VIP.com gives you the early odds on the Conference Championship match-ups. We are down to the NFL’s version of the “Final Four”. While many people believe the AFC champion will win the Super Bowl, this post-season has taught us that anything can happen.
New Orleans (+2) at Chicago
This is the Sunday game at 3:00 p.m. EST.
The Bears are 17:4 to win the Super Bowl and the Saints are 9:2.
These are the top two seeds in the NFC, and have had to play only one home playoff game before meeting this Sunday.
New Orleans (11-6) showed plenty of offense in their 27-24 win over Philadelphia, but they had plenty of trouble stopping the Eagles’ attack led by quarterback Jeff Garcia and running back, Brian Westbrook.
Offensively, this New Orleans team is a juggernaut, able to put up points at will. They will get perhaps their biggest defensive challenge of the season in Chicago, but this Bears unit is not playing at the same level as they were in the beginning of the season.
Chicago (14-3) is breathing a big sigh of relief after their 27-24 overtime win over Seattle. Such a close contest was not expected from an 8.5 point underdog. You can make the case that Chicago was just nervous in their first playoff win since 1995, but this team has not put together a great game on both sides of the ball in a couple of months.
New England (+3) at Indianapolis
This is the Sunday game at 6:30 p.m. EST.
The Colts are 3:2 to win the Super Bowl and the Patriots are 22:10.
With all due respect to Baltimore and San Diego, who were the two best teams in the AFC this year, this is the most exciting match-up possible.
Indianapolis (14-4) has won two playoff games with Peyton Manning playing well below his ability. Manning has thrown one touchdown versus five interceptions in their two wins over Kansas City and Baltimore. His 39.6 quarterback rating versus the Ravens was the lowest ever in a game that he has won.
The Colts’ defense has been the feel-good story for this team, allowing just 14 total points in the playoffs so far. The run defense has been the big turnaround, allowing just 63.5 yards per game.
New England (14-4) is coming off an improbable, 24-21 comeback win at San Diego, scoring the last 11 points in the game. Now, New England has to win on the road again, but they are 8-1 away from home this year, and they don’t back down from any challenge.
The Patriots knocked Indianapolis out of the playoffs in both 2003 and 2004, the first one in Foxboro in the AFC championship game. Manning did not play well in either of those games, but he did in regular season wins over New England this year and last, both times on the road.
For all NFL Conference Championship odds, visit VIP.com