Patriots favored to win Super Bowl; Falcons, Eagles to take NFC

The New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers are the two favorites to win the Super Bowl, according to the Las Vegas football gurus. The NFC race is more wide-open, with five of the six postseason qualifiers getting better than 12-1 odds to hoist the Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 6.

Odds courtesy LVSC

New England is the clear favorite at 6-5, but don't get too comfortable, Pats fans. In 2008, the year New England entered the playoffs at 16-0, the team began the postseason as a 2-3 favorite to win the Super Bowl. The New York Giants, who eventually beat New England in the Super Bowl, started at 20-1. That should give some hope to fans of the next nine teams on the list (sorry, Kansas City and Seattle).

It may seem strange that four NFC teams are getting better odds to win it all than the Baltimore Ravens, but that's due to the fact that a Super Bowl run by Baltimore would be treacherous (possibly three road games at Kansas City, Pittsburgh and New England) rather than a mildly difficult path, like the one New Orleans would have to travel (road games at Seattle, Chicago and Atlanta).

Interesting that the Eagles, a team whose bandwagon has inexplicably been abandoned and stripped for parts this week, gets the second-best odds in the NFC, while the team that many are predicting to pull the upset on Sunday, Green Bay, has the fifth. What this shows, I think, is that the folks on TV are overreacting too much to one bad game against the Vikings. How quickly they turn. Two weeks ago Michael Vick(notes) was the MVP. Now he's going to get benched?

As for Seattle, I couldn't find much data before 2005, but I'd be surprised if any playoff team ever went off with steeper odds than 250-1 to win it all. Stranger things have happened though. No, I'm kidding. Nothing would be stranger than that.

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