AFC Has Betting Edge on Early Super Bowl LI Odds at the Sportsbooks

Since three of the last four NFL champions have come out of the AFC, it’s not surprising that the conference has the top prop as it pertains to producing the 2017 Super Bowl winner.
With the kickoff of the regular season less than five months away, there are -120 odds on an AFC team being the one that captures the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LI on February 5, 2017 at NRG Stadium in Houston. There are even odds on the NFC representative winning the Super Bowl.
The Denver Broncos became the second AFC representative in a row to win when they beat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 in February.
The AFC edge probably owes to ageless Tom Brady and the New England Patriots residing in the conference. The Patriots have top odds at +600 in 2017 Super Bowl LI champion futures. In a league that tries to create parity, the Patriots reached a fifth consecutive AFC title game last season, in spite of Brady contending with injuries to running backs that forced New England to adopt a pass-happy offense.
Among other AFC contenders, QB Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers are listed at +1200 to win the franchise’s seventh Super Bowl title. Defending champion Denver is listed at +1600, as the Broncos have not clarified their quarterback picture, signing former New York Jets starter Mark Sanchez while still looking at other challengers for the starting job.
No Super Bowl host team has ever won it. The Houston Texans, who signed QB Brock Osweiler away from Denver in hopes of solving their offensive problems, are listed at +2000.
Over in the NFC, the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks are each listed at +1000. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is anticipating having a true No. 1 WR, Jordy Nelson, back after he missed all of 2015 with a knee injury. The Packers also have the league’s weakest strength of schedule, according to CBS Sports. The Seahawks have won the conference in two of the past three seasons, and fifth-year QB Russell Wilson is entering his prime.
Carolina is listed at +1200 after coming off a Super Bowl loss. The Panthers have cut ties with shutdown cornerback Josh Norman, which could hurt the strength of their defense as they try to take the next step this season. The Panthers’ first-place schedule includes games with the Arizona Cardinals (+1600) and Minnesota Vikings (+2000), who also play each other, and those results will factor heavily into each team’s playoff outlook.
Both previous Super Bowls held in Houston have been won by an AFC team. The Miami Dolphins defeated Minnesota in 1974, while New England defeated Carolina in 2004.