- The Buffalo Bills visit the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship with Patrick Mahomes’ status up in the air
- Tampa Bay stunned the Saints, and the Buccaneers will head to Green Bay for the NFC Championship game
- See the updated Super Bowl 55 odds ahead of the Conference Championships
There was plenty of drama to go around on Divisional weekend in the NFL, as the Super Bowl picture becomes clearer.
The Packers got their postseason off to a great start, confidently handling a hobbled Rams side. Later that night, the Bills punched their ticket to the AFC Championship game in a windy affair.
Sunday provided much more intrigue. The Chiefs beat the Browns, but it wasn’t without drama or a significant injury to the franchise, Patrick Mahomes. And then, in a bid to make his first-ever NFC Championship game, Tom Brady cut Drew Brees’ farewell tour short.
The fallout from those four games means there’s a new favorite when it comes to the Super Bowl odds.
Super Bowl 55 Odds
|Green Bay Packers||+185|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+210|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+400|
Odds as of Jan 17th from FanDuel
The most drastic movement on the Super Bowl 55 odds may be with the long-time favorite Chiefs. After closing out the Wild Card round at +200, they slipped back slightly to +210. That dip allowed the Packers to move into top spot; it’s the first time in a long time that the Chiefs haven’t been undisputed Super Bowl favorites.
The Bills made a pretty significant move up the board because of it as well. Tampa Bay rounds out the championship picture.
The Patrick Mahomes Conundrum
There is no bigger question heading into either Championship game than the health of Patrick Mahomes.
Hobbled by a toe injury after his 20-yard touchdown to Travis Kelce, things went from bad to worse for Mahomes.
On an awkward tackle late in the third quarter, Mahomes got up woozy. He immediately left the field, and was declared out soon after. Chad Henne took over, and while there were some nervous moments, Andy Reid showed tremendous confidence in the veteran to close the game out.
But starting an AFC Championship game is different. And for that you need Mahomes.
All good brother! 💪🏽 https://t.co/ORwLG6eFTV
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) January 17, 2021
Mahomes Tweeted twice in the aftermath following KC’s win over the Browns. The social media activity is a good sign, but there’s still a week to go before we know if he suits up.
Bills Look for Stunner at Arrowhead
Everyone expected an exciting, offensively driven Divisional round match-up for the Bills and Ravens. Then the wind took over, and Buffalo walked out with a 17-3 win.
But their Super Bowl hopes rely on getting past the Chiefs.
The Browns nearly pulled off that feat thanks to Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Both averaged 5.3 yards-per-carry against a defense that was ranked 21st by PFF and gave up 4.5 YPC.
Last time the Bills were in the AFC Championship Game … pic.twitter.com/Voa9EL9rM2
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 17, 2021
Buffalo running backs carried the ball 10 times in the Wild Card round and nine times in the Divisional round.
It’s likely that, provided good health, the AFC will be decided by Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes going shot-for-shot. And in that situation, it’s tough to see the Bills headed to Florida in February.
Buccaneers Defense Must Do it Again
A big part of Tampa Bay’s upset of the Saints at home had to do with Drew Brees. He didn’t challenge the deep part of the field on Sunday, and it allowed the Buccaneers to clamp down.
— NFL (@NFL) January 18, 2021
Now they will face a much bigger test in Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers went 34-for-84 on passes over 20+ yards this season. Brees totaled a third of that production in the deep passing game.
— Steven Stamkos (@RealStamkos91) January 18, 2021
Yes the Bucs embarrassed the Packers in Tampa earlier this season. But three months later, the Packers have found their stride and Rodgers now sits atop the NFL MVP odds. Brady and Rob Gronkowski are used to playing in the cold, but it’ll be a unique challenge for the majority of this warm-weather roster.
Packers Look to Add to Titletown
Before the Bucs downed the Saints, Green Bay was second on the Super Bowl odds at +230. Tampa’s win, combined with Mahomes’ injury, shot Green Bay to the top of the table.
With the questions at QB for the Chiefs, the smart play is to keep riding with the Packers. Aaron Rodgers is playing like a man possessed with winning that second ring.
The Pick: Green Bay Packers (+185)