NFL logoNFL

Updated Super Bowl Odds for Every NFL Team Heading into Week 14

Nick KostosContributor IDecember 4, 2013

Updated Super Bowl Odds for Every NFL Team Heading into Week 14

1 of 33

    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Thanksgiving is officially in the books, and the 2013 NFL season is officially in the stretch run. 

    Over the next few weeks, playoff teams and seeding will be determined, and we'll have a much better idea of which teams have a realistic chance of advancing to Super Bowl XLVIII.

    Remember that over the past few years, it hasn't been the No. 1 seed that has won it all. It's possible that a team not near the top of this list could end up hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, which is what makes the next two months so unbelievably fascinating.

    Here are the updated Super Bowl odds for every NFL team heading into Week 14, courtesy of Bovada.

Houston Texans

2 of 33

    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Odds: None Listed

    Yes, the Houston Texans played valiantly in Week 13 against the favored Patriots and nearly pulled off a monumental upset. But ultimately, the team lost its 10th consecutive game and remains in pole position to claim the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft.

    It's been a stunning fall from grace for coach Gary Kubiak's team, which entered the year with designs on the Super Bowl, and when you consider the talent strewn throughout the roster, the 2-10 record becomes even more puzzling.

    It's hard to imagine Kubiak returning in 2014, and general manager Rick Smith could be on the hot seat as well. Plus, there's major uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position, where Case Keenum hasn't shown enough to be declared "The Guy."

    While the 2013 season has been an unmitigated disaster, the Texans will be primed to make a dramatic turnaround in 2014 with a new coach, high draft pick and talented roster.

    Next Game: @ Jaguars (Thursday Night Football)

Jacksonville Jaguars

3 of 33

    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    Odds: None Listed

    Break up the Jacksonville Jaguars! The team once considered a lock for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft is on a roll, having won three of four games to boost its record to 3-9.

    While the Jaguars' recent run of strong play might end up costing them the aforementioned top pick, that doesn't matter to coach Gus Bradley and general manager David Caldwell, who have to be pleased with how their team has bounced back from an 0-8 start. 

    Young players on both sides of the ball are starting to step up, from receiver Ace Sanders to safety Johnathan Cyprien. Jacksonville is in a position to finish the season strong, with only one game remaining against a team with a winning record (Indianapolis).

    Jaguars fans should feel confident about the direction in which the club is moving under Bradley and Caldwell.

    Next Game: vs. Houston (Thursday Night Football)

Washington Redskins

4 of 33

    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Odds: None Listed

    Week 13's loss to the New York Giants served as a microcosm of a season gone terribly wrong for the Washington Redskins.

    There was maddening inconsistency, as the Redskins raced off to an early 14-0 lead before the wheels fell off. Quarterback Robert Griffin III was sacked five times and took a number of big hits, which has sadly become par for the course. And finally, the defense couldn't make a big stop late, allowing the Giants to score the game's final 10 points.

    The Redskins are a mess. Not only have they been one of the most disappointing teams in football this year, but they don't own a first-round pick in the 2014 draft, having traded it to the Rams in the deal that netted them Griffin. It's also a distinct possibility that head coach Mike Shanahan and his staff will be let go.

    The silver lining for Redskins fans is that Griffin will be significantly better in 2014 as he continues to recover from January's ACL injury. Improving pass protection and the defense will be of paramount importance this offseason.

    Next Game: vs. Kansas City

Atlanta Falcons

5 of 33

    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Odds: None Listed

    The Atlanta Falcons halted their five-game losing streak with a comeback victory over the Bills in Toronto, and while it doesn't salvage what's been a depressing season, it had to feel good for coach Mike Smith and his team.

    The offense finally looked like the elite unit many thought it would be in 2013, with quarterback Matt Ryan throwing for over 300 yards, receiver Roddy White catching 10 passes and tight end Tony Gonzalez scoring a touchdown. Heck, even running back Steven Jackson got in on the fun, scoring two touchdowns on the ground. In a total team effort, the defense forced two huge turnovers in the closing stages of the game.

    Unfortunately for the Falcons, that level of performance hasn't been reached often this season. Even if Atlanta wins its final four games and finishes at 7-9, this year will still rank as a massive disappointment.

    But there is reason for optimism moving forward. General manager Thomas Dimitroff is excellent at his job and not someone you should bet against. Count on him adding talent on the offensive line and defense. When you couple those upgrades with the return of injured receiver Julio Jones, there's little doubt the Falcons will be better in 2014.

