With one round of playoff games in the books, a few of the divisions are no longer represented in the NFL playoffs. That could make the question at least one sportsbook is asking easier or harder to answer depending on your perspective.
Which division is the Super Bowl champion going to come from?
The AFC East was looking like a reliable candidate for most of the year with the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills playoff bound. Yes, the Patriots never quite looked right this season, but there was an underlying belief that they could get it right in the playoffs.
So much for that.
Of the eight teams remaining, five divisions are still represented, some with better or more legitimate Super Bowl aspirations than others. The odds for each division to win the Super Bowl according to DraftKings are as follows:
- AFC North +200
- NFC West +220
- AFC West +350
- NFC North +450
- AFC South +1300
The obvious choice to many would be the AFC North since the heavily favored Baltimore Ravens call that division home—and it would be a decision hard to argue with. With the growth Lamar Jackson has made in the passing game, their defense, and the ever-present run threat, they are going to be incredibly hard to beat.
But that is also why the AFC North has the shortest odds.
As for the division with the longest odds, the AFC South, there is a good reason for that. While the Texans have beaten the Chiefs and could do so this weekend, there is little reason to believe they can overcome the Ravens in the AFC title game.
When it comes to the Titans, for them to do, it would mean they have to get past the Ravens this weekend. If Derek Henry can run wild, it is possible. But it is highly unlikely.
The other AFC division, the West, is home to the Kansas City Chiefs, one of the preseason favorites. While they have beaten the Ravens, they lost to the Texans. They are expected to do so this weekend, but since the Texans did beat them once, it is not hard to imagine it happening again.
That leaves the NFC West and NFC North. Both have two teams in the fight, which means they will still be alive beyond this weekend, no matter what. So the question is who has the team most able to take down the Baltimore Ravens (because the Ravens will be representing the AFC in the Super Bowl this year).
Green Bay and Minnesota both have good defenses and solid offenses. Both would probably lean on their run games to keep Jackson off the field and have capable passing games, as well.
But the 49ers have gone toe-to-toe with the Ravens and nearly walked away a winner. Without a run game, it is hard to see Seattle doing it, but they aren’t terrible candidates, just not great ones.
So—how should you bet? Well, the 49ers are the team most likely to hang with the Ravens. But, theoretically, so could the Vikings and Packers. Split your money between the two—unless you are risk-averse. In that case, take the AFC North.