The National Football League Playoffs begin on Saturday and before we dive too far into those games let’s take a look at the latest Super Bowl odds for the 12 teams still standing. I’ll give “why they can win it” and I’ll give you “why they can’t.”
Seattle Seahawks 12/5 – Top-seed and first-round bye
Why they win it? Defense and Marshawn Lynch
Why they don’t? The officials. If they call it tight in the secondary, a close game could easily be turned.
New England Patriots 3/1 – Top-seed and first-round bye.
Why they win it? The defense forces many turnovers and Tom Brady is Tom Brady.
Why they don’t? Brady has had less than stellar playoff performances in recent years. If he falters and the defense can’t create turnovers then forget it.
Green Bay Packers 6/1 – Two-seed and a first-round bye.
Why they win it? Offensive balance and consistent pressure from the defense.
Why they don’t? Aaron Rodgers’ calf injury persists and the defense becomes susceptible to the run.
Denver Broncos 13/2 - Two-seed and a first-round bye.
Why they win it? The continued balance with C.J. Anderson running the ball keeps on rolling and the defense makes teams one-dimensional.
Why they don’t? The playoff demons of Peyton Manning rear their ugly heads and that’s a real possibility as he is under .500 in the playoffs.
Dallas Cowboys 15/2 – Sunday vs. Detroit.
Why they win it? Tony Romo is turnover-free and the defense plays well and creates turnovers.
Why they don’t? Romo becomes “late season Romo” and the defense struggles to stop the run.
Pittsburgh Steelers 14/1 – Saturday vs Baltimore.
Why they win it? The defense continues to gel while Ben Roethlisberger has an epic playoff run.
Why they don’t? The Le’Veon Bell injury. This offense will not be the same without him.
Indianapolis Colts 28/1 – Sunday vs. Cincinnati
Why they win it? The running game suddenly emerges and the defense finds consistency.
Why they don’t? Andrew Luck is asked to carry them. He can for stretches but not to a Super Bowl title. He is too prone for turnovers throwing it that much.
Carolina Panthers 33/1 – Sarturday vs. Arizona
Why they win it? They ride Jonathan Stewart and a defense that keeps coming together.
Why they don’t? The defense cracks and Cam Newton tries to do too much.
Baltimore Ravens 40/1 – Saturday at Pittsburgh. Ravens +3.5
Why they win it? Joe Flacco snaps out of his funk and the defense creates numerous turnovers.
Why they don’t? Justin Forsett is limited, Flacco keeps struggling and the defense can’t make stops.
Cincinnati Bengals 40/1 – Sunday at Indianapolis. Bengals +4
Why they win it? Andy Dalton gets over the hump and Jeremy Hill becomes a major factor.
Why they don’t? The defense can’t get pressure and Dalton turns it over as he has all season.
Detroit Lions 40/1 – Sunday at Dallas. Lions +7.5
Why they win it? Matthew Stafford gets hot and the defense limits opposing offenses to field goals.
Why they don’t? The suspension of Suh dooms them in the first round along with continued poor play from Stafford.
Arizona Cardinals 66/1 – Saturday at Carolina. Cards +6
Why they win it? The defense becomes an impenetrable wall and the QB play is flawless.
Why they can’t? Quarterback issues plain and simple.