The tornado that carried the New York Jets to the brink of an unlikely spot in the NFL playoffs was snuffed out by the Buffalo Bills of all teams, as the Big Apple’s lesser-celebrated side went down 22-17 on the final day of the regular season.
Their loss was Pittsburgh’s gain, with the Steelers prevailing in Cleveland to ensure they’re playing knockout gridiron for the second consecutive campaign.
At 12/1, the most successful franchise in Super Bowl history haven’t been entirely been discounted by the bookies with regards to savouring glory on the grandest stage for the seventh time.
The blistering form of the Panthers has seen them soar into co-favouritism for the richest prize in the hogskin business, with Carolina’s finest – who lost their only regular season outing in the penultimate round of matches – sharing a price of 4/1 with the Patriots of New England.
Worryingly for Pats backers, they lost four of their final six regular season outings, all against outfits who failed to make the knockout stage, and head into the playoffs way below their best.
On a collision course with the sky-rocketing Chiefs, the future looks especially bleak for Bill Bilichick’s men.
Should the Kansas City high-flyers record an 11th-straight success against the Texans next, they’ll face the Pats in the AFC semi-finals.
The Chiefs must have attracted plenty of attention for a second Super Bowl crown at 16/1.
Another seasonal surprise package, the Minnesota Vikings, also look good at 25/1, though the fact they’d run into the Panthers should they topple the Seahawks next may deter plenty.
Nevertheless, the Vikes finished the regular campaign strongly, beating big name franchises in the Bears, the Giants and local rivals the Packers before packing their bags for the playoffs.
If the Vikings don’t appeal, their next adversaries have to.
Seattle’s Seahawks have been blasting holes in the defenses of the game’s elite in the final weeks of the season, recording 29+ point wins over the Vikings, Ravens and, most impressively, the Arizona Cardinals.
Only three teams have a better net-point haul than their 146 this term and, at 6/1, they look a good price for glory.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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