Bovada in Las Vegas has the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks as co-Super Bowl favorites with identical 11/4 odds. But when you consider that the Seahawks are about to finally see their most versatile and skilled offensive player take the field for only the second time this season, it's hard not to view Pete Carroll's team as a lone favorite for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Percy Harvin practiced fully on Thursday and, according to Liz Mathews of 710 ESPN in the Charm City, "absolutely" expects to suit up Saturday for Seattle's divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints.
Harvin's been sidelined virtually the entire year due to a torn labrum in his hip, which had to be surgically repaired in August. He made only one catch in one game during the regular season. But he's one of the most unique weapons in the league and has a chance to be an absolute terror against a vulnerable Saints defense Saturday.
Last year in Minnesota, Harvin became only the second player this century to have more than 900 receiving yards and 300 rushing yards in a single season. When he's healthy, he's close to unstoppable. And even if he's not healthy, he could be one hell of a decoy.
Keep in mind that this New Orleans defense is shorthanded. They lost Parys Haralson and Keenan Lewis last week, although Lewis says he'll be back for Saturday's game.
Either way, Harvin's presence should only help a team that is almost unbeatable at home and is already an eight-point favorite for the Saints game.
Those Broncos are good, but they're playing without three of their most important players from one year ago — Elvis Dumervil is gone and Von Miller and Ryan Clady are both on injured reserve — and they're expected to have their hands full with the Chargers, Patriots and/or Colts, all of whom beat Denver during the regular season.
San Francisco is pretty hot, but the Seahawks would have home-field advantage there, too, and they crushed the Niners 29-3 when they last met in the Pacific Northwest. The Panthers are on a roll, too, but they have no experience and would also have to travel three time zones for Seattle (if they even beat San Francisco).
The point is that the Seahawks have a clear path ahead, and they're adding weapons when everyone else seems to be losing them.
For the first time in the team's 38-year history, Seattle might finally capture a championship. And Percy Harvin could be the difference maker.