NFL Super Bowl Futures: Patriots and Saints are Good Bets

There is a huge 32.4% difference between conference leaders. The New England Patriots lead with a 55.4 percent chance of winning the AFC and the Kansas City Chiefs are at 23%. The difference between these teams is widening as the Chiefs chances are down from 30 percent. The playoff race should be a tight one with only -0.17 wins separate the 3 teams projected for the #5, #6 and #7 best conference record. This is a very top heavy conference with just 3 teams with at least a four percent chance of winning it.

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AFC FUTURESPROJ WINSWIN DIVPLAYOFFWIN CONF ODDSWIN CONF SIM
New England Patriots13.796.2%99.0%2/3 (60%)55.4%
Kansas City Chiefs10.982.0%92.2%9/4 (30.8%)23.0%
Baltimore Ravens9.358.2%66.5%15/1 (6.2%)4.3%
Buffalo Bills10.53.8%83.4%30/1 (3.2%)3.7%
Los Angeles Chargers8.314.1%37.0%20/1 (4.8%)3.4%
Indianapolis Colts8.839.0%49.1%30/1 (3.2%)2.9%
Houston Texans8.427.6%44.0%20/1 (4.8%)2.1%
Cleveland Browns8.128.7%37.8%30/1 (3.2%)2.0%
Jacksonville Jaguars8.022.3%33.3%50/1 (2%)1.4%
Tennessee Titans7.311.1%17.3%100/1 (1%)0.8%
Pittsburgh Steelers7.212.9%20.8%150/1 (0.7%)0.7%
Oakland Raiders7.43.7%16.7%100/1 (1%)0.2%
Denver Broncos5.00.2%1.2%250/1 (0.4%)--
New York Jets3.60.1%0.1%1000/1 (0.1%)--
Cincinnati Bengals4.00.3%0.4%2500/1--
Miami Dolphins2.30.1%0.1%25000/1--

The difference at the top of the conference is very large at 10.4%. The San Francisco 49ers at 17.5% trails the New Orleans Saints at 28%. The gap seems to be lessening. The Saints chances are down from 30.5 percent. Expect the playoff race to be tight. In simulations, the Eagles average the #5 most wins and the Vikings average the #7 most so the difference (0.35 wins) between making and missing the playoffs is expected to be very small. There is parity in the conference. There are 8 teams winning the conference in at least four percent of our playoff simulations.

NFC FUTURES PROJ WINSWIN DIVPLAYOFFWIN CONF ODDSWIN CONF SIM
New Orleans Saints11.287.5%91.5%4/1 (20%)28.0%
San Francisco 49ers11.047.5%78.9%6/1 (14.3%)17.5%
Los Angeles Rams10.027.8%62.8%10/1 (9.1%)12.5%
Green Bay Packers9.941.7%61.2%7/1 (12.5%)8.8%
Philadelphia Eagles9.566.5%70.9%7/1 (12.5%)8.3%
Seattle Seahawks9.824.5%54.4%8/1 (11.1%)7.5%
Minnesota Vikings9.220.9%40.7%10/1 (9.1%)5.8%
Detroit Lions8.725.5%42.7%30/1 (3.2%)4.3%
Chicago Bears8.711.8%29.1%10/1 (9.1%)3.0%
Dallas Cowboys8.528.5%34.5%8/1 (11.1%)2.5%
Carolina Panthers8.29.2%19.0%15/1 (6.2%)1.2%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers6.93.0%6.4%50/1 (2%)0.3%
New York Giants6.64.9%6.2%250/1 (0.4%)0.2%
Arizona Cardinals5.00.2%0.8%250/1 (0.4%)--
Atlanta Falcons5.30.3%0.8%150/1 (0.7%)--
Washington Redskins3.80.1%0.1%5000/1--

There may be 12 playoff teams but there are only 9 true championship contenders (at least a 2% chance). At the top, the Patriots have a very large 22.3 percentage point lead over the Saints. At the bottom of the contenders list, 0.9 percentage points separate the Eagles from the Vikings.

SUPERBOWL CONTENDERSODDSODDS%SIM%TREND
New England Patriots9/535.7%35.7%--
New Orleans Saints8/111.1%13.4%--
Kansas City Chiefs6/114.3%13.1%DOWN
San Francisco 49ers14/16.7%7.6%UP
Los Angeles Rams20/14.8%5.3%DOWN
Green Bay Packers16/15.9%3.3%DOWN
Philadelphia Eagles16/15.9%3.2%DOWN
Seattle Seahawks18/15.3%2.9%DOWN
Minnesota Vikings20/14.8%2.3%DOWN
Detroit Lions60/11.6%1.9%UP
Baltimore Ravens30/13.2%1.7%DOWN
Los Angeles Chargers40/12.4%1.6%DOWN
Buffalo Bills60/11.6%1.5%UP
Chicago Bears20/14.8%1.2%DOWN
Indianapolis Colts60/11.6%1.0%UP