Betting on the Dark Horse Picks to Win Super Bowl 50
With the end of the divisional round, four teams are now eliminated from the chase for Super Bowl 50, as the Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans gone from the chase. The Arizona Cardinals and the New England Patriots are the favorites from the NFC and AFC to advance and win the title game — but let’s take a look at a couple of candidates that will have a real climb to make if they want to take home the Lombardi Trophy. For our NFL betting lines, click here.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 12, 2016
Betting on the Green Bay Packers (18-1)
Once the Washington Redskins went up 11-0 in the wild card game, it was as though a switch flipped somewhere in the collective psyche of the Green Bay Packers. A patchwork offensive line suddenly began to provide Aaron Rodgers with the pass protection that he needed to get the ball down the field. Rodgers himself seemed to have new confidence, zipping the ball as what had been a solid Washington defense now looked like a row of dominoes. The Packer defense began to pressure Kirk Cousins, and what had been an 11-0 deficit turned into a 35-18 victory.
However, the Packers have a real fight on their hands as they head to Arizona. The Cardinals routed the Packers badly in Phoenix in the regular season, 38-0, and the Packers have not made any changes to their personnel. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have been resting and biding their time for this weekend. Should the Packers somehow survive the Cardinals, they would have the winner of Carolina and Seattle waiting for them in the NFC Championship. The “Legion of Boom” and the Panther D would both cause the Packers all sorts of problems given their offensive line injuries.
Betting on the Pittsburgh Steelers (12-1)
The Steelers were able to mount a comeback drive against the Cincinnati Bengals only because three incredibly unlikely things happened: the Bengals for some reason decided to run the ball instead of kneeling three times and kicking a field goal to drain the clock and make the Steelers score a touchdown — and then fumbled on their first play; the Steelers drove the ball down the field led by a quarterback with two torn ligaments in his shoulder, who could not throw the ball with any accuracy for more than 10 or 15 yards; and the Bengals took not one, but two, ridiculously stupid penalties on a play where the Steelers threw an incompletion. Those 30 yards in penalties moved the Steelers into field goal range, giving them the win. I don’t see the Steelers being able to move the ball against a solid Denver defense, either with a limited Ben Roethlisberger or his backup, Landry Jones, at the helm. In my book, they are an even longer shot to win the title than the Packers because of that injury. Antonio Brown, who suffered a concussion on that incompletion, is still in the protocol, but if you saw that play, you have a hard time believing that he will be on the field.