Updated NFL Playoff Odds and Week 18 Clinching Scenarios

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert standing in the pocket

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) looks to pass during an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders game Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Sunday, January 9th, is the final day of the 2021-22 NFL regular season
There are 11 of 14 playoff spots clinched but seven teams still have a shot at claiming one of the three remaining postseason berths
All of the playoff scenarios and NFL playoff odds are outlined in the story below

When the NFL added one more game to the regular season and an additional team to each conference’s playoff lineup, this is what they had in mind. Competition on multiple fronts for postseason places entering that final week of regular-season play.

With one game for each of the 32 teams left to play, 18 of those teams still have at least a mathematical chance of qualifying for the postseason.

Let’s take a look a how the NFL playoff picture is tentatively shaping up.

2021-22 NFL Standings

AFC Seed
Team
NFC Seed
Team

1
Tennessee Titans**
1
Green Bay Packers**

2
Kansas City Chiefs**
2
Los Angeles Rams*

3
Cincinnati Bengals**
3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers**

4
Buffalo Bills*
4
Dallas Cowboys**

5
New England Patriots*
5
Arizona Cardinals*

6
Indianapolis Colts
6
San Francisco 49ers

7
Los Angeles Chargers
7
Philadelphia Eagles*

**The Titans (AFC South), Chiefs (AFC West), Bengals (AFC) North, Packers (NFC North), Buccaneers (NFC South) and Cowboys (NFC East) have clinched division titles.

* The Bills, Patriots, Rams, Cardinals and Eagles have clinched playoff berths.

 

If the Buffalo Bills win at home on Sunday against the New York Jets, they clinch the AFC East title. The Bills are already assured of at least a 10-win season for the third year in a row. Should Buffalo lose, the Bills would open the door to give New England an opportunity to take the division crown with a victory over the Miami Dolphins.

In the NFC, the Los Angeles Rams need a win on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers to wrap up NFC West honors. Lose and the Arizona Cardinals would be NFC West champs if they were to defeat the Seattle Seahawks.

No. 1 seed: SECURED ✅ #GoPackGo pic.twitter.com/twPGyxQNVa

— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 3, 2022

Were the seven seeds in each conference to hold in their current placing, it would be the Tennessee Titans (AFC) and Green Bay Packers (NFC) earning byes and clinching home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

Start 2022 With the Best Caesars Sportsbook Promos This Week

Potential Wild Card Weekend Matchups

The current AFC Wild Card Weekend playoff matchups would see the Kansas City Chiefs play host to the Los Angeles Chargers in an all-AFC West showdown. The 4-5 seedings would pit AFC East rivals Buffalo and New England against each other. The third game has the Cincinnati Bengals playing host to the Indianapolis Colts.

Over in the NFC, the Rams are currently slated for a showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles. Tampa Bay would get the San Francisco 49ers in a matchup of the last two teams to win the NFC Championship Game. Finally, the Dallas Cowboys would be playing host to the Cardinals.

That’s the way they line up right now … but much could happen to change that order this weekend.

AFC Playoff Odds

Team
Odds To Make Playoffs
Odds To Miss Playoffs

Baltimore Ravens
+4000
OFF

Indianapolis Colts
-1200
+650

Los Angeles Chargers
-150
+120

Las Vegas Raiders
-125
+105

Pittsburgh Steelers
+1400
-5000

Odds as of January 4th at DraftKings.

Clearly, oddsmakers are confident that the Baltimore Ravens are going to find themselves out of the postseason. They aren’t even offering a line in the NFL playoff odds on the chances of the Ravens missing out on qualification for the Super Bowl tournament.

The Ravens are playing host to the Pittsburgh Steelers in one of two weekend matchups pitting two teams both remaining in the hunt for AFC Wild Card berths against each other. Baltimore (8-8) needs to win and and have three other teams lose in order to qualify for the playoffs. No wonder the Ravens are +4000 to make the postseason.

