Carolina Panthers – Favored for 2016 Super Bowl

According to Shane Lambert, our NFL writer, a combination of New England losing and Carolina winning have made the latter the new betting favorite in the NFL

Week 13 is not over at time of writing, however the Monday night game this week only features the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. While the latter team is not out of the playoff picture, in fact they are division leaders, neither team is a major factor in the NFL at this point. That said, the NFL playoff market can be looked at following Sunday’s results without any consideration for Monday’s game.

The big news in the world of NFL sports betting is the fact that there is a new expected Super Bowl champion. The Carolina Panthers, with a never-say-die attitude, won another game on the road in Week 13 to stay undefeated. Trailing late and facing fourth down, the Panthers executed a conversion and subsequently marched down field against New Orleans to score a winning touchdown. Cam Newton’s team is now 12-0 while New England, who lost to Philly, are now losers of two straight and 10-2.

The Patriots, long-time front-runners in the Super Bowl market, are now considered second favorites while the Panthers have ascended to the top of the market. Here’s a look at the updated odds:

  1. Carolina Panthers, bet365, +350 (7/2)
  2. New England Patriots, bet365, +400 (4/1)
  3. Arizona Cardinals, SkyBet, +600 (6/1)
  4. Denver Broncos, betway, +800 (8/1)
  5. Cincinnati Bengals, Ladbrokes, +800 (8/1)
  6. Green Bay Packers, +1000 (10/1)

Note: at time of writing many sportsbooks were updating their odds between weeks still.

Another development that is certainly related to Carolina’s win is the fact that the NFC South market is now closed. Carolina clinched as they have an insurmountable lead over second-place Tampa Bay. Atlanta and New Orleans are fading into oblivion at this point.

While 33 to 1 on Carolina, odds that I tipped a long time ago, are way gone. An interesting angle on playoff futures right now is in the AFC. The New England Patriots have dropped two in a row and that’s certainly due to an extent to missing key players. But there are now three teams in the AFC that are 10-2 – including both Cincinnati and Denver. What makes that interesting is that there are only two byes through Wild Card Weekend available.

I like Cincy’s chances of getting one of those byes best and I think that adds to their value in the futures market. They host Pittburgh next, before traveling to play San Francisco. The tricky game coming up is a road one against Denver, before a season-concluding game against Baltimore in Ohio.

Recommendation:

1 point win for Cincinnati in the AFC at +333 (about 33/10) with Paddy Power

Note: Cincy backers can take the 8 to 1 line with Ladbrokes each-way to get 4 to 1 on the AFC crown