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NFL Betting: Analyzing Odds to Make the NFC Playoffs

NFL

AP Photo/John Locher

Heading into Week 12 of the NFL season, the homestretch is upon us. Each game becomes critical this time of year as some teams are fighting for a playoff spot while others are playing for seeding or draft position.

While no team has clinched a playoff spot just yet, at this point in the season there are a handful of teams that are all but guaranteed a berth. Let’s look at the NFC and see which teams carry the best value to make the playoffs at this point in the season and who you should be betting on.

San Francisco 49ers (9-1) – A tough remaining schedule that features Green Bay, Baltimore, New Orleans, LA Rams, and Seattle could land the 49ers as low as a six seed. With their odds, the juice isn’t worth the squeeze considering the likelihood of a few road blocks. There are better bets out there to make.

FanDuel Playoff Odds
Yes -2000
No +730

Green Bay Packers (8-2) – The schedule is favorable and they are already 3-0 in the division. The payout won’t be great but the Packers are as good a bet as any to reach the playoffs which is certainly reflective in the price.

FanDuel Playoff Odds
Yes -3000
No +870

New Orleans Saints (8-2) –  The Saints have the biggest division lead of any NFC team heading into this weekend at three games. They will probably be the first team to lock up a playoff spot.

FanDuel Playoff Odds
Yes: -6000

Seattle Seahawks (8-2) –  Seattle’s defense makes them vulnerable to almost any team. However, their offense is good enough to take on any defense, as we saw against the Niners two weeks ago. A fairly tough schedule could land them a no. 6 seed but a two-game lead with six to go, consider the Seahawks in.

FanDuel Playoff Odds
Yes -800
No +460

Minnesota Vikings (8-3) –  The Vikings are one of the best all-around teams in the NFC. As long as Kirk Cousins can stay solid, the sky’s the limit in Minnesota. A win against Seattle next week puts them in a great spot.

FanDuel Playoff Odds
Yes -1600
No +660

Dallas Cowboys (6-4) – They currently have the lead in the NFC East and have already beaten the second-place Eagles once. The two face off December 22 in a game that could decide the division. Dallas faces some tough defenses in the next four weeks including the Patriots on Sunday. I see value in the Cowboys to miss the playoffs as Philadelphia is a great bet to steal this division late in the season.

FanDuel Playoff Odds
Yes -190
No +140

LA Rams (6-4) – With two teams ahead of them in the division, it appears that it is Wild Card or nothing for the Rams this season. Having to play a challenging Cardinals team twice, Dallas, Seattle, and San Francisco, the Rams are in serious danger of going from Super Bowl to missing the playoffs.

FanDuel Playoff Odds
Yes +160
No – 215

Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) – Philadelphia can still win the NFC East. They must beat Dallas in their second to last game of the season. A favorable schedule against New York Giants (twice), Miami, and Washington gives the Eagles a legit shot at 10 wins. A great bet at a near pick ’em price.

FanDuel Playoff Odds
Yes -106
No -128

Carolina Panthers (5-5) – The Panthers have lost three of their last four and look lost on both sides of the ball. With two games against the Saints still to go, it’s hard to even considering this team as a long shot.

FanDuel Playoff Odds
Yes +1140
No -4500

Chicago Bears (4-6): Once again, the offense has let the Bears down this season. An elite defense isn’t enough to get Chicago into the playoffs. They could get to 6-6 after playing the Giants and Lions but the schedule gets too tough after that (Dallas, Green Bay, Kansas City, and Minnesota). Unfortunately, the price strongly suggests the Bears won’t be in the postseason.

FanDuel Playoff Odds
Yes +3900
No -20000

Detroit Lions (3-6-1) – A tie and five losses by one possession killed the Lions this season. And an injured Matthew Stafford leaves little to no hope.

FanDuel Playoff Odds
Yes +10000
No N/A

Arizona Cardinals (3-7-1): Arizona is showing signs of future promise with Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray. Unfortunately for Larry Fitzgerald, he might not be around to see it come to fruition. A potential bet-on team down the stretch but obviously no chance of a playoff berth.

FanDuel Playoff Odds
Yes +10000
No N/A

Atlanta Falcons (3-7) – Of the bottom eight teams (including Carolina), the Falcons are the best long shot bet. The offense has the talent and the defense has gotten better since the defensive coaching shakeup. Atlanta is starting to play like they were supposed to all season. The playoffs are a fantasy at best, but again, the talent is there to make things interesting.

FanDuel Playoff Odds
Yes +10000
No N/A

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7) – Schedule-wise, the Buccaneers have it fairly easy the rest of the way. One one of their remaining six games is against a likely playoff participant and that’s at home vs. Houston. Still, hard to imagine Tampa not finishing with double-digit losses.

FanDuel Playoff Odds
Yes +10000
No N/A

New York Giants (2-8) – The Daniel Jones experiment looked like a success in the early stages but the wheels quickly came off. Their most recent loss to the Jets perfectly summed up the current state of the organization.

FanDuel Playoff Odds
Yes +10000
No N/A

Washington Redskins (1-9) – No. 1 draft pick the only thing worth “playing” for the rest of the way.

Yes +10000
No N/A

Brandon Wittmeyer

Brandon Wittmeyer is a professional gambler in Las Vegas and has earned a living doing so for the last 15 years. He specializes in college football, college basketball, NFL and mixed martial arts. He also educates and advises others on many gambling topics including sports betting and poker. Brandon is featured occasionally on the Vegas Sports Information Network (VSIN) and you can hear him on podcasts regularly. He has written for Card Player magazine in the past about betting and poker strategies. His poker resume includes winning a World Series of Poker Bracelet and a WSOP Circuit Ring.