As the season is winding down, we are clearly seeing the pretenders and contenders for the NFL playoffs and what teams really have a shot at the Super Bowl.
According to SBD’s Super Bowl 53 odds tracker, the Saints, Rams, and Chiefs are the top 3 teams in the futures market at +290, +380, and +470, respectively. It’s somewhat surprising to see the Chiefs third in that group since they appear to have the easiest path to the Super Bowl at the moment. They have nearly secured the #1 seed in the AFC, while the Saints and Rams are neck-and-neck for homefield in the NFC and will have to deal with each other before landing in Atlanta. The stiffest competition for the Chiefs in the AFC looks like an aging Patriots team that’s 3-4 on the road or the Chargers, who will, in all likelihood, have to navigate three arduous road games as a Wild Card team.
The Saints and the Rams look like the they will be in an eventual class in the NFL Championship. Both the Bears and Cowboys look very mediocre, while the Wild Card teams, as of right now are the Vikings and Seahawks.
No matter who survives Wild Card week, both New Orleans and Las Angeles have the best talent and high octane offenses.
More importantly, both have been there before. The Rams made a run last season to the playoffs, only to come up short, while Drew Brees and Sean Payton have won Super Bowls together.
An NFC Championship between the two teams will be an epic battle. It will be hard to pick a winner.
That said, a team like the Bears or Seahawks could become hot and pull an upset. But that’s why they play the games.
Over in the AFC, the Chiefs are a class above every other team. The Patriots have had their problems this season and don’t look like that team everyone hates. Yes Tom Brady is still there, but age may be catching up to Bill Belichick’s squad.
And the Chargers have a harder route, because they are also in the NFC West and will have to be the No. 5 seed in the playoffs, meaning there will be no home games for Las Angeles.
Of course, they could pull the upsets and we could possibly see an all Las Angeles Super Bowl, which would be a first and ironic as well, since the market went without the NFL for over 20 years.
The Texans are the other team in the AFC that has a chance and may be the hottest. Losing three early on, they are now at 10-4 and look unstoppable, although they had some trouble with the Jets last week
But that’s where we are right now. There’s a lot that can happen in the last two weeks before the playoffs start, but the smart money is on the Saints, Rams and Chiefs.