Posted on January 1, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
With the NFL regular season over, it’s finally time to start looking ahead to the playoffs. In the AFC, there are a few unfamiliar faces, most notably the Buffalo Bills, who will play their first playoff game in 17 years. However, everything revolves around the Patriots and Steelers and their anticipated rematch in the conference title game. Thing are far less clear in the NFC, which has six teams that are all look like legitimate threats to reach the Super Bowl. It’ll be a tough postseason to predict, but let’s check out the betting odds on all 12 playoff teams to win Super Bowl LII.
If not for Denver’s amazing defense a couple years ago, the Patriots could have won three straight Super Bowls and going for a fourth in a row. Nevertheless, they’re going for a repeat this year and they’re clearly the favorites. Tom Brady is still the best in the business and the team’s early-season defensive issues have been sorted out. Most importantly, they have home-field advantage in the AFC.
If the Vikings can come out of the NFC, they’ll have home-field advantage in the Super Bowl. Minnesota’s defense is the best in the NFL, and if Case Keenum and the offense can continue to be steady and avoid turnovers, it’s hard not to like the Vikings coming out of the NFC.
Sign up for a FREE Trial Consultation to start working with Legendary Sports Bettor Jon Price
The Steelers played with fire against mediocre teams for much of the season, but they did finish 13-3. Most teams will struggle to contain their playmakers, while the Pittsburgh defense can be suffocating at times. However, a potential trip to New England for the conference championship game could derail Ben Roethlisberger’s hopes of winning one more Super Bowl.
New Orleans is perhaps the best team nobody’s talking about. The Saints were better defensively than people realize. Also, the running back tandem of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram is built to win in the postseason, especially with a veteran quarterback like Drew Brees running the offense.
The Rams will be a fascinating dark horse to watch in the NFC playoffs. They were the highest scoring team in the NFL season, although that doesn’t always translate to playoff success. The team’s success will depend on whether the Rams can continue to score points against the quality defenses they’ll see in the playoffs.
Having home-field advantage should help the Eagles, but Nick Foles has not inspired a lot of confidence at quarterback the past couple of weeks. The Eagles are a well-rounded team, so they don’t need Foles to carry them. However, Foles could be a liability with five outstanding teams gunning for them in the NFC playoffs.
Atlanta has been a little hot and cold this season, which is a concern. But they finished the regular season strong and bring back experience from last year’s run to the Super Bowl. If Matt Ryan can play at a high level, the Falcons can beat any team they face.
Most people have forgotten about the Chiefs since their mid-season slump. But Kansas City got back on track late in the year, winning four straight to finish the season. The Chiefs have great pass rushers and better skill players than they’ve had in the past. They will be an intriguing team in this year’s playoffs.
Losing two straight to close out the regular season doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in Jacksonville. But the Jaguars are as good as any team in the NFL defensively. They can also run the ball as well as anyone. That combination makes them a threat to beat every team they play. Don’t overlook the Jaguars pulling off a surprise win or two if they can get back on track in the Wild Card Round.
Carolina’s biggest problem is that they have to play three road games to get to the Super Bowl. But Cam Newton played great the second half of the season and could carry his team to a win or two. If the Carolina defense can step up after being steady for most of the year, the Panthers shouldn’t be counted out just yet.
On paper, the Titans may be the worst team in the playoffs, especially after losing three of their last four to finish the regular season. But if Marcus Mariota can get back on track, they have a fighting chance.
Just getting to the playoffs may enough for the Bills. But they are still an intriguing team. Buffalo’s defense is capable is keeping them competitive against anyone, and if LeSean McCoy comes back healthy, the Bills have a player who can carry the offense.