January 11, 2016 Staff Writer

NFL News

Super Bowl Betting Futures – Cardinals as Odds Favorites

There is a chance that two teams from the same division could meet for the NFC Championship, and both of them are among the favorites to win Super Bowl 50 heading into the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.

The NFC West champion Arizona Cardinals (13-3) have emerged as the leading contenders to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy at 17/4 odds while the two-time defending conference champ Seattle Seahawks (11-6) are also in the mix at 11/2 following their 10-9 win over the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday.

The Seahawks rallied back from a 9-0 deficit at frigid Minnesota by scoring all of their points in the fourth quarter. They also were very fortunate that Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed the potential game-winning field goal from 27 yards out in the final seconds after connecting earlier from 22, 43 and 47.

Seattle now visits the NFC’s top-seeded Carolina Panthers (15-1), who defeated them earlier this season 27-23 as 7-point road underdogs back in Week 6. Carolina is 5/1 to win Super Bowl 50 and would have home-field advantage against Arizona if both teams win their games this weekend.

The Cardinals will face the inconsistent Green Bay Packers (11-6), who have looked good one week and bad another. Green Bay’s worst performance of the season took place at Arizona in Week 16 in a 38-8 rout by the home team. The Packers were 6-point road dogs in that game and proceeded to lose 20-13 at home to Minnesota the following week as 3-point home favorites for the NFC North title.

Green Bay is 12/1 to win Super Bowl 50 and won its last NFL championship five years ago as a Wild Card team. The Packers knocked out the Washington Redskins 35-18 as 2-point road dogs last Sunday.

In the AFC, the top two seeds have the best shots from the conference to win the Super Bowl for the second straight year. The defending Super Bowl champ New England Patriots (12-4) are the No. 2 seed and would not have home-field advantage versus the top-seeded Denver Broncos (12-4), but they arguably have the better quarterback in Tom Brady.

The Patriots are 9/2 to repeat as NFL champs and will host the league’s hottest team in the Kansas City Chiefs (12-5), who have won 11 in a row. The Chiefs are 9/1 after blanking the Houston Texans 30-0 last Saturday as 3-point road favorites to advance and hope wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (ankle) is healthy enough to play.

The Broncos are 11/2 and figure to have the easiest path to return to the Super Bowl for the second time in three years with a matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-6) on deck. The Steelers would be formidable foes if they were at full strength, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder) and wide receiver Antonio Brown (concussion) are both nursing injuries suffered in a rough 18-16 road victory against the Cincinnati Bengals last Saturday.

Pittsburgh is 12/1 to win Super Bowl 50 and will rely more on its defense to pressure what could be a shaky quarterback in future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, who will be making his first start for Denver since Week 10.