NFL Wild Card Race: Which Teams Can Make the Playoffs as a Wild Card?

min read
Week 9 NFL
BetMGM Staff @BETMGM Nov 07, 2021, 1:10 PM

The NFL Wild Card race took some dramatic turns in Week 8, with several teams making solid claims for consideration. Yet the most prominent stories around the football betting lines in Week 9 will be the cost those games had for each team.

The NFL Wild Card race standings will get more intriguing as teams sort out their injury woes in the second half of the season. So keep reading for a closer look at which teams will be playing this January in NFL Wild Card games.

NFL NFC Wild Card Race

The Dallas Cowboys took significant strides toward sealing up an East division championship. Cooper Rush stepped in for an ailing Dak Prescott and brought home a win against the Vikings.

But the rest of the East division has yet to show they can make a good case for an NFL Wild Card spot. The Philadelphia Eagles improved to 3-5, but they will have to keep winning.

In the North, Minnesota is still in the hunt at 3-4 even with the loss to Dallas. And their future looks brighter with recent developments in Week 8 action.

The New Orleans Saints moved within a game of Tampa Bay and are the leaders in the NFL Wild Card race in the NFC. But the cost was high, losing Jameis Winston for the rest of the regular season. It will be interesting to watch how the Carolina Panthers react to the opportunity to get back in the race.

The NFC West now has the potential to produce three playoff teams. Arizona and the LA Rams are still in a dogfight for the division lead, and both will probably make the playoffs. But the 49ers and the Seahawks are very much contenders in the NFL Wild Card race standings.

NFL AFC Wild Card Race

With a lot of football left, the NFL Wild Card standings in the AFC aren’t any clearer. Even the divisional races have tightened up with last week’s results.

The Buffalo Bills look to take the top seed, primarily due to the Titans’ bad luck. Losing Derrick Henry is a massive blow to Tennessee’s offense. And even with a three-game cushion, they could be in trouble.

If the Colts want an NFL Wild Card spot, they’re going to have to improve on Week 8’s performance. But, if they do, the Titans without Henry are catchable.

The AFC North gets wilder every week. Two weeks ago, the Cincinnati Bengals looked unbeatable. That all changed with the embarrassing loss to the Jets.

So the Ravens got the division lead back without playing, putting them back in the driver’s seat. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers woke from the dead on Halloween to beat the Browns.

The Bengals should survive the NFL AFC Wild Card race, but I wouldn’t count either the Steelers or Browns out. But with the New England Patriots coming on strong again, the AFC North could lose out in the NFL Wild Card race.

The Raiders are emerging as the class of the AFC West. Yet Denver hung on for a win against Washington. The Broncos will have to improve their offensive play if they intend to stay ahead of the Chargers.

The Chargers might be the most challenging team to figure out in the NFL Wild Card race. Justin Herbert is feeling his way, but the whole team needs more consistency to make a serious run.

NFL AFC Wild Card Predictions

Dealing with key injures is now the storyline in the NFL Wild Card Race. But the teams that will play in the new NFL Wild Card format are starting to separate themselves from the pack.

In the NFC, I believe that the Rams and the Saints will get the first two spots. Joining them will be the Vikings or the Seattle Seahawks, who have found their stride again.

The AFC Wild Card race will end with the Titans or Colts from the South and the Patriots from the East. So I’m taking the Cincinnati Bengals for the third AFC Wild Card spot.

Do you have a different outlook on this year’s NFL Wild Card race? Then, have your say in Week 9 by opening an account at the BetMGM online sports betting site and placing your bets today.

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Our BetMGM authors are sports experts, with a wealth of knowledge of the sports betting industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news across players, teams and coaches, providing betting previews and predictions, fun facts and more.

Our BetMGM authors are sports experts, with a wealth of knowledge of the sports betting industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news across players, teams and coaches, providing betting previews and predictions, fun facts and more.