And then there were eight. The 2016-17 NFL playoffs enter the divisional round with the top seeds in each conference taking the field for the first time this postseason Saturday and Sunday. And even though those clubs stand atop the Super Bowl futures board, there is still plenty of betting value to be had.
Here’s a look at all eight remaining NFL teams and how their NFL Playoff Odds and NFL predictions
to win the Big Game stack up heading into the second round of the playoffs:
New England Patriots (+125)
If you can get the Patriots plus anything at this time in the season, you’d better grab it. New England is a runaway favorite to win the Super Bowl at this price, and with Houston standing in its way in the divisional round you can pretty much pencil Brady, Belichick & Associates into the AFC Championship Game.
The one knock against the Pats is that they venture forward without All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was lost for the season due to a back injury. However, TE Martellus Bennett and recently added WR Michael Floyd have make up for a bit of that missing physicality in the passing game.
Dallas Cowboys (+400)
The top dog in the NFC boasts a dominating run game and an underrated defense which has really rounded into form in the second half of the schedule. Dallas pounds opponents into submission over four quarters, backed behind rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot and rookie quarterback Dak Prescott.
The operative word there is “rookie”, though, and that lack of big-game experience could come back and bite Big D in the butt. Luckily, Dallas has the ultimate insurance policy in veteran QB Tony Romo, should Prescott crumble under the postseason pressure.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+450)
Considering how big a favorite New England is, this isn’t the best deal on the Steelers. It’s not that Pittsburgh can’t make it to the Super Bowl and knock off whichever NFC team escapes that side of the bracket, but Pittsburgh will have to win in two of the toughest venues in the NFL in order to punch a ticket to Houston. That’s got to be worth something?
The Steelers opened as slight road favorites at Kansas City in the divisional round but an ankle injury to Ben Roethlisberger has swung that line over the fence. It does help Big Ben’s cause that he has Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown at his disposal. This is the first time Pittsburgh has had all three of those weapons “healthy-ish” in the postseason.
Atlanta Falcons/Green Bay Packers/Kansas City Chiefs (+500)
A trio of teams come in at 5/1 odds to win the Super Bowl. Atlanta is perhaps the scariest of these three, with an ultra-efficient offense that can either air it out or run it down your throat. Defenses must pick their poison.
The Packers are the hottest team in the NFL, having won seven in a row including their win against New York in the Wild-Card Round. As long as Aaron Rodgers has the ball and time on the clock, Green Bay has a chance.
Kansas City could be the one team to give New England a run for its money. The Chiefs have beaten the Patriots in past seasons and have a pass rush that can put Brady on his heels – something that has given New England troubles. Kansas City’s offense has also started to click, scoring at least 29 points in four of its last six games.
Seattle Seahawks (+750)
Seattle shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is an experienced team that knows how to win in the playoffs. It is missing some big cogs on both sides of the ball, and lacks home-field advantage – something the Seahawks really do depend upon. But outside of a Week 10 upset at New England, Seattle truly lacks quality wins on its resume.
Houston Texans (+5,000)
Well, if the Texans can somehow survive all the way to the Super Bowl they’ll have home-field advantage. Houston hangs its hat on the defense, which will have to do some heavy lifting to escape Gillette Stadium with a victory this weekend. The NFL playoff odds are high on this live underdog but with their defense there does exist some good betting value.