Playoff Picture and Betting Odds in the NFL

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Tennessee Titans

Heading into the final week of the 2008 NFL regular season the Playoff picture still remains a little foggy, which the NFL is no doubt thrilled about since more fans will be sticking around to watch crucial matchups during Week 17.  This is usually garbage time for the vast majority of the league.

In the AFC, the Miami Dolphins are in if they can go to the Meadowlands and beat the struggling Jets, a team they lost to at the start of the season at home.  The Jets will need a win and a Ravens loss since New England is still in the thick of things.

Life unfair for the Patriots?  Say it isn't so.  But even those of us at would agree, it could be.

If the Jets beat the Dolphins, and the Patriots win, the Patriots would win the division. If the Ravens lose, and the Dolphins win, the Patriots are in as a wild card with a victory. But if the Dolphins win and the Ravens win, the Patriots would be shut out, no matter what they do. Next up: Buffalo.

Elsewhere in the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens need only to win next week while the victor in the Broncos/Chargers game will also move on to the Playoffs.   The Titans clinched home field advantage by beating the Steelers 31-14 yesterday.  The Steelers are the number 2 seed and the now red hot (not to mention "under the radar") Indianapolis Colts have clinched a wild card spot.

In the NFC, everyone will be watching the Monday Night Football matchup between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.  A win by the Bears will force the Vikings to win next week's game.  A loss by the Bears, they are in. 

The Dallas Cowboys are still in the thick of things as well after losing to the Baltimore Ravens Saturday night but only if they can beat Philadelphia next weekend.  They can thank Norv Turner and his Chargers defeat of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past weekend.  Tampa Bay can only get into the Playoffs and hope to play at home in the Super Bowl with a win next week and a Dallas loss.  Tampa Bay plays Oakland next week.   Philadelphia is still technically in if they win next week but Tampa Bay and Chicago both have to lose.

Amazingly, the Atlanta Falcons managed to clinch a Playoff spot with their impressive road victory over Minnesota while the New York Giants secured home field advantage in a terrific overtime victory against the Carolina Panthers.  The NFC South is still up for grabs with Carolina needing a win or an Atlanta loss.  Should the Panthers lose and Falcons win, Atlanta takes the division and the number two seed.   

Carolina is good but Atlanta has the edge next week as the Panthers head to New Orleans while the Falcons host a dismal St. Louis Rams team that may not even come out to play.  The Saints tore the Lions apart this past weekend and would like to finish the season on a high note with a 9-7 record.

Odds to win the 2009 Super Bowl were being updated on Tuesday at  The shortest odds heading into Week 16, however, were for the Giants to win at +250 for a payout potential of $250 on every $100 bet.  Every other team paid $400 or better.  You can check out the website for all the latest odds to win the 2009 Super Bowl.

Christopher Costigan, Publisher 

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Line and Betting Action Alerts

Tampa Bay Bucs @ Buffalo Bills: Bovada has moved to Buffalo -10 with 75% of the spread action on the Bills. Pinnacle continued to hold at this number.