Tag Archives: playoff picture

NFL Playoff Picture for Week 17

John Morgan
December 30, 2017 at 2:00 pm ET

The 2017 NFL regular season wraps up on Sunday afternoon. There is not as much drama this year compared to the week 17 of many previous seasons. The 2017 NFL playoff picture is relatively settled. In the AFC there are four teams battling for two wild card spots. The NFC still has one division title up for grabs, but has just two teams competing for one final playoff slot.

For the sake of clarity and sanity, ties have been omitted from the scenarios below.

 

AFC Playoff Picture for Week 17

12-3 New England Patriots
15½ point home favorites vs Jets.
Have clinched AFC East and a first round bye.
Clinch the #1 seed with either a win, or a Pittsburgh loss.

12-3 Pittsburgh Steelers
7 point home favorites vs Browns.
Have clinched AFC North and a first round bye.
Need a win plus a Patriots loss for #1 seed.
Are the #2 seed in any other scenario.

10-5 Jacksonville Jaguars
3 point underdogs at Tennessee.
Have clinched AFC South and #3 seed.
Locked into the #3 slot.

9-6 Kansas City Chiefs
3½ point underdogs at Denver.
Have clinched AFC West and #4 seed.
Locked into the #4 slot.

9-6 Baltimore Ravens
9½ point home favorites vs Cincinnati.
Become #5 seed with either a win, or losses by both Buffalo and Tennessee.
Become #6 spot with loss, and either Buffalo or Tennessee loses.
Miss playoffs with a loss, plus both Buffalo and Tennessee win.

8-7 Tennessee Titans
3 point home favorites vs Jacksonville.
Become #5 seed with a win, plus Baltimore loses.
Become #6 seed with a win, plus Baltimore wins.
Can still become #6 seed despite a loss if both Bills and Chargers lose.
Eliminated with a loss, plus a win by either the Bills or Chargers.

8-7 Los Angeles Chargers
8 point home favorites vs Oakland.
Become #6 seed with a win, plus both Tennessee and Buffalo lose.
Become #6 seed with a win, plus both Tennessee and Baltimore lose.
Chargers are eliminated with a loss, or if Tennessee wins, or if Buffalo wins and Baltimore loses.

8-7 Buffalo Bills
2½ point favorites at Miami.
Clinch #5 seed with a win, plus losses by both Baltimore and Tennessee.
Become #6 seed with a win, plus Baltimore loses.
Become #6 seed with a win, plus both the Titans and the Chargers lose.
Eliminated with either a loss, or if the Titans and Ravens both win, or if the Chargers and Ravens both win.

 

NFC Playoff Picture for Week 17

13-2 Philadelphia Eagles
3 point home underdogs vs Dallas.
Have already clinched NFC East and #1 seed.

12-3 Minnesota Vikings
12 point home favorites vs Chicago.
Will be the #2 seed unless they lose, Carolina wins, plus the Saints and Rams both lose.

11-4 Los Angeles Rams
3½ point home underdogs vs San Francisco.
Clinch the #3 seed with a win, or with losses by both Carolina and New Orleans.
Drop to #4 seed with a loss, plus a win by either Carolina or New Orleans.

11-4 New Orleans Saints
7 point favorites at Tampa Bay.
Become #3 seed with a win, plus loss by Rams.
Win NFC South and #4 seed with either a win, or Carolina loss.
Become #5 seed with a loss, plus a Carolina win.

11-4 Carolina Panthers
3½ point underdogs at Atlanta.
Clinch #2 seed and first round bye with a win, plus losses by the Vikings, Saints and Rams.
Win NFC South and #3 seed with a win, plus losses by both the Saints and Rams.
Win NFC South and #4 seed with a win, plus loss by Saints.
Become #5 seed with either a loss, or a New Orleans win.

9-6 Atlanta Falcons
3½ point home favorites vs Carolina.
Make the playoffs as #6 seed with either a win, or a Seattle loss.
Miss the playoffs with a loss, plus Seattle wins.

9-6 Seattle Seahawks
9½ point home favorites vs Arizona.
Make the playoffs as #6 seed with both a win, plus Atlanta loss.
Miss the playoffs with either a loss, or an Atlanta win.

 

NFL Week 17 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines: Pats favored by 16 vs Jets

John Morgan
December 23, 2017 at 8:00 pm ET

NFL Week 17 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines: Pats favored by 16 vs Jets

The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has published their latest NFL Advanced Betting Lines. These early odds were posted a day after the Week 15 games finished. Keep in mind these odds were listed prior to any of this week’s injury reports, as well as any of the Week 16 games. Also known as Look-Ahead lines, they give the adventurous sports fan an opportunity to wager on games up to twelve days away from being played. Early lines offer a short opportunity to get a jump on odds that could become less favorable after Sunday’s games.

Handicapping games in the final week of the regular season can be a tricky proposition. Motivation could be difficult for a team that has played for the goal of making the playoffs for months, and suddenly finds themselves eliminated. A bad team might play loose and try things they normally wouldn’t, catching an opponent off guard. Good teams locked into a specific playoff slot may opt to rest players who would have otherwise started. The line in the Eagles-Cowboys game reflects that concept.

In Week 16 ten road teams are favored to win. That number falls back to a more typical number in Week 17, with five home dogs. The Saints are the biggest road favorite, minus 8½ points at Tampa Bay. The largest spread of the week is in Foxboro, where the Patriots are favored by 16 versus the Jets. That game is one of four double-digit spreads. The narrowest odds are with Houston as a one-point underdog at Indianapolis.

The most important games of Week 17 loom to be Carolina at Atlanta (-3½) in the NFC, and Jacksonville (-3½) at Tennessee in the AFC.

All games will be played on Sunday, December 31. There are no night games.
 

NFL Week 12 Early Odds – Early Games on CBS

New York Jets at New England Patriots (-16)
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3½) at Tennessee Titans
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-15)
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-11)
Buffalo Bills (-2½) at Miami Dolphins
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-1)
 

NFL Week 12 Early Odds – Early Games on Fox

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3½)
New Orleans Saints (-8½) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-12)
Dallas Cowboys (-3) at Philadelphia Eagles
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (-9)
Washington Redskins (-3) at New York Giants
 

NFL Week 12 Early Odds – Late Games

Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (-7), CBS
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (-7), Fox
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (-2½), CBS
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-7), Fox

 

 

NFL Week 16 Odds, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

NFL Playoff Picture Entering Week 16

 

NFL Playoff Picture Entering Week 16

John Morgan
at 2:00 pm ET

Entering Week 16 five teams have clinched a playoff spot. The Patriots, Steelers, Jaguars, Eagles and Vikings have all punched a ticket for the post season. Philadelphia is the only team thus far to earn a first round bye.

In the AFC six teams have been eliminated: the Browns, Colts, Texans, Broncos, Bengals and Jets. The Dolphins and Raiders are technically alive, but comatose and on life support. The Chargers are not in much better shape, even though they are only one game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West. Most likely it is Ravens, Titans and Bills battling for two wild card spots.

The Giants, Bears, Forty Niners, Bucs, Cardinals, Skins and Packers are all officially eliminated. Dallas, Seattle and Detroit face tall odds to get in. Philadelphia and Minnesota have won their divisions and will host at least one playoff game. The only way the Rams don’t win the NFC West is to lose twice while Seattle wins twice. The NFC South is probably going to send three teams to the playoffs. Games involving the Saints, Panthers and Falcons are the most intriguing over the next two weeks. Atlanta is at New Orleans this week, and then the Falcons host Carolina next week.

For the sake of clarity (and sanity), I will not consider ties in the following playoff scenarios. Yes, I know they can happen: just ask Donovan McNabb.

 

AFC Playoff Picture

#1 (11-3) New England Patriots
Home vs 8-6 Bills, home vs 5-9 Jets.
Have clinched AFC East and at least #3 seed.
Clinch #2 seed with win, plus a loss by either Jacksonville or Pittsburgh.
Clinch #1 seed with win, plus losses by both Jacksonville and Pittsburgh.
Clinch #1 seed with two wins regardless of what else happens.

#2 (11-3) Pittsburgh Steelers
At 4-10 Texans, home vs 0-14 Browns.
Have clinched AFC North and at least #3 seed.
Clinch #2 seed with win, plus Jacksonville loss.

#3 (10-4) Jacksonville Jaguars
At 4-10 49ers, at 8-6 Titans.
Clinch AFC South and #3 seed with either a win, or a Tennessee loss.

#4 (8-6) Kansas City Chiefs
Home vs 6-8 Dolphins, at 5-9 Broncos.
Clinch AFC West and #4 seed with a win, plus a Chargers loss.

#5 (8-6) Tennessee Titans
Home vs 10-4 Rams, home vs 10-4 Jaguars.
Clinch playoff spot with a win, plus losses by both the Bills and Ravens.

#6 (8-6) Baltimore Ravens
Home vs 3-11 Colts, home vs 5-9 Bengals.
Clinch playoff spot with two wins.

#7 (8-6) Buffalo Bills
At 11-3 Patriots, at 6-8 Dolphins.

