In a season that has delivered upset after upset, Week 16 served up enough surprise results to change the landscape of the NFL Futures again. For the fourth straight week a different team sits at the top of the pile.
With a dominant 34-12 victory over the Cleveland Browns at Mile High, Denver (12-3) is now favorites to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy in February.
Third on oddsmakers’ lists following last week’s action, odds of the Broncos winning Super Bowl XLVII shortened from 6/1 to 9/2 after play this weekend. Peyton Manning and Co. have now won 10 straight and 11 of 12, making the side the NFL’s undisputed form team.
The Broncos host Kansas City next week with a chance of taking the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs from Houston.
Denver’s ascendency to the top of the NFL Futures was partly a result of the win over Cleveland and partly due what happened in the Pacific Northwest on Sunday night.
Having entered the week as Super Bowl favorites, San Francisco (10-4-1) saw its odds take a plunge from 9/2 to 15/2 thanks to a 42-13 loss to the Seahawks.
Winners of six of the last seven, Seattle (10-5) has forced its way within one-half game of the 49ers for the lead in the NFC West. The win over San Francisco secured a playoff berth for the Seahawks at the very least, while the team’s odds of winning Super Bowl XLVII halved from 16/1 to 8/1.
San Francisco hosts Arizona in Week 17 while Seattle welcomes St. Louis. A win for the Niners secures the division, whilst a loss opens up the possibility of Seattle taking the title.
Elsewhere, New England (11-4) held serve, retaining last week’s 19/4 odds with a 23-16 win in Jacksonville. The Patriots can secure a bye in the first round of the playoffs with a win over Miami next week coupled with either a Denver or Houston loss. Alternatively, the Patriots will host Cincinnati in the Wild Card round.
With a 55-7 beat down of Tennessee on Sunday, Green Bay (11-4) became third favorites to lift the Lombardi trophy. The Packers’ odds shortened to 6/1, and the Wisconsin side looks likely to secure a bye through the opening round.
Atlanta (12-2) secured home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a 31-18 win over Detroit on Saturday night. Despite having possession of the NFL’s best record, at 13/2 the Falcons are only considered fourth favorites, a result of a soft schedule and a team that has yet to win critics over.
Houston (12-3) closes out this week’s NFL Futures top five, but a surprising 23-6 loss at home to Minnesota has the team slipping down the table. The Texans are 7/1 to win the Super Bowl, the team’s lowest mark in four weeks.
Indianapolis (10-5) saw its odds fall marginally from 66/1 to 60/1, thanks in part to a 20-13 win over Kansas City. The Colts are Wild Card bound and looking forward to a matchup with Baltimore in the first round.
Baltimore (10-5) secured the AFC North title with a 33-14 win over the New York Giants, but few expect the side to succeed this season thanks to a poor run of form. The Ravens are considered 20/1 to win it all.
Baltimore’s division title and Indianapolis’ Wild Card spot made the Bengals-Steelers showdown at Heinz Field a must win for both teams. The Bengals gritted out a 13-10 win, eliminating the Steelers from postseason contention. Cincinnati (9-6) now finds itself with 40/1 odds of winning the Super Bowl.
The NFC East race took a potentially-telling turn this weekend as Washington (9-6) secured the division’s only win of the weekend. A 27-20 win over the Eagles sets up a huge winner takes the division matchup next weekend with the Cowboys.
Dallas (8-7) fell to the Saints this past week but still have a shot at both the division and the Wild Card. The New York Giants (8-7) lost to Baltimore, which puts the division out of reach and a Wild Card berth unlikely. The Giants will need Dallas, Minnesota, and Chicago to lose next week as well as a win over Philadelphia to proceed. At 100/1 to win the Super Bowl, oddsmakers obviously don’t like the Giants’ chances.
Following a surprise win over Houston this week, Minnesota (9-6) can secure a Wild Card berth with a win over Green Bay next weekend. Alternatively, if Dallas, Chicago, and the Giants all lose, the Vikings will be in regardless.
Losers of five of six heading into play on Sunday, Chicago (9-6) defeated Arizona to remain in the hunt. A win next week over the Lions coupled with a Minnesota loss will be enough for the Bears to secure a playoff berth.
Odds to Win Super Bowl XLVII
New England (19/4)
Green Bay (6/1)
San Francisco (15/2)
NY Giants (100/1)
The following sides have been taken off the board: