And then there were four. Divisional weekend is in the books, and on Sunday the remaining four teams will play for a trip to Super Bowl LIII, which you can stream right here on CBSSports.com. In the NFC, the Saints host the Rams, and in the AFC the Patriots are traveling to play the Chiefs. Saints vs. Rams promises to be a grind-fest as we're getting two teams who love to run the ball, whereas if the first time the Patriots and Chiefs played is any indication, we could get some fireworks. You can stream the AFC Championship on CBS All Access.
In the AFC, how the Patriots' front five stacks up with the surprising Chiefs defensive line will be what to look for. Chris Jones caused a lot of problems for the Colts last week, but Tom Brady is a different animal. Patrick Mahomes continues to amaze, and now he'll have to do so on the biggest stage of his remarkably young career.
Todd Gurley vs. the Saints defense is a matchup to watch in the NFC. The Saints were the No. 2 run defense in the NFL during the regular season, but the Rams ran all over the Cowboys last week. Gurley and C.J. Anderson both went for over 100 yards. For the Saints, it took a while for Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram to find their footing, but once they did they came back from 14 down to the Eagles to notch the win at home.
Here's a look at the current Super Bowl odds as well as the likelihood of each team winning both this weekend and the Super Bowl, according to SportsLine simulations.
Super Bowl LIII odds
|Kansas City Chiefs||+260||32.7%||60.9%|
|New Orleans Saints||+175||29.1%||59.9%|
|New England Patriots||+350||19.8%||39.1%|
|Los Angeles Rams||+350||18.4%||22.2%|
Not only are the Chiefs the favorite according to simulations, they're also the only team with positive betting value. A line of +260 puts the Chiefs at about 27.8 percent odds, giving them a net value of plus-4.9 percent. The Saints are by far the worst value at +175, at a net value of negative-7.2 percent. The Chiefs may be young, but they've shown time and time again they're for real. Furthermore, Sammy Watkins is back in the lineup and Spencer Ware and Eric Berry could join them this week, although their status remains up in the air.
Ultimately, the question around Mahomes is around whether or not he can live up to the pressure. However, despite his seemingly poor record in high-profile games this year, Mahomes still managed to play lights out for the most part. Even in their 43-40 loss to the Patriots earlier this year, Mahomes threw for 352 yards and four touchdowns (alongside two picks), and the Chiefs have leaned on him less and less as the season has gone on, reducing some of the pressure on the budding star.
The Chiefs being favorites shouldn't surprise anyone, and Mahomes has earned some faith until further notice.
The Saints may be the worst betting value, but that doesn't mean their odds are bad. Drew Brees and Sean Payton have never won a road playoff game together, but on Sunday they'll be in the Superdome, where they're 6-0 in the postseason. The Rams nearly came in and beat them earlier this year, but the playoff dome is clearly a different beast.
Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram continue to be keys to the Saints' success. While they didn't put up Gurley-Anderson numbers on Sunday, they did have 25 carries between them for 124 yards. With that being said, the question the Rams should be asking themselves is: Who can guard Mike? Michael Thomas racked up 171 yards on 12 catches against the Eagles, who tried to play zone. Aqib Talib may try to shadow him on Sunday, after Thomas put up 211 yards on Marcus Peters and the Rams the last time these teams played.
The Saints' lack of depth on offense may be a concern, but it hasn't stopped them yet. The Rams need to prove that they can go into the Superdome and win.
Calling the Patriots "underdogs" is disingenuous, but to some degree they are. The Patriots completely dismantled the Chargers at home last week, and now they travel to Arrowhead to play a vaunted Chiefs team. When the Patriots won the last time these teams met, they were in Gillette Stadium. So things are a bit different. With that being said, the Patriots are in their element in the playoffs, so they'll certainly be prepared for the noise.
The Rams, on the other hand, are relatively young. They're the longest shots to win it all this year. Jared Goff completed 15 of his 28 passes against the Cowboys, and if the Saints can shut down the run it would become a big point of concern for the Rams. They have the weapons -- and on defense they have Aaron Donald -- but will it be enough for a young team on the road? Sunday will tell.