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NFL Playoff Picture: Updated Odds and Projections for Each Seed for Week 14

Eli NachmanyCorrespondent IIIDecember 5, 2014

NFL Playoff Picture: Updated Odds and Projections for Each Seed for Week 14

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    While teams like the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos have already locked up their spots in the playoffs, a number of seeds are still up in the air.

    Wild cards and divisional titles are still to be had as the season draws to a close, and some teams on the outside looking in are trying to make an impact.

    Look for a number of spots to come down to the wire.

AFC Playoff Odds

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    The AFC is the weaker of the two conferences in the NFL right now but its playoff picture is certainly shaping up to be a tough battle.

    The New England Patriots look to be in complete control of the AFC East, with the Bills, Jets and Dolphins lagging far behind. With the way the tiebreakers would work out, New England is probably set for the division title even if they lose out and another AFC East team gets white hot.

    The Baltimore Ravens are another team with a steady handle on their division lead, though they don't have nearly as much breathing room as New England does. After losing to Pittsburgh, bad things seem possible for Baltimore down the stretch in the AFC North.

    Down south, the Houston Texans are sitting pretty atop their division after winning again last week. Matt Schaub is starting to prove his worth as a passer and barring an epic collapse, the team will walk away division champions.

    In the AFC West, the Denver Broncos have clinched their division and will move on to the playoffs. The Peyton Manning experiment has paid off and this John Elway-built bunch is now in position to do some damage in January.

    As for the Wild Card picture, the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers are currently in the driver's seat with the Cincinnati Bengals hot on their tails. A 7-5 Bengals team is heating up at the right time and could, conceivably, overtake an inconsistent Steelers squad down the stretch.

     

    AFC South

    Houston Texans (11-1)

    Playoff Odds: It’s in the bag

     

    Indianapolis Colts (8-4)

    Playoff Odds: Very likely 

     

    Tennessee Titans (4-8)

    Playoff Odds: Small

     

    Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10)

    Playoff Odds: Out of the hunt

     

     

    AFC West

    Denver Broncos (9-3)

    Playoff Odds: It’s in the bag

     

    San Diego Chargers (4-8)

    Playoff Odds: Slim to none 

     

    Oakland Raiders (3-9)

    Playoff Odds: Out of the hunt

     

    Kansas City Chiefs (2-10)

    Playoff Odds: Out of the hunt

     

     

    AFC North

    Baltimore Ravens (9-3)

    Playoff Odds: It's in the bag 

     

    Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)

    Playoff Odds: Somewhat likely

     

    Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)

    Playoff Odds: Somewhat likely

     

    Cleveland Browns (4-8)

    Playoff Odds: Slim to none

     

     

    AFC East

    New England Patriots (9-3)

    Playoff Odds: It’s in the bag

     

    NY Jets (5-7)

    Playoff Odds: Small

     

    Buffalo Bills (5-7)

    Playoff Odds: Small

     

    Miami Dolphins (5-7)

    Playoff Odds: Small

NFC Playoff Odds

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    The NFC is much more wide-open than the AFC is, with different scenarios guaranteed to drag this conference's playoff picture into the season's final day.

    The New York Giants failed to make any sort of statement on Monday Night Football, losing to the streaking Redskins and dropping to a very vulnerable 7-5 record. Robert Griffin III is an electric playmaker who loves the big stage; the pressure of a playoff hunt won't get to him.

    Up north, the Green Bay Packers inched closer to a division title when the Chicago Bears lost to the Seattle Seahawks, a team that Green Bay also couldn't overcome. The Packers have the inside track here.

    The Falcons, by contrast to the other two division leaders mentioned, have almost nothing to worry about. With a division title locked up, Mike Smith and his team can focus on dominating the playoffs and if this team is to make any noise in this year's postseason, Matt Ryan will need to step up his game.

    The NFC West title will also be a hotly-contested affair, with the Seahawks and 49ers within two games of one another. Russell Wilson has been impressive thus far and could lead his team all the way to an NFC West title over Jim Harbaugh's squad.

    As for the Wild Card races, it seems conceivable that the second place team in both the NFC North and NFC West will take the fifth and sixth spots. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings hope to block that from happening, but the Vikings have a tough schedule remaining and the Buccaneers have ground to make up.

     

    NFC East

    New York Giants (7-5)

    Playoff Odds: Likely (+)

     

    Washington Redskins (6-6)

    Playoff Odds: Somewhat likely (+)

     

    Dallas Cowboys (6-6)

    Playoff Odds: Small

     

    Philadelphia Eagles (3-9)

    Playoff Odds: None

     

     

    NFC North

    Green Bay Packers (8-4)

    Playoff Odds: Very likely

     

    Chicago Bears (8-4)

    Playoff Odds: Likely

     

    Minnesota Vikings (6-6)

    Playoff Odds: Small

     

    Detroit Lions (4-8)

    Playoff Odds: None

     

     

    NFC West

    San Francisco 49ers (8-3-1)

    Playoff Odds: It’s in the bag

     

    Seattle Seahawks (7-5)

    Playoff Odds: Somewhat likely

     

    St. Louis Rams (5-6-1)

    Playoff Odds: None

     

    Arizona Cardinals (4-8)

    Playoff Odds: None

     

     

    NFC South

    Atlanta Falcons (11-1)

    Playoff Odds: It's in the bag

     

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6)

    Playoff Odds: Small

     

    New Orleans Saints (5-7)

    Playoff Odds: Slim to none

     

    Carolina Panthers (3-9)

    Playoff Odds: None

AFC Playoff Picture

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    The Cincinnati Bengals don't have as much experience as the Pittsburgh Steelers do, but that could play in their favor as the season winds to a close.

    Pittsburgh is becoming increasingly injury prone with all of its aging parts and Cincinnati is both youthful and healthy. The Bengals got their first taste of postseason football last year and certainly want more.

    Ben Roethlisberger needs to get back in the lineup for the Steelers to have a shot at survival and the fact that they and the Bengals are tied at 7-5, separated only by a tiebreaker, shouldn't assure any Steeler fans of anything being guaranteed.

    The Indianapolis Colts have me sold on their game, considering Andrew Luck is now the all-time leader for wins in a single-season by a No. 1 overall pick rookie quarterback.

    Other teams that could still sneak in include the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and, dare I say it, the New York Jets. The AFC East is fighting for representation outside of the New England Patriots this season and need to just win football games to keep their hopes alive.

     

    Projected AFC Playoff Seeds

    1. Houston Texans

    2. Denver Broncos 

    3. New England Patriots

    4. Baltimore Ravens

    5. Indianapolis Colts

    6. Cincinnati Bengals

     

    Just Missing the Cut

    Pittsburgh Steelers

NFC Playoff Picture

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    The divisions, outside of the NFC South, are anything but locked up in the NFC.

    Betting against Eli Manning and the Giants is never a sound idea, but the Redskins look surprisingly good and the NFC East is up for grabs.

    The most interesting race of all may be the Seahawks' quest for an NFC West title, with a young, inexperienced team looking to steal the division crown.

    I was wrong about Russell Wilson and admit that now, so I have no problem giving this youthful signal caller the nod in the NFC West.

     

    Projected NFC Playoff Seeds

    1. Atlanta Falcons

    2. Green Bay Packers

    3. New York Giants

    4. Seattle Seahawks

    5. San Francisco 49ers

    6. Chicago Bears

     

    Just Missing the Cut

    Washington Redskins

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