The 2019 NFL playoffs may have favorites, but even the surest predictions leave room for unpredictability. We are going to not only break down the Wild Card matchups but provide an early prediction for Super Bowl 2019.
The latest Five Thirty Eight projections have the Saints as the slight favorite with a 21 percent chance to win the Super Bowl. Kansas City is next in line at 20 percent. The Patriots (14 percent) and Rams (13 percent) round out the top four in the projections. Baltimore is the underdog with the best chance to win Super Bowl LIII at six percent.
There are plenty of storylines heading into Wild Card weekend with quite a few entertaining matchups. Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson are the key figures in the Colts-Texans game. Luck made his way back to playoffs after being sidelined all of last season with a shoulder injury. After leading Clemson to a national title in college, Watson is playing in his first NFL playoff game.
Watson along with J.J. Watt both missed a good portion of last season as they recovered from injuries. Both players imagined this moment when they were rehabbing prior to the season.
“We talked about times like this when we were in the training room, what we wanted to accomplish and what we were working toward,” Watt said per the Texans website. “So, for it to be where we are now and to have everything in front of us, it feels really good. I think that we can both look back at all the work and all the tough times that we had and be happy and proud of where we’re at now.”
The Cowboys and Seahawks square off on Saturday in primetime. Their previous games have been close matchups and this week's game expects to be no different. Both teams are similar, relying on stingy defense and a strong rushing attack to win games.
The Story of the NFL Regular Season Has Been High-Powered Offenses, & We Will See If These Units Can Hold Up in the Playoffs
The regular season has been defined by explosive offenses with the success of teams like the Chiefs, Rams and Saints. The common cliche in the NFL playoffs has been "Defense wins championships."
This mantra will be put to the test in the postseason with three of the top four teams relying on explosive offenses to win games. There are also teams like the Bears and Ravens that are looking to win with the opposite approach, relying on stout defenses to attempt to shut these offenses down.
The eventual champion is likely the team that can provide the right combination of offense and defense rather than being one dimensional.
The Saints, Rams & Chiefs Are the Super Bowl Favorites
The Saints (+240), Rams (+425) and Chiefs (+470) are the top three favorites to win the 2019 Super Bowl per OddsShark. The Chiefs may be third in the odds, but only one of the Rams and Saints can make the Super Bowl. Kansas City is the favorite to come out of the AFC followed by the Patriots at +650.
Here's a look at my NFL picks against the spread for Wild Card weekend, along with my Super Bowl prediction as the playoffs begin. All odds listed are courtesy of OddsShark and are subject to change. Click the next arrow to see my predictions for the NFL playoffs.