The NFL playoffs kick off this weekend with the wild card round. Oddsmakers have released odds on which Super Bowl matchups are most likely to happen. Join us as we take a stroll through all 36 potential matchups.
The 2013 NFL playoffs get going on Sunday, which means spreads are out for this weekend and odds are out for the Super Bowl. Bovada Sports has released their odds, and they have installed the Denver Broncos as 3/1 favorites, and the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals as 45/1 longshots.
The site also released odds for all 36 possible Super Bowl matchups. Below you can review each potential matchup, ranked in order of odds. Some could provide all-time great Super Bowl entertainment, and others will leave you hoping for great commercials.
Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers - Odds: 13/2
It is fitting that the best odds belong to a matchup that will have the media overly excited. This past offseason the 49ers "evaluated" Peyton Manning before he signed with the Broncos. Although Alex Smith likely will not be playing in this game, the Manning-Harbaugh-Smith dynamic will be in full-force. Bonus points for a rematch of the 49ers 55-10 destruction of the Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV, coincidentally enough, also in New Orleans.
Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons - Odds: 7/1
This matchup of the top seed in each conference is likely a better rematch of the Falcons Week 2 win over a Broncos team still figuring out what Peyton Manning had to offer. It also provides an opportunity for a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIII. Who plays the role of Eugene Robinson, getting arrested for soliciting a prostitute the same night he is presented an award covering high moral character?
New England Patriots vs. San Francisco 49ers - Odds: 15/2
This game would be a rematch of a wild and entertaining Week 15 Sunday Night Football matchup at Gillette Stadium. Super Bowl media week would be a competition between Bill Belichick and Jim Harbaugh to see who could say less to the media.
New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons - Odds: 8/1
A potential offensive shootout featuring Bill Belichick vs. Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff. While the hooded one and Scott Pioli have gotten a lot of credit for the early turnaround in New England, Dimitroff was an important talent evaluator for the franchise.
Denver Broncos vs. Green Bay Packers - Odds: 17/2
A rematch of the game that got John Elway his first Super Bowl victory after failing in his three previous efforts.
New England Patriots vs. Green Bay Packers - Odds: 10/1
A rematch of Super Bowl XXXI. The Packers pulled away in the second half thanks to a monster day from kick returner Desmond Howard. Would Randall Cobb be the guy to fill that role?
Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks - Odds: 15/1
How about an old school AFC West matchup between the cunning veteran QB (Peyton Manning) and the upstart rookie (Russell Wilson)
New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks - Odds: 18/1
This features all sorts of random possibilities. We've got Tom Brady getting a chance for a little pay-back against Richard Sherman (U Mad, Bro?!). We've also got Pete Carroll against the franchise where he got his second head coaching job, following in the legendary footsteps of Bill Parcells.
Denver Broncos vs. Washington Redskins - Odds: 20/1
This is quietly one of the bigger "storyline" Super Bowl matchups. You've got Mike Shanahan playing against his old team, in a rematch of the Redskins 42-10 beatdown of the John Elway-led Broncos in Super Bowl XXII. It is also worth noting that Shanahan was very interested in bringing Manning to D.C. before deciding on RGIII.
New England Patriots vs. Washington Redskins - Odds: 22/1
Tom Brady vs. Robert Griffin III. The "past" vs. the "future" and potentially a fun, wild shootout.
Houston Texans vs. San Francisco 49ers - Odds: 25/1
Gary Kubiak began his NFL coaching career in 1994 as QB coach for the 49ers under George Seifert. On the "revenge" scale, if Mike Shanahan vs. Al Davis and the Raiders is a solid 7 or 8, this is about -20.
Houston Texans vs. Atlanta Falcons - Odds: 28/1
Matt Schaub made his bones as Michael Vick's backup in Atlanta. The Falcons traded Matt Schaub to the Texans in March 2007. In April 2007, a search warrant at the home of Michael Vick's cousin led to the discovery of evidence of illegal dog-fighting. The rest as they say, is history.
Houston Texans vs. Green Bay Packers - Odds: 30/1
The Packers went into Houston and had their way with the normally strong Texans defense. Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdowns in the game. Move this onto the indoor track that is the Superdome and maybe he sets a Super Bowl touchdown record.
Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers - Odds: 35/1
Harbowl 2! The two teams mets over Thanksgiving in 2011, but that only gave media four days to try and beat this storyline into the ground. Imagine two weeks of Super Bowl build-up? As for the game itself? How about Patrick Willis vs. Ray Lewis in Lewis' last game before retirement?
Denver Broncos vs. Minnesota Vikings - Odds: 40/1
The Vikings lost four Super Bowls in the '70s, while the Broncos lost three Super Bowls in the '80s. It lacks some punch
Baltimore Ravens vs. Atlanta Falcons - Odds: 40/1
In 2008, Matt Ryan was the third pick of the draft and Joe Flacco was the 18th pick. Flacco has had more postseason success, while Ryan has been the more effective regular season quarterback by most statistical measures. This could very well decide the Ryan-Flacco debate.