    Next Game: @ Green Bay

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

6 of 33

    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Odds: None Listed

    All good things must come to an end, and for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, their three-game winning streak was halted in emphatic fashion by the Panthers in Week 13. Even with the blowout loss, I refuse to stress anything except the positive for coach Greg Schiano's club, which has played mostly good football over the past six weeks.

    Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon didn't sparkle against Carolina, but he was under duress for much of the game and was sacked five times. Glennon has still shown enough in his nine starts to return as the team's starter in 2014, as he's clearly been the best first-year signal-caller.

    The final four games of the season are critical for the short-term future of the franchise. If the team falters, it's likely that Schiano will be axed, and general manager Mark Dominik could be forced to walk the plank as well. But if the Bucs play well and find themselves competing throughout, both men should end up returning in 2014.

    Next Game: vs. Buffalo

Minnesota Vikings

7 of 33

    Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

    Odds: None Listed

    Despite being squarely out of the playoff race, the Minnesota Vikings have continued to play hard, a credit to the team and coach Leslie Frazier, and they once again showed that effort in a Week 13 overtime win over the Bears.

    Running back Adrian Peterson was at his game-changing best, rushing for 211 yards, and rookie receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was a factor. The defense stepped up and made big plays, with first-round cornerback Xavier Rhodes playing his best game as a professional. All in all, it was a tremendous game for the Vikings.

    The albatross that has ultimately held the team back this season has been the quarterback position, as Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman haven't gotten the job done. Due to the concussion suffered by Ponder in Sunday's win, the team still hasn't announced who will start on Sunday in Baltimore, although it's likely to be Cassel.

    A strong finish to the season could be enough for Frazier to save his job, but that seems unlikely. For the Vikings, finding a franchise quarterback capable of moving the team's passing attack back into the 21st century is the clear No. 1 offseason priority. 

    Next Game: @ Baltimore

Oakland Raiders

8 of 33

    Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

    Odds: None Listed

    The Oakland Raiders might have lost on Thanksgiving in Dallas, but they were mightily impressive in defeat. 

    Despite starting an undrafted rookie at quarterback in Matt McGloin and a host of relative unknowns throughout the roster, the Raiders were competitive against the more talented Cowboys. Coach Dennis Allen has done a phenomenal job with a subpar roster.

    While 2013 is now guaranteed to be the team's 11th consecutive season without a winning record, Raiders fans should feel bullish about the team's future. They are finally out of salary-cap hell and have a ton of money to spend this offseason, along with a full complement of draft picks.

    Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie must use the final four games of the season to determine if either McGloin or Terrelle Pryor can lead this team going forward, or if they need to add a quarterback in the first few rounds of the draft.

    Next Game: @ NY Jets

Cleveland Browns

9 of 33

    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    Odds: None Listed

    Fans of the Cleveland Browns are rightly vexed that their team dropped a Week 13 home decision to the lowly Jaguars, but honestly, what do you expect when Brandon Weeden is your starting quarterback?

    Weeden is atrocious and played predictably awful, but the defense also couldn't hold a late lead. It was an all-around disappointing effort for coach Rob Chudzinski's team.

    Despite the loss, receiver Josh Gordon once again showed that he's an elite talent, becoming the first player in NFL history to record back-to-back games with over 200 receiving yards. 

    While the Browns will likely finish with a losing record, better times await the star-crossed franchise, which possesses young talent on both sides of the ball and multiple first-round draft picks. An elite quarterback will instantly transform it into a perennial contender in the AFC.

    Next Game: @ New England

St. Louis Rams

10 of 33

    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Odds: 750/1

    The St. Louis Rams have played valiantly since losing quarterback Sam Bradford for the season, even pulling a few upset victories along the way. But asking a team quarterbacked by Kellen Clemens to go into San Francisco and beat the 49ers is a tall order, and the Rams were shellacked by their division rival in Week 13.

    While a playoff berth is out of the question, the future is bright in St. Louis. The Rams hold Washington's first-round pick, which is currently in the top five, along with their own, and have a cavalcade of young talent throughout the roster. 

    Coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead need to use the final four games of the season to continue developing players like rookie linebacker Alec Ogletree and rookie receiver Tavon Austin while gaining momentum heading into the offseason.

    In 2014, the Rams are shaping up as a team to be reckoned with.

