Patriots, Broncos, Cardinals & Panthers will fight in the Championship playoffs for a chance into the Super Bowl 50. Which team stands a better chance according to the odds charts?
An update on the NFL Super Bowl moneyline is in order, now that we know the four teams going into the Championship Playoffs. Previously, we discussed why Seahawks and Packers would fail to advance from the Divisional playoffs. While those predictions worked out pretty well, neither Steelers nor Chiefs made it through. Of course, those weren’t my bold NFL picks for the past weekend, yet they were two teams that I wouldn’t mind betting on in the previous round.
On the other hand, all favorites proved their backers correct, beating their opponents in their Divisional matchups. So, how have their betting odds moved since they came out victorious?
Given we are two games away from the Super Bowl 50, I’ll be examining the charts in relation to the upcoming matchups.
Patriots vs. Broncos
Patriots’ odds dropped from Friday’s 5.00 (+400) to about 3.25 (+225) on Sunday. Broncos’ odds to win the Super Bowl moved from 6.00 (+500) to 4.50 (+350) on average. That was an anticipated fall, you might say.
Here’s where it gets interesting: Patriots’ moneyline actually ASCENDED on Sunday, compared to Saturday’s (and not Friday’s) moneyline. Why’s that? Patriots vs Chiefs matchup took place on Saturday, a day before Broncos beat Steelers. Several sportsbooks updated their moneyline on Saturday after the Patriots’ game, but obviously, before the Broncos vs Steelers matchup. Although Bet365 and William Hill did not accept bets on the Super Bowl winner market while the games were still ongoing, that wasn’t the case for other bookmakers.
For instance, PaddyPower dropped Patriots’ odds to win Super Bowl to 2.88 (+188). Ladbrokes did so as well, although they placed Patriots’ moneyline a bit higher at 3.00 (+200). On Monday morning, PaddyPower increased the odds to 3.00 (+200) and Ladbrokes offered them at 3.25 (+225) before they brought them down to 3.00 (+200) again.
What do we make of this?
Maybe that handicappers would like Patriots to face Steelers in the Championship playoffs. Now that they face Broncos, they were either expecting that or are not that happy after all! And now, may I quote myself from my latest article: “[About betting on Broncos] I would be more willing to back them if I knew somehow they’d be facing Patriots in the next round, despite being a much stronger team than Chiefs[…]”.
I stand firm on that prediction, given the odds action we see today on Patriots. Broncos’ odds meanwhile are still trending strong, so why bet against that trend? My money is on Broncos.
But what about the Patriots? Do they warrant a bet now that the moneyline dropped to 3.00 (+200)? Again, I quote: “If I were you, I would not back Patriots at this point, I'll rather wait for a new lower low to be printed. That means I wouldn’t bet unless they trade below 3.50 (+250) again.”
In absolute numbers, 3.00 is smaller than 3.50 but is it small enough to convince me to bet on New England? Some sportsbooks offer their Super Bowl win at 3.25 (+225) which is pretty close to that support level. Not to mention, that it isn’t the lowest low, is it?
Thus, I’ll pass. Would the NFL odds have been at around 2.50 (+150) I would a hard time deciding my next move. Yet, under current circumstances and after the analysis above, I’d avoid betting on Patriots once again.
Cardinals vs. Panthers
I have already picked Cardinals to win Super Bowl 50 in my last post. So, to see them in the Championship playoffs wasn’t a surprise for anyone reading my articles. Cardinals’ odds moved from Friday’s 5.00 (+400) to around 4.00 (+300) on Saturday, following their win against Packers, but they have been drifting today (4.50) after it was known they’ll face Panthers up next – although that’s not so obvious in the chart available.
So, that reminds us of the Patriots’ story, doesn’t it?
But that was again expected. I wrote: “Seattle’s odds action isn’t that favorable, so in case they go through the Divisional stage and beat Panthers, Cardinals’ odds should continue to drop.” Since they (Seattle Seahawks) didn’t, handicappers favor Panthers more now, which led Cardinals’ odds to drift a bit.
Let’s get a look at Panthers’ odds chart now.
Panthers are actually the big favorite for the February’s game! Their odds plummeted to 3.00 (+200) from Friday’s 5.00 (+400), recording the biggest drop in the weekend’s NFL moneylines among the four contenders! That also signals the resume of a very impressive downtrend that started back in October.
Therefore, we have two teams that are hugely preferred by sports punters competing each other in the Championship playoffs. What do we make of this? That’s a tough one for sure. If you already bet on Cardinals, there’s no point in betting on Panthers now. You’d better back Broncos, in fact! Yet, if you have not yet risked money on this betting market, I’d pick Panthers over Cardinals due to the latter’s drifting odds. While that drift may be just a pullback before the downtrend resumes, the decline in the Panthers’ odds chart is more than convincing.