New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings - Odds: 45/1
Adrian Peterson and Tom Brady would lead the storylines in this one. How big an underdog would the Vikings be? Could they match when the Patriots were 14 point underdogs to the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI?
Houston Texans vs. Seattle Seahawks - Odds: 50/1
Can Houston defend the honor of Texas A&M's 12th Man against the Seahawks? How many people outside of College Station and Seattle actually care?
Baltimore Ravens vs. Green Bay Packers - Odds: 50/1
Ray Lewis and Charles Woodson bring the grizzled veterans to this matchup. The Ravens defense will need to clean things up considerably to make the Super Bowl, and even then, Aaron Rodgers might skewer them.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. San Francisco 49ers - Odds: 70/1
The 49ers and Bengals squared off in two Super Bowls in the '80s, with the 49ers winning them by a combined nine points. To quote Josh Kirkendall from Cincy Jungle, "'To the last, I will grapple with thee... from Hell's heart, I stab at thee! For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!' Bitter. Going on 25 years."
Houston Texans vs. Washington Redskins - Odds: 70/1
This would be the best Texans storyline Super Bowl. Gary Kubiak vs. Mike Shanahan provides the ideal master vs. student storyline. Additionally, Redskins OC Kyle Shanahan served under Kubiak as WR coach, QB coach, and then offensive coordinator before joining his dad in Washington.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Atlanta Falcons - Odds: 75/1
A.J. Green vs. Julio Jones. Green was selected fourth overall, while the Falcons moved up to draft Julio Jones with the No. 6 pick. This indoor matchup could provide a great opportunity to see these talented receivers put on a show.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Seattle Seahawks - Odds: 80/1
Russell Wilson has emerged as a threat in his rookie year, turning the Seahawks into one of the most dangerous teams in the league. Joe Flacco is making his fifth straight trip to the playoffs, but is looking to break through to the Super Bowl. It's not necessarily sexy, but it's an intriguing QB matchup.
Indianapolis Colts vs. San Francisco 49ers - Odds: 80/1
Andrew Luck vs. his former college coach Jim Harbaugh. It is safe to say the media would eat this one up.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Atlanta Falcons - Odds: 90/1
While there is not to connect these two teams, this could be a very underrated matchup. The Colts defense struggled much of the year, and the Falcons defense is not exactly awe-inspiring. We could get a nice little high-scoring affair between these two teams.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Green Bay Packers - Odds: 100/1
Andrew Luck vs. Aaron Rodgers is an easy to get clicks. For Cal and Stanford fans, there is little doubt which way they would root for this one.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Washington Redskins - Odds: 100/1
Baltimore and DC aka the Battle of the Beltways. Ray Lewis and London Fletcher have very similar stats across the board for their careers, and both are close to the end, with Ray Lewis announcing he will retire at the end of the season.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Green Bay Packers - Odds: 100/1
This game should see plenty of generic storylines inserted. We would get an Aaron Rodgers-Andy Dalton discussion that would probably get old after a couple days. I'd imagine some Charles Woodson and Clay Mathews on the Packers side. On the Bengals side, Vontaze Burfict would get much deserved national attention after a phenomenal rookie campaign.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Seattle Seahawks - Odds: 150/1
When in doubt, insert generic QB storyline: Andy Dalton vs. Russell Wilson...GO!
Houston Texans vs. Minnesota Vikings - Odds: 150/1
The Vikings had to win out to make the playoffs, and that included a rather stunning 23-6 thumping of the Texans in Week 16. The Texans held Adrian Peterson in check, but could not get anything going on offense as Arian Foster left with an irregular heartbeat. I imagine we would see quite the rematch between two great running backs.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Seattle Seahawks - Odds: 175/1
The season started with the rookie QB debate centered on Andrew Luck vs. Robert Griffin III. By season's end, Russell Wilson had turned this two-QB debate into a very real three-QB debate.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Washington Redskins - Odds: 200/1
A rematch of their Week 3 shootout in Washington, which saw Andy Dalton out-play RGIII.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Minnesota Vikings - Odds: 200/1
Ray Lewis and Adrian Peterson would get thoroughly beaten to death in this one, and rightfully so. Lewis is retiring after this season, and Adrian Peterson is putting together a super-human season following ACL surgery. Hey, it's better than a generic QB discussion!
Indianapolis Colts vs. Washington Redskins - Odds: 225/1
This is a huge long-shot, but I would bet my last dollar this is at the top of the NFL's wish-list for Super Bowl participants. Andrew Luck vs. RGIII might not survive this matchup as it would be beaten into the ground quite thoroughly.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Minnesota Vikings - Odds: 400/1
The 2011 NFL Draft saw Christian Ponder selected No. 12 and Andy Dalton selected No. 35. They do not have the high profile of Luck vs. RGIII, but a Super Bowl matchup could jumpstart at least a modest QB rivalry.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Minnesota Vikings - Odds: 450/1
A battle of the two teams with the longest odds in their respective conferences. There are some great individual player storylines to follow, but the upsets required for this would be story enough themselves.