How do you solve a problem like the Super Bowl?
Frank Monkhouse | 21 January 2017
We break down the chances of the four remaining sides to uncover value
We break down each side and report back on what they must do to win.
Patriots pack a punch
New England find themselves at the head of the market to win Super Bowl L1, and who could put up a convincing argument against odds compilers taking that view? They last won the honour two years ago when beating Seattle Seahawks 28-24 at the University of Phoenix Stadium, their fourth title in history, the three others coming in 2001, 2003 and 2004.
Patriots were seen swaggering to yet another AFC East division gong, and they didn’t have to rely on Mr Brady either, putting together some impressive results while the star-man was out injured. The jollies were last seen wiping the floor with the Houston Texans in an AFC divisional play-off, flexing their muscles to run out 34-16 victors.
Going into Sunday’s fixtures and Coral have them no higher than 13/10 at the time of writing to end as Super Bowl champs. There’s still enough in that to have a decent interest, but, if you do fancy Patriots to go all the way, I’d jump aboard before Sunday. 4/11 goes on the money line about them edging past the Steelers.
Falcons looking to make history
Atlanta Falcons have never won the Super Bowl, with a losing finalist in the late 90s the best to show for their efforts to date. They are widely-expected to, at least, match that this year and face-off against Green Bay Packers for a place in Houston.
That sole appearance at the Super Bowl ended in defeat when going down to Denver Broncos in pretty convincing fashion, losing 34 – 19. Everything good about the Falcons play this season has come through their heroic offence while quarterback Matt Ryan is enjoying the best season of his career. The QB has been inspirational from the start, pushing records hard, and is on-course to finish as MVP.
It’s a team game but Ryan’s belief has been rubbing off on those around him and the band of history-makers are 5/2 to lift the trophy. Followers will also get 2/5 on the money line about them defeating Green Bay.
Steelers to show their mettle
The Steelers look to have hit form at exactly the right time and go into Sunday’s match with New England having claimed victory in each of their previous nine. That has to hold weight with backers, especially when we know that Pittsburgh have won more Super Bowl titles than any other side, at six, with two runner-up places.
Knowledge of how to get over the line pays off, almost as much as an unbreakable defence, and Steelers boast both. They endured a bit of a shaky spell earlier in the season, but have come good and beat Kansas 18-16 last time, conceding the joint-fewest points with New England. In the AFC wildcard round they kept Miami to 12 and are sure to be a match for the Patriots’ swashbuckling attack.
9/2 outsiders to lift the trophy, that may rate as a value play to some. 21/10 on the money line to win on Sunday.
Green Bay written off in the betting
Green Bay stand little chance of ending their season on a high, if the betting is to be believed, but when did that ever have a say on sport at this level? Packers will be confident of going and causing the kind of upset the Super Bowl has become famous for. Fans love a Cinderella story.
They have won the Vince Lombardi Trophy before, last in 2010, and were, in fact, the first side to receive the honour in its current form back in 1967. If they are to go all the way again then Aaron Rodgers must continue his astonishing form. The quarterback has put up some seriously impressive numbers so far, but it’s getting crucial now.
Their familiarity with football at this time of year will also be a bonus, competing in January for the eighth season in-a-row. Knowing what is expected of them, and how to achieve it, counts double now. Coral have them at 4/1 to win the Super Bowl, and 19/10 to better Falcons on the money line.