The Divisional Round is in the books. After each round, Vegas comes out with new Super Bowl 52 odds. The 2018 NFL Pre-Conference Championships Super Bowl 52 odds imply some interesting things. For starters, the odds actually imply that the England Patriots aren’t as huge of a lock to win Super Bowl 52 as so many believe them to be.
If they were, they’d be less than even money favorites. The Pats face-off against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship on Jan. 21. The Jags are 9-point dogs to upset the Patriots. If the Patriots beat the Jaguars, they’ll battle either the Minnesota Vikings or Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 52.
Those who believe the Patriots are a lock to win Super Bowl 52 must be giddy about the above even money odds. Are the Patriots a lock to win their second straight Super Bowl? That’s the main question, right?
To find out what I think, all you must do is keep reading.
2018 NFL Pre-Conference Championships Super Bowl 52 Odds
I got the odds below from oddsshark.com. By the time you take a look at the attached Odds Shark link, there’s a good chance the odds will have changed again. Don’t be surprised if New England ends up a -105, or even -110, Super Bowl 52 favorite before this weekend.
New England Patriots +105
The New England Patriots looked phenomenal in their 35 to 14 win over the Tennessee Titans. One thing to notice about the Patriots win is how they rushed the football so well. It sort of makes sense that the Pats would look better rushing the ball in the playoffs than they did all season long.
New England 2 top rushers in the Divisional Round win, James White and Dion Lewis, weren’t the Pat’s starting running backs in every single game during the regular season.. White rushed for 171 yards from 43 attempts during the season. He didn’t score a rushing TD. Lewis rushed for 896 yards and 6 rushing TDs during the season. Versus the Tennessee Titans, Lewis rushed for 62 yards from 15 attempts. White only rushed for 11 yards. He did score a rushing TD. White also caught a TD pass from QB Tom Brady.
If the Patriots’ rushers continue to excel, New England should dominate the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, right? I don’t believe so. New England’s battle versus the Jags this Sunday is just a bad match up for the Patriots. The Jaguars are loaded to bear on both offense and defense. Jacksonville’s strength on defense, a great passing D, forces the Patriots to rush the football. That should play into Jacksonville’s hands.
I’m not willing to take the low odds on the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl 52.
Minnesota Vikings +210
The Vikings got lucky to beat the New Orleans Saints in Sunday’s Divisional Playoff game. The Saints had the Vikings beat before QB Case Keenum threw the last gasp pass to Stefon Diggs that, due to Saints’ free safety Marcus Williams blowing a simple tackle, the Vikings made it to the NFC Championship.
Minnesota is a solid -3.5 favorite to beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. The Vikings have a huge shot of beating the Eagles. That would send the Vikings to Super Bowl 52 where they would only need to take down the New England Patriots, or Jacksonville Jaguars to win the Lombardi Trophy game.
What are Minnesota’s chances of beating the Jaguars or Patriots? Not very good. The Jaguars, based on stats, allow a lot of rushing yards. I don’t believe that’s usually the case. Jacksonville’s D should be able to stop the Vikings’ rushing game. The Jaguars’ pass defense should shut down the Vikings passing game.
Versus the Patriots, things will get dicier for the Vikings. Minnesota might be able to move the ball against the Patriots’ D. But, it’s hard to see the Vikings offense scoring more points than what the New England Patriots’ offense scores. Drew Brees and the Saints showed that a great offense can get to the Vikings’ defense. The Patriots not only have a great offense, they’ll have a week to prepare for the Vikings’ defense.
If the odds were higher, over to 6 to 1 like they are for the Eagles and Jaguars to win Super Bowl 52, I’d be all over Minnesota. Because the odds are under 3 to 1, I can’t back the Vikings.
Philadelphia Eagles +625
The odds on Philadelphia to win Super Bowl 52 implies that the Eagles have no shot versus the Minnesota Vikings. If Minnesota is at +201 to beat either the New England Patriots or the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Eagles should be no worse than +425 if Vegas odds makers truly believed the Eagles could beat Minnesota, right?
Not necessarily. The +625 odds on Philadelphia to win Super Bowl 52 is a direct result of Philly’s chances against either the New England Patriots or the Jacksonville Jaguars. From that prism, it makes sense why the Eagles are at +625. However, it doesn’t make sense why the Eagles are at +625 while the Vikings are at +210. Both the Eagles’ and Vikings’ odds to win Super Bowl 52 should be in cohesion.
The Vikings, because they are favored by -3.5 to beat Philadelphia straight up, should be around a +475 choice to beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52. The Eagles should be +525 choices to beat the Pats.
Let’s be honest. The odds don’t truly reflect either the Eagles, or the Vikings chances of beating the Jaguars for the Lombardi Trophy. If they did, the Vikings odds would be around +475 while Philadelphia’s odds would be around +525.
Which brings me to the entire point about the Philadelphia Eagles. I don’t believe Philadelphia is good enough to beat either the New England Patriots, or the Jacksonville Jaguars. Philly’s rushing attack is excellent. It’s passing attack will have trouble versus the Jaguars’ pass defense. Philadelphia’s offense doesn’t appear capable of keeping up with the Patriots’ offense even if it plays a perfect game.
Based on my analysis, Philly’s a bad bet to win Super Bowl 52 no matter what the odds are. So, yes, the odds on Philly at +625 are fair odds. However, my personal analysis says that Philly’s still a play against.
Jacksonville Jaguars +650
I believe the Jacksonville Jaguars are an excellent play at +650 to win Super Bowl 52. The Jaguars have a much better shot of beating the New England Patriots than the +9 points imply. Jacksonville’s defense ranks first in the NFL against the pass. New England is a pass first team. Jacksonville’s offense ranks first in the NFL in rushing yards per game.
The one knock appears to be QB Blake Bortles. I don’t believe Bortles is a knock, not anymore. In the month of December, Bortles had a string of 3 fantastic performances. In Week 13, Bortles completed close to 75% of his passes for 309 yards. He also threw 2 TD passes. The Jaguars beat the Colts 30 to 10. Two Sundays later in Week 15, Bortles was equally impressive. Versus the Houston Texans, Bortles completed over 72% of his passes. He threw for 326 yards. He threw 3 TD passes.
I’ve left Blake Bortles’ performance in Week 14 for last. The reason is because Bortles squashed a Seattle Seahawks defense. The Seahawks suffered major injuries in their secondary before battling the Jags in Week 14. Still, last season’s Blake Bortles would have failed miserably versus a Seahawks squad that had to beat the Jags in Week 14.
Instead of failing miserably, Bortles was fantastic again. He completed 18 of 27 passes for 268 yards. He threw 2 TD passes. Blake came up with a sweet game against the Steelers in the Divisional Round win. He only threw a single TD pass. But, he didn’t throw any interceptions, either. In fact, in 8 quarters in the AFC Playoffs, Blake Bortles has a 2 TD to 0 INT touchdowns to interceptions ratio.
That’s why I like the Jags to upset the Patriots in the AFC Championship. Then, I like the Jaguars to win Super Bowl 52 at +650 odds. During the entire playoffs, Blake Bortles has been making smart decisions with the football in his hands. If any opponent, Patriots, Vikings, or Eagles, it doesn’t matter, decides to shut down the Jaguars’ rushing attack, I’m confident Bortles can burn that team’s defense with his arm.
Jacksonville Jaguars Super Bowl 52 winners? I’m calling it!