NFL Betting Trends- Conference Championships
After two rounds of playoffs games with the original field of 12 teams being whittled down to the final four, Bodog has shuffled the deck one last time to release its odds for each team left to win Super Bowl XLVI.
The unexpected early demise of the Green Bay Packers, who were the odds-on-favorite to repeat as Super Bowl champs even while the players were still locked-out of camp, has thrust this season’s perennial second-favorite into the top spot. The New England Patriots are now the clear-cut favorite to win it all at 6/5 odds. This stands to reason considering they were the No.1 seed in the AFC with a regular season record of 13-3 straight-up and crushed the Denver Broncos 45-10 as 14-point home favorites in last Saturday’s Divisional Round.
Tom Brady looked like a man on mission in that game; tying a NFL playoff record with six touchdown passes, but the most impressive display could have been the Patriots much-maligned defense holding the Broncos to just 252 yards of total offense. If they play that well against the Ravens then you might as well punch their ticket to Indianapolis right now. Despite all of this, you have to question the value in New England’s odds considering there is rarely a sure-thing lately when it comes to winning Super Bowls.
Their opponent this Sunday is now the longshot at 6/1, but Baltimore relishes the role of underdog. Unfortunately the value in these odds is poor as well, given that it will take more than a stout defense to win this game. The Ravens can only hope to slow the Patriots down, as they will not be able to completely stop them. Ray Rice should be able to provide a solid effort running the ball on Sunday, but somewhere along the line, Joe Flacco is going to have to provide a vertical attack by throwing the ball downfield. The Patriots’ secondary has been one of the worst in the league, but you have to really question whether or not Flacco has what it takes to win this game with his arm.
Turning to the final two teams in the NFC, the odds are evenly split at 3/1 that either the New York Giants or San Francisco 49ers will go on and win Super Bowl XLVI. A bet on both teams is basically a two-for-one deal as either team has a reasonable shot at knocking-off whichever team comes out of the AFC. The Giants are riding a wave of momentum with four straight convincing wins including last Sunday’s stunning 37-20 victory over the Packers as eight-point road underdogs.
New York, under Head Coach Tom Coughlin, is just four years removed from an improbable run to a Super Bowl title with the same quarterback at the helm. Eli Manning may not be the flashiest quarterback in the league, but he has already stood toe-to-toe with Tom Brady on the biggest of stages and come out on top.
San Francisco, under first-year Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, is also riding a wave of momentum after beating New Orleans at its own game. Instead of the defense shutting Drew Brees down when it had to the most, it was Alex Smith and the 49ers’ offense that rose to the occasion with a last-minute game-winning drive.
You have to believe that Harbaugh will look to get back to basics this Sunday with Frank Gore running the ball and the 49ers’ highly ranked defense making life miserable for Manning, but it has to be good to know that Smith can provide a lift with his arm if he needs to.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.