Can the Green Bay Packers upset the NFL odds and the Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game? We revisit the Super Bowl XLIX Betting landscape and the NFL odds as we weigh in on their chances.
Winning Conference Odds: AFC +130 vs. NFC -150
The NFC edges the AFC in 'Winning Conference' betting on the strength of the Seattle Seahawks, obviously. After all, they have Super Bowl XLIX markets cornered at +115 NFL odds to win outright. Of all four-strong fields in the Championship round, the Packers are the only side to not benefit from a positive re-evaluation on the NFL betting floor. Seahawks, Patriots and, even the Colts have had their Super Bowl XLIX odds shaved by considerable margins. Ahead of the divisional round, the Packers entered as the +500 NFL pick. Going into the Championship round, they have swelled upwards to +550 in futures betting. To some extent, because their odds have increased, one could argue they are the least likely to win outright of the lot.
Past Super Bowl Champions
Since 2000-2001 season, the AFC and NFC have split the titles evenly 8-6 respectively. During this 14 Super Bowl stretch, the New England Patriots have won three titles on the back of the tandem of Brady and Belichick; while the Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks have won once each. The Colts win however was down to Peyton Manning. (The Colts have yet to win a Super Bowl with heir apparent Andrew Luck). Meanwhile, the Packers are making their fourth playoff appearance since winning the Super Bowl in2010-2011 and they have the toughest path through the defending champions on Sunday.
Divisional Round Betting Recap and Odds
Ahead of the Divisional Round of the playoffs, we looked at the Super Bowl betting landscape and previewed the various scenarios.
Despite the NFL betting trends that were leaning perceptibly towards the Cowboys, the Packers emerged victorious in a 26-21 showdown at Lambeau, coming through on their favourable NFL odds to win straight up but narrowly missing the 5.5-point cover. That said the result fell in line with the rankings that had the Packers inside the top four faves. (See Table 1 that gives an overview of various relevant rankings used by NFL bettors towards their NFL picks).
Table 1: SBR ADJUSTED POWER RANKINGS AT A GLANCE
The most remarkable aspect to emerge out of the Divisional Round was the standout play of Aaron Rodgers. Going into the clash with the Dallas Cowboys, the main talking point was the MVP frontrunner's calf: how well would it hold up and how effective will he be able to be with his mobility limited so. Tale told, Rodgers emerged as one of the top three quarterbacks on QBR, a smidgen behind his counterpart Tony Romo (See Table 2). Frankly, that is quite impressive. What's more, he threw for three touchdown passes and Zero Interceptions, extending his form at Lambeau to an eye-popping 25 TDs and ZERO interceptions since 2012.
Table 2: Offensive Stats/Performance for Quarterbacks
NFL NFC Championship Game Preview and Odds
The Green Bay Packers enter their clash with the Seattle Seahawks at the serious disadvantage, both in money line betting and spread betting. They are matched as the whopping +260 road underdogs and the 7-to-7.5-point road pups, depending on your sportsbook of choice.
NFL betting trends, however, reveal the public is buying what the Packers are selling. At least for now, in early NFL betting markets with 62% of the money coming down the wire pouring over the Packers to pull off the upset at CenturyLink field (See Table 3). Needless to say, this is just an early outlook that could change as we approach kickoff at the weekend. It's still a rather interesting twist to the landscape, one that features the No.1 Packers offense taking on the No.1 Seattle Seahawks defense.
Table 3: Consensus Bets Midweek
NFL NFC Championship Betting Analysis:
Consider how formidable the Seahawks have been down the stretch and their impressive home record that stands at 23-2SU in the last 25 home games, it's a tough ask for the Packers. Wrestling the title from the defending champions is no mean feat.
When the pair last met in Week 1 NFL betting, Mike McCarthy's decision to throw anywhere but where Richard Sherman occupied a spot on the field proved to be an error in judgement. Many NFL bettors and experts alike expect a whole different offensive plan to play out on the field in this meeting. Encouraging this notion along is the maturation on offense since that earlier meeting, evinced nowhere more so than last week as Aaron Rodgers targeted rookie receiver Davante Adams, rookie tight end Richard Rodgers and Quarless. With more dimension on offense, Packers fans have room for optimism especially as Rodgers continues to struggle with his calf injury.
NFL Betting Verdict
Evidently the public isn't about to write off the Packers in this game, nor from the playoffs either. McCarthy's status report on Monday revealed Rodgers was doing much better after this Sunday's game than he was after the Lions' game in week 17 NFL betting, a positive sign for Packers' backers as they flock to the NFL betting window to back the Packers on their NFL picks. On paper, the Packers have every chance to mastermind the upset at CenturyLink field with a good tactical plan in place. It remains to be seen whether they'll execute it to success.