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Oddsmaker Places Patriots Among Next Year's Top Four

Early Odds on Super Bowl XLII
Patriots Tied for Third at 8-1

The New England Patriots have opened tied for third as 8-1 favorites to win Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3, 2008, in Glendale, Ariz.

The Indianapolis Colts are technically slotted second to repeat as Super Bowl Champions, but at 6-1, they're actually tied with the San Diego Chargers, who are listed first.

The early odds were released by

The Chicago Bears were listed third, ahead of the Patriots, at the same 8-1. The Baltimore Ravens round out the top five at 12-1.

In the rest of the AFC East, the New York Jets are 15th at 30-1, the Miami Dolphins are 18th at 40-1, and the Buffalo Bills are tied for 20th (listed 23rd) at 50-1.

The other "Final Four" team -- the New Orleans Saints -- have the worst odds of that group, 20-1 (12th).

The AFC North has three teams in the top 10: the Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals (6th) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (10th). The worst odds are 100-1, shared by eight teams: Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That gives the NFC North claim to the worst division.