NFL: Momentum fail puts Patriots’ Super Bowl tilt in peril

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Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots currently vie for favouritism at the top of the Super Bowl XLIX market at 2/1 and 11/4 respectively, with the latter claiming overall number one seed in the AFC ahead of time, and home advantage throughout the playoffs to boot.

The Massachusetts behemoths will therefore feel they’re in pole position to land a fourth Super Bowl ring for quarterback Tom Brady, but the Patriots ended their regular campaign with a 17-9 loss at home to the Buffalo Bills, their first reverse at Gillette Stadium in over two years.

Coach Bill Belichick’s decision to rest the likes of tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Julian Edelman may have seemed sensible before the fixture, but the mystical American power of ‘momentum’ was ultimately sacrificed on the altar of rest by the Nashville native.

Whether this bodes well ahead of the postseason remains to be seen, but it’s not hard to make the case for 2/1 defending champions Seattle over Belichick’s boys, with one on a six-game hot streak (the best around) and the other beaten twice in their last five.

Brady and co’s late November vanquishers Green Bay also have to come into contention by that logic at 5/1.

The NFC North champions, for the fourth consecutive year, have the second-best recent record of the teams set to clash in the playoffs, with their win over the Patriots part of a sequence of seven in eight matches since October.

Of the outsiders, both the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers go into the postseason having seen off their last four opponents.

The Texas outfit ended the regular campaign having won all-but one of their past seven, and look a decent top price with Ladbrokes at 14/1, while Pittsburgh are all the way out at 20/1 despite claiming the laurels in five of their last six games.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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