Certainly, the best bet among the AFC outsiders to be assured of postseason participation is the Indianapolis Colts. Indy is -1200 to qualify for the playoffs. That’s not surprising, considering that the Colts close out the regular season at the 2-14 Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s worth remembering that Indianapolis opened the 2020 season by losing on the road at Jacksonville.

Raiders vs Chargers – Win And They’re In

The chance to earn a solid payday comes with the Los Angeles Chargers playing at the Las Vegas Raiders. In this scenario between these longtime AFC West rivals, it’s a case of win and they are in.

Next week’s Chargers-Raiders game is expected to be a win or go home matchup, and @SteveKornacki explains why.

📺: NBC and @peacockTV pic.twitter.com/8oRXrlImbf

— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) January 3, 2022

 

The  Chargers have won two straight when facing the Raiders. Las Vegas has won three in a row to stay alive in the postseason chase. The thing is, the Raiders are living on the edge while remaining in the hunt. They’ve won those three games by margins of two, four, and three points. And they haven’t scored more than 23 points in any of those games.

The Raiders are 1-3 straight up in their last four home games. They’ll need to display a lot more offense to overcome an LA team that hasn’t scored fewer than 28 points in its past five games.

Take the Chargers and QB Justin Herbert to get the job done at -150, while playing the Raiders to miss out at a betting line of +105.

NFC Playoff Odds

Team
Odds To Make Playoffs
Odds To Miss Playoffs

New Orleans Saints
-150
+120

San Francisco 49ers
-150
+120

There’s a lot less to be decided in the NFC in terms of playoff participants. In an odd twist, the #7-seeded Philadelphia Eagles have clinched a spot, while #6 Niners haven’t. San Fran wins the tiebreaker with the Eagles based on a 17-11 Week 2 triumph at Philly.

2021 NFL Playoff Clinching Scenarios

Team
How They Make The Playoffs

Baltimore Ravens
BAL win + LAC loss + IND loss + MIA loss or tie/td>

Indianapolis Colts
IND win or tie OR  LAC loss + BAL-PGH tie OR  LAC loss + PGH loss + MIA win

Las Vegas Raiders
LVR win OR  LVR tie and IND loss OR IND loss + PGH loss or tie

Los Angeles Chargers
LAC win or tie

Pittsburgh Steelers
PGH win +IND loss + LVR-LAC does not end in tie

New Orleans Saints
NO wins + SF loss

San Francisco 49ers
SF win or tie OR  NO loss or tie

San Francisco doesn’t have the easiest path to the postseason. The 49ers are squaring off with the Rams, who must win to assure themselves of the NFC West title. And San Fran will likely be rolling with rookie Trey Lance at QB instead of the injured Jimmy Garoppolo.

It’s officially Rams week 🐏

Win and we’re in 😤 #49ers || #FTTB || #BeatLA pic.twitter.com/KunNY0ab8U

— OurSF49ers (@OurSf49ers_) January 4, 2022

 

If the Niners stumble, it opens the door for New Orleans. The 8-8 Saints are at 7-9 Atlanta, where they’ve won three in a row. Despite using four different starting QBs this season, New Orleans is 3-1 over its past four games.

Saints’ Chances Improving

According to fivethirtyeight.com, the Saints have a 39% chance of making the playoffs. That’s a slight uptick from last week’s number of 35%.

Should the 49ers and Eagles lose and the Saints wins, all three teams would finish 9-8. New Orleans and Philly would get in, based on their 7-5 conference record, compared to 6-6 for the Niners. The best the Saints can do is be the #7 seed. If they get in, it’s a lock they’ll play the Rams. LA must win for New Orleans to also make the playoffs. An LA win clinches the #2 seed for the Rams.

Take the Saints at -150 to sneak into the playoffs at San Francisco’s expense. Go with the 49ers to miss the postseason at +120.

Author: wpadmin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *