Every team in the National Football League has played just a quarter of its schedule but that doesn't make it too early to look ahead toward the NFL playoffs. In fact, it's never too soon to evaluate how the postseason picture is shaping up and stay informed on how betting odds are changing accordingly.
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NFL Playoff Predictions: Odds To Reach 2020 Postseason
We realize the NFL playoff picture is still pretty cloudy with so much time to go, but projections can be made based on what we've seen so far through the first several weeks.
Below we include information on how each division looks and the Wild Card races along with providing odds from SugarHouse Sportsbook, which currently operates online sports betting in New Jersey and in Pennsylvania..
2019 AFC East Odds
At 5-0 with four dominant performances so far, the Patriots (-2500) are in complete control of the division as they head for the 11th title in a row and 16 in the past 17 seasons.
Home field in the playoffs likely awaits, and the only worthwhile bet on this team would be the conference championship or the Super Bowl. There's some value on Buffalo (+900) just one game behind New England with a head-to-head matchup remaining, but it still feels incredibly unlikely they'll contend for anything but a Wild Card berth.
2019 AFC North Odds
The Browns and Ravens are the only two teams that have a shot at winning the AFC North. This is a race that could come down to the end, making the Week 16 meeting in Cleveland the most important game of the season.
Baltimore (-155) is the only group over .500 at 3-2 and remains the favorite despite having lost to Cleveland (+140) in Week 4.
The Browns close the season with a weak schedule otherwise and the Ravens are unproven against strong teams, so there's value on Cleveland, but only if you can see past their huge struggles. Either way, both should remain in the playoff hunt.
2019 AFC South Odds
This division is really a two-horse race between one team many expected to be here, and another that plenty gave up on. The Texans (+145) are still favorites, but the Colts (+175) are right on their heels with two head-to-head games remaining as both teams sit at 3-2 after Week 5.
The matchups against one another will prove to be vital, as Indianapolis actually appears to have the easier schedule of the two down the stretch. At this point, however, our money still rides with the Texans pulling out the division and the Colts battling for a Wild Card spot along with Tennessee and Jacksonville.
2019 AFC West Odds
Five weeks into the season, this is another division with its winner already decided. The Chiefs (-470) are far-and-away the best team in the AFC West and has sights set on a first-round bye in the playoffs.
The Chargers and Raiders share equal odds (+650) for a division title as unlikely as they come and may not be in the AFC playoff picture at all by season's end. At 2-3, Los Angeles' schedule will make it tough to gain ground while Oakland is unlikely to live up to its surprising 3-2 start.
AFC Wild Card Picture
As always with the Wild Card race, there are several teams going for just two spots. The way the first few weeks have played out, Buffalo (4-1) and Indianapolis (3-2) are a clear step above the teams with mediocre 2-3 starts like Cleveland, Los Angeles, Tennessee, and Jacksonville.
The Colts have an easier schedule than some of the other teams that will be vying for a Wild Card spot, assuming they don't find a way to win the division. Buffalo has enough favorable matchups to reach double-digit wins as well. Below are our current NFL playoff picks in the AFC:
- New England Patriots
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Houston Texans
- Baltimore Ravens
- Buffalo Bills (WC)
- Indianapolis Colts (WC)
- Cleveland Browns (OUT)
- Los Angeles Chargers (OUT)
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2019 NFC East Odds
In another race that's between two teams, the Eagles (-110) and Cowboys (+110) are both nearly even-money for an NFC East title. This should already be obvious, but the two head-to-head meetings will go a very long way in deciding this division.
Going by the rest of the schedule, Philadelphia has a fairly difficult six-game stretch before things ease up. Dallas is in position to gain the upper-leg on the division in the next few weeks and their odds will likely be much worse very soon. Despite poor performances against stiffer competition so far, stick with Dallas in the east.
2019 NFC North Odds
The NFC North was expected to be one of the tightest divisions in football, and this race may be starting to disappoint. The Packers (+120) are 4-1 and sitting pretty as the most complete team in the division.
This seems fine if you are sports betting at SugarHouse and like Detroit, Minnesota or Chicago since both are still capable of surging to the front with so many games left.
Despite the increased value, though, that bet isn't worthwhile in our eyes. Green Bay has already defeated both and Chicago has an injured quarterback while the Vikings have an inconsistent one.
The second-place Lions (+900) have been a pleasant surprise but remain a team we aren't ready to believe in. The entire division is in play for the Wild Card, though.