#8 (7-7) Los Angeles Chargers
At 5-9 Jets, home vs 6-8 Raiders.
Eliminated with a loss.
Can win AFC West and #4 seed with two wins, plus two losses by Kansas City.
Scenario #1 as a wild card: win twice, Titans lose twice, Ravens win or lose out (don’t go 1-1), and Bills lose at least once.
Scenario #2 as a wild card: win twice, Ravens lose twice Titans win or lose out (don’t go 1-1), and Bills lose at least once.

#9 (6-8) Oakland Raiders
At 12-2 Eagles, at 7-7 Chargers.
Can only be a #6 seed, or miss playoffs.
Eliminated with a loss.
To make the playoffs the Raiders need to win twice while Buffalo and Tennessee both lose twice, Miami wins twice, and Baltimore wins at least once.

#10 (6-8) Miami Dolphins
At 8-6 Chiefs, home vs 8-6 Bills.
Eliminated with a loss.
Scenario #1 as a wild card: win twice, Titans lose twice, Bills lose to Pats, Chiefs lose to Broncos, and Raiders lose at least once.
Scenario #2 as a wild card: win twice, Ravens lose twice, Bills lose to Pats, Chiefs lose to Broncos, and Raiders lose to Chargers.

 

NFC Playoff Picture

#1 (12-2) Philadelphia Eagles
Home vs 6-8 Raiders, home vs 8-6 Cowboys.
Have clinched NFC East and at least #2 seed.
Clinch #1 seed with either a win, or a Vikings loss.

#2 (11-3) Minnesota Vikings
At 7-7 Packers, home vs 4-10 Bears.
Have clinched NFC North.
Clinch #3 seed with either a win, or a Rams loss.
Clinch #2 seed with both a win, plus a Panthers loss.

#3 (10-4) Los Angeles Rams
At 8-6 Titans, home vs 4-10 49ers.
Clinch a playoff spot with losses by the Falcons, Panthers and Lions.
Clinch the NFC West and #3 seed with either a win, or a Seahawks loss.

#4 (10-4) New Orleans Saints
Home vs 9-5 Falcons, at 4-10 Bucs.
Clinch at least #5 seed with a win over Atlanta.
Clinch NFC West and at least #4 seed with win over Falcons, plus Panthers loss.

#5 (10-4) Carolina Panthers
Home vs 4-10 Bucs, at 9-5 Falcons.
Clinch playoff spot with a win.
Clinch at least #5 seed with a win, plus Saints loss to Falcons.

#6 (9-5) Atlanta Falcons
At 10-4 Saints, home vs 10-4 Panthers.
Clinch playoff spot with a win.

#7 (8-6) Detroit Lions
At 5-9 Bengals, home vs 7-7 Packers.
Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
Scenario #1 as wild card: win twice while Falcons lose twice.
Scenario #2: win twice, and either Saints or Panthers lose twice, and either Seahawks or Cowboys win twice.

#8 (8-6) Seattle Seahawks
At 8-6 Cowboys, home vs 6-8 Cardinals.
Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
Must win twice plus Rams lose twice to win NFC West and #4 seed.
Scenario #1 as wild card: win twice, Panthers lose twice, and Saints lose twice.
Scenario #2: win twice, Lions lose at least once, and one of Panthers, Saints or Falcons lose twice.

#9 (8-6) Dallas Cowboys
Home vs 8-6 Cowboys, at 12-2 Eagles.
Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
Scenario #1 as wild card: win twice, Panthers lose twice, and Saints lose twice.
Scenario #2: win twice, Lions lose at least once, and of Panthers, Saints or Falcons lose twice.

 

NFL Week 16 Odds, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

 

NFL Week 16 Odds, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
December 22, 2017 at 8:01 pm ET

NFL Week 16 Odds, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

Week 16 is unique, with neither Thursday nor Sunday night football – but with two games on Monday. Five teams have clinched a playoff spot and 14 others are still in contention for the post-season. There are plenty of intriguing games worth watching this weekend and next before the playoffs commence. The theory of home field advantage will be put to a test during these three days. Road teams are favored in ten of the sixteen games this week.

There is another oddity about this week’s schedule. Of the four games between teams with winning records, none are on in primetime – and three are broadcast in the early time slot. Fox has always had an affinity for NFC East teams due to their large market sizes. But if the network is not going to make the best game of the week (Falcons at Saints) their showcase game, then give it up to be flexed to Saturday night. Net result is that the two best games (NO-Atl and Patriots-Bills) are on at the same time. Those two back-to-back would have made for superior programming.

To see what games are being broadcast in your area, please check JP Kirby’s 506 Sports.

 

National Broadcasts

3-11 Indianapolis Colts at 8-6 Baltimore Ravens
4:30 pm ET Saturday 12/23 on NFLN; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green
Ravens favored by 13½; over/under 41 points; money line -1000, +675

Baltimore has averaged 31 points over their last five games, in large part to an NFL-best plus-17 turnover differential. The Raven defense ranks 4th with 18.3 points per game and has a league best 33 takeaways. I don’t see how the Indy offense (16.1 ppg, 31st) can keep this game close.

Pick: Ravens 31, Colts 13
Ravens -13½, over 41

 

11-3 Minnesota Vikings at 7-7 Green Bay Packers
8:30 pm ET Saturday 12/23 on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth
Vikings favored by 9; over/under 41 points; money line -430, +340

The Vikings are playing for at minimum a first round bye, while Green Bay is eliminated. Minnesota’s defense will dominate a team that may be giving second stringers playing time with an eye on 2018.

Pick: Vikings 27, Packers 13
Vikings -9, under 41

 

11-3 Pittsburgh Steelers at 4-10 Houston Texans
4:30 pm ET, Monday 12/25 on NBC/NFLN; Mike Tirico, Kurt Warner
Steelers favored by 9½; over/under 45 points; money line -450, +350

I’m interested to see if Pittsburgh comes out with their hair on fire after last week’s last second loss. Or will the Steelers play down to their opponent’s level, as they often do. Pittsburgh is notorious for not playing well on the road either, and no Antonio Brown does not help matters. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Pittsburgh comes out flat, but Houston has lost too many key players over the course of their season.

Pick: Steelers 24, Texans 20
Texans +9½, under 45

 

6-8 Oakland Raiders at 12-2 Philadelphia Eagles
8:30 pm ET Monday 12/25 on ESPN; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden
Eagles favored by 9; over/under 47½ points; money line -400, +330

Oakland is all but mathematically eliminated, and traveling cross country for a meaningless game. Philly wants to clinch the number one seed in the NFC and Nick Foles (4 TDs last week) showed the 31.3 ppg offense is still in capable hands. The Eagle defense should be able to handle Oakland and control this game.

Pick: Eagles 34, Raiders 17
Eagles -9, over 47½

 

Early CBS Games

8-6 Buffalo Bills at 11-3 New England Patriots
Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Patriots favored by 12; over/under 47½ points; money line -750, +525

This should be a great game, as both teams have plenty to play for. The Patriots need two wins to insure home field throughout the playoffs. Buffalo needs a victory (and help) to make the playoffs. To add to the drama this is a revenge game for the Bills after the hit three weeks ago that resulted in Rob Gronkowski’s suspension. Sean McDermott came up with a great defensive game plan for Buffalo in the last meeting; it will be interesting to see what he has in store Sunday.

Pick: Patriots 27, Bills 20
Bills +12, under 47½

 

7-7 Los Angeles Chargers at 5-9 New York Jets
Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Chargers favored by 7; over/under 42½ points; money line -300, +250

After a surprisingly good start, the Jets are 2-7 in their last nine games. As the season has progressed their lack of quality depth has become apparent. The Chargers are in a must-win spot here; the Jets can go back to their original plan of tanking the 2017 season.

Pick: Chargers 27, Jets 17
Chargers -7, over 42½

 

6-8 Miami Dolphins at 8-6 Kansas City Chiefs
Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Chiefs favored by 10½; over/under 43½ points; money line -550, +425

Dolphins on the road outdoors in cold weather equals a Miami loss. Kansas City has finally righted their mid-season swoon with home victories over the Raiders and Chargers. Make it three in a row for the Chiefs.

Pick: Chiefs 27, Dolphins 14
Chiefs -10½, under 43½

 

5-9 Denver Broncos at 6-8 Washington Redskins
Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta
Redskins favored by 3½; over/under 40½ points; money line -180, +160

Washington is again in a difficult position due to injuries on their offensive line. Denver has finally got it together the last couple of weeks, just in time to win enough games to miss out on a top-5 draft pick.

Pick: Broncos 20, Redskins 17
Broncos +3½, under 40½

 

0-14 Cleveland Browns at 4-10 Chicago Bears
Tom McCarthy, Steve Beuerlein
Bears favored by 6½; over/under 38 points; money line -280, +240

Chicago has played well at home this year, beating the Steelers and Panthers. Their home losses have all been close (an average of 5 points), and mostly to good teams (Falcons, Vikings, Packers). Cleveland’s 0-16 parade plans remain intact.

Pick: Bears 24, Browns 13
Bears -6½, under 38

 

Early Games on Fox

9-5 Atlanta Falcons at 10-4 New Orleans Saints
Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis
Saints favored by 5½; over/under 52½ points; money line -240, +200

Set your DVR so you can record and watch this game after the Patriots-Bills ends. Two weeks ago the Falcons beat the Saints 20-17 in Atlanta. It is really difficult to sweep a good division rival. The Falcons should be able to keep it close, especially now that RB Tevin Coleman (concussion) has been cleared to play.

