San Francisco’s 41-34 upset victory over New England on Sunday night has seen the 49ers leap to the top of the NFL Futures.
Colin Kaepernick and Co. held on for an unlikely victory in Foxboro as the Patriots pulled back from a 31-3 deficit to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. Kaepernick’s 38-yard strike to Michael Crabtree shortly after the Patriots drew level, ultimately proved the difference-maker.
San Francisco (10-3-1) is now considered 9/2 favorite to win Super Bowl XLVII. It is the first time this season that the 49ers have been favorites to lift the Lombardi trophy.
The victory assured the 49ers of at least a Wild Card berth, and one win from the remaining two will see the side crowned NFC West champions for a second straight year.
The defeat sees New England (10-4) slip to second on the Futures list at 19/4. The Patriots had wrestled the top spot away from Houston with a victory over the Texans last weekend.
Already winners of the AFC East, the loss saw New England fall one game behind Denver for the second seed in the AFC playoffs, and the bye week that goes alongside it.
Denver (11-3) scored a 34-17 road win over the slumping Ravens to move to No. 3 on the NFL Futures. The Broncos – winners of nine straight games – are considered 5/1 to win the Super Bowl.
With home games against the Browns and Chiefs remaining on the schedule, Peyton Manning and Co. will like their chances of staying ahead of New England and even catching Houston, which would equate to home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and as we know, home field advantage takes on additional magnitude in the Mile High City.
Houston (12-2) will do everything in its power to keep a hold of the number one seed. Having booked a postseason berth two weeks ago, the Texans locked up the AFC South championship this weekend with a 29-17 win over the Colts.
Houston’s odds of winning the Super Bowl shortened to 11/2 following the victory, but the team’s position at No. 4 on the Futures is its lowest since the preseason.
The NFL Futures top five is rounded out by Atlanta (12-2). Week 15 appears to have been the week oddsmakers finally accepted that the Falcons may be for real. The Falcons scored a 34-0 shutout of a Giants side that has really hit the wall over the past month, pushing the NFC South champions to 7/1 on the Futures list.
The New York Giants (8-6) now find themselves in a three-way tie with the Cowboys and Redskins for the NFC East lead. The Giants are still favorites in the eyes of bookmakers, with Super Bowl odds currently standing at 20/1. Meanwhile odds of Washington (8-6) taking the Super Bowl are 28/1 and Dallas (8-6) is considered 30/1.
Green Bay (10-4) locked up the NFC North with a 21-13 win over Chicago, sending the Packers to 15/2 on the Futures list. Meanwhile, Minnesota (8-6) saw its Super Bowl odds slashed in half with a win over St. Louis. Don’t get too excited though; the Vikings are still only 75/1 to lift the Lombardi trophy.
Seattle (9-5) annihilated Buffalo in Toronto, becoming the first team in 62 years to score 50 or more points in consecutive games. Unsurprisingly then, odds of the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl shortened to 16/1.
A win over the Eagles on Thursday Night Football saw Cincinnati (8-6) cuts its odds from 75/1 to 50/1.
Losses for Chicago (8-6), Pittsburgh (7-7), and Indianapolis (9-5) saw each side lose ground on the ledger. Meanwhile, Baltimore (9-5) secured a playoff berth despite falling to the Broncos, by way of Pittsburgh’s loss to the Cowboys. Odds of the Ravens winning the Super Bowl however fell to 28/1.
At the foot of the Futures, seven more teams were taken off the board this weekend. St. Louis (6-7-1), Tampa Bay (6-8), San Diego (5-9), Buffalo (5-9), and Cleveland (5-9) all lost on Sunday to extinguish any remaining playoff hopes, while the New York Jets (6-8) fell to Tennessee on Monday Night Football, effectively putting an end to a miserable season. Meanwhile, a decisive win over Jacksonville was not enough to make up for an inconsistent season or save Miami (6-8) from being eliminated from playoff contention.
Odds to Win Super Bowl XLVII
San Francisco (9/2)
New England (19/4)
Green Bay (15/2)
NY Giants (20/1)
The following sides have been taken off the board: