The New England Patriots haven’t lost in more than two months and are given a 44 percent chance of winning their fourth Super Bowl title behind quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick, according to oddsmakers.
With the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers getting eliminated by the New York Giants yesterday, the Patriots now have the best odds among the four teams playing in the National Football League conference championship games.
The Patriots are favored by seven points against the Baltimore Ravens in the Jan. 22 American Football Conference title game.
Now that the Packers are out of the playoffs, the eventual AFC champion is favored by four points in the Feb. 5 Super Bowl over the winner of the National Football Conference title game between the Giants and San Francisco 49ers.
“From this point on, everyone will be focused on what we need to do to be better next week and hopefully come out and play for another championship,” Brady said after throwing a playoff-record six touchdown passes in the Patriots’ 45-10 rout of the Denver Broncos two days ago.
The Patriots previously won the Super Bowl after the 2000, 2003 and 2004 seasons. They’ve won nine straight games since their last loss, a 24-20 setback against the Giants on Nov. 6.
The 49ers and Giants each have a 21 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl. San Francisco is favored by 2 1/2 points in the NFC championship game.
“San Francisco, because of home field, has a better chance next week, but the Giants would have a better chance of beating the Pats or Ravens,” Pregame.com’s Bell said by e-mail.
Ravens Are Underdogs
The Ravens, who this week are underdogs of more than seven points for the first time since 2007, have a 14 percent chance of winning their second Super Bowl title, Bell said.
Safety Ed Reed said Baltimore’s first step will be trying to get a win in New England, where the Ravens are 1-4 all-time. Their lone victory at Gillette Stadium was in the first round of the playoffs two years ago, when Reed had one of his team’s three interceptions of Brady.
“It’s going to be hard fought and fun at the same time,” Reed said. “We’re coming and they know it.”
Giants coach Tom Coughlin also has more belief in his team than the oddsmakers, especially after yesterday’s 37-20 victory that ended the Packers’ season and 13-game home winning streak.
The Giants were 7 1/2-point underdogs in Green Bay and previously bucked the odds during their Super Bowl run after the 2007 season, when they upset the Packers in the NFC championship game before stunning the previously undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl as 12-point underdogs.
“I think we’re a dangerous team,” Coughlin said yesterday at his postgame news conference. “I like where we are, I like our attitude, I like the way we’re playing.”
The Packers had entered the playoffs favored by oddsmakers to defend their title after going 15-1 in the regular season.
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