Pick: Saints 27, Falcons 24
Falcons +5½, under 51½

 

10-4 Los Angeles Rams at 8-6 Tennessee Titans
Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston
Rams favored by 6½; over/under 47½ points; money line -290, +240

On one hand you have a west coast team having to travel 2000 miles and play a game three hours earlier than usual. On the other hand the Rams are a far superior team than the Titans. LA is back in sync now that Robert Woods is back on the playing field.

Pick: Rams 24, Titans 20
Titans +6½, under 47½

 

8-6 Detroit Lions at 5-9 Cincinnati Bengals
Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman
Lions favored by 4; over/under 44 points; money line -210, +180

This will be the final home game for Cincy head coach Marvin Lewis. Maybe he and Jeff Fisher can form a speaking tour and teach people how to retain a job much longer than they deserve.

Pick: Lions 24, Bengals 17
Lions -4, under 44

 

4-10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 10-4 Carolina Panthers
Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber
Panthers favored by 10; over/under 46½ points; money line -475, +375

Can somebody please explain to me why Carolina LB Thomas Davis was originally suspended for two games, rather than one? I think Roger Goodell uses one of those magic eight-balls from the sixties when deciding his punishments.

Pick: Panthers 34, Bucs 17
Panthers -10, over 46½

 

Late Games

10-4 Jacksonville Jaguars at 4-10 San Francisco 49ers
Andrew Catalon, James Lofton (CBS)
Jaguars favored by 4; over/under 42 points; money line -210, +175

When Jimmy Garoppolo was traded, Pats fans wished him well. Now Patriot Nation is full of hand wringing seller’s remorse. The Niners have won three in a row since inserting Jimmy G as their starting quarterback, after a 1-10 start. Jacksonville could be in for a battle on the road here, especially if the Jags have to count on Blake Bortles at critical junctures.

Jaguars 23, Forty Niners 20
Niners +4, over 42

 

8-6 Seattle Seahawks at 8-6 Dallas Cowboys
Joe Buck, Troy Aikman (Fox)
Cowboys favored by 5; over/under 47½ points; money line -240, +200

Dallas has won three straight and have RB Ezekiel Elliott for this game. His presence completely changes the Cowboy offense. Seattle’s defense is just a shell of its former self to injuries. Is it time to replace Pete Carroll?

Pick: Cowboys 27, Seahawks 17
Cowboys +5, under 47½

 

2-12 New York Giants at 6-8 Arizona Cardinals
Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth (Fox)
Cardinals favored by 3½; over/under 40 points; money line -185, +165

Ho hum, a battle of two under achieving teams. Giants are the bigger mess right now and on the road.

Pick: Cardinals 24, Giants 13
Cardinals +3½, under 40

 

 

NFL Wild Card Playoff Scenarios Entering Week 17

John Morgan
January 1, 2017 at 9:00 am ET

There is relatively little intrigue in regards to which NFL playoff teams will make the playoffs. Entering the final day of the 2016 NFL regular season ten of the twelve playoff teams have been determined. Four NFC teams are battling for two post-season berths, but one (Tampa Bay) has virtually no chance of making it. One other team (Washington) has to win against a club with nothing to play for (Giants). Two others face each other tonight in a de facto playoff game. Unless Green Bay at Detroit ends in a tie the season continues for the winner, while the losing squad can clean out their lockers and schedule tee times.

 

AFC Wild Card Playoff Scenarios

Pittsburgh and Houston are locked in as the number three and four seeds respectively. That leaves three games to determine the conference playoff seeding. The three AFC games that actually matter today are Miami at New England, Kansas City at San Diego and Oakland at Denver. There are a total of eight possible combined outcomes to those games.

  1. Patriots win, Raiders win, Chiefs win
  2. Patriots win, Raiders win, Chiefs lose
  3. Patriots win, Raiders lose, Chiefs win
  4. Patriots win, Raiders lose, Chiefs lose
  5. Patriots lose, Raiders win, Chiefs win
  6. Patriots lose, Raiders win, Chiefs lose
  7. Patriots lose, Raiders lose, Chiefs win
  8. Patriots lose, Raiders lose, Chiefs lose

 

 

 

Before we get to the wild card round, let’s look at the team getting a bye. New England claims the number one spot and home field advantage throughout the playoffs with either a win or an Oakland loss. Kansas City needs a win plus an Oakland loss to gain a bye as the number two seed; the Chiefs cannot advance to the top slot.

If Miami loses then they will be at Pittsburgh regardless of what happens elsewhere. If Oakland loses and Kansas City wins then the Raiders are at Houston. And if Miami win and Kansas City loses then the Dolphins are at Houston and the Chiefs are at Pittsburgh.

  1. Patriots win, Raiders win, Chiefs win – Mia at Pit, KC at Hou, NE #1, Oak #2
  2. Patriots win, Raiders win, Chiefs lose – Mia at Pit, KC at Hou, NE #1, Oak #2
  3. Patriots win, Raiders lose, Chiefs win – Mia at Pit, Oak at Hou, NE #1, KC #2
  4. Patriots win, Raiders lose, Chiefs lose – Mia at Pit, KC at Hou, NE #1, KC #2
  5. Patriots lose, Raiders win, Chiefs win – Mia at Pit, KC at Hou, Oak #1, NE #2
  6. Patriots lose, Raiders win, Chiefs lose – KC at Pit, Mia at Hou, Oak #1, NE #2
  7. Patriots lose, Raiders lose, Chiefs win – Mia at Pit, Oak at Hou, NE #1, KC #2
  8. Patriots lose, Raiders lose, Chiefs lose – KC at Pit, Mia at Hou, NE#1, Oak #2

 

 

 

 

 

That last scenario is what Miami fans are hoping for. It would mean that the Dolphins would face Tom Savage at quarterback in the first round. Then if Kansas City wins the Fins would be up against Matt McGloin at QB in the division round.

 

 

NFC Wild Card Playoff Scenarios

Dallas is number one and New York number 5 in the NFC. Atlanta and Seattle are division champs that could get a bye at number two, or play next weekend at home as either a number three or four seed. Washington is in as the number six seed as long as the Lions and Packers don’t tie. Detroit could finish as high as number two seed, but for that to happen Seattle has to lose to the Niners. The Lions could also miss the playoffs entirely if they finish the season with a third straight loss and Washington wins. The best Green Bay can do is a number three seed, or they too could miss the playoffs. Tampa Bay needs a miracle.

 

Assuming Seattle defeats San Francisco:

  1. Falcons win, Packers win, Wash wins – Wash at Seattle, Giants at Packers; Falcons #2, Lions out
  2. Falcons win, Packers win, Wash loses – Lions at Seattle, Giants at Packers; Falcons #2, Wash out
  3. Falcons win, Lions win, Wash wins – Wash at Seattle, Giants at Lions; Falcons #2, Packers out
  4. Falcons win, Lions win, Wash loses – Packers at Seattle, Giants at Lions; Falcons #2, Wash out
  5. Falcons lose, Packers win, Wash wins – Wash at Falcons, Giants at Packers; Seattle #2, Lions out
  6. Falcons lose, Packers win, Wash loses – Lions at Falcons, Giants at Packers; Seattle #2, Wash out
  7. Falcons lose, Lions win, Wash wins – Wash at Lions, Giants at Falcons; Seattle #2, Packers out
  8. Falcons lose, Lions win, Wash loses – Packers at Lions, Giants at Falcons; Seattle #2, Wash out

 

 

 

 

 

And if the Niners somehow pull off the upset of the year and beat Seattle then the number five Giants will play at number four Seattle. Here is the rest of the field with that scenario.

  1. Falcons win, Packers win, Wash wins – Skins at Packers, Falcons #2, Lions out
  2. Falcons win, Packers win, Wash loses – Lions at Packers, Falcons #2, Skins out
  3. Falcons win, Lions win, Wash wins – Skins at Lions, Falcons #2, Packers out
  4. Falcons win, Lions win, Wash loses – Packers at Lions, Falcons #2, Skins out
  5. Falcons lose, Packers win, Wash wins – Skins at Packers, Falcons #2, Lions out
  6. Falcons lose, Packers win, Wash loses – Lions at Packers, Falcons #2, Skins out
  7. Falcons lose, Lions win, Wash wins – Skins at Falcons, Lions #2, Packers out
  8. Falcons lose, Lions win, Wash loses – Packers at Falcons, Lions #2, Skins out

 

 

 

 

 

NFL Week 17 Playoff Picture: AFC #1 Seed Still Up For Grabs

John Morgan
December 29, 2016 at 7:00 am ET

Week 16 took much of the drama out of the final Sunday of the 2016 NFL regular season. Ten of the twelve post-season entries have been determined, but there is still plenty of drama available to make week 17 intriguing.

After having to travel to Denver last year Patriot fans are well aware of the importance of home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Bill Belichick will surely remind the team of last year’s 20-10 week 17 loss at Miami, complete with embarrassing film clips in team meetings. Add in the benching of a starter and it is doubtful there will be any lack of intensity in Miami Gardens.

In terms of other games, the one with the most impact is Green Bay at Detroit. Barring a tie the winner moves on as NFC North champion while the season ends for the loser. New England fans seeking an easier road to the playoffs will root for an Oakland loss at Denver and a victory by the Chiefs at San Diego. That would mean the Patriots cannot play both KC and Pittsburgh – the only two AFC teams with quarterbacks who were starters at the beginning of this month.

