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The Indianapolis Colts are Now the Favorites to Win the AFC in 2015

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As a result of Tom Brady's suspension, the Indianapolis Colts are now the favorites to win the AFC in 2015 and have the third-best odds of winning the Super Bowl, according to Bovada.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, the NFL suspended Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for four games in the 2015 season, and as you would have expected, that changed the odds put out by Bovada.  In fact, the Indianapolis Colts are now the favorites in the AFC and also have the third-best odds of any NFL team to win Super Bowl 50.

Previously, the Colts and the Patriots were tied with 7/2 odds to win the AFC conference, but the Patriots' odds have dropped to 9/2, leaving the Colts all alone out front.  In addition, the Denver Broncos' AFC odds went from 6/1 to 5/1 after Brady's suspension, while the Steelers (10/1) and Ravens (12/1) stayed the same to round out the top five.

As for the Super Bowl odds, the Patriots previously had the third-best odds at 15/2, but they've now dropped to a tie with the Dallas Cowboys for fourth-best odds at 10/1.  The top two remained the same (the Seahawks at 11/2 and the Packers at 7/1), but the Indianapolis Colts now have the third-best odds of any NFL team to win the Super Bowl (staying at 8/1) - and the best odds of any AFC team.

Why does a four-game suspension for Tom Brady matter so much?  In the end, it's likely that the Patriots will be right back in the playoffs, and while their record might not be as good as it could have been, they'll still be a tough opponent to face in the postseason.  I don't think that a four-game suspension for Brady won't keep the Patriots out of the playoffs.  But what is might impact is their seeding for the postseason.  Obviously, it could give other teams like the Bills, Dolphins, and Jets a better shot at winning the AFC East, in which case the Patriots would be a wild card.  But assuming that they still win the division, the road to the Super Bowl might not run through New England.  With the Colts having a seemingly easy schedule and many predicting them to win 12 or 13 games, a four-game suspension for Brady could result in the Colts winning home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  And while the Patriots have shown the ability to dominate the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium too (see 2014), there's nothing worse for the Colts' chances than having to travel to New England in January.  Making that game in Indianapolis would be a big win for the Colts, giving them a better shot of getting an even bigger win and making it to the Super Bowl.