2017 Super Bowl Odds: Ranking All 8 Team’s Chances to Win Super Bowl 51
Published on January 09, 2017
The road to Super Bowl 51 already has some tire marks on it, as four teams emerged from the 2017 Wild Card round to take on the top two seeds in both conferences. The 2017 Divisional Round commences this weekend, where the top-seeded New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys will attempt to make their way to the AFC and NFC title games.
Right behind them are #2 seeds, Kansas City and Atlanta, who also will host games in an effort to enter New England and Dallas for a right to fight for a trip to Super Bowl 51.
The first round of the 2016-17 NFL Playoffs wasn’t all that intense, as all four home teams won in blowouts. Only the Green Bay Packers had a remotely difficult time, as they bounced back from an ugly start to trounce the New York Giants at home, 38-13.
We still learned a good amount in the first round of the playoffs, and with adjusted 2017 Super Bowl odds, we could be one step closer to accurately gauging which team is most likely to run the table.
Or did a wild card winner make a case for a deep run? Let’s gauge all eight team’s Super Bowl chances as we look at their updated Super Bowl odds and rank them based on their ability to go the distance:
The Patriots still lead the way as this year’s title favorites, but the odds have shifted enough at the to have us all thinking about other bets:
The best pure bet in this list might actually be the Houston Texans, who could end up turning a mere $100 bet into a ridiculous $5,000 if you make the bet at Bovada. The big question, beyond the latest Super Bowl odds, might be what is the likelihood of that happening. Let’s gauge that as we rank all eight of the remaining playoff teams.
It’s tough to completely rule out any team in this year’s playoff run, but if we have to start somewhere, it’s with the Texans. Houston dispatched the Oakland Raiders pretty easily this past weekend, but the Raiders were on the road and were down to their third string quarterback.
Houston was fed a win in the wild card round and that simply won’t be happening again. It gets extremely tough right away in round two, where Bill O’Brien leads his Texans up against his former mentor, Bill Belichick. Belichick’s Patriots are the runaway leaders when it comes to Super Bowl odds and that likelihood only enhances with Houston looking like a stepping stone to the AFC title game.
Picking the Texans to upset the Patriots is beyond a reach. They probably aren’t winning this week, and even if they did, they’d have another road game to tackle in the AFC title game before taking on a tough NFC team in the Super Bowl.
It’s a brutal path to greatness and Houston’s road almost certainly ends this weekend.
Some would look at Seattle’s big home win in the first round as an accomplishment, but beating a bad Lions team on your home field isn’t really proving anything. In fact, Seattle only proved yet again that their offensive line is still a massive question mark and that they for the most part can win in their own backyard.
What we didn’t see in that wild card win was Seattle’s defense actually get challenged or Detroit’s defense put up any kind of a fight against the Seattle running game. That all could change in the Divisional Round, when the Seahawks head to Atlanta to take on the league’s most explosive offense.
Not only should potential league MVP Matt Ryan torch the Seahawks, but Atlanta’s defense could have a fine day against a Seahawks team that has been abysmal on the road this season. On top of that, Atlanta still has to be a little miffed that they got burned by a controversial no-call when they played the Seahawks earlier this year. Atlanta looks like the better team, will be at home and might even be up for a fine dish or revenge.
If so, Seattle may be in as much trouble as anyone in round two of the NFL playoffs.
Kansas City might be a hard team to write off so quickly, as they did earn the AFC’s second seed, won the AFC West and sported a very gritty defense for most of the year. In addition, the Chiefs have some explosive weapons in the passing game, have a special team ace in Tyreek Hill and can also pound the rock via Spencer Ware on the ground.
All of that could very well make up a winning recipe for a potential Super Bowl sleeper, but the fact that the Chiefs host a very good Steelers team this weekend has to hurt their playoff upside. Pittsburgh has been as hot as anyone this year, as they enter the Divisional Round riding a 7-game winning streak and absolutely smoked the Miami Dolphins in the wild card round.
The Chiefs could be a tough matchup for the Steelers, but Pittsburgh sports the superior Super Bowl odds and has more overall talent on offense. Kansas City’s defense will need to smother Ben Roethlisberger and stuff Le’Veon Bell all day if they have a chance to move on. And even if they do, they’d then have a road game with the Patriots (likely) awaiting in the AFC title game.
With Alex Smith at the helm, the Chiefs feel like one of the least sexiest Super Bowl picks remaining in the field.
They’re in a good spot and they feel dangerous, but they still don’t seem like a safe pick to run the table.
Green Bay looks too hot to deny right now, as their insane win over the Giants last round gave them a 7th straight win. They also have Vegas in their corner, as per the latest Super Bowl 51 odds, they have the third best chance to make a run for the NFL title.
There are a few things working against that, of course. Green Bay still has a lot to prove defensively, as the Packers have slowly morphed into a passable “bend but don’t break” unit on that side of the ball, but overall in 2016 have really struggled. They held their own for the most part last week, but benefited from some huge drops and a couple of turnovers by the G-Men.
Dallas won’t be so kind in that regard, and even if the Packers stage the upset in Big D this coming weekend, they’d have potential nightmare battles with Falcons or Patriots offenses.
