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If the NFL Playoffs Began Today: Current Odds

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
Published on:
Dec/08/2022

The final week of byes in the NFL, and once Week 14 is behind us, everyone will have played 13 games. That leaves just four games remaining. While the playoff picture is not settled, it is beginning to take some shape.

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Here are the current wild-card pairings…if the season ended today.

AFC

Buffalo Bills - Bye

By virtue of their win over the Kansas City Chiefs in October, the Bills own that tiebreaker. At the moment, they are the top seed in the AFC, along with 4-1 (+400) favorites to win the title, according to Super Bowl odds.

No. 7 New York Jets at No. 2 Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are the AFC’s second seed. They are 9-3 and figure to close out the AFC West either this week or next. It will be their seventh straight division title.

In what would be a very interesting opening game, could the Jets slow down KC? New York has played excellent defense this season, and watching New York’s Robert Saleh scheme against counterpart Andy Reid (and Patrick Mahomes) would be a lot of fun.

No. 6 Miami Dolphins at No. 3 Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore’s without quarterback Lamar Jackson. He isn’t supposed to miss a significant amount of time. Assuming he’s healthy by the end of the season, and he and the Ravens hold on to win the AFC North, then a rematch with the Dolphins is intriguing,

These two teams played in the second week, the Dolphins storming back with 28 fourth-quarter points in a 42-38 win. A second helping of that would enliven the first round of the playoffs.

No. 5 Cincinnati Bengals at No. 4 Tennessee Titans

The Bengals have beaten the Chiefs three times in the last 12 months, and a rematch with the Titans would give them a chance to do the same thing against Tennessee.

In last season’s divisional round, Cincinnati defeated Tennessee on a late, 52-yard Evan McPherson field goal. Just two weeks ago, they were 20-16 winners on Tee Higgins’ fourth- quarter touchdown. Would the third time finally be the charm with the Titans?

NFC

Philadelphia Eagles - Bye

Entering the first week of December, the Eagles are pretty comfortable as the No. 1 seed in the conference. They also own the tiebreaker with the Vikings, and thus would have to lose two games in the standings to Minnesota to lose the bye. Philly is favored at 2-1 (+200) to win the NFC, as per NFL conference odds.

No. 7 Seattle Seahawks at No. 2 Minnesota Vikings

Seattle isn’t rolling into the latter part of the season playing its best football, but still plenty of time to right itself before they play the Vikings in the wild-card round.

Number of great wideouts on the field in this one would be worth the inflated price of admission, and not to mention the chess match between the Seahawks’ 71-year-old coach Pete Carroll and 37-year-old Vikings’ rookie coach Kevin O’Connell.

No. 6 New York Giants at No. 3 San Francisco 49ers

This is who the 49ers want to play. Giants fading, they have not won a game in a month. Saquon Barkley struggling, too. New York hasn’t won a game in nearly a month. It’s quite possible they won't be in this position by the end of the season. They’re there now, and the 49er defense unit would be licking its chops.

San Francisco may have Brock Purdy as its quarterback, so the Big Blue defense may also figure in this (as of now) outcome. 

No. 5. Dallas Cowboys at No. 4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It’s not relevant to rehash the 19-3 game Week 1 in Dallas that saw the Cowboys embarrassed while losing Dak Prescott to injury. Much has changed, as if that game never happened.

The Bucs, playing in the Charmin-soft NFC South, thus will get to host the rematch, even though they’re currently 6-6 and the ‘Boys are 9-3. Dallas is clearly better both on offense and defense, but is it legal to bet against Tom Brady in the playoffs?

- Dan Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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