With just five weeks remaining in the NFL regular season, the playoff picture is beginning to take shape with plenty of competition in both conferences fighting for those elusive 14 playoff spots. Each conference is chock-full of some feisty battles particularly in the AFC where there is an ever-shifting landscape with teams sitting with identical records. Let’s check out our NFL Betting analysis and predictions for the playoffs so you can plan your bets against the NFL Playoffs odds.
NFL Playoffs Projection and Betting Picks
AFC Playoff Projections
December football is finally here and we’re in the home stretch with these final games playing a critical role in whether or not these NFL teams will make the playoffs. 12 teams remain over .500 in the AFC, with the AFC North looking like it will come down to the wire. Just two games separate the entire division with the Bengals and the Steelers sandwiched right in the middle of the Ravens (8-4) and Browns (6-6).
Meanwhile, in the AFC East and South, there is a battle going on between the Bills and the Patriots in the East and the Colts and the Titans for the division and the top overall seed in the AFC. Each of the last eight teams to represent the AFC in the Superbowl had a bye in the first round, but now that there is only one bye it becomes even more elusive and more important than ever to grab.
Similarly, the AFC West has also been bananas with every team in the division over .500. After almost everyone wrote off the Chiefs who started 1-3, they are now in sole possession of the first place, with their eyes on the top seed at 8-4. The Chiefs technically sit in the fourth position with the tie-breakers, however, they are on a five-game winning streak and it’s looking hard to bet against them landing as the top seed for the third time in the last five years.
NFC Playoff Projections
Over the last couple of years, the NFC East has been known as the “NFC Least” for their poor play and sub .500 records getting into the playoffs. But this division could possibly send three teams to the playoffs this year with the Cowboys sitting comfortably at 8-4, while the Eagles and the Washington Football Team are quietly holding onto a wild card position with six wins apiece.
The NFC West was the best division on paper with all teams projected to possibly make the playoffs in the new format. That could still happen with the Cardinals firmly entrenched as the favorite to take the top seed with a 10-2 record. The Rams ran into a rough stretched losing three straight but got back in the win column in week 13, pushing their record to 8-4, while the 49ers and Seahawks are barely hanging on with six and four victories respectively.
The NFC North and South have been pretty much decided with the Bucs and the Packers each owning a four-game lead over their divisional opponents. Both teams are a game back from the Cardinals and are in a prime position to take over the number one seed with the Cardinals having the tougher schedule left to play.
Projected Wild Card Matchups and Betting Picks
- No. 1 Patriots on BYE
- No. 7 Bengals at No. 2 Titans
- No. 6 Bills at No. 3 Ravens
- No. 5 Chargers at No. 4 Chiefs
- No. 1 Buccaneers on BYE
- No. 7 49ers at No. 2 Cardinals
- No. 6 Washington at No. 3 Packers
- No. 5 Rams at No. 4 Cowboys
AFC Projected Champion
The Bills in my opinion have the best chance to come out of the AFC as the conference champion. The Bills own the best defense in the league allowing just 272.3 yards and 16.3 points per game while totaling the second-most takeaways in the league (26). On offense, they have one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the league and are averaging 28 points per game.
NFC Projected Champion
In the NFC, I like the Buccaneers to repeat as the Champions in the conference. Tom Brady leads the league in touchdown passes, while Leonard Fournette has solidified the rushing attack. The Bucs own the best offense in the league, averaging 31.4 points per game, while the defense is just as impressive allowing a measly 84.3 yards on the ground and 22.5 points per game.