The Patriots and Panthers are the favorites to win Sunday’s conference championship games and meet in the Super Bowl.
New England is a 3-point favorite at Denver in the AFC Championship Game. With the Broncos having home-field advantage, that suggests that the oddsmakers view the Patriots as the significantly better team. That’s not a surprise; the Patriots looked more impressive in their win over the Chiefs on Saturday than the Broncos did in their win over the Steelers on Sunday.
Carolina is a 3-point favorite over Arizona in the NFC Championship Game. The Panthers are at home, which suggests that the oddsmakers view the two teams as approximately evenly matched.
The favored team has won seven of eight games so far this postseason, with the Packers’ win as a one-point underdog at Washington the only exception. A Panthers-Patriots Super Bowl would be a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVIII, 12 years ago, although it’s not exactly a grudge match, as Tom Brady is the only player on either team who played in that game.