NFL Odds To Win The Super Bowl: Conference Championship
by Doug Upstone Scores & Statson
We are at the point where two teams will play to reach the Super Bowl and two teams will head home deeply disappointed. New Orleans and Kansas City will have the home field advantage this Sunday, but their edges are set at -3.5 and -3 respectively (as of Jan. 15th), which translates into almost no talent edges.
Let's break down all four teams, with odds are courtesy of Intertops.
*Last week's odds of remaining teams - New Orleans +250, L.A. Rams +450, Kansas City +450, and New England +600
New Orleans - The Saints are considered nearly unbeatable at home and they are 14-2 the last two years (discarding this year's Week 17 game against Carolina when they rested many starters) since returning to a Super Bowl contender. Their strengths are running the ball, Drew Brees and stellar run defense. Their weaknesses are a lack of playmakers on the perimeter outside of Michael Thomas and a pass defense that can give up big plays without a pass rush. If New Orleans beats the Rams, the combo of Brees and Sean Payton is on par with any matchup they would face from the AFC and overall, they have the best defense to compete at all three levels, who is playing very well now.
Kansas City - When Kansas City plays as they did against Indianapolis, they showed they have a defense capable of winning a championship. The New York Giants won two Super Bowls (2008 and 2012) with a big play offense, enough of a running game and pass rush. The Chiefs are better on offense than the Giants ever were. Kansas City's defense lacks the front four talent the G-Men had, but they were tied for the lead in sacks this season and buried Andrew Luck seven times last week. The concerns about K.C. remain Andy Reid going brain-dead at the wrong time. Yet, now that the Chiefs have reached this point, there is a feeling similar to the Kansas City Royals, that after decades of bad teams and bad luck, this could be their time.
New England - You can just never count out New England. If you asked 100 random people who were not Patriots fans if they wanted to see the Pats win another championship, likely, at least 95 would vote "No". This is the eighth straight time New England is playing to reach the Super Bowl and they are 4-3 in those games. Yet, a case could be made this is the weakest roster that has gotten this far. With that, the case and the fact the last time New England won a road playoff game and Super Bowl was 2004, not excited about their chances to win two more games.
Los Angeles - The Rams might be the fourth pick for NFL odds, but they are very capable of winning the Super Bowl. This time of year you need offensive balance and L.A. certainly has that with Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and suddenly hot C. J. Anderson. The defense other than Aaron Donald is not known as a high-effort group, though they played better for three-quarters against Dallas. Though Sean McVay will be questioned about being capable of winning a Super Bowl at age, if his team makes the Super Bowl he will be 33 years old and Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin was 36 when he got his first one. L.A. has the players with the star-power to win two times, with the only question with those surrounding them be enough to push them over the top.