December 21, 2017 Staff Writer

NFL News

NFL Betting Futures: Updated Super Bowl and Conference Odds

With two weeks remaining in the NFL season only three teams have clinched playoff spots in the AFC and two in the NFC. Those numbers could grow quickly this week if things shake out right for a number of teams, but either way it makes things interesting in the Super Bowl and conference futures right now.

On the Super Bowl futures it’s still all about the New England Patriots. The Patriots have been the Super Bowl favorite for the majority of the season and after taking down the Pittsburgh Steelers last week that likely won’t change when the playoffs begin in a few weeks.

The latest Super Bowl odds have New England on top at +240 followed by the Steelers at +600. Who else might be worth a look right now? In the AFC the only other team that has locked up a playoff spot so far are the Jacksonville Jaguars. On the Super Bowl futures they’re a +1400 underdog. Jacksonville has had an interesting season that includes wins over Pittsburgh, Seattle and the Chargers, but also includes losses to the Rams, Jets and Cardinals. Which version of the Jaguars will show up in the playoffs?

In the NFC the two teams that have clinched playoff spots are the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles. On the Super Bowl odds the Vikings are listed at +700 and the Eagles come in at +900. Coincidentally both teams are headed to the postseason with backup quarterbacks leading the offense. Will Case Keenum and Nick Foles rise to the occasion or will they crumble under the pressure?

Shifting gears, the teams that have clinched postseason spots are also on top of their conference futures. In the AFC it’s New England favored at -125, followed by Pittsburgh at +300 and Jacksonville at +650. In the NFC Minnesota is a +250 favorite while Philadelphia comes in at +375.

Who’s next? In the AFC the other contenders according to the oddsmakers are the Kansas City Chiefs at +900 and the Baltimore Ravens at +1600.

The Chiefs have been on a roller coaster ride in a season that saw them start 5-0 then lose six of seven before winning their last two games. Most importantly to the Chiefs’ playoff chances is their 4-1 record against divisional opponents this season. Kansas City has wins over New England and Philadelphia this season, but a loss to the Steelers.

The Ravens are currently outside the playoff picture in the AFC, but their odds, which are better than both Tennessee and Buffalo who are ahead of them in the Wild Card race, likely have to do with their easier remaining schedule. Baltimore has a couple soft matchups against Indianapolis and Cincinnati. Meanwhile Buffalo faces New England and Tennessee closes out their season against Jacksonville.

In the NFC the other contenders according to the oddsmakers are New Orleans at +450 and the Rams at +500.

New Orleans started the season 0-2, but a 10-2 record the rest of the way pushed them to the top of the NFC South. The Saints’ biggest problem may be that those four losses came against Minnesota, New England, Atlanta and the Rams.

The Rams may be the biggest surprise of the season, one win or a Seattle loss away from clinching the NFC West. Not bad for a team that hasn’t finished above .500 since 2003. Like New Orleans the Rams have had some trouble versus top competition with losses to Minnesota and Philadelphia, but with wins over New Orleans and Seattle also on their resume they may be the one team no one wants to face in January.