Note: for the sake of both clarity and sanity, outcomes dependent on ties have for the most part not been included.

 

AFC Playoff Picture

The AFC field was finalized last week, thanks in large part to Baltimore’s loss to Pittsburgh and Denver’s loss at Kansas City. On top of that two teams – Pittsburgh at #3 and Houston at #4 – cannot move up or down regardless of this week’s outcomes.

13-2 New England Patriots
At Miami, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; favored by 9½.
Can finish as #1 or #2 seed.
– Clinch #1 seed with win at Miami.
– Clinch #1 seed with Oakland loss.
– Drop to #2 seed with both loss to Dolphins, plus Raiders win.

12-3 Oakland Raiders
At Denver, 4:25 pm ET on CBS; 1-point underdog.
Can Finish as #1, #2 or #5 seed.
– Clinch #1 seed with both a win at Denver, plus a New England loss.
– Clinch at least the #2 seed with either one of the above.
– Drop to #5 seed with both a loss to Broncos, plus Chiefs win.

10-5 Pittsburgh Steelers
Home vs Cleveland, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; favored by 6.
Locked in as #3 seed.
Note: Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are all not expected to play.

9-6 Houston Texans
At Tennessee, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; 3-point underdog.
Locked in as #4 seed.
Note: quarterbacks will be Tom Savage vs Matt Cassel.

11-4 Kansas City Chiefs
At San Diego, 4:25 pm ET on CBS; favored by 6.
Can finish as #2, #5 or #6 seed.
– Clinch #2 seed with both a win and a Raider loss.
– Clinch at least #5 seed with a win.
– Also clinch at least #5 seed with a Dolphins loss.
– Drop to #6 seed with both a loss, plus a Dolphins win.

10-5 Miami Dolphins
Home vs New England, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; 9½ point underdog.
Can finish as #5 or #6 seed.
– Clinch # 5 seed with both a win, plus a Chiefs loss.
– Remain a #6 seed under all other scenarios.

 

NFC Playoff Picture

Green Bay, Detroit, Washington and Tampa Bay are vying for two playoff slots. Even though the Redskins are currently on the outside looking in, their playoff chances are very good. With the Packers and Lions playing each other Sunday night the loser of that game could be done. Washington controls its own destiny, gaining a playoff berth with a win as long as the Packers and Lions don’t tie. Tampa Bay on the other hand needs seven games to go their way to extend their season, including a Giants-Skins tie.

13-2 Dallas Cowboys
At Philadelphia, 1:00 pm ET on FOX; 3-point underdog.
Locked in as number one seed.
Biggest news in Dallas is how a Cowboy fan got revenge on the fiancee who dumped her.

10-5 Atlanta Falcons
Home vs New Orleans, 4:25 pm ET on FOX; favored by 6½.
Can finish as #2, #3 or #4 seed.
– Clinch #2 seed with a win at New Orleans.
– Also clinch #2 seed with losses by both Seattle and Detroit.
– Clinch at least #3 seed with loss by either Seahawks or Lions.
– Drop to #4 seed with (a) loss to Saints, plus (b) Seahawks win, plus (c) Lions win.

9-5-1 Seattle Seahawks
At San Francisco, 4:25 pm ET on FOX; favored by 9½.
Can finish as #2, #3 or #4 seed.
– Clinch #2 seed with both a win, plus a Falcons loss.
– Clinch at least #3 seed with a win.
– Drop to #4 seed with loss to 49ers.
Think Seattle regrets that early season loss to the Rams now?

9-6 Green Bay Packers
At Detroit, 8:30 pm ET on NBC; favored by 3½.
Can finish as #3, #4 or #6 seed – or can miss playoffs.
– Clinch #3 seed with a win, plus Seattle loss.
– Clinch at least #4 seed with a win.
– Still clinch a playoff spot as #6 seed with loss Washington loss.
– Eliminated from #3 seed if Seattle wins.
– Eliminated from #4 seed with loss to Lions.
– Completely miss playoffs with both a loss, plus Washington wins.

10-5 New York Giants
At Washington, 4:25 pm ET on FOX; 7-point underdogs.
Locked in as #5 seed.

9-6 Detroit Lions
Home vs Green Bay, 8:30 pm ET on NBC; 3½ point underdogs.
Can finish as #2, #3, #4 or #6 seed – or miss playoffs entirely.
– Clinch #2 seed with a win, plus losses by both Atlanta and Seattle.
– Can clinch at least #3 with a win, plus loss by either Atlanta or Seattle.
– Clinch at least #4 seed with a win.
– Clinch a playoff spot and at least #6 seed with a Washington loss.
– Eliminated from first round bye with win by either Falcons or Seahawks.
– Eliminated from #3 seed with wins by both Falcons and Seahawks.
– Loss to Packers eliminates Detroit from #4 seed or better.
– Eliminated from playoffs with both a loss, plus a Washington win.

8-6-1 Washington Redskins
Home vs New York Giants, 4:25 pm ET on FOX; favored by 7.
Can only be either #6 seed or miss playoffs.
– Clinch #6 seed with a win, as long as Detroit-Green Bay does not end in a tie.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a Lions-Packers tie.

 

Tampa Bay Bucs Playoff Picture

The Buccaneers deserve their own category simply because their playoff scenario is stranger than Rex Ryan’s proclivity for hidden cameras in an orthopedic surgeon’s office. Not only do the Bucs need a game to end in a tie, they also need two meaningless non-conference games to end in their favor. Oh, and for the Niners to beat Seattle too.

8-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Home vs Carolina, 1:00 pm ET on FOX; favored by 5½.
Can finish as #6 seed or miss playoffs.
Clinch playoff spot with every one of the following:
– A win vs Carolina, plus
– Washington ties Giants, plus
– Packers lose to Lions; plus
That would mean Tampa can top Green Bay based on Strength of Schedule if:
– Dallas beats Philadelphia, plus
– San Francisco beats Seattle, plus
– Indianapolis beats Jacksonville, plus
– Tennessee beats Houston

No problem.

 

 

Happy New Year everyone!

Reactions from Denver to Patriots’ 16-3 Victory vs Broncos

John Morgan
December 18, 2016 at 10:38 pm ET

New England is celebrating after the Patriots’ 16-3 victory over the Broncos. The Pats broke a four-decade old NFL record with their eighth consecutive division title. Considering the double edged sword of free agency and the salary cap, that is a milestone that is likely to never be surpassed.

On the other hand the mood in Denver is somber, as would be expected. As is the norm in every city, fans and writers focus blame on the home team for losing while neglecting to credit the opponent for a job well done. Here are a few reactions from both Denver and some national media sites in the aftermath of the Patriot defense shutting down Denver en route to their 12th win of the season.

 

Sports Illustrated: Patriots showcase too much depth for one-dimensional Broncos to contain

The last two weeks have emphasized why the New England Patriots are as difficult to prepare for as any team in the league. Last Monday, facing a Ravens’ defense that thrives against the run, the Patriots turned to the power-run work of LeGarrette Blount and attacked toward the perimeter—a touchdown for Malcolm Mitchell, 129 yards and a TD for Chris Hogan, etc.

Sunday, pitted against a Denver unit that can dominate at cornerback and off the edges on defense, New England took a page from the book Atlanta used in a Week 5 win at Mile High. It wasn’t so much Blount vs. the Broncos as scat back Dion Lewis and the versatile James White.

That ability to adjust week to week based on matchups is part of why the Patriots have been so good for so long. And Sunday, it also helped emphasize what a one-dimensional mess Denver’s offense has become in 2016.

The Patriots did not score many points vs. Denver’s excellent defense, but they still coasted to the finish line in a 16-3 win.

 

USA Today: Patriots crack Broncos to clinch AFC East, first-round bye

The Patriots also showed why they might be the most dangerous team in the postseason field. They have discovered a powerful running game, using a combination of smaller backs Dion Lewis and James White along with bruiser LeGarrette Blount, to neutralize Denver’s pass rush. Brady rarely tried to test the Broncos deep, preferring to hand the ball off inside or quickly dump off a short pass to Lewis, White or Edelman, who had six catches for 75 yards.

That game plan, plus vastly improved pass protection for Brady, who was sacked just twice, shows just how many different ways the Patriots can win.

“Our offensive line took a lot of pride this week in their preparation for this game. They’ve been working their tails off all year,” Edelman said. “You can say they’re young, you can say this or that, but they’ve been playing solid football. We were able to run the ball pretty decently when we had to, and when we can protect, it makes things easier.”

But the biggest revelation might be the Patriots’ defense, which has held each of the last five opponents to 23 points or fewer.

On Sunday, Ryan intercepted Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian on Denver’s only trip into the red zone. Denver failed to record a first down on five consecutive possessions to start the second half. The Patriots sacked Siemian four times while holding Denver to just 58 rushing yards, 13 of which came on Justin Forsett’s first carry of the game.

“I thought we deserved to win,” Belichick said.

 

CBS Denver: Broncos Offense Unimpressive In Mistake-Prone Loss To Patriots

Brady finished 16 of 32 for 188 yards and it was enough for New England (12-2) to retain its hold on the AFC’s No. 1 playoff seed with two games left in the regular season. It was a rare win in Denver for Brady, who improved to 3-7 lifetime in the Mile High City.