    Next Game: @ Arizona

Buffalo Bills

11 of 33

    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Odds: 750/1

    Perhaps no team suffered a more disheartening loss in Week 13 than the Buffalo Bills, as they dropped an overtime decision to the Falcons that left coach Doug Marrone apoplectic after the game.

    But there's no rest for the weary, and the 4-8 Bills still have an opportunity to finish the season strong, with only one game remaining against a team with a winning record. It's not outside the realm of possibility for the young Bills to finish 7-9.

    While it's extremely likely that this will be the team's 14th consecutive season without a postseason appearance, the future is bright in Western New York. Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel has flashed potential greatness, and running back C.J. Spiller appears to be fully healthy. The offense should be solid for years to come, and the defense should be even better in 2014.

    Next Game: @ Tampa Bay

New York Jets

12 of 33

    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Odds: 500/1

    What's that smell off in the distance? Can you see the smoke rising?

    It's the dumpster fire known as the New York Jets, and damn, is that inferno towering, and damn, does it stink.

    The Jets are a disaster, having lost three consecutive games after a 5-4 start. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith looks totally lost on the field, and he's been pulled for Matt Simms in two of the past three games.

    But it's worth noting that while Smith hasn't played well, there is close to zero talent around him. Seriously, take a look at the Jets depth chart. It's pathetic. The fact that Smith and coach Rex Ryan have navigated the team to five wins is an absolute miracle.

    Ryan is rightly sticking with Smith for this week's clash against the Raiders, saying, "I believe in Geno. I think he has the tools to be a good quarterback in this league," per John Breech of CBSSports.com. What else is Ryan going to do? Start Matt Simms? Jets fans would probably rather see Phil Simms under center.

    I believe Ryan has done enough to come back in 2014, and Smith should start the final four games and take his lumps. If general manager John Idzik and owner Woody Johnson stay the course with Ryan and Smith, it could reap major rewards moving forward once the offense actually possesses some talented players at the skill positions.

    Next Game: vs. Oakland

Tennessee Titans

13 of 33

    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Odds: 250/1

    The Tennessee Titans watched their chances of winning the AFC South dwindle into near-nothingness in Week 13, falling to the Colts for the second time this season. 

    Losing quarterback Jake Locker for the season has really hurt. While backup Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn't been terrible, he doesn't possess Locker's game-changing ability. Locker's injury could ultimately cost coach Mike Munchak his job, as his 5-7 team has failed to sustain the momentum from its 3-1 start.

    Munchak is 20-24 as Titans coach and likely won't return unless the team qualifies for the AFC's second wild-card berth. If there's any hope of that happening, the Titans must pull off a massive upset this Sunday in Denver against Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

    In other words, the Titans will probably have a new coach in 2014.

    Next Game: @ Denver

San Diego Chargers

14 of 33

    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Odds: 125/1

    The San Diego Chargers' playoff hopes took a huge hit with their Week 13 home loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, as their record now sits at 5-7.

    But for coach Mike McCoy and general manager Tom Telesco, this season has already been a huge success. McCoy has shown that he's the right man to lead the club, and Telesco had an outstanding draft, netting two terrific players on offense, right tackle D.J. Fluker and receiver Keenan Allen.

    Plus, quarterback Philip Rivers has thrived under McCoy's tutelage, and there's no reason to believe he can't continue to play well moving forward. 

    While the playoffs aren't totally out of the question, the Chargers are in good hands and should be a highly dangerous team in 2014.

    Next Game: vs. NY Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

15 of 33

    Joe Sargent/Getty Images

    Odds: 125/1

    It was a Thanksgiving to forget for the 5-7 Pittsburgh Steelers and their coach, Mike Tomlin, as they lost to division-rival Baltimore, dealing a blow to their playoff hopes.

    It was an especially embarrassing night for Tomlin, who looked as if he purposefully got in the way of Ravens receiver Jacoby Jones in the fourth quarter as Jones was running back a kick. Tomlin admitted fault but not intent, but anyone watching with half a brain could see that it was precontrived.

    Pittsburgh still isn't finished, though, as a 9-7 finish is still possible. For that to happen, a home win against the 6-6 Dolphins on Sunday is an absolute must.

    Next Game: vs. Miami

Miami Dolphins

16 of 33

    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Odds: 100/1

    The Miami Dolphins bounced back nicely from their Week 12 loss to Carolina with a dominant victory over the Jets in Week 13, evening their record at 6-6 and keeping them in the mix for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC.

