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NFL Super Bowl Odds: Falcons Have Gone From Longshot To Favorite

With the NFL playoffs set to begin Saturday, only 12 teams have kept alive their dream of winning the Super Bowl. We know that Bodog has the Atlanta Falcons as the odds-on NFC favorite to be playing in Dallas next month but how have the odds changed from preseason to postseason. I'm glad you asked.

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In April, the 12 playoff teams had the following odds of winning the Super Bowl: (from FootballLocks.com)

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1.Colts6-to-1
2.Saints8-to-1
3.Packers10-to-1
4.Patriots10-to-1
5.Jets13-to-1
6.Ravens15-to-1
7.Steelers15-to-1
8.Eagles23-to-1
9.Falcons25-to-1
10.Bears26-to-1
11.Seahawks50-to-1
12.Chiefs125-to-1
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No surprise the Colts and Saints led the charge since they played in the Super Bowl only two months prior. The Falcons were a 25-to-1 shot despite winning 20 games the previous two seasons and Matt Ryan entering his third season. Then in June, after the NFL draft and free agency moves we saw updated odds by BroBurySports.com.

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1.Colts6-to-1
2.Saints9-to-1
3.Patriots10-to-1
4.Steelers10-to-1
5.Packers11-to-1
6.Ravens15-to-1
7.Jets15-to-1
8.Eagles18-to-1
9.Bears25-to-1
10.Falcons30-to-1
11.Seahawks50-to-1
12.Chiefs100-to-1
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The Falcons odds got worse as the season approached as the Chiefs shot up the ranks going from a 125-to-1 to a 100-to-1 longshot. The Jets, Packers and Saints saw slight increases while the Bears, Eagles and Steelers slipped a few spots.

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You can see the current playoff odds here, but let's review which teams have won over Vegas as the year went on. The Patriots, Steelers, Ravens, Eagles, Bears, Falcons and Chiefs are all more respected than they were in June. The Colts, Saints, Packers, Jets and Seahawks have lost some of the luster they had in the preseason and their odds have decreased.

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All things being equal, your odds at the start of the playoffs should be 12-to-1, give-or-take depending on first round byes, etc. There are 12 teams and everyone has a shot to win the Super Bowl. This means the oddsmakers are basically pushing on Ravens, Bears and Packers, who are all 12-to-1.

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The Chiefs have made the biggest move from April to now, starting as a 100-to-1 shot in June and moving to a 35-to-1 shot to start the playoffs. The Falcons made the second biggest jump followed by the Bears. The Seahawks went from 50-to-1 in the preseason (when all 32 teams have a shot) to a 100-to-1 longshot (when only 12 teams remain). Vegas thinks this is a bad football team and there's little evidence to the contrary. The Colts and Jets were others who have not lived up to preseason hype.

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I hope many of you had the opportunity to place a bet on the Falcons (for educational purposes only) back in June when they were 30-to-1 because this team is three wins away from delivering a payday only Seahawks and Chiefs fans could relate to.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.