New England set an NFL record with the eighth consecutive division title.

The mistake-prone Broncos (8-6) lost their hold on the sixth and final wild-card berth. They need help and in all likelihood wins in their final two games, against AFC West rivals Kansas City and Oakland, to reclaim a postseason berth and the chance to defend last season’s Super Bowl title.

Siemian finished 25 of 40 for 282 yards, hamstrung by an ineffective rushing attack and failing to get his offense untracked against the Patriots. He also had a costly interception.

 

Fox 31 Denver: Offense struggles as the Patriots beat the Broncos, 16-3, at Mile High

The Broncos were in the red-zone to start the second quarter, but an interception by quarterback Trevor Siemian would give the Patriots the ball back.

The interception proved costly as Brady made-up for the lack of completions in the first quarter and drove the Patriots down the field for a touchdown to make it 10-3.

Fans at the stadium were left shocked as the Broncos elected to end the half trailing 10-3 after getting the ball back with over a minute left and all three timeouts.

Coach Gary Kubiak later defended that decision saying that field position and the Patriots timeouts played a factor in the decision.

The Broncos would go three-and-out on the opening drive of the second half. And that set the tone for most of second half for the Broncos offense.

 

Denver Post: Broncos’ offense goes cold, playoff hopes dwindle with loss to Patriots

But the hope was misleading. The offensive momentum early resulted in just three points.

An interception of a Trevor Siemian pass by cornerback Logan Ryan at the Patriots’ 8-yard line turned the tide early in the second quarter. All the Broncos’ season-long struggles on offense returned soon after. New England turned the turnover into a touchdown drive, making it 10-3, and its defense dominated from that point.

“Yeah, I can’t make that mistake. It just hurts us,” Siemian said, adding that the offense’s performance was “frustrating, no doubt. Especially earlier on when we were moving the ball really well and have no points to show for it. A lot of that’s on me. Missed a couple opportunities to get us points early on, and that comes back to haunt you.”

The Broncos’ defense, while depleted, kept them in the game and ensured Tom Brady’s latest trip to Denver would be trying but not insurmountable. Brady finished 16-of-32 for only 188 yards and a 68.2 passer rating.

Siemian, meanwhile, was 25-of-40 for 282 yards, but a big chunk of those yards came late when New England backed off protecting its 13-point lead.

 

DenverBroncos.com: Three Keys Unlocked: Patriots 16, Broncos 3

Despite a muffed Jordan Norwood punt that the Patriots recovered, leading to a game-opening field goal, the Broncos had momentum early until Logan Ryan intercepted Trevor Siemian on the first play of the second quarter, setting the Patriots up inside Denver territory after a 46-yard return. New England scored its only touchdown on a LeGarrette Blount 1-yard plunge seven plays later and led the rest of the way.

“That’s a 14-point swing in a lot of ways,” Head Coach Gary Kubiak said.

The Broncos’ promising first quarter — in which they rolled up 146 yards and gained seven first downs while forging a 3-3 tie — evaporated into a mid-game slump that saw them go six consecutive possessions without a first down.

 

Mile High Report: Broncos Patriots recap: Another wasted defensive effort from Denver in 16-3 loss

The Denver Broncos needed a win in the worst way this week against their AFC rival New England Patriots. In the frigid cold sub-18 degree weather, the game figured to be one conducting business as usual and the other desperate for a win.

On defense, the Broncos reminded Tom Brady that he doesn’t have good games in Denver for a reason. All game long, the defense did their job. Unfortunately, Trevor Siemian and the offense derp’d their way to a red zone turnover and complete ineptitude everywhere else.

This 16-3 blowout is entirely on the players on offense and now the playoffs are highly unlikely for the reigning Super Bowl champions.

 

NFL Week 15 Odds, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
December 17, 2016 at 1:00 pm ET

It is mid-December and we are in the final stretch of the 2016 NFL season. In recent weeks weather has played a role and that could be the case again this weekend. With only bowl games remaining for college football the NFL can now play on Saturdays. As a result the work crew at the Meadowlands will be busy, with a Jets game Saturday night and then a Giants game Sunday afternoon.

Rain and cold temperature is expected in northern New Jersey which will be a challenge for the visiting teams. Miami (vs Jets, Saturday) is used to much warmer weather in south Florida. Detroit (vs Giants, Sunday) is a cold weather city but the Lions play in a dome. Also on Sunday Green Bay is at Chicago where the wind chill is expected to be minus-18.

For all you need to know about clinching and elimination scenarios, check out Week 15 Playoff Picture: Six Teams Can Clinch Playoff Spots.

 

NFL Week 15 Television Broadcast Information

CBS has the doubleheader this week. In the early time slot Pittsburgh at Cincinnati will receive most of the broadcast distribution. For the late game the Patriots at Broncos will air across almost all of the United States. CBS will send Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and their top production team to work that game. The Lions at Giants will be televised on most Fox affiliates, in the early time frame. To see what is being televised where you will be on Sunday please check out Patriot fan JP Kirby’s 506 Sports Week 15 NFL Maps.

 

AFC East Participation Trophy Game

★★★ 8-5 Miami Dolphins at 4-9 New York Jets
Saturday December 17 at 8:25 pm ET on NFLN; Mike Tirico, Doug Flutie, Heather Cox.
Dolphins -2½ . . . . over/under 37½ . . . . MIA -140, NYJ +120

Why has New York had such a large drop from their 10-6 2015 record? The Jets rank 31st in giveaways and 30th in takeaways. Their minus-16 turnover differential is 31st (two-win Jacksonville is minus-17). I doubt that will improve any in tonight’s cold and wet weather, even against a rusty backup quarterback.

Prediction: Dolphins 20, Jets 17
Dolphins -2½ . . . . . under 37½ . . . . . Miami -140

 

NFL Week 15 Early Games on FOX

★★★★★ 9-4 Detroit Lions at 9-4 New York Giants
Sunday December 18 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews.
Giants -4 . . . . over/under 41 . . . . NYG -190, DET +170

The Lions have won five straight and eight of their last nine games. Over the last seven games Detroit is allowing just 16.4 points per game. However center Travis Swanson is out with a concussion. The Giants have a very solid pass rush and could take advantage with pressure up the middle. Matthew Stafford is dealing with a dislocated finger. After suffering the injury last week most of Stafford’s throws were fine, though he was off on a couple of passes.

The Giants were fortunate to win last week, with Dallas dropping what should have been three Eli Manning interceptions. New York’s offensive line did not look very good, unable to figure out what to do whenever confronted with a Dallas pass rush stunt. The Detroit defense is superior up front than Dallas and capable of forcing many three-and-outs. With Darius Slay at corner the Lions are also better equipped to cover Odell Beckham.

The Lions and Giants have made a habit of winning close games. Both teams have won eight games by seven points or less. Expect another close battle here. I liked the Lions a lot when the spread opened at -5½, but I’ll still take Detroit at four points – despite the injuries to Swanson and Stafford.

Prediction: Lions 17, Giants 16
Lions +4 (two units) . . . . . under 41 (one unit) . . . . . Detroit +170

 

★★★ 5-8 Philadelphia Eagles at 7-6 Baltimore Ravens
Sunday December 18 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin.
Ravens -6 . . . . over/under 40½ . . . . BAL -250, PHI +210

After a 3-0 start the Eagles have not looked good. Since that time Philly has had only two victories, home upsets versus Minnesota and Atlanta. In those eight other games Philadelphia is giving up an average of 27.5 points per game. The Eagles will be without Darren Sproles Sunday. That doesn’t help an offense that is scoring only 16 points per game during their current four game losing streak.

Prediction: Ravens 24, Eagles 17
Ravens -6 . . . . . over 40½ . . . . . Baltimore -250

 

★★★ 7-6 Green Bay Packers at 3-10 Chicago Bears
Sunday December 18 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver.
Packers -5½ . . . . over/under 38½ . . . . GNB -250, CHI +210

Cold weather and gusty winds are expected to make this the coldest game in Chicago Bears’ history. Aaron Rodgers suffered a calf injury last week so that weather won’t help his situation. Green Bay is down to a third option of Ty Montgomery at running back. Eddie Lacy is on IR with an ankle injury and James Starks is doubtful after suffering a concussion in a car accident Monday. With Jordan Howard running the ball Chicago should be able to keep this game close.

Prediction: Packers 20, Bears 16
Bears +5½ (one unit) . . . . . under 38½ . . . . . Green Bay -250

 

NFL Week 15 Early Games on CBS

★★★ 6-7 Indianapolis Colts at 7-6 Minnesota Vikings
Sunday December 18 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon.
Vikings -5 . . . . over/under 45½ . . . . MIN -240, IND +200

Running back Adrian Peterson has been activated, though it remains to be seen how much he will play. The Colts are giving up 4.5 yards per rush; Peterson would be a huge boost to Minnesota’s anemic offense. Both teams are dealing with injuries to key players. Indy LG Jack Mewhort’s season ended with a knee injury last week and his backup, Denzelle Good, is out with a concussion. Free safety Harrison Smith (ankle) and RG Brandon Fusco (concussion) are both out for the Vikings.

