The updated NFL odds for Super Bowl XLIX were released on Monday and this may be the last time for astute gamblers to get decent numbers and a bet down on the NFL team(s) they think can win it all.
The NFL’s regular season is over and the combatants for this year’s playoffs are now set and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook released its opening odds for the 12 teams who right now still have a chance to win Super Bowl XLIX on February 1 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Here they are, as you prepare for the Wild Card round which begins this weekend with four games from Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Arlington (Texas), with two of the four games being able to avoid the nasty winter weather with sexy, modern retractable roofs (Colts-Bengals, Cowboys-Lions).
Super Bowl Futures Odds - Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook
Seattle Seahawks 9/4 (Open: 4/1)
New England Patriots 5/2 (7/1)
Green Bay Packers 5/1 (12/1)
Denver Broncos 6/1 (5/1)
Dallas Cowboys 10/1 (75/1)
Indianapolis Colts 20/1 (22/1)
Pittsburgh Steelers 20/1 (12/1)
Baltimore Ravens 30/1 (25/1)
Cincinnati Bengals 40/1 (22/1)
Carolina Panthers 40/1 (60/1)
Detroit Lions 40/1 (40/1)
Arizona Cardinals 75/1 (50/1)
The New England Patriots (5/7 to win AFC) earned home-field advantage in the AFC and are well-balanced, well-coached, confident and healthy heading into the NFL Playoffs which means trouble for all the other teams in this conference. The road to the Super Bowl in the AFC will likely have to go through Foxboro and although the other five teams in the conference all have their redeeming qualities and good QBs, beating Bill Belichick in January in New England is going to be extremely hard and it seems only an AFC North team could be capable of going into Gillette Stadium with a fearless attitude and playing good enough defense and manufacturing enough points to edge the Patriots in a low-scoring dogfight.
The Denver Broncos (5/2 to win AFC) are still in the perceived Big Four teams in the NFL and they did earn a first round bye. The #2-seed Broncos ideal scenario would be for the Ravens to upset the Steelers this weekend and then the Patriots next and then themselves beat the Colts-Bengals winner followed the Ravens at home in Denver and then hope that the Carolina Panthers come out of the NFC or something equally funky.
QB Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers (10/1 to win AFC) earned the #3 seed in the AFC and a chance to host the rival and #6-seed Ravens in a Wild Card game on Saturday (NBC, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT; Odds: Steelers -3, 46½, Pinnacle), but with star RB Le'Veon Bell beat up (hyperextended knee) and listed as Questionable (expect him to play), NT Haloti Ngata back for the Blackbirds and Baltimore having already beaten the Steelers once this season, it will be tougher than it looks on paper. Pittsburgh could go through a scenario of having to beat the Ravens, the #2-seed Broncos in Denver (potentially) followed by the #1-seed Patriots in Foxboro, and then, beat the NFC champions—say the defending champ Seahawks—to win the futures bet. So, possibly Ravens-Broncos-Patriots-Seahawks in succession. Talk about earning your money, Maurice. A nightmare path, and seemingly worth more than the 20/1 it would pay.
The Indianapolis Colts (10/1 to win AFC) seem like a bad bet to win the Super Bowl as this team has fattened its belly feeding on the AFC where the Colts amassed a 6-0 record this season. Against the rest of The Free World, 4th-seed Indianapolis went just 5-5 and 2-4 against fellow playoff teams with losses to the Patriots, Broncos and Steelers—all teams Reggie Wayne & Co. may have to face somewhere down the road be they so lucky. And to even get to that point, the Colts will have to beat the Bengals on Sunday in Indianapolis (CBS, 1:05 p.m. ET/10:05 a.m. PT; Odds: Colts -3½, 49½, Pinnacle), a team the Horseshoes blanked 27-0 in Naptown earlier in the season.
The Baltimore Ravens (15/1 to win AFC) and QB Joe Flacco have gone to and won a Super Bowl and, as mentioned, the Ravens do get NT Ngata back and certainly won’t be intimidated by of any of their opponents. But the Ravens will have to potentially go through that AFC minefield of Steelers-Patriots-Broncos—like the rest of the AFC—just to get the chance to play to try win the NFL championship again. And my feeling is that if Baltimore does get there they’ll be so beat up that they won’t have anything left physically to try to beat the Seahawks or Packers or Cowboys or whomever. Winning four straight games in the NFL right now is a zillion* times harder than it is winning three straight. And that is the only reality teams playing in the Wild Card round can claim. Bye weeks and rest and healing are for the justly deserved.
The Cincinnati Bengals (20/1 to win AFC) would be looking at a path that would need them to defeat the Colts, then likely have to try to beat both the Patriots (whom they already lost to) and the Broncos, both on the road (in whatever order) just to get to Super Bowl XLIX. Fun. And with two losses to the Steelers, the Bengals wouldn’t be thrilled meeting Pittsburgh again. Andy Dalton and Cincinnati don’t seem like a good wager all these potential paths and with star WR AJ Green still battling a concussion. There are much better teams on which to place your NFL pick.
The defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks (5/7 to win NFC) have QB Russell Wilson, a re-energized Marshawn Lynch, the NFL’s best defense and a six-game unbeaten SU and ATS mark going for them heading into the playoffs, and with their hard-fought win over the Rams on Sunday in the Emerald City, the Seahawks earned the home-field advantage in the NFC and that oh-so valuable week off where teams can rest, watch other teams play (and get beat up), scheme, practice and sleep in their own precious and comfortable beds and not some hotel. Never underestimate the value in sports betting of not having to travel and being able to enjoy the comforts and food and and family and routines from home—especially in the playoffs with bye weeks. Toss in tens of thousands of rabid fans and a field you’re familiar with and have played half your games and the home-field advantage is simply platinum...more valuable than gold.
The Green Bay Packers (5/2 to win NFC) and Aaron Rodgers also earned that valuable week off this weekend by fighting through the pain and the dirty play of the Lions at Lambeau Field in the regular season finale last Sunday and will face the highest-seeded NFC team remaining after the Wild Card round in Green Bay in the Divisional Round (Jan. 10-11). And that could be the Cowboys which would make for an incredible game and one which would garner absolutely monster TV ratings.
Those #3-seed Dallas Cowboys (5/1 to win NFC) and Eastern Illinois University graduate and QB Tony Romo offer the most interesting proposition outside the perceived Big Four to somehow win it all, and, when closely examined, the Cowboys may just be able win the Super Bowl this season. No kidding. Dallas will first have to take care of business on Sunday afternoon at home at AT&T Stadium when they host the #6-seed Lions (FOX, 4:40 p.m. ET/1:40 p.m. PT; Odds: Cowboys -7, 48, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) in The House That Jerry Built. And, if Dallas wins, they will then have to go north to Romo’s home state of Wisconsin (Burlington) and The Land of 10,000 Cheeses and beat the Packers to get to the NFC Championship game. And the Cowboys now do have the momentum and a stud RB (DeMarco Murray) and a stud WR (Dez Bryant) to beat those two NFC North teams who both have their weaknesses.
Should Dallas topple Detroit and Green Bay, a date in Seattle might await but the Cowpoke already stuck a finger in the Seahawks eye in Week 6 with a 30-23 win at CenturyLink Field. This Cowboys team is for real and may now be better than the Packers and the Broncos but they’ll have to prove it on the gridiron. And with so many fans betting on and supporting America’s Team, it’s always hard to find decent NFL odds for Dallas and so easy to simply laugh them off for being the Cowboys (although I actually sort of did so last week in this space). But that’s probably not a good idea season—this Cowboys team is very well-equipped and looks hungry.
The Detroit Lions (20/1 to win NFC) have made great strides but this team is quarterbacked by Matthew Stafford and often their own worst enemy and will have to beat the aforementioned Cowboys in Arlington on Sunday to advance. Sixth-seeded Detroit’s reward should they do so? A date with the champs in Seattle in the NFC Divisional Round. Yippie, Bilbo. And then potentially a Packers team in Green Bay they haven’t beaten since there since TV had no remotes? Next...
QB Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers (20/1 to win NFC) snuck into the playoffs last Sunday thanks to all sorts of ineptitude from other teams. But although the Panthers (W4 straight) sport a losing 7-8-1 record, the oddsmakers have shown this team great respect, thanks in part to the somewhat unfair home-field advantage Carolina receives here by getting to play at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium this Saturday in the Wild Card game (ESPN, 4:35 p.m. ET/1:35 p.m. PT; Odds: Panthers -6½, 37½, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) for winning the NFC South. More like “being handed” the NFC South. It’s hard to imagine a team from a division with all losing records which lost 6-straight games in the heart of the season and one which has beat just one decent team all season (the Lions) winning the Super Bowl this year.
For so long the upstart Arizona Cardinals (37/1 to win NFC) had the best record in the entire NFL and were rolling right along but professional gamblers and other wise men and women knew that this team—hamstrung all season by the injury to starting QB Carson Palmer—was possibly doing it with smoke and mirrors (and a solid defense). Now the NFL’s Redbirds have the highest (worst) odds to win the Super Bowl (75/1) and Arizona would have to (probably) go through the Panthers in Charlotte on Saturday afternoon, then both the Seahawks and Packers in whatever order just to get to play in its home stadium in Glendale where the Patriots could very well be waiting, and quite possibly drooling. The bottom line is even with brilliant head coach Bruce Arians (21-10-1 ATS) pulling the strings and some decent WRs, it will be nearly impossible to cash in a futures bet on the Cardinals with either Ryan Lindley—a guy the club cut in the summer—or Drew Stanton starting at QB.
Super Bowl XLIX Early Line
The Early Line from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook for Super Bowl XLIX, exactly a month from now, has the NFC as 1½-point favorites with the conference slight -125 favorites in the Money Line (Winner) marketplace (AFC +105) and the Total (Points) set at 49, very similar to the Early Line odds at this same point last season. With a theoretical Seahawks-Patriots Super Bowl, this number makes sense right now as Seattle possesses the better defense, are the defending champions, are playing like they did at this point last historical season and are much more familiar with University of Phoenix Stadium than will be any AFC participant. In the end, it’s the little things that end up making the difference between who wins and who doesn’t win the Super Bowl and with the Broncos and Manning looking a little bit old the second half of the season and Bell now hobbled in Pittsburgh, it seems that the NFC has three teams (Seahawks, Packers, Cowboys) who could realistically go all the way right now while the AFC may only have one (Patriots).
Added Super Bowl Futtures Pick: Cowboys 12/1 at William Hill