The NFL Playoffs are set to begin and that means the countdown is on to Super Bowl LIII. The 2018 NFL regular season included incredible performances from dominant teams and future Hall of Famers. Teams like the Saints, Chiefs and Rams tallied up big points and record setting performances while others like the Cowboys, Colts, Ravens and Eagles got hot late in the season to claim their spot in the NFL Playoffs. Getting there, however, is only the latest step in the ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl trophy and there is no doubt that the best football of the season is yet to come.
In Las Vegas, the Super Bowl is an annual, city-wide event like none other. Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas is a favorite choice for sports fans, socialites and high rollers alike. Each and every resort on the World famous Las Vegas Strip will be sold out and full of energy all weekend long leading up to Sunday, February 3rd. The betting menu will include countless propositions and entertaining wager opportunities while the big game itself will take in millions of dollars in straight bets on the winning side, total and money line. The question remains, which two teams will take the big stage on Super Bowl Sunday and this year’s playoff field features 12 teams that any one of which would present a great story line and an inspired performance.
2019 NFL Playoffs – Complete Bracket and Schedule:
The Big Dogs
The New Orleans Saints and the Kansas City Chiefs are the top teams in their conferences, each with an explosive offense led by an MVP candidate at quarterback. Drew Brees had an amazing season leading the Saints to a 13-2 record before sitting out the final week of the regular season with home field advantage in the NFC already secured. In the AFC it was all about Patrick Mahomes and his league high 48 touchdown passes (the next closest QB was Andrew Luck with 36). The Chiefs led the NFL in scoring with 35.3 points per game, finishing with a 12-4 record. They did face some adversity however, as their play-making running back, Kareem Hunt, was released by the team in early December after video surfaced of him assaulting a woman from months earlier. The Chiefs four losses all came to playoff teams, including two of the most memorable games of the season; a 54-51 loss to the Rams and a 38-31 loss to the Seahawks. The Los Angeles Rams actually finished with a better record than the Chiefs, but the Rams at 13-3 missed out on home field advantage in the NFC throughout the playoffs due to a head to head tiebreaker against the Saints, who also finished at 13-3 but defeated the Rams by a score of 45-35 in another classic game brought to us in this 2018 regular season. The Rams have a high octane offense led by quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley, and although they often found themselves in high scoring shootouts, the Rams defense is stacked with top talent and coached by Wade Phillips, the defensive coordinator behind the Denver Broncos upset Super Bowl win in Super Bowl 50.
It’s difficult to call any of these remaining teams underdogs as they are truly the best of the best, but not every team coasted along to double digit wins. So many times we’ve seen in the past that the teams who are hottest heading in to the playoffs can be the most dangerous teams in the field. There were a few teams who stumbled out of the starting blocks this season but got their act together at just the right time to keep the dream alive, including the Texans, Chargers, Seahawks, Cowboys, Ravens and Eagles. The Philadelphia Eagles are the defending Super Bowl Champions so it’s only right that they found the magic that they finished last season with, with quarterback Nick Foles stepping in to lead them to glory once again. The Houston Texans started the season with 3 straight losses but turned it around to finish with a record of 11-5. The Baltimore Ravens quietly had the league’s top rated defense but the real story behind the Ravens’ playoff run is the play of rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson. The former Heisman winner brought his electric style of play to the NFL and took the league by storm, stepping in half way through the season and leading the Ravens to win 6 of their last 7 games to claim the division title in the AFC North. The Dallas Cowboys are rock solid on defense and versatile on offense, with Ezekiel Elliot carrying the load at running back and their new playmaker, mid-season acquisition Amari Cooper at wide receiver.
Odds to Win Super Bowl LIII (as of 12/31/18)
- New Orleans Saints: 2 to 1
- Kansas City Chiefs: 4 to 1
- Los Angeles Rams: 5 to 1
- New England Patriots: 5 to 1
- Chicago Bears: 9 to 1
- Los Angeles Chargers: 16 to 1
- Baltimore Ravens: 20 to 1
- Houston Texans: 20 to 1
- Dallas Cowboys: 25 to 1
- Seattle Seahawks: 25 to 1
- Indianapolis Colts: 30 to 1
- Philadelphia Eagles: 30 to 1
With each round of the NFL Playoffs the anticipation in Las Vegas builds higher. Some experts in Las Vegas tourism suggest that a Super Bowl matchup between a Texas team and a California team would generate the biggest turnout in the history of Super Bowl weekends in Las Vegas, and between the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams, there are certainly opportunities for at least one if not both conferences to be represented by those states. The Vegas Super Bowl, however, is an event for fans and travelers from all over and there are many who would love to see the return of the Eagles, Tom Brady or even the Chicago Bears make an appearance. There are many possibilities for another blockbuster Super Bowl matchup but one thing is guaranteed; Las Vegas will play host to the most Super bowl fans in America on February 3rd with plenty of premium viewing parties to enjoy the big game.
For a complete list of 2019 Super Bowl viewing parties in Las Vegas click here