Prediction: Vikings 20, Colts 17
Colts +5 (one unit) . . . . . under 45½ (one unit) . . . . . Indianapolis +200

 

★★ 0-13 Cleveland Browns at 6-7 Buffalo Bills
Sunday December 18 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Tom McCarthy, Adam Archuleta.
Bills -10 . . . . over/under 41½ . . . . BUF -500, CLE +400

Cleveland’s defense ranks 31st in points (28.8 ppg), yardage (397 ypg) and rushing (146 ypg). The Browns are also allowing 4.6 yards per rush (29th) and are last in the NFL on third down (48.2%). Expect a heavy dose of LeSean McCoy, who now has eight games with over 100 yards from scrimmage. While the Bills have almost zero chance of making the playoffs, they don’t want to be the team that lost to the Browns.

Prediction: Bills 27, Browns 13
Bills -10 . . . . . under 41½ . . . . . Buffalo -500

 

★★★★ 7-6 Tennessee Titans at 10-3 Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday December 18 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl.
Chiefs -5½ . . . . over/under 41½ . . . . KAN -230, TEN +190

The big question is how Kansas City will perform without Derrick Johnson, who was lost last week with a torn Achilles. Tennessee ran for 180 yards last week against Denver, who has a comparable run defense to Kansas City. The Chiefs have had extra time to prepare after playing last Thursday, but this could be a trap game. Last week KC played Oakland, and they could be caught looking ahead to next week’s game against Denver. However Arrowhead offers one of the best home field advantages in the league and the crowd noise could lead to mistakes by the Titans. This Tennessee team is not used to playing in big games. KC has made a habit of capitalizing on opponent’s mistakes, resulting in an NFL-best 25 takeaways.

Prediction: Chiefs 23, Titans 20
Titans +5½ (one unit) . . . . . over 41½ . . . . . Kansas City -260

 

★★ 2-11 Jacksonville Jaguars at 7-6 Houston Texans
Sunday December 18 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker.
Texans -5½ . . . . over/under 39½ . . . . HOU -220, JAC +190

Houston has not won by six or more points since Week 8, but this is the Jaguars they are playing. The Jaguars have lost eight straight and just want the season to hurry up and be over. Jacksonville doesn’t force turnovers (a league-low eight takeaways) while giving the ball away 25 times. Houston should win easily despite their stagnant offense.

Prediction: Texans 24, Jaguars 13
Texans -5½ . . . . . under 39½ . . . . . Houston -220

 

★★★ 8-5 Pittsburgh Steelers at 5-7-1 Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn.
Steelers -3 . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . PIT -170, CIN +150

Cincinnati is allowing 4.5 yards per run (27th) and 119 rushing yards per game (25th). The Steelers ran for 240 yards on the road last week against what was supposedly a decent Buffalo defense. If Cincy sells out to stop Le’Veon Bell then Ben Roethlisberger will be more than happy to throw passes to Antonio Brown. The big concern is Pittsburgh’s penchant for playing down to the level of their competition. Pittsburgh struggled mightily on the road early this season with losses at Philadelphia, Miami and Baltimore. Is that a thing of the past after victories at Indianapolis and Buffalo?

Prediction: Steelers 24, Bengals 20
Steelers -3 . . . . . under 44½ . . . . . Pittsburgh -170

 

NFL Week 15 Late Games on FOX

★★★ 5-8 New Orleans Saints at 5-7-1 Arizona Cardinals
Sunday December 18 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX; Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale.
Cardinals -3 . . . . over/under 50½ . . . . ARI -150, NOR +130

Carson Palmer has not played well all season. The Arizona offensive line is incapable of either pass protection or run blocking. Now the Cardinal defense is being decimated with injuries. However, center Max Unger missed last week’s game and is questionable for Sunday with a foot injury. Without Unger opponents are able to collapse the pocket and apply pressure up the middle on Drew Brees. Look for Calais Campbell to be tormenting Brees all afternoon.

Prediction: Cardinals 24, Saints 23
Saints +3 . . . . . under 50½ . . . . . New Orleans +130

 

★★ 1-12 San Francisco 49ers at 8-5 Atlanta Falcons
Sunday December 18 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX; Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis, Chris Spielman, Peter Schrager.
Falcons -13½ . . . . over/under 50½ . . . . ATL -900, SFO +600

Even without Julio Jones the Falcons should win easily. The Niners have had no defense all year, and now the offense has been weakened. LT Joe Staley is doubtful with a hamstring injury. On top of that C Daniel Kilgore and TE Vance McDonald were placed on IR this week.

Prediction: Falcons 31, Niners 13
Falcons -13½ . . . . . under 50½ . . . . . Atlanta

 

NFL Week 15 Late Games on CBS

★★★★★ 11-2 New England Patriots at 8-5 Denver Broncos
Sunday December 18 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson
Patriots -3 . . . . over/under 44 . . . . NWE -170, DEN +150

Denver’s run defense has taken a hit in comparison to recent seasons. The Broncos are allowing 127 yards rushing (29th) and 6.2 rushing first downs (28th) per game. The Patriots will try to run the ball with LeGarrette Blount, and utilize running backs Dion Lewis and James White as well. That would open things up for play action passes, and keep Denver pass rushers honest. The Broncos have been unable to run the ball, and neither Denver quarterback is capable of generating much offense.

Prediction: Patriots 27, Broncos 20
Patriots -3 (two units) . . . . . over 44 . . . . . New England -170

 

★★★★ 10-3 Oakland Raiders at 5-8 San Diego Chargers
Sunday December 18 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots.
Raiders -3 . . . . over/under 49½ . . . . OAK -140, SDG +120

Oakland cannot stop the run. The Raiders are giving up 4.7 yards per carry (30th) and 120 yards rushing per game (26th). Unfortunately for San Diego Melvin Gordon is out with a hip injury and Danny Woodhead blew out his knee in September.

Prediction: Raiders 31, Chargers 27
Raiders -3 . . . . . over 49½ . . . . . Oakland -140

 

NFL Week 15 Prime Time Games

★★★★★ 8-5 Tampa Bay Bucs at 11-2 Dallas Cowboys
Sunday December 18 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya.
Cowboys -7 . . . . over/under 46½ . . . . DAL -300, TAM +250

After looking atrocious early in the season, the Buccaneer defense has taken great strides. Over the last five games the Bucs have allowed an NFL-best 13.0 points per game. Much of that has to do with Keith Tandy replacing an ineffective Chris Conte at safety, but other players have stepped up their game as well. OLB Lavonte David and DT Gerald McCoy have been studs for a while. Now thy’re getting help from MLB Kwon Alexander and defensive ends Robert Ayers and Noah Spence. Wouldn’t an upset be fun, just to watch Jerrah’s reaction?

Prediction: Buccaneers 24, Cowboys 23
Buccaneers +7 (one unit) . . . . . over 46½ . . . . . Tampa Bay +250

 

★★★ 5-8 Carolina Panthers at 7-5-1 Washington Redskins
Monday December 19 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters.
Redskins -6½ . . . . over/under 51½ . . . . WAS -270, CAR +230

The Carolina offensive line is a mess. As a result Cam Newton cannot complete even fifty percent of his passes. On defense the post-Josh Norman era has not worked out well for the Panthers. Injuries to Luke Kuechly and Charles Johnson have exacerbated the situation.

Prediction: Redskins 31, Panthers 24
Redskins -6½ . . . . . over 43½ . . . . . Washington -270

 

Thursday: Rams at Seahawks.

My advice was to take the Seahawks, despite the huge spread.

I just don’t understand why Pete Carroll decided to go for a fake punt with a big lead in the fourth quarter. Wouldn’t he have been better off saving that play for a critical time in a meaningful game?

Prediction: Seahawks 34, Rams 9
Seahawks -15 (two units) . . . . . over 39½ . . . . . Seattle -1600

Final Score: Seahawks 24, Rams 3 ✓
Seahawks -15 ✓✓ . . . . . over 39½ x . . . . . Seahawks -1600 ✓

 

NFL Week 14 Parlays and Teasers

3-Game Parlay (one unit):
Giants vs Lions +4
Broncos vs Patriots +3
Colts at Vikings under 45½

5-Team 6-Point Teaser (one unit):
Cowboys vs Buccaneers +13
Giants vs Lions +10
Colts at Vikings under 51½
Niners vs Falcons -7½
Cardinals vs Saints +9
Chiefs vs Titans +11½

 

Tale of the Tape

Week 14 wasn’t bad at all, considering the fact that there were not many games that jumped out at me that were particularly advantageous.

Week 14 Results:
11-5 Straight Up
8-7-1 Against the Spread
6-10 Over/Under
2-unit plays: 4-0, +800
1-unit plays: 2-3, -130
3-Game Parlay: 1u, -110
5-Game Teaser: 2u, -220
16 units invested
6-5, +240 on $1760 risk.
+13.6% ROI

Year to Date Results:
125-81-2 Straight Up
110-92-6 Against the Spread
112-96 Over/Under
5-unit plays: 1-0, +500
4-unit plays: 1-0, +400
3-unit plays: 6-5-1, +120
2-unit plays: 39-19-1, +3600
1-unit plays: 41-29-1, +900
Parlays: 3-9, +1300
Teasers: 6-6, +2390
97-68-3, +9110 on original $2310 risk.
394.4% ROI on original $2310 bankroll.
30.4% ROI on $29,920 (272 units) of total weekly investments.

