NFL Week 17 ATS Picks

Updated Super Bowl XLVIII Odds Heading Into The Conference Championship Games

The oddsmakers have released the updated Super Bowl XLVIII odds in the wake of divisional weekend. These are as good as the betting is going to get. All of these teams are solid, and nobody’s going to be a huge dog at the Super Bowl so if you want to pitch in on a futures play and grab the better odds, now’s the time to do it. Let’s look at which odds are the most attractive.

Super Bowl XLVIII
The winner of the AFC and the NFC will meet in the Super Bowl XLVIII.
Starts: 02/02/2014 6:30PM
MetLife Stadium, One MetLife Stadium Dr.
East Rutherford, New Jersey

DENVER BRONCOS (+200)

How much do you trust Peyton Manning in the playoffs? That’s really what this bet boils down. The oddsmakers have pushed the Broncos, along with the Seahawks, to the front of a small lineup in the updated Super Bowl XLVIII odds, but this investment comes with many, many caveats.

Can the Broncos’ defense be expected to stop either the Patriots offence and then that of the Seahawks or Niners? Can Manning overcome what’s become an awful 13 year history of bad luck and poor performances in the playoffs? Do you really expect Jon Fox to win a freaking Super Bowl?

The quandary of the Broncos is that there are too many questions that don’t have positive or definitive answers. Sure, they had the best offence during the regular season but against AFC playoff teams this entire year they’ve averaged a point differential of just +2.3 which includes their recent win against San Diego. They’re a great team, but they’re built like typical Manning squads with a juggernaut scoring machine on one side and a vulnerable defense on the other. I love Peyton Manning as a player, person and SNL host, but I have never been able to fully back him with my money in the post season and I can’t imagine myself doing so this year with that kind of fledgling value.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (+450)

Tom Brady and Bill Belichik have six times as many Super Bowl rings between them when compared to the other three coaches and quarterbacks left in the playoffs. And with the longest updated Super Bowl XLVIII odds on the board, it’s almost impossible not be tempted by this group. The odds have been stacked against them all season, and no matter what happens, they always seem to thrive in the moment. Due to their large public backing, New England often struggles to cover as a regular season play but when you consider that Brady and Belichik have already been to 5 Super Bowls.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (+325)

One of the biggest take aways from the updated Super Bowl XLVIII odds is that San Francisco is a +3.5 dog this weekend in Seattle, but isn’t that far behind either championship weekend favorite in the longer market. The oddsmakers are terrified of this team and that also has something to do with a strange trend that this team has followed.

How about a history lesson? The Niners went to the 2011 NFC Championship and barely lost before winning it the following year. Last season, they were narrowly defeated in the Super Bowl. This is a team that hasn’t made the same mistake twice in three post season visits. If this habit continues to pan out, the Niners are the best bet to win the Lombardi Trophy considering the value offered in the updated Super Bowl XLVIII odds. If you aren’t at least considering a bet on San Francisco by now, there’s nothing else I can tell you that will convince you to.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (+170)

It’s very hard to get a read on the Seattle Seahawks when they travel. They went a blistering 6-2 SU and ATS during the regular season away from CenturyLink, but didn’t face great competition. Their games in order were against Carolina (Week 1 before they had created their identity as a potential world beater), Houston (Week 4), Indianapolis (Week 5 loss), Arizona (a Thursday night blowout in Week 7), St. Louis (a hard fought Week 8 victory), Atlanta (Week 10), San Francisco (Week 14 loss) and the New York Giants (Week 15 shutout).

In those games, the Seahawks had a +7.7 point differential which is pretty good but not reflective of what many consider a dominant team. That schedule was also very front loaded; neither Arizona or Carolina were very good at that point in the season, San Francisco muscled their way to a win in an ugly game and all the other teams are picking in the top-10 of the NFL Draft. Strength of competition isn’t the fault of a team, but it does reflect how good they actually are.

Keep in mind that Seattle might actually be the worst team left in the playoffs despite their astounding record. Russell Wilson had just four 250+ passing yard games, and threw for just 103 yards on 9-of-18 completions last weekend.

The last 10 Super Bowls have been won by game breaking quarterbacks who have come up huge when it matters. That list includes Peyton and Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Joe Flacco. I know that Flacco’s inclusion in that list is a bit weird, but he also managed to assemble one of the most impressive playoff runs by any quarterback in the history of the sport. Do you really think Wilson has that kind of performance in him? I’m not as committed to Wilson’s supposed greatness as others seem to be, so there’s no way I’d touch these updated Super Bowl XLVIII odds and I suggest you do the same and stay the hell away.

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