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  • Writer's pictureElijah Southwick

NFL Divisional Round: Best Super Bowl Picks

Elijah Southwick

Houston Texans (+2800)

The Texans are 7-2 in C.J. Stroud’s last nine starts, including last week’s big 45-14 home win over the Cleveland Browns. DraftKings Sportsbook is also giving the Texans the longest odds of all eight teams remaining at +2800. At this point of the season, with so few teams remaining and so few football games left to play, I can't help but feel like the Texans are underpriced. 

The Texans are a much more well-rounded football team than their reputation suggests. Stroud is playing incredible football, but they’ve been clicking on all cylinders en route to their divisional playoff matchup against the Ravens. Their path to a potential Super Bowl goes through a road test against the Ravens, a road test against the winner of Bills/Chiefs, and then of course the NFC Champions. It’s a tall task, but not unrealistic for a team as good as the Texans.

For the record, I think the Packers at +2500 is a fine bet as well, but I didn’t want to just list the two longest odds available for the purpose of this article. I’m partial to Stroud and the supporting cast surrounding him. It’s a shame that rookie WR Tank Dell is injured and not contributing for Houston in the playoffs, but Nico Collins has more than made up for Dell’s absence in recent weeks.

Kansas City Chiefs (+700)

This is the first time in several weeks that I’ve been convinced that the Chiefs are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Patrick Mahomes’ career playoff record is well documented and he has a chance to record his first road playoff win in frigid Buffalo, New York on Sunday night. But the Chiefs’ story isn’t all about Mahomes this season. The team’s defense is one of the best defenses remaining in the playoffs, and they’re coming off yet another dominant performance against the Dolphins.

It’s pretty clear that Bills/Chiefs is the best game of the divisional round slate, and it will be the hardest to predict. One team will punch their ticket to the AFC Championship Game and will be riding high coming off their biggest win of the season. The Chiefs have longer odds than the Bills (+500) to win the Super Bowl, and they’re road underdogs. I think it's a coin flip between these two teams right now, so give me the added value with the Chiefs.

San Francisco 49ers (+175)

The 49ers are the current Super Bowl favorites. The Baltimore Ravens (+290) have had a great season and an even better late-season surge, but they face a tougher road to the Lombardi and would be underdogs in my opinion against the 49ers in a hypothetical Super Bowl. 

San Francisco stands out to me as the best team in football. While they’ve been known for their defensive prowess and talent at the offensive skill positions in recent years, they now have a quarterback playing at a top-five level. Their road to the Super Bowl got theoretically easier with the Wild Card round results, although drawing the Packers right now isn’t exactly a gift. 

Assuming they take care of business at home against the Packers, they’ll host either the Lions or the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game. The Lions have been my favorite Super Bowl pick for several weeks now (which is the main reason why they’re not listed in this article at +900), but the 49ers coasting to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas is the most realistic and safest outcome at this point of the playoffs.


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