We’re halfway to reaching the new-look NFL playoffs. Fourteen teams will play for a shot at the Lombardi Trophy. The top team from each conference receives a bye while the six other teams will play on Wild Card weekend. The top four seeds will be division winners, and the bottom three seeds will be Wild Card teams. We break down our NFL betting picks and let you know which teams to keep an eye out for as we get closer to the playoffs.
NFC Playoff Teams
- 1 seed: New Orleans Saints (NFC South champ)
- 2 seed: Seattle Seahawks (NFC West champ)
- 3 seed: Green Bay Packers (NFC North champ)
- 4 seed: Philadelphia Eagles (NFC East champ)
- 5 seed: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC South Wild Card)
- 6 seed: Arizona Cardinals (NFC West Wild Card)
- 7 seed: Los Angeles Rams (NFC West Wild Card)
Could three teams from the NFC West make the playoffs? At this point in the season, it’s a realistic scenario with three squads holding 6-3 records — Seattle, Arizona and the Los Angeles Rams.
When you look at what’s going on around the NFC, the battle for the three Wild Card spots may not be too tight.
It’s safe to say the struggling NFC East won’t be getting a second team in. The division will be lucky just to have its champ finish with a winning record. The NFC North looks unlikely to get a Wild Card team with the second-place Bears recent three-game losing streak. Two strong teams sit atop the NFC South with New Orleans and Tampa Bay. The bottom half of that division is struggling.
So who gets that third Wild Card spot? It likely will come from the competitive NFC West unless a team from the North has a strong second-half finish.
AFC Playoff Teams
- 1 seed: Kansas City Chiefs (AFC West champ)
- 2 seed: Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC North champ)
- 3 seed: Buffalo Bills (AFC East champ)
- 4 seed: Tennessee Titans (AFC South champ)
- 5 seed: Baltimore Ravens (AFC North Wild Card)
- 6 seed: Miami Dolphins (AFC East Wild Card)
- 7 seed: Las Vegas Raiders (AFC West Wild Card)
The AFC is loaded this season. Not only is it home to the top two Super Bowl favorites in Kansas City and Pittsburgh, but there are several combinations of five strong teams vying for three Wild Card spots, depending on who claims their division title.
The top four seeds go to who we think will win their divisions. That currently leaves Baltimore, Miami, Las Vegas, Indianapolis and Cleveland as teams pursuing the bottom three seeds. Baltimore may not catch the undefeated Steelers, but the Ravens feel like a lock for the playoffs and a team capable of doing some damage.
The last two seeds went to Miami and Las Vegas, two teams with impressive win streaks and momentum on their sides.
Playoff Predictions: Who Wins?
If the playoffs were to start today, there would be several fun matchups for fans to enjoy. As with each other major sport, the playoffs are where online sports betting is the most exciting. In the NFL playoffs, it’s always win or go home, and this is where it comes in handy to look at various NFL betting lines and NFL betting odds at your sportsbook casino of choice.
Here is a quick preview of some potential playoff matchups for both the NFC and AFC conference.
NFC Wild Card Round
#7 Los Angeles Rams @ #2 Seattle Seahawks — Seahawks win
The Rams recently defeated Seattle. But in a playoff setting, a repeat W is too tall of a task. Russell Wilson is on a mission this year, and his arsenal of weapons is elite. Seattle is on a two-game skid right now, but expect the Seahawks to turn it around quickly with some favorable games ahead.
#6 Arizona Cardinals @ #3 Green Bay Packers — Packers win
These playoffs will be home to several terrific quarterback matchups. How about the youngster Kyler Murray vs. the veteran Aaron Rodgers? While the Packers have issues to solve defensively, the experience of Rodgers is valuable in postseason play. This could be a high-scoring affair.
#5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ #4 Philadelphia Eagles — Bucs win
If you can’t win your division, securing the No. 5 seed in the NFC isn’t a bad consolation prize. That means you’ll be on the road but will face the NFC East winner. Does Tom Brady still have some playoff magic left? He has a well-rounded team around him to make another playoff push.
NFC Divisional Round
#5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ No. 1 New Orleans Saints — Saints win
The Saints are 2-0 against the Bucs this season, the last being a 38-3 dominant showing. Drew Brees’ status going forward is unknown with his rib injury. This team is built for playoff success, though, even if Jameis Winston has to win some games before Brees comes back.
#3 Green Bay Packers @ #2 Seattle Seahawks — Seahawks win
Another classic playoff showdown in the making if these two teams see each other. When Seattle is clicking on offense, it can put on a show. Something tells us Rodgers is going to light it up in the playoffs as well. But crowd or no crowd, the Seahawks are tough to beat at home.
NFC Conference Championship
#2 Seattle Seahawks @ No. 1 New Orleans Saints – Seahawks win
Wilson, DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett on turf indoors? And without having to contend with a raucous Mercedes-Benz Superdome? This matchup seems to favor Seattle.
Both of these teams are motivated to return to the Super Bowl and get a ring. Brees is looking for a proper farewell while Wilson is looking for proper respect as a top-tier quarterback in this league.
Despite losing three of its last four games, Seattle is still the most dangerous team in the NFC and the favorite to reach the Super Bowl.
AFC Wild Card Round
#7 Las Vegas Raiders @ #2 Pittsburgh Steelers — Steelers win
Can Ben Roethlisberger’s body hold up for an entire season? That’s a key question for a rock-solid Steelers team that has yet to lose a game. The Pittsburgh offense is rolling right now. If Big Ben can stay healthy and keep his play up, the Raiders shouldn’t threaten the Steelers in this matchup.
#6 Miami Dolphins @ #3 Buffalo Bills — Bills win
The Bills have finally found their guy at QB. Josh Allen is backing up his draft hype from a few seasons ago. These two teams meet in the final week of the regular season, which would make for an interesting dynamic. That matchup should play a huge role in how the playoff bracket looks. Give us a Buffalo win in back-to-back games against Miami.
#5 Baltimore Ravens @ #4 Tennessee Titans — Ravens win
Baltimore looks like the best second-place team in the NFL. While the offense may not be as dynamic as last year, the Ravens will be scary in the playoffs. Baltimore is a top ten defense against the run, a good formula to defeat the Titans.
AFC Divisional Round
#5 Baltimore Ravens @ #1 Kansas City Chiefs — Chiefs win
Another tremendous QB battle here. Kansas City is as loaded as it was last year. It’ll be a tall task for anyone to knock this team off its path of repeating as Super Bowl champs.
#3 Buffalo Bills @ #2 Pittsburgh Steelers — Bills win
Let’s go with an upset here. Hey, if there’s a passionate fanbase out there deserving of celebrating a big win like this, why not Buffalo? The durability of Big Ben will be in the back of everyone’s mind. How long can the Steelers keep this hot play rolling? The Bills could have a chance here to be the story of the playoffs.
AFC Conference Championship
#3 Buffalo Bills @ #1 Kansas City Chiefs — Chiefs win
The story of the Bills would end here, though. The Chiefs will be just too much and will head to the Super Bowl with two convincing playoff wins.
Super Bowl LV Prediction: Kansas City Beats Seattle 34-27
Wilson versus Patrick Mahomes. It’s a matchup we’re all thirsty to see. Just the array of offensive talent in this game would make for an electric Super Bowl. While there are worthy contenders in each conference, a collision course between Kansas City and Seattle is inevitable.
In the end, it’s hard to bet against this Chiefs team. When they turn it on, they are the best team in the NFL. Kansas City will be the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since New England did it in 2004 and 2005.
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