    The defense was superb, suffocating a terrible Jets offense, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill made enough plays in the passing game to preserve the victory. It finally looks as if Tannehill has established a rapport with receiver Mike Wallace, who now has a touchdown in back-to-back games. 

    Coach Joe Philbin has done an exemplary job of rallying his team in the wake of the "Bullygate" scandal and deserves a ton of credit.

    If the Dolphins can beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh this Sunday, the playoffs are a real possibility, as only one more game remains against a team with a winning record (New England, Week 15).

    Next Game: @ Pittsburgh

Arizona Cardinals

17 of 33

    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Odds: 100/1

    The Arizona Cardinals saw their four-game win streak ended at the hands of the Eagles, leaving them on the outside of the NFC playoff picture at 7-5.

    Quarterback Carson Palmer led a late charge but couldn't pull off the comeback. Despite that, Palmer has played well in recent weeks, buoyed by the emergence of second-year receiver Michael Floyd and the elite Larry Fitzgerald.

    Coach Bruce Arians' club must win its next two games against St. Louis and Tennessee. The Cardinals are better than both teams and cannot afford a slip-up with contests looming against Seattle and San Francisco in Weeks 16 and 17, respectively. 

    Next Game: vs. St. Louis

New York Giants

18 of 33

    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Odds: 75/1

    It's incredible that the New York Giants are still in the NFC East race after starting 0-6, but at 5-7, their hopes are on life support.

    The team did pull off a road victory in Washington in Week 13, but the bottom line is that Big Blue isn't a very good football team. The win was more about how poorly the Redskins played than how well the Giants did.

    The only chance the Giants have of qualifying for the postseason is to win out, finish 9-7 and hope that both the 7-5 Cowboys and 7-5 Eagles stumble down the stretch in a major way.

    A loss in San Diego on Sunday would all but end their January dreams.

    Next Game: @ San Diego

Green Bay Packers

19 of 33

    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Odds: 75/1

    Thanksgiving was not kind to the Green Bay Packers, as they were absolutely eviscerated by division-rival Detroit. Without quarterback Aaron Rodgers, they look totally incapable of beating a good football team.

    Their season now hinges on Sunday's game against the Falcons, and at this point, it's unclear if Rodgers will be able to play as he continues to recover from a broken collarbone. Backups Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien have proved to be inept, and with the Falcons coming off a win, Green Bay will be in a world of trouble if Rodgers can't go.

    Rodgers is good enough to mask the team's defensive deficiencies. Flynn and Tolzien aren't. It's that simple.

    If the Packers can get Rodgers back, it's feasible that they could get on a roll and qualify for the postseason, but at this point, it appears unlikely.

    Next Game: vs. Atlanta

Chicago Bears

20 of 33

    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Odds: 75/1

    Remember when the Chicago Bears were 3-0? It seems like eons ago, as the team now sits at 6-6 after a massively disappointing Week 13 overtime loss in Minnesota.

    While coach Marc Trestman has mostly done a good job in his first season on the sideline, his inane decision to attempt a 47-yard field goal in overtime on second down is one of the most inexplicable I've ever seen. I don't care if Robbie Gould is one of the most reliable kickers in the league; you try to gain more yards and make it an easier kick. That is elementary football.

    Yes, the defense has been besieged by injuries, but the unit's inability to stop the run is downright embarrassing and gives the team zero chance to win, no matter how well the offense plays.

    It doesn't matter if Jay Cutler is back under center this Monday night, or if Jim McMahon or Jim Miller comes back to play quarterback. If the Bears can't stop the run, they will lose to the Cowboys on Monday night and have a fork put in their postseason hopes.

    Next Game: vs. Dallas (Monday Night Football)

Baltimore Ravens

21 of 33

    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Odds: 50/1

    While Catching Fire is the title of an extremely popular movie (I saw it and highly recommend it), it could also be used to describe the current state of the 6-6 Baltimore Ravens.

    Baltimore downed division-rival Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving to move into pole position for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC, and it appears on the verge of going on the kind of late-season run that's become commonplace in the coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco era.

    The defense is playing at a high level, and Flacco is raising his game. The impending return of tight end Dennis Pitta will be huge for the passing attack and open up running lanes for backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce.

    Baltimore is the favorite to claim the sixth playoff spot and can't be discounted for the AFC North title, either, with a Week 17 matchup against 8-4 Cincinnati looming large.

