The conference championship games are set, and the Patriots will host the Jaguars while the Vikings travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles this weekend. The Jaguars are coming off a huge win against the Steelers, whom many were already handing tickets to Foxborough, while the Eagles and Vikings survived scares from the Falcons and Saints, respectively.
The four remaining teams are anchored by the Patriots, who most expected to be playing this Sunday -- but in Week 1 the Jaguars, Vikings and Eagles were hardly favorites in their respective divisions, let alone conferences.
Super Bowl LII odds
|Team||Odds to win Sun.||SportsLine odds||Super Bowl odds||SportsLine odds|
|New England Patriots||-420||72.3%||+100||48.1%|
The Jaguars are sick and tired of being disrespected, but if you look at their odds, they'll say they have the field right where they want them. At 8/1, their Super Bowl odds themselves aren't particularly bad, but even after a win against the Steelers they're being given very slim chances to win it all. Of course, that has more to do with their opponent than anything. The Patriots have even odds from bettors of winning it all right now, as they treated the Titans like a speed bump and rolled over them. Blake Bortles had a strong game against the Steelers, but Leonard Fournette was the real star. And although the defense gave up points in bunches, it made plays when it mattered, including a fumble returned for a touchdown by Telvin Smith.
But Playoff Tom Brady is Playoff Tom Brady. As he , he's preparing to take on a secondary that is anchored by cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. Both players have had sterling seasons, and Ramsey's backed up every word out of his mouth so far. Calais Campbell to take the defensive line to the next level, and the Jaguars travel up to Foxborough for another cold-weather game. Not that that stopped them against Pittsburgh. Fournette remains the key: If he can get rolling early, this matchup could prove to be less than fun for the Patriots as it wears on.
The Vikings have to try and come down from an absolute miracle win against the Saints last Sunday enough to focus on the Eagles, but what's done is done, and they aren't overlooking anyone. The Eagles, despite not being given good odds in this NFC Championship, are still favored to win in simulations -- although you can't get much closer than 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent in a single game. The Vikings will travel to Philadelphia to face the first-seeded Eagles, who have proven that they can at least win a game in the playoffs with Nick Foles. Both teams are coming off of nail-biting performances against NFC South teams, and this game will pit two of the best defensive lines in football against each other.
With that in mind, the question becomes which offensive line will hold up better. Although the Vikings have gone through a lot of different looks up front, they've been able to keep Case Keenum relatively clean. In fact, the only time Keenum seemed to really struggle against the Saints was with pressure. Cameron Jordan manhandled that front, so look for the Eagles to try to put Keenum in uncomfortable situations early and often. Both teams are no strangers to great defense, so expect this to be a relatively low-scoring affair.