PATRIOTS AND RAVENS JOINT FAVORITES TO TRIUMPH IN MIAMI
BY DAN CANCIAN
The Baltimore Ravens have joined the New England Patriots as the favorite to win Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Florida, on February 2, 2020.
The Patriots have long been the bookmakers’ choice to win back-to-back titles since they achieved the feat themselves in 2003 and in 2004. New England leads the AFC with a 10-1 record and could clinch an 11th consecutive appearance in the postseason if it defeats Texas in Houston on Sunday Night Football, provided the Oakland Raiders fail to beat the Chiefs in Kansas City, Missouri.
Should the Raiders win against their divisional rivals, the Patriots would still clinch a postseason berth if the Pittsburgh Steelers fail to beat the Cleveland Browns at home.
According to BetOnline, New England is a 3/1 favorite to triumph at Hard Rock Stadium this coming February, the same odds as the Ravens.
The two teams have the same odds with bet365 and Sugar House, but the Ravens are a 29/10 favorite with PointsBet, while New England is at 7/2.
On a seven-game running streak, Baltimore has already defeated three playoff candidates—Seattle, New England and Houston—in the last five games and torched the Rams 45-6 in Los Angeles on Monday Night Football.
Inspired by runaway MVP candidate Lamar Jackson, at 9-2 the Ravens are one game behind the Patriots, but they hold the tiebreaker by virtue of their 37-20 triumph over New England in Week 9.
The Ravens could make another major statement when they host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in Week 13. The 49ers lead the NFC with a 10-1 record and would clinch a playoff spot if they leave Baltimore with a win and the Los Angeles Rams fail to do likewise in Arizona against the Cardinals.
At 5/1, the 49ers are the bookmakers’ third favorite, marginally ahead of the 11/2 New Orleans Saints, who became the first team to book a playoff spot this season with a 26-18 road win over the Atlanta Falcons on Thanksgiving Day.
The Saints are 10-2 and could leapfrog the 49ers in the race for the No. 1 seed in the NFC when they host San Francisco next week, provided the 49ers don’t win in Baltimore on Sunday.
FOX Bet, bet365, PointsBet and BetAmerica have the Saints as third favorite at 5/1, with the 49ers slightly behind at 6/1.
Behind the NFC duo, the Kansas City Chiefs are the next line at 10/1, followed by the Seattle Seahawks at 12/1.
The Chiefs fell one step short of the Super Bowl a year ago, losing 37-31 in overtime at home to New England in the AFC Championship Game and have looked slightly rustier than last season so far.
Kansas City, however, could move within touching distance of clinching the AFC West on Sunday when it hosts the Oakland Raiders in a pivotal divisional matchup. A win against the Raiders would give Kansas City a three-game lead in the division with just four weeks left in the regular season.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, face a crucial matchup of their own, as they welcome the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field on Monday Night Football.
Seattle improved to 9-2 last week with a road win against the Eagles in Philadelphia and could draw level with the 49ers at the top of the NFC West, if San Francisco loses against Baltimore.
That would effectively make their Week 17 matchup an NFC West title game and give the Seahawks the chance of securing home advantage in the postseason.
Fuente: / Source: www.newsweek.com
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