Patriots or Cowboys for Super Bowl LI?
The regular NFL season is over, and now Australian sports betting fans are eagerly awaiting the start of the playoffs this weekend. On February 06, the top two teams after the playoffs will meet to contest Super Bowl LI.
The current favourites, of course, are the teams that finished the regular season at the top of their conferences: the new England Patriots in the AFC, and the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC. But as brilliant as both these teams have been throughout the regular season, they still face some strong playoffs challenges from within their own conferences. Here are some of the competitors that could derail each favourite’s dream:
Patriots’ AFC Peril from Steelers and Giants
With veteran quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick on board, the Patriots have made it to six Super Bowls and won four of them, so they are favourites to make Super Bowl LI their fifth. But in the Pittsburgh Steelers, wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veaon Bell are widely recognised as two of the best players in the NFL in those positions.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, despite an injury mid-season, also has the skills to counter Brady. Overall, it looks like the Steelers present the primary danger to the Patriots. But don’t rule out the New York Giants, either: they may only be seeded fifth in the AFC, but both of those 2-out-of-6 Super Bowl defeats for Brady/Belichick Patriots teams were inflicted by the Giants.
Cowboys Watch Out for the Packers
At the top of the NFC, the Dallas Cowboys have seemed the team in this year’s NFL with the most balance between all the aspects of the game. Their offensive line is the most punishing, physically, in the NFL, and the lightning speed of rookie quarterback Ezekiel Elliott makes him very dangerous indeed.
But to get to the Super Bowl, however, the Cowboys still have to see off the Green Bay Packers. He hasn’t got Brady’s depth of experience yet, but on his current form, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is shaping up to be another legend of the game, so he could counter Elliott effectively.
The Packers defensive line is phenomenal, and after scoring more than 30 points in four straight games during the regular season, they have to be the team the Cowboys stand the most chance of coming a cropper against. We will keep betting fans updated as the playoffs progress.