The New England Patriots are overwhelming favorites to win the 2013 Super Bowl.
According to the online betting Web site Bovada, New England’s odds of winning the title are set at 11/10. The Patriots odds are almost two times that of the San Francisco 49ers, who are next on the list. They replaced the Denver Broncos as the favorites, who lost their first playoff game with Peyton Manning at the helm.
Since Week Seven, the Patriots have been the most dominant team in the NFL. In that time, New England has gone 10-1, including a 13-point victory over the Houston Texans in the divisional round of the postseason. The wins have come by an average of 19.5 points per contest.
With the Patriots playing so well, is there any team that can prevent them from winning a championship?
The Baltimore Ravens will be the next club to have a chance of beating the Patriots. The two will face off on Sunday night in the AFC Championship Game for the second straight year.
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Baltimore played New England close last year, and even defeated them in Week 3. However, the Patriots are still expected to cruise to the Super Bowl, opening the week as 10-point favorites at most Las Vegas casinos.
New England is a different team than the one that Baltimore faced almost four months ago. The Patriots defense has improved in the latter part of the season. They allowed less than 20 points in five of their last six regular season games.
If the Patriots are playing good defense, they seem virtually unbeatable. Their 34.8 points-per-game average is tied with the 1998 Minnesota Vikings for the third-highest scoring average in NFL history. Quarterback Joe Flacco has exceeded expectations in the postseason, and should give the Ravens a chance, but New England could coast past Baltimore if they continue their strong play.
If New England faces the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl, they will be heavy favorites to win their first title since 2004. Even as the No.1 seed at home, the Falcons are 3.5-point underdogs on Sunday. On a neutral field, New England would likely be expected to win by at least a touchdown.
The Falcons proved some critics wrong with their win over the Seattle Seahawks, but continued to show signs that they aren’t a typical 13-3 team. They blew a 20-0 lead and needed a last-minute field goal to escape with a victory. Atlanta’s offense sputtered in the second half, and their defense may have a lot of trouble with Tom Brady.
The 49ers would have the best chance of keeping the Vince Lombardi Trophy out of New England. Like Baltimore, San Francisco has proven that they can defeat the Patriots. The 49ers win was even more impressive, ending the Patriots seven-game winning streak. San Francisco won by a touchdown, but led by 28 points in the second quarter.
With the emergence of Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers' offense have the potential to keep up with the Patriots offense. Even if San Francisco’s defense can’t stop the likes of Brady, Wes Welker and Stevan Ridley, Kaepernick has showed that he can lead his team to a win in a shootout.
Still, the Patriots will be favorites for the remainder of the postseason. With one of the greatest quarterbacks and offenses the league has ever seen, there’s a solid chance New England will win their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history.