Boston Sports Day

New England’s Odds for a Super Bowl

With the NFL season winding down, it’s once again looking like the New England Patriots are among the best teams in the league. With Brady having his best season since 2007’s perfect regular season, and role-players like Welker and Woodhead earning their keep in a big way, Belichick’s Bostonians (at heart) are looking strong to make a huge playoff push.

Only two teams in the entire league earn even somewhat of a low number in terms of odds – the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, at +700 respectively. And that’s only to get to the Super Bowl. In a hypothetical matchup between the two, New England holds more than a touchdown’s worth of favorable cushion.

Now, don’t get the wrong impression here. Sure, Brady is playing fantastic, earning accolades and awards as usual, but there are some other good teams in the AFC with something to say on the matter.

If you were playing online video poker or even betting on another sport, your odds would be a little more finite. But with the NFL, there are endless variables, least of which is any of these teams’ ability to throw a huge monkey-wrench in the Patriots’ plans.

The New York Jets still stand atop the AFC East, holding the tie-break over the Patriots, and the Ravens, Steelers, Jags and even the Kansas City Chiefs are looking like worthy competition.

The Patriots have perhaps the toughest schedule in the league going forward. Okay, so the Bills and Dolphins might look like pushovers, but after back-to-back-to-back weeks against the Jets, Bears and Packers, three premier NFL teams, the nothing-to-losers at the tail end of the schedule could not only knock New England down to a Wild Card slot, but they might bang the Pats up enough to where any high-powered offensive would crush them in the first round (see Baltimore’s running game last year).

New England has to be incredibly careful here and take things one game at a time. Their biggest challenge to date is to break even with the Jets and get that pot-bellied, Rex Ryan-looking monkey off their backs.

Their next move, of course, is to get past a well-tuned Chicago team whose defense is standing strong at 3rd in the NFL, and whose speed in the secondary could spell a multi turnover day for Brady and company.

Stop by any sportsbook or online craps and you’ll find that the Patriots will probably be favored in each game they play from here on out. But that still doesn’t mean much. Any team is capable of beating New England if the Patriots don’t show up. Just ask the Cleveland Browns.

If New England wins 3 of their next 5, which they probably will, they’re shoo-in for the playoffs. However, the Patriots’ best chances of getting to the Super Bowl are going to come with a #1 seed in the AFC – and that’s going to require beating the Jets and winning 4 of their last 5.

They’re looking strong to do it, and the road to the Super Bowl is more smoothly paved if so, but only time will tell how the Pats handle the s

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