Twelve teams enter the 2016 NFL playoffs looking to win the Super Bowl, but only a few of the contenders appear to have a legitimate shot to win a championship. The New England Patriots have the best odds to win the title, but the NFC has the best chance of producing the Super Bowl winner.
Super Bowl betting odds reflect who the public thinks will end the season on top, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate what teams are most likely to win it all. The Patriots and Arizona Cardinals have better odds than the Carolina Panthers, who lead the NFL with a 15-1 record. Only one AFC team has better Super Bowl odds than the Seattle Seahawks, but the Denver Broncos have a more realistic chance to play in Super Bowl 50, considering they have a bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
Below is a look at complete Super Bowl betting odds, provided by Bovada.lv. In addition, FiveThirtyEight used probabilities based on 20,000 simulations to calculate the chance each playoff team has to win the title in February.
New England Patriots (+450, 13 percent chance)
With maybe the best quarterback of all time in Tom Brady and the NFL’s most dangerous weapon in Rob Gronkowski, it’s not hard to see why New England has been favored in every game this season. That should continue in the AFC playoffs, but having to potentially play in Denver hurts the Patriots' Super Bowl chances.
Arizona Cardinals (+450, 17 percent chance)
Arizona might be the one team that could make New England an underdog for the first time this season. The Cardinals could be favored by as much as a touchdown in their first playoff game, though visiting the Panthers in the NFC Championship Game would make it difficult for them to reach the Super Bowl.
Carolina Panthers (+475, 20 percent chance)
Even though they finished two games ahead of anyone else, the Panthers still aren’t being treated like the NFL’s best team. Carolina won’t play on the road this postseason, and they are 8-0 at home, winning by an average of 16 points per game.
Seattle Seahawks (+550, nine percent chance)
Seattle is the No.6 seed, but bettors haven’t forgotten about their two straight trips to the Super Bowl. The Seahawks are playing as well as any NFC team with six wins in their last seven games and the NFL’s No.1 scoring defense, but having to win three straight road games severely limits their chances of reaching the Super Bowl for a third straight year.
Denver Broncos (+600, 15 percent chance)
They are the No.1 seed in the AFC, but the Broncos aren’t among the Super Bowl favorites because of their quarterback situation. Denver might not be a top-four Super Bowl candidate for the gambling public, but they do have wins against the three other AFC teams with at least 11 victories.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+900, four percent chance)
Much like the Seahawks in the NFC, many experts believe the Steelers can win the Super Bowl as the No.6 seed. Pittsburgh is 4-4 on the road, though Ben Roethlisberger helped the Steelers win the Super Bowl 10 years ago by winning three consecutive road games.
Kansas City Chiefs (+1600, eight percent chance)
The Chiefs are the hottest team in football, having ended the regular season with 10 straight wins. The big question remains whether or not Alex Smith can win a Super Bowl. The veteran quarterback plays alongside the NFL’s No.3 scoring defense, and he would probably have to win three road games to reach the Super Bowl.
Green Bay Packers (+2200, three percent chance)
The Packers were the NFC favorites in the early part of the season, but six losses in 10 games have made them longshots to win the title. Aaron Rodgers posted his worst passer rating since he became the team’s starting quarterback in 2008. Green Bay will need the defense to step up.
Cincinnati Bengals (+2500, five percent chance)
The Bengals were tied for the best record in the AFC, but Andy Dalton’s thumb injury could prevent them from getting past Wild Card Weekend. It’s unknown who will start for Cincinnati in the first round, and the team has already lost at home to Pittsburgh with AJ McCarron at the helm.
Minnesota Vikings (+2800, three percent chance)
The Vikings defeated the Packers to win the NFC North on Sunday, but they still have worse Super Bowl odds than Green Bay. Minnesota has the least effective quarterback of any NFC playoff team in Teddy Bridgewater.
Washington Redskins (+4000, one percent chance)
Neither the experts nor the betting public believes in the Redskins, who won a weak NFC East. Washington enters the playoffs on a four-game winning streak, but they haven’t beaten a team above .500 this season.
Houston Texans (+6600, one percent chance)
The Texans are the only playoff team with less than 10 wins. They are home underdogs in the first round of the postseason.