Super Bowl Chances - Divisional Round Update (1/10/18)
Kansas City's loss was New England's gain. After simulating the NFL Playoffs 50,000 times ahead of this weekend's divisional round, the Patriots' odds have improved since last week – from 22.4% to 24.8%. Although they are 14-point (!) favorites over the Titans this weekend, our NFL engine does give Tennessee a 23.6% chance of upsetting the reigning Super Bowl champions.
Lost in Marcus Mariota's pass to himself was that the Titans averaged 6.2 yards per play against the Chiefs, which is 1.0 YPP better than their regular season average. It was the first time Tennessee's offense averaged better than 5.5 yards per play in a game since December 3 (vs. HOU). However, the defense, which allowed just 5.1 yards per play during the regular season (ranked 9th), allowed the Chiefs to rack up 6.1 YPP. This isn't ideal ahead of a matchup with the Patriots and their fourth-best 5.9 YPP this season. So, although the Titans' Super Bowl chances are up week-over-week, their odds are the worst among the final eight contenders at 2.8%.
The last time Minnesota and New Orleans met it was Week 1, Sam Bradford was the Vikings quarterback, Adrian Peterson was the Saints lead running back and what we would come to know as the new-and-improved Saints defense allowed 29 points and 7.4 yards per play. A lot has changed, but one thing has remained consistent: the Vikings defense. Minnesota finished the regular season ranked second in yards allowed per play at 4.6. SKOL enters the matchup as 4-point home favorites.
With their Wild Card win over Carolina, New Orleans' Super Bowl odds improved from 8.1% to 10.7%. Minnesota remains the favorite to represent the NFC in Super Bowl 52 at 17.8%, which did dip slightly from last week's 18.1%.
Earlier this season, Jacksonville's defense forced Ben Roethlisberger into one of the worst games of his career when he tossed no touchdowns, but 5 interceptions.
However, after last weekend's dud against the Bills, the Jaguars have not earned any benefit of the doubt ahead of Act II. The Steelers are 7 ½-point home favorites over the AFC South champions. While Jacksonville did hold Buffalo's inept offense to just 3.6 yards per play, the Jags' O could only muster 3.9 yards per play against the 20th-ranked pass and 29th-ranked rush defense. Thus, despite the win, the Jaguars' Super Bowl odds didn't move – at all. They remained steady at 9.7%. Pittsburgh's are up 0.3% to 15.1%.
Oddsmakers like the Falcons (-3) at Philadelphia this weekend. Prediction Machine's NFL engine gives a slight edge to the Eagles, 55.4% expected win percentage. However, Philly's Super Bowl odds did slip slightly since last week, down from 13.8% to 12.0% following Atlanta's win and their statistically appleaing resume (5.8 YPP). The Falcons' odds jumped from sub-4.0% to 7.3% to win Super Bowl 52.