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Super Bowl Favorites and Dangerous Underdogs

Super Bowl  Favorites and Dangerous Underdogs

The ultimate week of the 2019 NFL season is upon us, and we already know ten teams that clinched playoff spots. The seeds are up for grabs besides No. 1 in the AFC, while Week 17 will tell us who’ll win the NFC East and who’ll get the last wild card in the AFC. We want to take a look at the biggest favorites to win the Super Bowl LIV, as waiting for another week could drastically affect the odds. Everybody besides the Ravens will go full strength into Week 17, so never know who might catch an injury bug.

Super Bowl LIV Winner Odds

Baltimore Ravens +225 New Orleans Saints +500 New England Patriots +550
San Francisco 49ers +600 Kansas City Chiefs +750 Seattle Seahawks +1200
Green Bay Packers +1400 Minnesota Vikings +2500 Philadelphia Eagles +3300
Houston Texans +3300 Buffalo Bills +5000 Dallas Cowboys +6000
Tennessee Titans +8000 Pittsburgh Steelers +10000 Oakland Raiders +30000

The Ravens are topping the list for a reason

The Baltimore Ravens are the bookies’ top favorites, and I cannot argue at all. If they stay healthy, the Ravens will win the Super Bowl LIV. And, I don’t mean on Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram only. The Ravens’ offensive line has been terrific all season long. Their defense has improved a lot in the second half of the season. The Ravens will need every man in the postseason so they can continue to be consistent, and that’s a key factor in the race for Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Since a 40-25 loss to the Browns in Week 4, the Ravens have been completely unstoppable. They bring an 11-game winning streak into Week 17 and can play in a relaxed manner after clinching No. 1 seed in the AFC. During their ridiculous run, the Ravens have defeated New England, San Francisco, Buffalo, Houston, and Seattle which are all Super Bowl contenders. Baltimore is 1st in the league in points scored (33.5) and rushing yards per game (204.9), and the Ravens’ furious offense has been way too much for all their rivals thus far.

Furthermore, Lamar Jackson is a magician. The second-year QB is breaking records one after another, and it’s safe to say he’s the biggest dual threat in the NFL history. Lamar is an unstoppable force on the ground, and he’s improved his passing game a lot this season. Jackson leads the NFL with 36 passing touchdowns while setting the new record for the most rushing yards by a quarterback (1206). RB Mark Ingram scored career-high 15 touchdowns through 16 weeks, while TE Mark Andrews added 64 catches for 852 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Ravens are not just a great offensive team. Their defense surrenders only 18.1 points per game (3rd in the NFL) on 309.4 total yards (5th). Baltimore has allowed 28 touchdowns (11 on the ground and 15 through the air) which are tied for the second-fewest in football. Also, the Ravens’ D is the 3rd-best in the red zone, allowing 20 touchdowns on 42 visits (47.6%). Considering all the facts, Baltimore is undoubtedly a runaway fave to win the Super Bowl LIV.

Who could stop the Ravens in the AFC?

The New England Patriots need a win over Miami in Week 17 to earn a first-round bye. The reigning champs arguably have the best defensive unit in football, but their offense is a big issue this term. The Pats allow only 13.2 points per game (1st in the league) on 268.3 total yards (also 1st) while scoring 26.4 points in a return (6th) on 354.1 total yards (16th). However, the Pats’ D has scored five times while leading the league with 25 interceptions.

The Patriots miss Rob Gronkowski a lot. Tom Brady can rely on Julian Edelman only, and the rest of the Pats’ receiving corps has been underperforming so far. Likewise, the Patriots struggle to obtrude their ground game, racking up only 104.5 rushing yards per contest (19th). If they want to retain the crown, the Pats need to improve offensively. Their defense is doing enough to beat the most of the teams, but the Pats will need more than just a tough defense to outlast Baltimore or Kansas City.

The divisional round could bring us the clash between the Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. That would be a rematch of the 2019 AFC Championship Game, and the Chiefs are certainly keen to get payback. With Patrick Mahomes under center, the Chiefs are lethal offensively. Still, the key to their eventual success is on the other side of the ball. The Chiefs will need the best from their defensive unit that has been improving lately. At the moment, the Chiefs are 7th in the league in points allowed per game (19.1). Back in Week 14, the Chiefs beat the Pats 23-16 at Gillette Stadium, showing they can cope with New England’s stout defense.

Kansas City will meet Tennessee, Pittsburgh or Oakland in the wild-card round. The second matchup should be Buffalo and Houston. While the Texans have been inconsistent and unpredictable all season long, the Bills could be a dark horse in the AFC. Buffalo’s terrific defense allows only 16.4 points per game (2nd) on 300.1 total yards (3rd). The Bills lost to Baltimore and New England by an identical 24-17 result, but they had a chance to upset the odds on both occasions. Buffalo is a long shot at +5000, but it’s worth a try, as the Bills are a tough rival to beat who’s been pretty consistent in 2019.

The NFC is a mess

After Week 15, we had four teams at 11-3 in the NFC. That tells you a lot about the competition. From this point of view, the New Orleans Saints should meet the San Francisco 49ers in the championship game. The Niners need a win in Seattle to clinch No. 1 seed, and I expect them to beat the wounded Seahawks. Seattle lost both key running backs due to injuries, so the Seahawks will have a mountain to climb in the postseason.

The bookies favor New Orleans over San Francisco in the NFC even though the Niners beat the Saints 48-46 in New Orleans back in Week 14. The reason is simple – the Saints are far more experienced than the Niners. Drew Brees is a true leader, while the Saints have a balanced offense that can adapt to any defensive scheme. Michael Thomas has been remarkable thus far, tallying 145 receptions for 1688 yards and nine touchdowns, while Jared Cook has scored six touchdowns over the last six weeks. Alvin Kamara is having a quiet season, but he could be the Saints’ secret weapon in the playoffs.

On the other side, the 49ers have slowed down after a tremendous start of the season, but they are still one of the best teams in the league. Their ground game is the 2nd-best in football with 145.1 yards per contest, while the Niners’ defense is 2nd in total yards allowed (277.4) and 8th in points allowed per game (19.3). San Francisco lost at the Ravens 20-17 in Week 13, but the Niners tortured Baltimore more than any other team since the Ravens started their win streak.

I won’t spend my time and space talking about the NFC East champs whoever finishes on top, Dallas or Philadelphia. The NFC East titlist could win in the wild-card round but won’t win the Super Bowl, that’s for sure. On the other hand, Green Bay and Minnesota enter the postseason from the NFC North, and both these teams could make some noise. While the Vikings have some injury worries, the Packers are mostly healthy and ready to rumble.

Interestingly, rarely who sees the Packers as legit Super Bowl contenders, so Green Bay could make a serious push under the radar. Aaron Rodgers is still one of the best signal-callers in the NFL, while RB Aaron Jones has scored 17 touchdowns so far, enough for the second-best behind Christian McCaffrey. The Packers are 10th in the league in points allowed per game (20.2). On the other side, the Vikings are 5th in points surrendered (18.5), but I cannot trust their offense. Dalvin Cook is one of the best running backs at the moment, but Kirk Cousins still has to prove he’s a QB for the biggest achievements.

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