    Next Game: vs. Minnesota

Philadelphia Eagles

22 of 33

    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Odds: 33/1

    The Philadelphia Eagles proved that they are a legitimate contender with a Week 13 victory over the Cardinals, improving their record to 7-5 and keeping pace with the Cowboys in the NFC East.

    Quarterback Nick Foles continued his charmed season, slicing and dicing a talented Cardinals defense for three touchdowns. Foles now has 19 touchdowns against zero interceptions on the season, a staggering statistic that speaks to his exceptional level of play. The skill players on offense have stepped up, from running back LeSean McCoy to rookie tight end Zach Ertz, and it's been a sight to behold. The defense has also improved dramatically over the past six weeks.

    Coach Chip Kelly has done a phenomenal job in his first season as coach and has the team poised for a playoff berth. If his Eagles can beat the Lions on Sunday, they must be considered a threat to make serious noise in January.

    Next Game: vs. Detroit

Kansas City Chiefs

23 of 33

    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Odds: 33/1

    The Kansas City Chiefs' 9-0 start is now but a distant memory, as their record now sits at 9-3 after three consecutive losses.

    The once-vaunted defense has now been shredded in three consecutive games, twice by Peyton Manning and once by Philip Rivers. A major bright spot has been the play of quarterback Alex Smith, but the team desperately needs to add weapons at the receiver position to bolster the passing attack.

    While the Chiefs are going to make the postseason, they aren't good enough to beat either the Broncos or Patriots and, as a result, aren't a strong contender to advance to the Super Bowl.

    Next Game: @ Washington

Dallas Cowboys

24 of 33

    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Odds: 33/1

    Style points don't matter in the National Football League, where a win is a win, and the Dallas Cowboys won on Thanksgiving. It doesn't matter that it was closer than expected; what matters is that the Cowboys moved to 7-5 and kept their share of first place in the NFC East with Philadelphia.

    The running game was huge in the win over Oakland, with back DeMarco Murray scoring three touchdowns. He should have a monster game on Monday night in Chicago against the Bears' hideous run defense.

    With quarterback Tony Romo playing exceptionally well and star linebacker Sean Lee set to return this week, the Cowboys are flying high. Because it hosts Philadelphia in Week 17, Dallas is the favorite to capture the NFC East.

    Next Game: @ Chicago (Monday Night Football)

Indianapolis Colts

25 of 33

    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Odds: 28/1

    It might not have been aesthetically pleasing, but the Indianapolis Colts all but wrapped up the AFC South title with their Week 13 victory over the Titans.

    But despite the positive feelings that come with a win, the Colts and their fans need to be concerned. Quarterback Andrew Luck is clearly pressing without his security blanket, injured wide receiver Reggie Wayne, and the offensive line play has been abysmal. The Colts might be 8-4 and headed for the postseason, but is anyone really confident in their ability to string together wins against elite competition?

    This is clearly not the same team that downed Seattle, San Francisco and Denver earlier in the season, but if the Colts can go on the road and beat 8-4 Cincinnati, their Super Bowl odds will surely be higher next week.

    Next Game: @ Cincinnati

Detroit Lions

26 of 33

    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Odds: 25/1

    The Detroit Lions took advantage of a major opportunity on Thanksgiving, pummeling the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers to move to 7-5 and claim sole possession of first place in the NFC North. Coach Jim Schwartz's squad is now on the cusp of capturing Detroit's first division title since 1993.

    There's no questioning the team's talent, but the question is if it can play consistently excellent football down the stretch. Remember, the Lions aren't that far removed from a two-game losing streak at the hands of Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, two clubs with losing records.

    If quarterback Matthew Stafford can take care of the football and the defense can make plays in clutch moments, the Lions will likely be headed to the postseason for the second time in three seasons.

    Next Game: @ Philadelphia

Cincinnati Bengals

27 of 33

    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Odds: 20/1

    The Cincinnati Bengals moved one step closer to claiming their first AFC North title since 2009 with a huge road victory over the Chargers, improving their record to 8-4, two games clear of second-place Baltimore.

    But even with the win and likely postseason berth, there are questions surrounding the team, namely the inconsistent play of quarterback Andy Dalton.

    While Dalton was able to connect with receiver A.J. Green on a huge touchdown pass against San Diego, he hasn't played his best football, and bombed in the team's previous two playoff games. He must raise his level of play if Cincinnati is to be considered a Super Bowl contender, as B/R's Gary Davenport notes in this excellent piece.

    A win over the Colts on Sunday would all but assure Cincinnati of a playoff berth.

