2019 Super Bowl odds: Steelers suffer major hit, Cowboys climb, Saints still favorite after loss
The Saints still have best chance to win it all, while Dallas' playoff chances rose 20 percent
The Pittsburgh Steelers were on the rise, scratching and clawing their way into the Super Bowl conversation, but their loss to the Broncos hurt their chances enough that if football were played in a computer, this would be a four-team race without Pittsburgh. The Steelers dropped to just a 4-percent chance of winning the Super Bowl after getting up to 7.12 percent last week. Luckily for the Steelers football isn't played in a computer, but their showdown with the Patriots in two weeks got even bigger.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, haven't won a game since Nov. 11, yet they've seen their simulation odds increase in each of the past two weeks. Coming off a bye week, they find themselves at 18.7 percent odds to win the Super Bowl, trailing only the New Orleans Saints, who are still at 22.8 percent to win it all after losing to the Cowboys on Thursday night.
The Saints' chances at the No. 1 seed dropped from 62 to 42 percent in the simulations. The Cowboys' playoff chances jumped from 59 to nearly 80 percent by winning a game that they were 7.5 point underdogs in, and their Super Bowl odds went from 1.3 percent to 2.1 percent.
In the meantime, the Patriots are surging and the Rams took a hit to their chances with the bye week. The NFC looks like it's coming together a bit, as the Cowboys are on a hot streak, the Vikings are finally winning some of the games they're supposed to win and the Seahawks are hitting their stride.
In the AFC, the Chargers still look like a force to be reckoned with after a ridiculous Philip Rivers performance, but the conference has the appearance of a four-team race. The Chiefs, Patriots, Chargers and Steelers all seem to be a cut above, and they're going to be tough teams to stop down the stretch.
Super Bowl LIII odds
|New Orleans Saints||7/4||24%||41.5%||99.4%||99.9%|
|Kansas City Chiefs||7/2||18.67%||35.47%||90.7%||99.9%|
|New England Patriots||7/1||17.47%||32.1%||99.9%||99.9%|
|Los Angeles Rams||7/2||14.59%||30.02%||100%||99.9%|
|Los Angeles Chargers||20/1||5.6%||11.53%||9.3%||94%|
|Green Bay Packers||100/1||0.25%||0.64%||0.9%||12.8%|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5,000/1||0%||0.01%||0%||0.3%|
|New York Jets||10,000/1||0%||0%||0%||0%|
|New York Giants||10,000/1||0%||0%||0%||0%|
|San Francisco 49ers||OFF||0%||0%||0%||0%|
It's still the Saints, despite their 10-point output in the loss to Dallas, and despite them having one more loss than the Rams. The Saints chances of winning the Super Bowl only from 26 to 24 percent because they are still favored to win in L.A. vs. the Rams.
The Saints do own the tiebreaker over the Rams. However, the Saints might need to win out to keep the No. 1 seed. The Rams' biggest remaining test is the Bears (a.k.a. the Rams-lite), with the rest of their schedule consisting of the Lions, Eagles, Cardinals and 49ers. The Saints have watched the Panthers stumble over the last few weeks, but two more games against them with a date with the Steelers sandwiched in between is going to be a rough stretch.
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The other contenders
The Chiefs and Chargers are fighting to the death for the AFC West right now, with Philip Rivers eking his way back into the MVP conversation with an amazing performance against the Cardinals. The Chiefs, coming off a bye, will be playing the Raiders as they continue to fight for home field. Circle Dec. 13 on your calendars -- that Chiefs vs. Chargers game is going to be huge in determining the winner of the division. Patrick Mahomes has played out of his mind all year, and Andy Reid is a kid in a candy store with weapons like Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill. These two teams are going to be tough outs all season. The Patriots are watching in the East, meanwhile, having notched another win over the Jets. Despite taking some lumps, they'll need to lose in the playoffs before people doubt them this year. Their reputation is well-earned.
In the NFC, of course, the Rams are the team to beat. This final stretch will test the mettle of this young team, as they face an easy schedule. But, one team's easy schedule is another team's trap game. The Rams can't overlook anything.
Still in the mix
Imagine telling someone three weeks ago that an NFC wild card team would be coming out of the NFC East. Yet here we are, with the Panthers out of the playoff picture and Cowboys leading the division. The Redskins' remaining schedule could go either way. You have divisional games against the Eagles (twice) and Giants, plus games against the Jaguars and Titans. The Panthers are fighting to get their way back in, while the Vikings are sitting pretty. The Seahawks, of course, are coming for one of those spots. They've won two straight and they barely lost to the Rams. Consistency will be key for them down the stretch if they're going to live up to their surprisingly lofty expectations in the simulation. The Bears are the real dark horse here. They're leading the north and they're a well-built team. They look to be the Kings of the North for the time being, and a playoff home game isn't even completely out of the question for them if they beat the Rams in two weeks.
The Steelers really need to find some consistency in the AFC. A loss to the Broncos hasn't shaken people's belief in them -- their odds took a modest hit -- but it hurt them in simulation models significantly. A bizarre interception at the end of the game clinched the loss, and you've got to think that the Patriots are sitting in the edge of their minds. The Steelers do not want to have to travel to Foxborough under any circumstances, but if things keep going as they are it looks like it could be an inevitability. Their Dec. 16 home game against the Pats is by no means a must-win -- but it's pretty close if the Steelers want to host the Patriots in the playoffs. The Texans are also riding the NFL's second-longest winning streak of eight games, and they have a groove. Lamar Miller and Deshaun Watson are a dangerous backfield, and DeAndre Hopkins is a top-level receiver. They'll need to beat some better teams before they show they're real contenders, but you play who you play, and right now they're taking care of business in Houston.
The long shots
Andrew Luck looks (literally) untouchable right now, and they're putting themselves in the playoff conversation. The Colts aren't in yet, but with the Ravens having games against the Chiefs and Chargers remaining, they may be able to punch their own ticket ... IF they can take care of business against the Texans in two weeks. The Jaguars and Titans are more or less sunk, with the latter laying an egg against the Texans on Monday night.
Speaking of the Ravens, Lamar Jackson has breathed some life into what had been an anemic offense. He rushed for another 71 yards on 11 carries last week and ran for one more, bringing the Ravens a 34-17 win. While he did throw a pair of picks against the Raiders defense, the Ravens seem to have a whole new energy with him under center.
The Broncos are also stubbornly hanging around after a win against the Steelers, while the Dolphins may be sunk after their loss to the Colts. While both teams are long shots, they aren't far out of the playoff picture, but the Colts are trending so far in the right direction they look like they have good chances of snagging the wild card spot the Chargers or Chiefs don't.
In the NFC, the Eagles are back in the conversation, but they have only a 0.4 percent chance of winning it all. They might be able to stumble their way into a wild-card berth if the Panthers and Redskins falter, but even then the Seahawks are playing good football right now and might steal that spot.
The Packers are similarly terrible long shots at 100 to 1 odds. This team has lost a few primetime match-ups in a row and don't look like they're getting better. In the north, the Bears are the team to beat, and it doesn't look like the Pack have much of a chance right now. Anything can happen, especially in this struggling conference, but the Packers have to right their own ship before they worry about other teams springing leaks.
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