Cardinals, Patriots enter playoffs as Super Bowl odds favorites

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The Arizona Cardinals saw their nine-game straight-up winning streak end with a 36-6 loss to Seattle in their season finale, but the loss has had little impact on their Super Bowl betting line which remains at 9/2 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Despite scoring a season-low six points against Seattle, the 13-3 Cardinals enter the postseason with the NFL’s top offense, averaging 30.6 points per game, and had surrendered just 12.2 points per game in five contests prior to last weekend’s defeat according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

Arizona is joined atop the Super Bowl odds by the 12-4 New England Patriots, who also remain a strong 9/2 bet despite a dismal performance down the stretch, losing four of their last six outings.

New England still survived as the AFC’s No. 2 seed, giving them a bye this weekend and a home date in the second round of the playoffs. That is good news for the Patriots, considering three of their four recent losses came on the road.

Carolina finished their season on a high note, posting a 38-10 victory over Tampa Bay, picking up the against the spread win as 10-point chalk, but the 15-1 Panthers continue to trail the Super Bowl betting favorites with 19/4 odds.

Seattle has steadily climbed the Super Bowl 50 odds during their current 6-1 SU run, and travels to Minnesota for Sunday’s Wild Card matchup at TCF Bank Stadium with strong 11/2 championship odds.

The 12-4 Denver Broncos claimed the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a slim 27-20 win over San Diego on Sunday, lifting them to 6/1 in Super Bowl 50 betting. But the Broncos continue to be a massive disappointment at the sportsbooks, going 2-6-1 ATS in their past nine games including a pair of outright losses at home as betting favorites.

SU winners in six of their last eight games, the Pittsburgh Steelers enter their AFC Wild Card matchup with Cincinnati as a 9/1 Super Bowl bet, while the Kansas City Chiefs’ 10-game SU winning streak has buoyed their Super Bowl odds to an intriguing 16/1.

The Green Bay Packers start the postseason on the road for the first time since 2011 with a visit to the NFC East champion Washington Redskins, and have seen their Super Bowl 50 odds tumble to 22/1 after opening the season as 11/2 chalk.

With quarterback Andy Dalton still sidelined with a broken thumb, the Bengals have fallen to 25/1, just ahead of the Vikings at 28/1, while the Redskins trail at a distant 40/1, and the Houston Texans sit as 66/1 longshots.

Broncos double-digit favorites on Sunday night vs. winless, depleted Giants

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The Denver Broncos head into Sunday night with the largest spread they have had at home after a bye week in at least 25 years. The Broncos are 11.5-point favorites against the winless New York Giants with a 38.5-point total for the Week 6 Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Denver is 6-1 straight-up and against the spread in post-bye week games dating back to 2010. There’s a similar long-running trend of Denver being 7-2 SU and ATS in home games following a bye week since 2003. However, this is the first time since 1996 that Denver has been a double-digit favorite in that scenario.

The Giants, which are 0-5 SU and 2-3 ATS, had three wide receivers, including Odell Beckham Jr., sustain season-ending injuries last week. That has left QB Eli Manning with WR Roger Lewis (15 career catches) and WR Tavarres King as his main outside targets. Slot WR Sterling Shephard (sprained ankle) could be inactive.

While team performances tend to gravitate toward the mean with time, the Giants will need to show something new – with replacement-level personnel – in order to move the ball against a Denver pass defense which allows only 6.2 yards per pass, fifth-best in the NFL.

The Broncos’ top-ranked defense, led by OLB Von Miller, is also first in run defense and has every starter healthy. While NFC teams are a combined 1-10 SU on the road against Denver since 2012, the Giants are a solid 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against the AFC.

Denver, 3-1 SU and 2-1-1 ATS, has been quietly efficient on offense. The Broncos, with QB Trevor Siemian, are in the middle of the NFL pack in yards per pass, but they are facing a Giants secondary that is minus CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (suspension) and has also had inconsistent play from CB Eli Apple.

Denver, 7-2 ATS over its last nine home games in October, has been good at opening holes for the tandem of C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles, who are each capable of making things happen in the open field if the tackling gets sloppy. New York also won’t have DT Olivier Vernon drawing double teams up front and keeping blockers off MLB Damon Harrison.

Unless the Broncos stop themselves, they should be able to grind out a workmanlike win.

The total has gone over in three of the Giants’ last four games against the Broncos, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The total has gone over in six of the Broncos’ last seven games as a favorite of 11.0 points or more.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Watch Indianapolis Colts vs. Seattle Seahawks live on NBC

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The Seattle Seahawks host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football as both teams look to get back to .500.

Russell Wilson will be the focal point of the Seahawks offense after throwing for a career-high 373 yards and four touchdowns in a losing effort vs. the Titans in Week 3. Wilson’s ability to avoid the rush and use his legs will be on full display as Seattle’s offensive line continues to struggle.

On the defensive side, the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” will look to get back on track at home in a raucous environment against Colts QB Jacoby Brissett who is filling in for an injured Andrew Luck.

If the Colts have any chance to pull off the upset on the road, Brissett will have to use his legs and connect on some deep throws to T.Y. Hilton.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Colts vs. Seahawks

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app