into that prediction.
It's going to be a packed slate of wild-card football, but it's understandable that the Patriots are the favorites. The Vikings may see their odds drastically increase if they win their divisional game (or end up playing the Saints somehow, as they routed New Orleans in Minnesota all the way back in Week 1), but for now it's all about the team that's been there.