The New England Patriots have the best odds of the eight remaining teams in the playoffs to win Super Bowl LI. That’s according to the oddsmakers in Las Vegas who believe the Boston squad has not only the easiest path to the big game, but also the best roster.
After coach Bill Belichick’s players had the weekend off due to their bye during the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs, the Pats will now face the Houston Texans in Foxborough this Saturday at 8:15 PM.
Nevada books believe it is a lopsided contest, so much that the odds on the game are nearly unprecedented. New England is a 16-point favorite at the Westgate SuperBook, while MGM’s sportsbook has the Patriots giving Houston 17 points.
Since 1976, only 10 teams have been favored by two or more touchdowns in an NFL playoff game. And just three have been picked by more than 16.
As for winning Super Bowl LI, the books have the Patriots at 7/4 to win the championship. New England is followed by the Dallas Cowboys (17/4), Green Bay Packers (7/1), Atlanta Falcons (15/2), Pittsburgh Steelers (8/1), Kansas City Chiefs (9/1), Seattle Seahawks (12/1), and Houston Texans (80/1).
It’s certainly not surprising that the 14-2 Patriots are heavily favored over the 9-7 Texans.
Tom Brady, who turns 40 this August, has a 22-9 postseason record and has won more playoff games at quarterback than any other player in NFL history. Though he caused plenty of controversy last year for the highly publicized “Deflategate,” a scandal that kept him on the sidelines for the first four games of the regular season, he remains dominant on the field.
He finished with the second-best quarterback rating in the entire league, throwing 28 touchdown passes to just two interceptions.
Meanwhile, the Texans are trying to save their season after the disappointing play of quarterback Brock Osweiler. After helping lead the Denver Broncos to its Super Bowl 50 win last year, the Texans signed the young QB to a four-year deal worth $72 million ($37 million guaranteed).
But in week 15 he was benched in favor of Tom Savage. Following the backup’s injury during the final regular season game, Osweiler was handed back his job. He now has just days before going up against one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.
In other divisional matchups, Seattle travels to Atlanta (Falcons -4.5), Pittsburgh plays at Kansas City (Chiefs -1), and Green Bay goes to Dallas (Cowboys -4).
The surprisingly successful year for the Oakland Raiders officially came to an end on Saturday after losing to the Texans 27-14. The loss of quarterback Derek Carr essentially ended the Bay Area team’s chances at a deep playoff run, and also likely improved the odds of owner Mark Davis filing to relocate to Las Vegas this offseason.
A Super Bowl appearance by the Raiders, which would have been their first since the 2002 season, would have seemingly made it much more difficult for Davis to transfer the franchise to Nevada. Along with Las Vegas Sands billionaire Sheldon Adelson and $750 million in public tax money, a proposed $1.9 billion NFL stadium has its funding in place should Davis decide to abandon Oakland.