The Vikings are playing for the most unique Super Bowl opportunity.
With just eight teams remaining in the NFL season, each team feels like it has a chance to win the Super Bowl. The sobering moment comes when Vegas shows you just how close you really are. Here’s a look at how oddsmakers stack up the remaining playoff contenders:
Super Bowl 52 Winner Odds (Via 5Dimes):
New England Patriots +175
Minnesota Vikings +355
Pittsburgh Steelers +520
Atlanta Falcons +770
New Orleans Saints +800
Philadelphia Eagles +1300
Jacksonville Jaguars +2250
Tennessee Titans +6800
As usual, it’s the Patriots looking down from the top. New England is a two touchdown favorite Saturday night, and is playing for the chance to appear in a seventh straight AFC Championship game. The Patriots rested last week but not too much, as head coach Bill Belichick forced his team to report to the facility in a snowstorm.
The next favorites are the Vikings, who are on a quest to accomplish something no team has ever done before. The Vikings are two games away from appearing in Super Bowl 52 in their home stadium, and would be the first team to take home-field advantage into the championship. Case Keenum is leading the charge for the Vikings, but it’s their defense that needs to step up big against Drew Brees and the Saints.
Pittsburgh is in the postseason for a fourth straight season, and is looking to finally finish the job. They were bounced by the Patriots in the AFC Championship last year, and were robbed of potential home-field advantage against New England during the season. The difference could be a healthy Le’Veon Bell, who was injured in the first quarter of the AFC Championship last year. Bell had 321 carries this year, 34 more carries than the next closest back. That’s like a full game of extra work compared to other rushers. Bell has been the definition of a workhorse, but the Steelers need two more big games from him to get back to the big game.
It wasn’t that long ago that the Eagles were heavy Super Bowl favorites and Carson Wentz was the favorite to win NFL MVP. The NFC has been flipped on it’s head since then, and the Eagles are now a severe long shot for Nick Foles to lead them to glory. The popular NFC darkhorse is the Saints, who have the best balanced attack in football. The Falcons are still hanging around as well, and are a great value for any better wishing to back an experienced underdog.
At the bottom, the Jaguars and Titans both face tough road contests this weekend. The AFC South teams have done a tremendous job this season, and have set up that division to be one of the most competitive in the league next season. A team from that division was also eliminated by the Patriots last year, as the Texans lost 34-16 in this round at Foxboro last year.