Well, it’s official. The Carolina Panthers are officially the favorites to win Super Bowl 50.
“It’s actually the first time that we’ve seen the Panthers move to the top of the heap right now as the overall favorites,” Vegas virtuoso and sportsline.com analyst Todd Fuhrman said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Of course you can find a couple of books who have them neck-and-neck with the Patriots, but the Cardinals are at 9-2. It’s awfully difficult to try and back them now to win the Lombardi Trophy if you didn’t lock up a piece at 25-1 earlier. But the logjam at the top isn’t just a handful of teams. The Broncos (are) at 6, the Seahawks’ number has been on the drop as well, but one of the biggest movers? The Pittsburgh Steelers. (They’re) 25-1 about three weeks ago (but are) now down to 12. They have a big game on Sunday, which will go a long way in determining their playoff fate.”
The Steelers (7-5) play the Bengals (10-2) in Cincinnati this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
The Patriots, meanwhile, have gone from 10-0 and the overwhelming favorite to finish atop the AFC to 10-2 and the 3-seed in the AFC – in just two weeks.
“That’s the reason their price has dropped a little bit from 5-2 down to 4-1,” Fuhrman said. “Of course, if New England has to go on the road and play Wild Card weekend, that changes the dynamics completely. But oddsmakers don’t want to inflate this price too much too fast knowing that Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman should both be back for a playoff run. And the one thing lost in last week’s disappointing performance against the Eagles was the New England defense was outstanding yet again. The Eagles were the beneficiaries of three non-offensive touchdowns. I think if the Patriots can sort out some of these issues, losing to the Eagles and Broncos will be afterthoughts when we talk about their playoff prospects.”