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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Patriots cut for Super Bowl after Titans upset Chiefs

Saints and Falcons a threat in the NFC

Atlanta's Julio Jones (11) scores a touchdown against the Rams
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New England have been cut to 7-4 favourites for the Super Bowl after fifth seeds Tennessee upset Kansas City in the AFC wildcard playoffs to earn a shot at the Patriots.

The champions are overwhelming 13-point handicap favourites against the Titans, who rallied from a 21-3 half-time deficit to beat the Chiefs 22-21.

The other AFC divisional playoff will see Jacksonville visit Pittsburgh after seeing off Buffalo 10-3 in a dour battle in Florida.

The Jaguars' best result of the season was a 30-9 victory at Heinz Field in Week Five, but they were given a scare by the Bills and will need a much better offensive performance to overcome the Steelers, who are up to 7.5-point favourites.

Pittsburgh are 6-1 third favourites and 5-2 to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

The NFC side of the draw is fiercely competitive after Atlanta overcame the LA Rams 26-13 and New Orleans held off Carolina 31-26 in a cracking wildcard clash.

The Panthers' late touchdown in that game meant all four underdogs covered the handicap on the first weekend of the playoffs.

Atlanta are favourites to win on the road at top seeds Philadelphia. They are asked to concede up to three points as they bid to reach the NFC Championship game for the second season running.

A repeat of the 2017 Super Bowl - Patriots against Falcons - is just 6-1 and the Falcons are 9-1 fifth favourites.

The Saints are even shorter at 8-1 after impressing against Carolina and their battle in Minnesota promises to be the game of the week.

The Vikings are up to four-point favourites but they won't be relishing the prospect of facing the Saints, even though they beat them 29-19 at US Bank Stadium in Week One.

New England QB Tom Brady is Paddy Power's 2-1 favourite to be Super Bowl MVP with Minnesota's Case Keenum 4-1.

Super Bowl best prices: 7-4 New England, 4 Minnesota, 6 Pittsburgh, 8 New Orleans, 9 Atlanta, 16 Philadelphia, 22 Jacksonville, 66 Tennessee.

Divisional playoffs Vegas line: Atlanta -2.5 at Philadelphia (Saturday, 9.35pm), Tennessee +13 at New England (Saturday night, 1.15am), Jacksonville +7.5 at Pittsburgh (Sunday, 6.05pm), New Orleans +3.5 at Minnesota (Sunday, 9.40pm).

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Atlanta are favourites to win on the road at top seeds Philadelphia
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