The divisional round in the NFL has come to a close and we are now left with only 4 teams playing for the right to hoist the Lombardi trophy as champions at Super Bowl LLI. The NFC and AFC conference championship games are slated for this Sunday with Super Bowl trips on the line.
The Jacksonville Jaguars shocked the world by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 45-42 at Heinz Field on Sunday. While the New England Patriots surprised nobody in destroying the Tennessee Titans 35-14 at Gillette Stadium.
" Fournette, who had three touchdowns last week at Pittsburgh to carry the Jaguars into the AFC Championship game"
The NFC is up next where the Philadelphia Eagles survived in dramatic fashion to beat the Atlanta Falcons 15-10. In the other half of the bracket, the Minnesota Vikings defeated the New Orleans Saints 29-24 in one of the most exciting playoff games we may ever see.
The odds are set on who is going to raise the trophy. Let's take a quick look at each team odds and see how they got there.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+700 to win Super Bowl LLI)- Who?
The surprise for everyone has the Jacksonville Jaguars one game away from the Super Bowl. Raise your hand if you had the Jags going to Pittsburgh and beating the Steelers in a game with 87 points. While improvement was expected from last years 3 win squad, nobody could have realistically expected this.
The Jaguars won 10 games in the regular season, two playoff games and now sit one win away from the big dance. Casting last week aside the Jaguars are built to win with their defense. Look no further than the previous week's playoff matchup where they defeated the Buffalo Bills 10-3.
+700 is usually a decent number with only 4 teams remaining but not too many scenarios where I see the Jaguars getting thru the next two games. Especially when one of them is versus the Belichick and Brady combo that leads the New England Patriots.
Philadelphia Eagles (+600 to win the Super Bowl LLI)- In Foles They Trust
Second highest odds on the board are from the team from Philly. The Eagles were able to pull off a dramatic late-game stand when the Atlanta Falcons were knocking on end zone door to secure their spot in the championship game.
As good as this run is for Eagles fans they are still left to wonder what if. If only Carson Wentz didn't go on IR with a torn ACL the Eagles would have as good a shot as anyone. This team will now have to rely on a stellar defense and hope they can scrape their way to a win versus a very good Viking squad.
Minnesota Vikings (+150 to win Super Bowl LLI)- Looking for a Super Bowl Home Game
Maybe the most complete team in the playoff race, the Minnesota Vikings needed a miracle of all miracles just to get to the championship game this weekend. Stefon Diggsscored on a 61-yardtouchdown pass as time expired to lift the Vikings to the win over the New Orleans Saints. If I didn't see it I would have a hard time believing it happened.
''Hey, let's open these things up!'' Zimmer blurted out mid-sentence, prodding a Vikings official to push the button that removes the window shades"
Only paying 3/2 on your money but if you are looking for someone to root for besides the Patriots this team has all the tools necessary to compete with the Pats. Plenty weapons on the offensive side of the ball and a monster on the defensive side.
New England Patriots (-110 to win the Super Bowl LLI)- Of Course They Are
Not much you can say here that hasn't been said hundreds of times previously. This team just wins. The Patriots are here, after dismantling the Titans 35-14 on Saturday.
Love them or hate them (plenty of both) it's hard to see anyone taking this team down when they play their game. The Patriots are the favorites for a reason and anyone betting against Brady at this point in the year hopefully has a good reason. The Patriots opened as a -9.5 point favorite versus the Jaguars this weekend and would open as at least a touchdown favorite versus either of the NFC teams.