Books lean towards NFC in Super Bowl futures
On the surface it appears that the NFC has a significant advantage over the AFC.
Green Bay, New Orleans and the Giants have combined for three straight world championships, and New York’s Super Bowl win over New England in 2008 makes the count four titles in the last five years. The AFC’s franchise quarterbacks (Peyton Manning and Tom Brady) have seen more than their share of rodeos. AFC powers Pittsburgh and Baltimore are aging.
The NFC ran the table against its AFC opponents on Sunday, taking a 4-0 edge in the 64-game season-within-a-season between the conferences. And though it might seem like fishing for the right-colored socks in a dark room, books posting Super Bowl futures are backing the NFC in the Super Bowl by about 2.5.
So is the NFC better? Hang on a minute.
Last time we checked, quarterbacks run the show, and two (Manning, Brady) of the best three (add Aaron Rodgers) in the league play in the AFC. And if you think that either pivot has lost a few mph off their fastballs, check out the video from yesterday’s games. Manning led the Broncos to a win despite Pittsburgh having a huge edge in time of possession, and Brady’s Patriots put up 34 points (yes, the defense scored 6) and could have had more at Tennessee. New England did nothing to damage its status as the oddsmakers’ pick to win the Super Bowl. Pats backers can get 5/1, with the Packers at +550, and the Texans and 49ers at +900.
What about those NFC wins on Sunday? The Bears took advantage of the Colts’ defensive reorganization, the Vikings were life and death to beat the Jags at home, Atlanta beat a Kansas City team that will struggle to break even, and Eagles fans’ are still shaking after the Birds nearly lost to the Browns.
Here’s a look at the four interleague games this Sunday:
Minnesota at Indianapolis (Colts -1) – Second straight for the Vikes away from the NFC. DBs need to be ready as Colts will try to make Andrew Luck look good in his home opener.
Baltimore at Philadelphia (no line yet) – If Michael Vick thought he had trouble against the Brownies (he did: 4 INTs), there’s more grief ahead.
Denver at Atlanta (Falcons -3) – Where did this Matty Ice nickname come from? Has he proven he can win a big game? Good test in Week 2.
Arizona at New England (Patriots -13.5) – Cardinals head east and take their medicine. Last time Zona was at Gillette, there was talk that the Cards more than mailed it in in a 47-7 loss. But the talk ended when they went to the Super Bown several weeks later.