It isn’t just their defense that is worrisome, though, as top wide receiver Jordy Nelson exited Sunday’s game with what looked like a severe rib injury. If he’s out for any amount of time, Green Bay’s red hot passing attack could suffer.
One top of that, Green Bay (4-4) is not great on the road and has historically found it impossible to win in Dallas. For one reason or another, the Cowboys really have Green Bay’s number when the games are played in Texas, as the ‘Boys have won 9 of the last 10 home games versus the Packers (4 in a row in the playoffs).
Green Bay is still a very dangerous team and they could very well continue their hot run, but logic may not fully support that notion.
The next team up may be the Falcons, who are an undeniable Super Bowl threat behind the NFL’s best offense. Matt Ryan enjoyed a career year, while he pulled out several clutch wins and helped ATL win the NFC South.
As great as the Falcons have looked, many have to wonder if the old “soft” label still sticks for a team that has a history for producing during the regular season before turning up lame in the playoffs. Atlanta has been here before, and as badly as they’ll want to beat a slightly overrated Seattle team, it could still be a matchup that ends up being too difficult to trump.
The Falcons can move the ball at will offensively and put points on the board, but there are three big concerns: Seattle’s defense could step up, the one-way layoff could expose rust and/or Atlanta’s defense won’t be up to snuff in a high-level playoff game.
All of that could end up being silly, of course, as the Falcons are a solid 6-2 at home and will want to hand the ‘Hawks some revenge after losing in Seattle during the regular season.
Still, even beyond this game, the Falcons could be looking at a potential road game in Dallas for the NFC title game and then maybe a showdown with the Pats in the Super Bowl.
None of that looks great for a team that doesn’t have an elite defense and hasn’t really had much playoff success in the Matt Ryan era.
Next up are the Steelers, who currently hold the fourth best Super Bowl odds and were a preseason darling coming into 2016. It’s easy to see why, as the Steelers have the most Super Bowl wins in league history (7) and a quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger that has been to the big game three times.
Big Ben and co. sport a big stick on offense, as the Steelers can burn you deep with the pass, or pound you to oblivion on the ground with Le’Veon Bell. We saw them flex both muscles in round one of the playoffs, as they completely dismantled an overmatched Miami team. Pittsburgh didn’t stop there, as they also looked dominant defensively.
We know the Steelers can get pressure on the quarterback and force turnovers, but it will be interesting to see if their run defense holds up going forward. They’ll be tested on the road in Kansas City, where a difficult matchup for the offense awaits. That isn’t really where the trouble lies, however, as the Steelers could have brutal showdowns with the Patriots (in New England) and possibly a Super Bowl date with a strong NFC team on the horizon.
Pittsburgh has the offensive goods to make a run to the title game, but nothing is guaranteed with two more AFC road playoff games in front of them.
It only makes sense to put the Cowboys #2 in our ranking, as they’re the top seed in the NFC and own the path to Super Bowl 51 in their conference. There is the mild risk of them being rusty after a week off, but that’s nothing a favorable matchup with a shaky Packers defense can’t cure.
It’s also possible that rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott unravel in the biggest moment thus far in their young careers, but being at home against a team Dallas has beaten already this year should have them feeling confident and prepared.
On paper, Dallas should win their first home game and get ready for a huge NFC title game clash with either the Falcons or Seahawks. This is a team that really only lost to the Giants all year (twice) and then rested their starters for half of a week 17 loss to the Eagles. With the Cowboys killers (New York) knocked out of the playoffs, it’s highly arguable Dak Prescott and co. will breathe a little easier as they march forward in these playoffs.
Finishing the job once/if they get to Super Bowl 51, of course, could be the real problem.
It’s New England that continues to be the biggest obstacle for everyone, as Tom Brady has been a man on a mission ever since returning from a league-imposed four-game suspension. Brady has slayed the league in the 12 games he’s hit the field, as he’s put up MVP numbers while leading the Patriots to a blistering 11-1 record as the team’s starter.
New England was an elite 14-2, overall, which was good for the best record in football. They did lose star tight end Rob Gronkowski (back), but their depth and balance on offense has made that loss look quite small under a widened lens.
Looking forward, the Pats have quite possibly the best quarterback/coach tandem in the game, a solid running game and the league’s top scoring defense. With a severely inferior Texans team coming into town this weekend, New England looks like a lock for the AFC title game. There, the Pats will face either the Chiefs or Steelers, two teams they’ve handled fairly easily over the last year.
New England’s only true obstacle could arrive in Super Bowl 51, where any of the Seahawks, Packers, Falcons or Cowboys could be regarded as worthy opponents.
Regardless, no one trumps New England’s balance, experience or poise.
The answer still looks the same, as the New England Patriots have looked like the best team throughout the 2016 NFL regular season and will enter the Divisional Round completely fresh. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have made a living on huge playoff games and clutch moments.
After going 14-2 and looking largely dominant, it’d be relatively shocking if the Patriots didn’t at least get to this year’s Super Bowl. Once there, they’d likely be the favorites to win their fifth league championship.