The NFC has won three of the past four Super Bowls, but overall the AFC has dominated the NFL’s championship game this century. Baltimore was a 5-point underdog on the Super Bowl point spread last year but beat San Francisco 34-31. That made it eight titles for the AFC since 2000.
Peyton Manning’s Broncos are the SuperBowl odds-on favorite this season and the AFC is -1 on the early Super Bowl line. However, the NFC representative is likely to be a solid favorite for the game at MetLife Stadium against any other AFC team because the NFC is deeper at the top.
Fall Off After Denver
Denver hasn’t played in the Super Bowl since winning back-to-back titles behind John Elway, who is now the executive VP of the team and convinced Manning to sign there. The Broncos were Super Bowl favorites entering last year’s playoffs with home-field advantage and on an 11-game winning streak. A shocking loss to the Ravens dropped Manning – perhaps the greatest regular-season QB ever – to 9-11 in his postseason career.
The only other legitimate AFC contender to have a quarterback with a Super Bowl pedigree is New England with Tom Brady. The Pats won three titles under Brady but were upset in XLII and XLVI as big SuperBowl online betting favorites against the Giants. The Patriots look flawed after losing Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez on offense – Brady’s numbers are down – and their two top defensive players, Vince Wilfork and Jerrod Mayo, to season-ending injuries. They were recently beaten at Carolina, a mid-level NFC contender.
The rest of the AFC contenders all have major question marks.
The NFC has five clear favorites but conceivably 6-7 teams that could make a Super Bowl because of superior QB depth.
Seattle is the Super Bowl favorite from the conference behind Russell Wilson. He got his feet wet in last year’s playoffs, winning a game in Washington and nearly beating top-seeded Atlanta. Wilson has never lost a home game, so if the Seahawks get the top seed they will be heavy NFL betting favorites to reach the Super Bowl.
New Orleans has future Hall of Famer Drew Brees at quarterback and doesn’t lose in the Superdome under coach Sean Payton. Brees is on pace for another 5,000-yard season and would be the NFL MVP favorite if not for Manning. The Saints will be conference favorites if they get home-field advantage.
San Francisco likely will have to win three road games in the playoffs as a wild-card team, but Colin Kaepernick already showed he can lead a team to a Super Bowl.
Green Bay won the Super Bowl three seasons ago and still has Aaron Rodgers, perhaps the league’s best overall QB. Currently he’s hurt, but you’ll want to add this to your Super Bowl betting tips: Green Bay won their last Super Bowl as a wild card. Carolina, meanwhile, has the NFL’s best defense, a surging Cam Newton, a tremendous running game and wins over the Niners and Patriots.
The Seahawks, Saints, Niners, Panthers and Packers would likely thus be favored on the Super Bowl lines over any non-Denver AFC team.