We’re in NFL Week 8, and already some patterns are emerging in the NFL playoff standings. While people like to talk about Super Bowl betting odds and what team will win the championship, it’s essential to figure out the seeds for each conference.
The best teams in the NFL standings are making good cases for solid positions, but with a little more than half a season to play, let’s see if we can decide on some early division winners.
NFC Playoff Picture
The Arizona Cardinals keep on rolling with a 7-0 record. Nothing seems to slow this team down, and the Cardinals have gotten better with the addition of Zach Ertz. The Cardinals are currently -150 to win the NFC West, but the Rams aren’t going away quietly.
The Ram’s only loss this season came at the hands of the Cardinals. The Rams and Cardinals will meet again in Week 14. Whatever the outcome, the other team looks like an NFL wild card lock.
The Packers (-1000) are in complete control of the NFC North, opening up a three-game lead on the Vikings and Bears. A similar story is playing out in the NFC South, with defending champions Tampa Bay (-900) in the driver’s seat.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers look poised for a repeat trip to the NFL playoffs. The Saints may have dug themselves too big a hole to win the NFC South, but they seem like a likely wild card team.
Then, in the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys (-2000) have run away with the division so far. So that leaves an open competition for the final NFL wild card spot.
Likely Wild Card Teams:
- Los Angeles Rams
- New Orleans Saints
- Minnesota Vikings
AFC Playoff Picture
Going into NFL Week 8, this conference is a lot more complicated to figure out. All four divisions are very much up for grabs.
The Buffalo Bills (-2000) are the class of the AFC East, but if Bill Belichick can keep the Patriots rolling on their two-game road trip, they might still be in the mix.
The Titans (-450) are looking more like serious contenders every week. This week, a win against the Colts will go a long way to sealing up the AFC South crown. But don’t count out the Colts, who are gaining confidence with a healthy Carson Wentz. If the Colts win this week, they’d only be one game back from the Titans.
Cincinnati leads the NFC North, but they only have the third-best odds to win the division (+350). The Baltimore Ravens are a mystery. They had a chance to poke another hole in the Bengals’ balloon in Week 7, but the Bengals put the NFL on notice by blowing Baltimore out. Cincinnati went into Baltimore and destroyed their division rivals last week. The Bengals are on a two-game winning streak and get the Jets in Week 8.
The AFC West is still the most intriguing division and could go down the wire. The Raiders currently lead the division but have the Chargers on their heels. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs are unraveling at the seams. The blowout loss to Tennessee might have been the last nail in a dismal season. Even so, the Chiefs are still in the hunt for the NFL wild card with seven other teams.
Likely Wild Card Teams:
- Baltimore Ravens
- Los Angeles Chargers
- Cleveland Browns
NFL Playoff Standings Are Still Cloudy
The only clear picture for winning divisions in this season’s NFL playoff standings is in the NFC. I’m confident in betting on Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Dallas, and Arizona to win their divisions.
In the AFC, I’m still sold on the Tennessee Titans. It’s too early to tell how the other three divisions will shake out, but I do like a bet on Cincinnati to capture the AFC North.
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