2019 NFC South Odds
Following the injury to Drew Brees, it appeared the Saints were in danger of giving up its control of the NFC South. Teddy Bridgewater and the defense had other ideas, and now New Orleans (-286) is firmly in control at 4-1 as Brees sets to return pretty soon.
The Panthers (+350) are playing admirably with a 3-2 record behind a backup quarterback and the Buccaneers (+700) have shown signs of life early on, but the Saints have already positioned themselves above the pack. Neither of these secondary NFC South teams is looking like serious playoff contenders, either.
2019 NFC West Odds
Out west in the NFC, three teams are all among the best in the conference. San Francisco (+125) remains undefeated and a small favorite ahead of two 4-1 teams in the Rams (+150) and Seahawks (+240).
San Francisco's surprise start throws a wrench into what is now a three-horse race. Given they have somewhat easier schedules than other teams in the conference, we should expect to see at least one NFC West team in a Wild Card spot.
From a value perspective, one needs to look at Seattle, which has a quarterback playing at an MVP level and can win 10 or 11 games if things go right. The Rams may still be the “best” team and the 49ers are new and fun to watch, but Seattle finds a way to get things done.
NFC Wild Card Picture
The race for playoff spots in the NFC is even more congested than the AFC, mostly because there are 11 teams that are over .500 in the early part of the season. In our guess, only some of those are serious contenders:
- Entire NFC North minus the division winner
- Two NFC West teams minus the division winner
- Dallas or Philadelphia in the NFC East
If you are sports betting in PA, we wouldn't blame you for wanting to put a wager on a potential hometown favorite in the Philadelphia Eagles.
Unfortunately for the NFC North, each team has a pretty brutal schedule. This leads us to think whichever teams might be hard-pressed to find a playoff spot in the end. As it turns out, three teams out west have a real chance to win double-digit games.
The same can't be said for some other teams with tougher draws like Chicago and Minnesota, though it doesn't feel comfortable leaving both of those teams out. Here are our NFL standings predictions for the NFC at this point of the season:
- New Orleans Saints
- Green Bay Packers
- Seattle Seahawks
- Dallas Cowboys
- Los Angeles Rams (WC)
- San Francisco 49ers (WC)
- Minnesota Vikings (OUT)
- Chicago Bears (OUT)
Super Bowl 2020 Odds & Predictions
The road through the postseason ends at the Super Bowl, so while we're making NFL playoff predictions we are also selecting a few teams with a chance to go all the way. Only one team will walk away with the Lombardi Trophy in Miami, but who will it be? There are several worthwhile Super Bowl 2020 predictions you can make at this point in the season.
- New England Patriots (+300)
A wager on the Patriots to win the Super Bowl is one of the only ways to gain any value from gambling on this team other than going for just an AFC title. The Pats will be coasting to a division title and have the inside track for home field, which means a team would have to beat them in Foxboro.
Once you put Belichick and Brady in the Super Bowl, we've seen what happens, so act now before the payout inevitably lowers over time.
- Green Bay Packers (+1300)
Despite not being the favorite to represent the NFC, there are reasons to believe Green Bay can help you cash in on +1300 odds to win the Super Bowl.
Having beaten both Chicago and Minnesota already, the Packers are a 4-1 team in control of the NFC North and could be hosting playoff games at Lambeau Field. How many games exactly may be up to Drew Brees and the Saints, who are betting favorites to win the NFC.
- Kansas City Chiefs (+600)
Oddsmakers know there's only one team with a chance to beat New England and that's Kansas City. The Chiefs and Pats played an epic conference title game a season ago, and the next step for QB Patrick Mahomes is to take the mantle from Tom Brady in the AFC.
This feels like an inevitable rematch for the AFC title, so consider a +250 bet on the likely underdog Kansas City, which won't be there when the time comes. But if you believe they're destined to get over the hump this year, +600 is an excellent payout that will shrink as the playoffs near.
- New Orleans Saints (+800)
The New Orleans defense and Teddy Bridgewater have done an excellent job picking up the slack in the wake of Brees' injury, but the Hall-of-Famer is still the key to the Saints' season.
If Brees returns to regular form with the Saints near the top of the standings, this team is a very legitimate Super Bowl contender. Until we see it, however, teams like the Packers have more attractive odds to us since New Orleans is too heavily favored over other NFC teams.