    Next Game: vs. Indianapolis

New Orleans Saints

28 of 33

    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    Odds: 10/1

    The New Orleans Saints were embarrassed on Monday night in Seattle and likely lost out on home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs as a result. It was a bitter defeat for coach Sean Payton's team.

    But even with the defeat, the 9-3 Saints are a Super Bowl contender. While it's unlikely that the team can go into Seattle and win in January, crazier things have happened, and when you have a quarterback like Drew Brees, nothing is impossible.

    But for the Saints, the focus must now turn to winning the NFC South and securing a first-round bye. They host 9-3 Carolina on Sunday in a critical divisional matchup, the first of two games they'll play against the Panthers in three weeks.

    New Orleans will have a much easier path to the Super Bowl if it can hold off Carolina and win the division.

    Next Game: vs. Carolina (Sunday Night Football)

Carolina Panthers

29 of 33

    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Odds: 10/1

    For the eighth consecutive week, the Carolina Panthers brought the pain, and coach Ron Rivera's team is among the hottest in football.

    The Panthers have shown over the past two weeks that they can deal with prosperity and were very impressive in blowing out Tampa Bay in Week 13. Quarterback Cam Newton is playing the best football of his career, and the defense is dominant.

    With a playoff berth now extremely likely, the Panthers' focus turns to winning the NFC South and possibly claiming a first-round bye as they get set to play the first-place Saints twice in three weeks. 

    A win on Sunday night in New Orleans would establish Carolina as the second-best team in the NFC and a real threat to Seattle for NFC supremacy.

    Next Game: @ New Orleans (Sunday Night Football)

San Francisco 49ers

30 of 33

    Stephen Lam/Getty Images

    Odds: 9/1

    It doesn't seem that long ago that critics were dogging the San Francisco 49ers, but that chatter seems to have ceased following two dominant victories that pushed their record to 8-4.

    The return of receiver Michael Crabtree is a huge deal and should open up the passing attack for quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The defense is as stout as ever, and Jim Harbaugh is one of the best coaches in the league.

    The 49ers will be looking for revenge when they host 11-1 Seattle on Sunday, as the Seahawks obliterated them in Week 2. A win would also give San Francisco a ton of confidence as the calendar moves toward January.

    Right now, the 49ers look like the NFC team most capable of going into Seattle in January and emerging victorious.

    Next Game: vs. Seattle

New England Patriots

31 of 33

    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Odds: 13/2

    The New England Patriots just keep on keeping on, running their record to 9-3 with a Week 13 victory over the Texans. It might have been closer than they liked, but I never thought during the game that the Patriots would lose, which is a credit to the genius of coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.

    The offense is firing on all cylinders, with tight end Rob Gronkowski once again emerging as Brady's favorite target. While Belichick would surely like to see his defense play better, if there's any coach that can get the unit to round into form as the season winds down, it's him.

    The Patriots looks like the only team capable of challenging Denver for the AFC title, and it should surprise no one if they qualify for the sixth Super Bowl of the Belichick-Brady era.

    Next Game: vs. Cleveland

Denver Broncos

32 of 33

    Peter Aiken/Getty Images

    Odds: 13/4

    The Denver Broncos moved one step closer to wrapping up the AFC West title with their second victory over the Chiefs in three weeks, improving their record to 10-2, tops in the AFC.

    Quarterback Peyton Manning continued his marvelous season, tossing five touchdown passes against Kansas City and running his overall total to 41. He is the clear-cut favorite for league MVP.

    With Manning surrounded by weapons and coach John Fox back at the helm, the Broncos are in line to claim home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs and are most certainly a Super Bowl contender.

    Next Game: vs. Tennessee

Seattle Seahawks

33 of 33

    Odds: 5/2

    For the second consecutive week, the Seattle Seahawks are Vegas' top choice to win Super Bowl XLVIII, coming on the heels of their demolition of the Saints last Monday night.

    Quarterback Russell Wilson is so smooth and so much fun to watch. His decision making is uncanny, and he has a flair for the moment. The defense is outstanding, and CenturyLink Field is nothing short of a fortress. It's difficult to envision a scenario in which the Seahawks lose at home in January.

    At 11-1, the Seahawks have almost wrapped up the NFC West and home-field advantage. A road victory against division-rival San Francisco on Sunday would make them the overwhelming Super Bowl favorite when next week's odds are released.

    Next Game: @ San Francisco

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices