So far, with this year’s NFL wild card races, there are not a lot of certainties about who gets a spot. Some divisional races are all but over. But for the football odds on the NFL playoffs, some surprises are yet to come.
Let’s take a deeper look at the NFL wild card picture in both conferences. Each one has lots of intrigues and several scenarios still pending.
NFC Wild Card Race
Beginning in the NFC East, the Cowboys are running away with the division. No other team has shown that they’re a legitimate threat. The Eagles have an excellent chance to get their third win in Detroit, but Philadelphia, Washington, and the Giants are probably out of the picture without a string of victories.
In the South, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look ready for another deep run in the NFL playoffs. They visit New Orleans in Week 8, who won ugly on Monday night in Seattle. The Saints will have to improve on offense, but they are a potential NFL wild card.
The Arizona Cardinals are the only undefeated team in the NFL, but they still can’t shake the LA Rams, who are keeping pace in the NFC West. Whatever happens in this division, a wild card spot is all but assured to the runner-up.
Green Bay is likely to win the NFC North, leaving Minnesota and Chicago to battle for a wild card spot. However, the Bears looked out of touch in their loss to the Buccaneers last week, and their coaching staff still hasn’t figured out how to coach a young quarterback.
The Vikings are coming off the bye week after two consecutive wins, but they go into a tricky part of their schedule with games against the Cowboys and the Ravens coming up. Minnesota is fifth in yards per game, making them a dangerous team.
AFC Wild Card Race
The AFC is more complicated, with all divisions still up for grabs here. The Buffalo Bills look like they could run away with the AFC East, but New England is showing signs of life.
New England has proven they can win again as they continue on a grueling schedule. The Patriots will meet the Bills in Week 14 in a season-defining game.
The Week 8 matchup between the Titans and the Colts might help determine the division winner. If the Colts win this game, they’ll only be one game behind for the division lead. If the Titans win, it’s hard to imagine the Colts catching up, but they could be a wild card team.
The AFC West is still a four-team dogfight. The Raiders have the edge right now, and the Chiefs looked like they gave up on the season last week, but I wouldn’t count out any of these teams.
The AFC West could produce three playoff teams for the first time since 2014.
But the AFC North is another race between all four teams. The shoulder injury to Baker Mayfield was a big blow to Cleveland’s chances, but Mayfield plans to play through the pain to keep his team alive.
The Cincinnati Bengals took a considerable step toward capturing the division title. The win against Baltimore puts the Ravens into an NFL wild card spot for now.
Winners of NFL Wild Card Races
With more than half the season to go, there are still a lot of surprises in store for NFL wild card races. However, in the NFC, I expect the division leaders to remain the same. So I’m betting on the Rams to get the first wild card spot.
As for the others, I have to take the Vikings as the next NFL wild card. Then, it’s between the Saints and the Falcons to come out of the NFC South.
The AFC wild card race could come down to the last week of the season. I like the Colts for one NFL wild card spot. So I’m hedging bets for the two last seeds and picking the Ravens and Broncos.
Which teams do you like for the NFL playoffs this year?
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