LAS VEGAS -- Not surprisingly, the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots won in routs in Week 17. And with the Houston Texans' loss, the Broncos and Patriots ascended to the top two seeds in the AFC and co-Super Bowl favorites at 5-2 odds here in the LVH future book in Vegas.
And that's right where they've been the past few weeks in the Vegas NFL Bettors' Poll -- the Broncos at No. 1 and the Patriots at No. 2 in the combined power ratings of Teddy "Covers" Sevransky of sportsmemo.com, Sal Selvaggio of madduxsports.com and yours truly, Dave Tuley.
The blowout wins by the Broncos and Patriots gave them a half-point bump each in their power ratings to expand their lead on the rest of the field. Most of the other playoff contenders saw their power ratings stay the same, though the Texans and Atlanta Falcons both lost half a point from their losses while the Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts both gained half a point. However, both are still the lowest-rated teams in their respective conference.
Here is the full Vegas NFL Bettors' Poll for the end of the regular season. Note: You can use these power ratings throughout the playoffs as well (feel free to comment below about any teams you think should have their power ratings tweaked along the way). Another note: We'll return after the Super Bowl for an actual end-of-season power rating for each team and a look at future-book odds for the 2013 season:
Here is the season-ending Vegas NFL Bettors' Poll: