For the remaining eight teams in the NFL playoffs, the path to the Super Bowl is becoming clearer with just two games separating them from the world’s most watched sporting event.
After the conclusion of some dramatic Wild Card Playoff action – only one of the four matches was won by a margin greater than three points – the Divisional matchups are now set.
The NFC’s number one seeds, the Seattle Seahawks, face the New Orleans Saints while the division’s second best side, the Carolina Panthers host last year’s Super Bowl runners up the San Francisco 49ers.
In the AFC, Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos take on the San Diego Chargers while Tom Brady’s New England Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts.
The Broncos are well fancied for Super Bowl XLVIII, sitting as the 5/2 second favourites behind the Seahawks, but they have some unwanted history to overcome in order to get there.
Manning, who has enjoyed a superb season, has lost his first game in the playoffs eight times, a total that is twice as many as any other quarterback in the Super Bowl era.
Couple that with San Diego’s 2-0 record over Manning in their playoff clashes, and Ladbrokes customers may be convinced to look elsewhere when taking a punt on the next Super Bowl winner.
The 49ers, who lost last season’s showpiece by three points to the Baltimore Ravens, are the somewhat surprising 4/5 favourites to topple the Panthers when they clash at the Bank of America Stadium, especially when you consider they are the lowly fifth seeds in the playoffs.
But, taking into account the fact that Jim Harbaugh’s side have lost four straight clashes with their upcoming playoff opponents and are 2-8 against the Panthers since 1999, lumping on the 21/20 about Cam Newton’s side winning is strongly advised.
At 2/1, the Seahawks sit at the top of the Super Bowl betting tree, and with five straight wins at home in playoff matches under their belt along with a 5-2 record over the Saints in their last seven meetings, it’s easy to see why they are 1/4 to progress.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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