Cardinals among favorites to play for NFC title

TEMPE, Ariz. -- At 8-2, the numbers show that the Arizona Cardinals are all but a lock for the playoffs.

They also show that they're nearly neck-and-neck with the Carolina Panthers as the favorite from the NFC to play in Super Bowl 50.

According to the ESPN NFL Football Power Index, the Cardinals have a 38.8 percent chance of making the Super Bowl. The Panthers, who are currently 10-0 and possess the top seed in the NFC, have a 41.7 percent chance to make the Super Bowl. But of the two, Arizona has a better chance to win the Lombardi Trophy (21.9 percent vs. 20.3 percent).

The FPI also gives the Cardinals a 94.8 percent chance of making the NFC divisional playoffs -- because they'll bypass the wild-card round with a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed (56.7 percent). According to the FPI, the NFC Championship Game will be Arizona (69.8 percent chance to make it) vs. Carolina (73.4 percent chance).

Heading into Sunday's game at San Francisco, Arizona is projected to finish with 12.4 wins and 3.6 losses. The Cardinals have a 16.1 percent chance to win out, which would give them a 14-2 record. The odds of them losing out is less than .1 percent.

They also have a 98 percent chance to win the NFC West.

Arizona has been given an 88.8 percent chance to win Sunday by 16.1 points.