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NFL Playoff Scenarios 2019-20: AFC, NFC Bracket Picture and Pre-Week 15 Odds

Jake RillSenior Analyst IDecember 15, 2019

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) dives to the pylon for a touchdown against New Orleans Saints linebacker Craig Robertson (52) in the second half an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)
Brett Duke/Associated Press

Be sure to enjoy Sunday's full slate of NFL action, because there are only three weeks of the regular season remaining.

Of course, the football fun will just be starting when the calendar turns to January. That's when the NFL playoffs get started and the road to Super Bowl LIV begins in earnest. But first, the playoff field must be set, and only three teams have clinched spots: the Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints.

Heading into Week 15, here's a look at the NFL playoff picture, clinching scenarios and Super Bowl odds.

                         

NFL Playoff Picture

AFC

Division Leaders

1. Baltimore (12-2)

2. New England (10-3)

3. Kansas City (9-4)

4. Houston (8-5)

                

Wild Cards

5. Buffalo (9-4)

6. Pittsburgh (8-5)

           

In the Hunt

7. Tennessee (8-5)

8. Cleveland (6-7)

9. Oakland (6-7)

10. Indianapolis (6-7)

11. Denver (5-8)

              

NFC

Division Leaders

1. San Francisco (11-2)

2. Green Bay (10-3)

3. New Orleans (10-3)

4. Dallas (6-7)

            

Wild Cards

5. Seattle (10-3)

6. Minnesota (9-4)

           

In the Hunt

7. L.A. Rams (8-5)

8. Chicago (7-6)

9. Philadelphia (6-7)

                 

Playoff Scenario

AFC

The Ravens secured the AFC North title with a win over the New York Jets on Thursday night, and they could clinch even more Sunday.

Baltimore will seal a first-round bye if either the New England Patriots lose to the Cincinnati Bengals or the Kansas City Chiefs lose to or ties with the Denver Broncos. If both those things happen, the Ravens would secure the No. 1 seed.

The Patriots and Buffalo Bills can clinch playoff berths Sunday. New England would book their spot with a win or tie against Cincinnati. Buffalo would clinch with a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

                

NFC

The Green Bay Packers can't win the NFC North on Sunday, but they could secure a playoff berth. They will clinch if they beat the Chicago Bears and the Los Angeles Rams lose to or tie with the Dallas Cowboys. They would also reach the postseason with a tie and a Rams loss.

The San Francisco 49ers have the best record in the NFC, and they can clinch a playoff berth Sunday with a win or tie against the Atlanta Falcons. They would also secure their spot if the Rams lose to or tie with the Cowboys or if the Minnesota Vikings and Packers both lose.

The Seattle Seahawks would clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Carolina Panthers and one of the following: a Rams loss to or tie with the Cowboys, a Vikings loss to the Chargers or a Packers loss to the Bears and a Vikings tie. They would also seal a postseason spot with a tie and a Rams loss.

              

Super Bowl Odds

Baltimore +250 (bet $100 to win $250)

San Francisco +400

New Orleans +500

New England +600

Kansas City +700

Seattle +800

Green Bay +1,400

Minnesota +2,000

Buffalo +4,000

Dallas +4,000

Philadelphia +4,000

Houston +4,500

L.A. Rams +5,000

Tennessee +5,000

Pittsburgh +6,000

Chicago +20,000

Cleveland +30,000

Oakland +40,000

Indianapolis +50,000

Denver +250,000

Via Caesars.

                      

The Ravens are the Super Bowl favorites, as they are rolling toward the playoffs. They have won a franchise-record 10 consecutive games, beating several of the NFL's other top teams during that stretch.

While the Patriots and 49ers are also strong teams, the Ravens own wins over both of them. The only likely playoff team that has beat the Ravens is the Chiefs, who also own a victory over the Patriots.

If there's any team that can take down the Ravens in the AFC, it's likely the Patriots or Chiefs. New England may have lost back-to-back games, but it has a top-tier defense and should get back on track before the end of the regular season. Kansas City is building momentum, as it has won three straight games after some midseason struggles.

In the NFC, there are four teams with at least 10 wins, and each one should be considered a legitimate contender to reach the Super Bowl.

The 49ers lead the pack, but it's possible they could fall to a wild-card berth. They have a one-game lead over the Seahawks with three gameweeks remaining, and the teams will face off in Seattle in Week 17.

Both San Francisco and Seattle will be big threats when the playoffs roll around.

New Orleans and Green Bay should also be top contenders. The Saints and Packers are both led by veteran quarterbacks who have won the Super Bowl in the past: Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, respectively. That's one reason why these teams will be tough to beat in January.