6-5, +240 on 16 units (+13.6%) in Week 14.
6-5, -90 on 18 units (-4.5%) in Week 13.
6-9-1, -360 on 28 units (-11.7%) in Week 12.
9-2, +2380 on 16 units (+135.2%) in Week 11.
4-9, -510 on 18 units (-25.8%) in Week 10.
7-4, +850 on 17 units (+45.5%) in Week 9.
11-2, +3470 on 27 units (+116.8%) in Week 8.
3-6, -480 on 12 units (-36.4%) in Week 7.
9-3-1, +1300 on 17 units (+69.5%) in Week 6.
7-7, +50 on 22 units (+2.1%) in Week 5.
9-2, +1910 on 18 units (+96.5%) in Week 4.
3-9-1, -1280 on 22 units (-58.2%) in Week 3.
9-3, +950 on 20 units (+43.2%) in Week 2.
9-2, +840 on 21 units (+36.4%) in Week 1.

 

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publisher of this website. Neither the author nor this website promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call 1-888-ADMIT-IT or 1-888-GA-HELPS.

 

Follow on Twitter @AllThingsPats

 

NFL Week 16 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines: Pats 13.5 point favorites

John Morgan
December 15, 2016 at 4:20 pm ET

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has published their Advanced Lines for NFL Week 16. These early odds look ahead to the following week’s games for those willing to roll the dice. When visiting Sin City you can wager up to 3,000 clams on one of the games – prior to Sunday’s week 15 action occurring. While subsequent injuries can dramatically change the prognosis of future games, over reaction from the most recent result can also be minimized.

Once again the New England Patriots are listed as the heaviest favorite in Week 16. Two weeks ago the Pats defeated the Jets by only five points, but that result apparently did not sway the professional handicappers. The Patriots are at home this time, and the Jets already had their annual Super Bowl in that November 27 loss. New England has (with Dallas) the best record in the NFL, and is 10-3 against the spread. By Christmas Eve Gang Green could be in even more disarray than they already are now. The seven-game delta in season wins between the Patriots and Jets is the largest of the sixteen games on schedule for Week 16.

Only two games will be played on Sunday since that is Christmas, but they are both good ones. At 4:30 pm eastern time Baltimore is at Pittsburgh. These contests are always very physical and the last three games between these two have been decided by an average of just four points. To add further intrigue the winner will likely win the NFC North while the loser will be left scrambling for a playoff spot.

The Sunday night game is just as compelling. Denver travels to Kansas City in a battle of AFC West rivals. The Broncos are in a difficult situation, finishing the season with games against the Patriots, KC and Oakland. Arrowhead Stadium will be rocking and the Chiefs would love to be able to hammer a nail in the coffin on Denver’s season.

In the early time slot on Saturday the best game is Minnesota at Green Bay. Both teams are on the playoff bubble, currently two games behind the Lions in the NFC North. This week the Vikings are home against Indianapolis while the Packers travel to Chicago.

Tampa Bay plays the Saints for the second time in three weeks, this time in New Orleans. This game was flexed to the late afternoon time slot and will surely be the primary game for the doubleheader on Fox.

Week 16 wraps up with an unusual occurrence: a quality game on Monday Night Football. Detroit is at Dallas for what could possibly be a game for the number one seed, and a preview of the NFC conference finals. We will soon have a better idea of just how strong Detroit is. The 9-4 Lions finish the season at the Giants, at Dallas and home versus Green Bay.

The week kicks off on Thursday night with the Giants at Philadelphia. New York is one of five road teams to be favored in Week 16. That says more about the poor play of those home teams than anything else. The home dogs are Philly, the Bears, Panthers, Jaguars and Browns.

 

NFL Week 16 Early Advanced Look-Ahead Betting Lines

9-4 New York Giants (-3) at 5-8 Philadelphia Eagles
Thursday December 22 at 8:25 pm ET on NBC

7-5-1 Washington Redskins (-3½) at 3-10 Chicago Bears
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX

8-5 Miami Dolphins at 6-7 Buffalo Bills (-3½)
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

8-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 5-8 New Orleans Saints (-3)
Saturday December 24 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX

8-5 Atlanta Falcons (-2½) at 5-8 Carolina Panthers
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX

7-6 Minnesota Vikings at 7-6 Green Bay Packers (-5)
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX

4-9 New York Jets at 11-2 New England Patriots (-13½)
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

7-6 Tennessee Titans (-3½) at 2-11 Jacksonville Jaguars
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

5-8 San Diego Chargers (-4½) at 0-13 Cleveland Browns
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

6-7 Indianapolis Colts at 10-3 Oakland Raiders (-6)
Saturday December 24 at 4:05 pm ET on CBS

1-12 San Francisco 49ers at 4-9 Los Angeles Rams (-2½)
Saturday December 24 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX

5-7-1 Arizona Cardinals at 8-4-1 Seattle Seahawks (-7½)
Saturday December 24 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX

5-7-1 Cincinnati Bengals at 7-5 Houston Texans (-2½)
Saturday December 24 at 8:25 pm ET on NFLN

7-6 Baltimore Ravens at 8-5 Pittsburgh Steelers (-6½)
Sunday December 25 at 4:30 pm ET on NFLN

8-5 Denver Broncos at 10-3 Kansas City Chiefs (-4)
Sunday December 25 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC

9-4 Detroit Lions at 11-2 Dallas Cowboys (-7)
Monday December 26 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN

 

 

NFL Week 15 Thursday Night Football

Back to this week’s games for a moment. Week fifteen kicks off tonight with a typical Thursday night game: a bad team being featured in prime time in a game that won’t be competitive. Yes Seattle lost last week to Green Bay. However the Seahawks have responded to their three losses this season with victories by an average of 19 points. And yes Seattle lost to the Rams in Week 2, but their offense – in particular their offensive line – is performing far better than they did in early September.

This is the leagues best offense facing the league’s worst offense. In a rebound situation. Back home in a stadium providing one of, if not the most favorable home field advantages in all pro sports. Against a rookie quarterback who did not play in a pro style offense in college, making just the fifth start of his career. Against a team that has given up after losing eight of their last nine games. A team averaging a mere 12 points per game since late October.

Take the Seahawks, despite the huge spread.

Prediction: Seahawks 34, Rams 9
Seahawks -15 (two units) . . . . . over 39½ . . . . . Seattle -1600

Final Score: Seahawks 24, Rams 3 ✓
Seahawks -15 ✓✓ . . . . . over 39½ x . . . . . Seahawks -1600 ✓

Week 15 NFL Playoff Picture: Six Teams Can Clinch Playoff Spots

John Morgan
at 7:00 am ET

Heading into Week 15 only the Dallas Cowboys have clinched a playoff spot. After this weekend that is bound to change. Six other teams, including the New England Patriots, can punch a ticket to the post-season this weekend.

In the AFC the Jets, Jaguars and Browns have been eliminated. San Diego and Cincinnati are all but done. And after last week’s losses the Colts and Bills are comatose and on life support. The Patriots, Chiefs and Raiders are going to be playing in January. That leaves the Steelers, Ravens, Broncos and Dolphins vying for two post-season positions while Houston and Tennessee battle for the AFC South title.

Over in the NFC Dallas has clinched a playoff spot while on the other end the Niners, Rams and Bears are looking ahead to the draft. Four other teams – the Eagles, Panthers, Saints and Cardinals – are all but mathematically eliminated. With Seattle virtually assured of winning the NFC West that leaves seven teams going for four playoff slots.

I know ties happen – as Donovan McNabb and Jay Gruden now realize – but for the sake of clarity (and sanity) I’ll avoid bringing those possibilities up.

 

AFC East

11-2 New England Patriots
Currently AFC #1 seed.
3-game division lead with three games remaining.
Remaining Opponents 20-19: at 8-5 Broncos; vs 4-9 Jets; at 8-5 Dolphins.
– Can clinch division title with either a win or a Miami loss.
– Can clinch a first round bye with a win.
– Can clinch a first round bye with (a) a Miami loss, plus either (b) a Pittsburgh loss.
– Can clinch a first round bye with (a) a Miami loss, plus (b) a Kansas City win.
– 99% chance of winning the AFC East.
– 99.9% chance of making the playoffs.

8-5 Miami Dolphins
Currently AFC #7 seed.
Remaining Opponents 21-18: at 4-9 Jets; at 6-7 Bills; vs 11-2 Patriots.
– Eliminated from division title with either a loss or a New England win.
– Eliminated from #5 slot with both (a) a loss, plus (b) a Kansas City win.
– 40% chance of making the playoffs.

6-7 Buffalo Bills
Currently AFC #11 seed.
Remaining Opponents : vs 0-13 Browns; vs 8-5 Dolphins; at 4-9 Jets.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) loss to Browns plus Miami wins; or (b) loss to Browns plus Baltimore wins; or (c) Broncos win.
– 2% chance of making the playoffs.

 

AFC West

10-3 Kansas City Chiefs
Currently AFC #2 seed.
Remaining Opponents 20-19: vs 7-6 Titans; vs 8-5 Broncos; at 5-8 Chargers.
– Clinch a playoff spot with a win.
– Clinch a playoff spot with (a) a Broncos loss, plus either (b) a Baltimore or Pittsburgh loss.
– Clinch at least the #5 seed with (a) a win, plus (b) a Miami loss.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with a New England win.
– 74% chance of winning the AFC West.
– 99% chance of making the playoffs.

