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Sunday, 09 December, 2018

Minnesota Vikings 5-1 to win Super Bowl at home

New England Patriots favourites for another title

Minnesota Viknigs are 5-1 second favourites for the Super Bowl
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There's a familiar name at the top of the betting for the Super Bowl after the regular season - but plenty of new ones in the list of 12 playoff teams.

Only 5-2 favourites New England, last year's runners-up Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Kansas City return from the 2017 playoff line-up with Buffalo, Tennessee, Jacksonville, LA Rams, Philadelphia, Carolina, New Orleans and Minnesota joining them having missed out last time.

The Vikings are the second seeds in the NFC but 15-8 favourites to win their conference. NFC top dogs Philadelphia have struggled in their last couple of games with quarterback Carson Wentz ruled out for the season.

Minnesota will have the advantage of playing at home if they get to the Super Bowl, which is being held at their US Bank Stadium.

Buffalo ended their 18-year playoff drought when Cincinnati scored a dramatic late win to knock Baltimore out of contention. The Bills are seven-point underdogs against Jacksonville in their wildcard game, with Tennessee getting a similar handicap start for their visit to Kansas City.

In the NFC wildcard games, the LA Rams are 5.5-point favourites at home to Atlanta and Carolina are given a start of six for their all-NFC South clash in New Orleans.

The traditional Black Monday coach-firing bonanza began early this year with Indianapolis sacking Chuck Pagano and Oakland parting ways with Jack Del Rio late on New Year's Eve, while Detroit's Jim Caldwell was the first casualty of 2018 and Chicago's John Fox soon followed.

Cleveland's Hue Jackson has been reassured his job is safe despite the Browns becoming the first team to go 0-16 in a season since Detroit in 2008.

The draft order for the top 20 picks is set (the other 12 are decided by playoff performance) and the Browns hold the top pick for the second season running as well as the fourth selection in the first round, acquired in a trade from Houston last year.

Read our preview of the NFL playoffs in Saturday's Racing Post Sport

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The Vikings are the second seeds in the NFC but 15-8 favourites to win their conference
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