Updated Super Bowl Odds: Does Indy Have a Shot?
Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts did what few thought they could do this past weekend: go into Denver and whoop up on the Broncos.
As the only team alive who played during the first weekend of the playoffs, it's natural that you'll see the Colts with the lowest odds to win the Super Bowl. But hey, anything's possible -- didn't most of us think Denver would win last week?
4. Indianapolis Colts (Odds to Win Super Bowl: 12.4%)
After ending the season playing like a bottom-tiered quarterback (in terms of Net Expected Points), Andrew Luck has straight balled in the playoffs. Against Denver, Luck ended with a 12.30 Passing NEP total, which was a ridiculous 25 points better than Peyton Manning in the same game. That, ladies and gentlemen, was easily the difference in the contest.
Don't write off the Colts if the secondary plays the way it did against Denver, too. Vontae Davis and company ended the year with the 11th-ranked pass defense, and forced Manning to his worst game -- analytically, at least -- of the season on Sunday.
Their odds aren't great, but the Colts certainly deserve their opportunity.
3. Green Bay Packers (Odds to Win Super Bowl: 18.3%)
Aaron Rodgers' health is in question, and the Packers defense -- especially on the road -- is an average one, per our metrics. Thus, you have a Green Bay team going to Seattle with an 18.3% chance of winning the Super Bowl.
The matchup for the Packers is somewhat of a nightmare -- they've struggled to stop the run all season long, and the Seahawks ran the ball better than any other team in the NFL this season. The lack of mobility from Rodgers could be a disaster against the Seahawks defense as well. Eddie Lacy is going to have to eat if the Packers want to move on.
2. New England Patriots (Odds to Win Super Bowl: 33.2%)
The probable winner in the AFC Championship looks to be New England, as Vegas has them as seven-point favorites against the Colts this weekend. In truth, New England's fortunate to be in this game -- after Justin Forsett scored on them this past weekend in the third quarter, the Patriots' win probability sat at just 17 percent.
But it's a resilient team that could be considered the most well-rounded one left in football. The team's biggest weakness this season has been their rush defense, and they'll be facing a squad in the AFC Championship that's run the ball poorly (27th in the regular season, per NEP) this year. The hope for New England is that the secondary, which ranked fourth according to NEP this year, plays better than it did last weekend against Baltimore.
1. Seattle Seahawks (Odds to Win Super Bowl: 36.1%)
Seattle's been on top of this list for most of the season, and that didn't change after beating Carolina on Saturday night. The Seahawks' defense is ridiculous -- since Week 12, Carolina's 17 points was the highest total the team surrendered. And, as we all know, seven of Carolina's points came when the game was a done deal.
From a passing perspective, Russell Wilson was just a little above average this season, finishing with a Passing NEP total of 47.65. That was the lowest score of his career. However, his legs were a huge weapon for the Seahawks this season. He added 60.50 points above expectation on the ground, which was the second-best rushing quarterback season our database has ever seen.
Again, the Packers can be run on. Marshawn Lynch had the best year of his career on the ground, and ended the season with the highest Rushing NEP total of any running back in the NFL.
Seattle has to feel good about their chances right now. If they get past the Packers (they're 7.5-points favorites), they'll face two teams that don't have overly scary front sevens. Beast Mode activated.