Both the AFC and the NFC championship games are set for next week, with the Patriots taking on the Ravens in Foxborough and the Giants heading to the Bay Area to take on the 49ers. Both should be entertaining games, especially if you are one of the many bettors with money on the line.
Vegas has released their latest betting lines and odds for who they believe will not only win each game Sunday, but also for which team will be traveling to the White House after they win the Super Bowl. After the jump, let's take a look at some of those odds and some possible explanations as to why they are set the way they are.
Apparently ESPN isn't the only bunch that is enamored with Tom Brady and the Patriots offense, as Vegas gives the Pats the highest odds of taking home the Lombardi Trophy. According to Bovada, New England's odds to win it all are at 6/5, with the Niners and Giants trailing with 3/1 odds. The Ravens get no love, sitting with a current 6/1 outside chance.
New England played well on both sides of the ball against Denver and came away with a convincing victory, leading to their current 6/5 line. Both the Niners and Giants beat teams that were expected to possibly make it past the divisional round, so their stock has gone up over the past week as well. Baltimore's offense looked paltry against the Texans on Sunday and many doubt that their scoring output will be enough to match that of the Patriots.
Vegas also expects the Patriots and the 49ers to be the two teams that meet in February. The odds sit at 6/5 for that matchup, with the Giants and Patriots rematch at 9/5. The odds of a "Harbaugh Bowl" are given a 9/2 chance and a face-off between the Giants and Ravens seems unlikely, garnering a 13/2 line.
If I were a betting man, I would say that the Patriots/49ers matchup is worth putting a little bit of money on. Both teams played phenomenally last week and both have home field advantage for their games this weekend. So far, the home teams are 7-1 in the playoffs this year.
The most interesting line from Bovada is that the AFC is favored by 2.5 points to win the Super Bowl. Now, this may seem obvious considering that the Patriots are expected to win, but this line has moved dramatically since the beginning of the postseason. When the playoffs started, the NFC was the conference that was the favorite to win it all -- by 4.5 points.
With the Packers and Saints being eliminated from contention last weekend, many feel that the two strongest challengers to the Patriots have been taken out of the picture. Both teams have explosive offenses and were thought to be able to match the fireworks that Tom Brady and the gang inevitably put out week after week. It will be interesting to see how these lines move not only throughout the week, but also after the conference championship winners have been decided.
What do you think of these odds and who do you think will win the Super Bowl this season? Do you plan on laying any money down on the games? Leave your comments below.