10-3 Oakland Raiders
Currently AFC #5 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-20: at 5-8 Chargers; vs 6-7 Colts; at 8-5 Broncos.
– Clinch a playoff spot with a win.
– Clinch a playoff spot with (a) a Miami loss, plus (b) either a Pittsburgh or Baltimore loss, plus (c) either a Denver or Kansas City loss.
– Clinch at least the #5 seed with (a) a win, plus (b) a Denver loss.
– 25% chance of winning the AFC West.
– 99% chance of making the playoffs.

8-5 Denver Broncos
Currently AFC #6 seed.
Remaining Opponents 31-8: vs 11-2 Patriots; at 10-3 Chiefs; at 10-3 Raiders.
– Eliminated from division title with either (a) a loss to Patriots, or (b) a Kansas City win.
– Eliminated from #5 seed with both (a) a loss to Patriots, plus (b) an Oakland win.
– 1% chance of winning the AFC West.
– 38% chance of making the playoffs.

5-8 San Diego Chargers
Currently AFC #13 seed.
Remaining Opponents 20-19: vs 10-3 Raiders; at 0-13 Browns; vs 10-3 Chiefs.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with either (a) a Miami win, or (b) a Denver win, or (c) wins by both Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
– cannot win the AFC West.
– less than 1% chance of making the playoffs.

 

AFC North

8-5 Pittsburgh Steelers
Currently AFC #3 seed.
Remaining Opponents 12-26-1: at 5-7-1 Bengals; vs 7-6 Ravens; vs 0-13 Browns.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with either (a) a loss, or (b) a New England win.
– Eliminated from first round bye with (a) a loss, plus (b) either a Kansas City, Oakland or Denver win.
– 80% chance of winning AFC North.
– 87% chance of making the playoffs.

7-6 Baltimore Ravens
Currently AFC #8 seed.
Remaining Opponents 18-20-1: vs 5-8 Eagles; at 8-5 Steelers; at 5-7-1 Bengals.
– Eliminated from first round bye with a loss.
– Eliminated from first round bye with a win by either Kansas City, Oakland or Denver.
– 20% chance of winning AFC North.
– 30% chance of making the playoffs.

5-7-1 Cincinnati Bengals
Currently AFC #12 seed.
Remaining Opponents 18-20-1: vs 8-5 Steelers; at 7-6 Texans; vs 7-6 Ravens.
– Eliminated from division title with a Baltimore win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss to Pittsburgh.
– Eliminated from playoffs with both (a) a Baltimore win, plus either (b) a Miami or Denver win.
– less than 1% chance of winning AFC North or making the playoffs.

 

AFC South

7-6 Houston Texans
Currently AFC #4 seed.
Remaining Opponents 14-24-1: at vs 2-11 Jaguars; vs 5-7-1 Bengals; at 7-6 Titans.
– Eliminated from first round bye with a loss.
– Eliminated from number three seed with either a Kansas City, Oakland or Denver win.
– 78% chance of winning AFC South.
– 79% chance of making the playoffs.

7-6 Tennessee Titans
Currently AFC #9 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-20: at 10-3 Chiefs; at 2-11 Jaguars; vs 7-6 Texans.
– Eliminated from first round bye with either (a) a loss, or (b) an Oakland win, or (c) a Denver win.
– Eliminated from number three seed with both (a) a loss, and (b) a Pittsburgh win.
– 21% chance of winning AFC South.
– 23% chance of making the playoffs.

6-7 Indianapolis Colts
Currently AFC #10 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-20: at 7-6 Vikings; at 10-3 Raiders; vs 2-11 Jaguars.
– Eliminated from division title with a loss, plus either a Houston or Tennessee win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) a loss, plus (b) a Miami win, plus (c) either a Houston or Tennessee win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) a loss, plus (b) a Houston win, plus (c) either a Baltimore or Denver win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) a loss, plus (b) a Tennessee win, plus (c) either a Baltimore or Denver win.
– 1% chance of winning AFC South.
– 2% chance of making the playoffs.

 

NFC East

11-1 Dallas Cowboys
Currently NFC #1 seed.
Remaining Opponents 22-17: vs 8-5 Buccaneers; vs 9-4 Lions; at 5-8 Eagles.
– Clinch division and first round bye with (a) a win, plus (b) Giants lose to Detroit.
– Clinch at least the #5 seed with either a win, or an Atlanta loss.
– 95% chance of winning the NFC East.
– Cowboys clinched a playoff spot in Week 13.

9-4 New York Giants
Currently NFC #5 seed.
Remaining Opponents : vs 9-4 Lions; at 5-8 Eagles; at 7-5-1 Redskins.
– Clinch playoff spot with (a) win vs Detroit, plus (b) losses by Green Bay, Minnesota and Washington.
– Eliminated from first round bye with loss to Detroit.
– Eliminated from division title with both a loss, plus Dallas win.
– 5% chance of winning NFC East.
– 79% chance of making playoffs.

7-5-1 Washington Redskins
Currently NFC #7 seed.
Remaining Opponents 17-22: vs 5-8 Panthers; at 3-10 Bears; vs 9-4 Giants.
– Eliminated from #5 seed with both a loss, plus a Detroit loss to Giants.
– Can not win NFC East.
– 49% chance of making playoffs as wild card.

5-8 Philadelphia Eagles
Currently NFC #13 seed.
Remaining Opponents : at 7-6 Ravens; vs 9-4 Giants; vs 11-2 Cowboys.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a win by either Washington, Atlanta, Green Bay or Minnesota.
– Can not win NFC East.
– less than 1% chance of making playoffs as #6 seed.

 

NFC North

9-4 Detroit Lions
Currently NFC #2 seed.
Remaining Opponents 27-12: at 9-4 Giants; at 11-2 Cowboys; vs 7-6 Packers.
– Clinch NFC North with both a win, plus a Green Bay loss.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with both a loss, plus a Dallas win.
– 73% chance of winning NFC North.
– 80% chance of making playoffs.

7-6 Minnesota Vikings
Currently NFC #8 seed.
Remaining Opponents 16-22: vs 6-7 Colts; at 7-6 Packers; vs 3-10 Bears.
– Eliminated from division title with a loss or a Detroit win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) a loss, plus (b) Tampa Bay and Atlanta wins, plus (c) either a Washington or New York win.
– 5% chance of winning NFC North.
– 12% chance of making playoffs.

7-6 Green Bay Packers
Currently NFC #9 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-20: at 3-10 Bears; vs 7-6 Packers; at 9-4 Lions.
– Eliminated from division title with a loss or a Detroit win.
– Eliminated from first round bye with both a loss, plus a win by either Seattle, Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– Eliminated from #3 seed with (a) a loss, plus (b) a Seattle win, plus (c) a win by either Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– Eliminated from #5 seed with (a) a loss, plus (b) both Detroit and Washington wins.
– Eliminated from #5 seed with (a) a loss, plus (b) Detroit, Atlanta and Tampa Bay all win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) a loss, plus (b) Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Washington all win.
– 22% chance of winning NFC North.
– 26% chance of making playoffs.

 

NFC West

8-4-1 Seattle Seahawks
Currently NFC #3 seed.
Remaining Opponents 10-28-1: vs 4-9 Rams; vs 5-7-1 Cardinals; at 1-12 49ers.
– Clinch NFC West with either a win, or an Arizona loss.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with either a loss, or a Dallas win.
– 99% chance of winning NFC West.

5-7-1 Arizona Cardinals
Currently NFC #10 seed.
Remaining Opponents 17-21-1: vs 5-8 Saints; at 8-4-1 Seahawks; at 4-9 Rams.
– Eliminated from division title with either a loss or a Seattle win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with wins by Seattle, Atlanta and Tampa Bay.
– 1% chance of making the playoffs.

 

NFC South

8-5 Atlanta Falcons
Currently NFC #4 seed.
Remaining Opponents 11-28: vs 1-12 49ers; at 5-8 Panthers; vs 5-8 Saints.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with either a loss, or a Dallas win.
– 75% chance of winning NFC South.
– 91% chance of making playoffs.

8-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Currently NFC #6 seed.
Remaining Opponents 21-18: at 11-2 Cowboys; at 5-8 Saints; vs 5-8 Panthers.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with a loss to Dallas.
– 25% chance of winning NFC South.
– 58% chance of making playoffs.

5-8 New Orleans Saints
Currently NFC #11 seed.
Remaining Opponents 21-17-1: at 5-7-1 Cardinals; vs 8-5 Buccaneers; at 8-5 Falcons.
– Eliminated from division title with win by either Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with wins by either (a) Atlanta and Tampa Bay, or (b) Atlanta and Washington, or (c) Tampa Bay and Washington.
– Eliminated from playoffs with wins by (a) Minnesota, plus (b) Green Bay, plus (c) either Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– less than 1% chance of making playoffs.

5-8 Carolina Panthers
Currently NFC #12 seed.
Remaining Opponents 23-15-1: at 7-5-1 Redskins; vs 8-5 Falcons; at 8-5 Buccaneers
– Eliminated from division title with win by either Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with wins by both Atlanta and Tampa Bay.
– Eliminated from playoffs with wins by (a) Minnesota, plus (b) Green Bay, plus (c) either Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– less than 1% chance of making playoffs.