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NFL Playoffs 2019-20: Bracket Predictions, Odds for AFC and NFC Before Week 16

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2019

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) runs off the field after defeating the Indianapolis Colts 34-7 in an NFL football game in New Orleans, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019. Brees broke the NFL record for career touchdown passes, surpassing Peyton Manning, and the all-time single game completion percentage as well. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
Bill Feig/Associated Press

Four tickets to the 2019-20 NFL playoffs remain up for grabs heading into Week 16, and with home-field advantage yet to be decided in both the AFC and NFC, the conclusion to this season is coming down to the wire.

The Baltimore Ravens (12-2) and Seattle Seahawks (11-3) are in pole position in their respective conferences, but the NFC could get complicated, with three teams sporting the same best record.

Here's a breakdown of the current standings.

    

AFC

Division Leaders

1. Baltimore Ravens (12-2)

2. New England Patriots (11-3)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (10-4)

4. Houston Texans (9-5)

   

Wild Card

5. Buffalo Bills (10-4)

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6)

   

In the Hunt

Tennessee Titans (8-6)

Cleveland Brown (6-8)

Oakland Raiders (6-8)

   

NFC

Division Leaders

1. Seattle Seahawks (11-3)

2. Green Bay Packers (11-3)

3. New Orleans Saints (11-3)

4. Dallas Cowboys (7-7)

   

Wild Card

5. San Francisco 49ers (11-3)

6. Minnesota Vikings (10-4)

   

In the Hunt

Los Angeles Rams (8-6)

Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)

   

Super Bowl Odds (Via Caesars)

Ravens +225 (bet $100 to win $225)

Saints +450

Patriots +600

49ers +600

Chiefs +700

Packers +1400

Vikings +1600

Cowboys +3000

Texans +3000

Bills +3500

Titans +7500

Steelers +7500

Rams +75000

Browns +500000

Raiders +500000

   

Playoff Scenarios

AFC

The Ravens, Patriots, Chiefs and Bills have clinched their playoff places. Baltimore can seal the top seed with one more win but could still drop to the third seed with losses in its final two games. The Chiefs and Patriots still have a shot at the top seed. One more win will hand the Texans the AFC South, while the Steelers hold the tiebreakers over the Titans for the sixth seed.

   

NFC

The Seahawks, Packers, Saints and 49ers have qualified for the playoffs. Seattle holds the top spot for now, courtesy of an edge in a three-way tie, but will still face the 49ers in divisional play. Dallas and Philadelphia are tied for the NFC East lead, setting up a massive clash between the two in Week 16. Minnesota needs one more win to get to the playoffs and can still win its division.

   

Predictions

Baltimore and New England have a clear path to a first-round bye, and both will get the chance to gather some momentum in Week 16.

For the Ravens, a rematch with the Browns provides a great opportunity to avenge the shock 15-point loss earlier this season. At the time, it looked like the Browns were finally finding their footing and ready to make good on their pre-season expectations, but the rails have come off since:

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

The Browns now have the longest active streak without a 10-win season in the NFL (2007). https://t.co/cZRpbxdlq6

The Patriots face the Bills in an AFC East clash between teams that have already qualified for the playoffs. Their offense showed signs of life against the Cincinnati Bengals, and Bill Belichick's defense has given Josh Allen fits every time Buffalo has faced New England.

The Chiefs should handle the Chicago Bears, while Houston faces a tricky challenge away to Tampa Bay. Pittsburgh is expected to beat the New York Jets, moving them one step closer to the postseason.

In the NFC, Green Bay faces Minnesota in a massive showdown for the NFC North, and the NFC East clash between Dallas and Philadelphia is just as important.

The Vikings' chances of winning the division could well be riding on the health of Dalvin Cook at this point:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

#Vikings coach Mike Zimmer tells reporters that star RB Dalvin Cook’s shoulder injury is one Cook could play through and that “it feels good today."

New Orleans travel to Tennessee and the 49ers take on the Rams. Both the Titans and the Rams are in the hunt for a wild-card spot and could give the already-qualified teams some trouble.

Predicted Playoff Teams: Ravens, Patriots, Chiefs, Texans, Bills, Steelers; Seahawks, Packers, Saints, Eagles, 49ers, Vikings