And then there were eight. The field for Super Bowl LIV has narrowed after the Wild Card Weekend KO’d a couple of top contenders (bye, bye Saints and Patriots) and sent some shockers like the Vikings to the Divisional Round.
We usually look at the biggest climb and biggest fall in the NFL futures but since no team dropped in the Big Game odds, we’ll look at one team that stayed put despite the “wildness” of the weekend. As a bonus, we’ll check in on the lookahead point spread for Super Bowl LIV and which conference has the advantage according to the bookmakers.
WILD CARD: 60/1
The Vikings and Texans entered Wild Card Weekend as 60/1 long shots to win Super Bowl LIV and while both teams advanced to the next round, it’s the Vikings getting the biggest adjustment thanks to the softer path in the NFC.
Minnesota, which is a 6.5-point underdog at San Francisco this Saturday, stunned New Orleans with a dominant rushing performance from Dalvin Cook, a disruptive pass rush getting to Drew Brees, and Kirk Cousins not choking with the game on the line in overtime. The Vikes are getting early point spread love from bettors and are +235 moneyline dogs to win outright in San Francisco.
BIGGEST FALL (OR NON-MOVER)
WILD CARD: 2/1
Despite Tennessee knocking off the Patriots and advancing to play Baltimore as the No. 6 seed, the Ravens’ odds to win the Super Bowl didn’t budge following the Wild Card Weekend. Baltimore was on the bye and now takes on a Titans squad that has won four straight road games.
The Ravens opened as 10-point home chalk but money on the visitor has slimmed that spread as low as Tennessee +8 at some online books. Baltimore hasn’t faced a challenging game in more than a month, but it will be exciting to see Lamar Jackson with fresh legs against a solid Titans stop unit.
SUPER BOWL LIV LOOKAHEAD LINE
OPEN: AFC -2.5, 57
WILD CARD: AFC -3, 50.5
DIVISIONAL: AFC -4, 49.5
The Saints getting eliminated is the biggest reason this spread jumped a full point between the Wild Card Round and now, with bookies giving Baltimore and Kansas City plenty of credit against the remaining NFC seeds at a neutral site.
The big story, however, is the swing in the Over/Under. The lookahead total for the Super Bowl was calling for a shootout but has dropped more than a touchdown since opening this option back in the early spring.
Scoring is down a full point compared to last season and those explosive offenses of 2018 – Chiefs, Rams, Saints, Patriots – dried up. Many of the top contenders boast strong rushing attacks and stingy stop units – Baltimore and San Francisco – so that has books leaning toward a lower-scoring Big Game on February 2.