NFL Playoff Scenarios 2020: Latest AFC, NFC Wild Card Picture and Vegas Odds

Jake RillSenior Analyst IDecember 24, 2019

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers runs off the field after the team's NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Monday, Dec. 23, 2019, in Minneapolis. The Packers won 23-10. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
Craig Lassig/Associated Press

For the first time since 2016, the Green Bay Packers are the NFC North champions.

The Packers clinched the division title Monday night with a 23-10 win over the Vikings in Minneapolis. Minnesota still had a chance to win the division entering the week, but it's now locked that it will be the second NFC wild card.

There are still two division titles up for grabs in Week 17 (NFC East, NFC West), as well as a wild-card spot in the AFC. So, there will still be meaningful games in the final week of the regular season.

Here's a look at the current NFL playoff picture entering Week 17, followed by the odds of each team still alive in the postseason hunt to win Super Bowl LIV.


AFC Playoff Standings

1. Baltimore (13-2, clinched No. 1 seed)

2. New England (12-3, clinched AFC East)

3. Kansas City (11-4, clinched AFC West)

4. Houston (10-5, clinched AFC South)

5. Buffalo (10-5, clinched wild card)

6. Tennessee (8-7)

While the Ravens have clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, the No. 2 seed has not yet been secured. Either the Patriots or Chiefs will receive a first-round bye and secure home field for at least the divisional round.

New England would clinch the No. 2 seed with a win over Miami this week. It would also secure the spot if the Chiefs lose to the Chargers. In order for Kansas City to get the first-round bye, it must defeat Los Angeles and have the Pats fall to the Dolphins.

The Texans can still move up to the No. 3 seed if they beat the Titans and the Chiefs lose to the Chargers.

The Bills are locked in as the No. 5 seed, so they'll go on the road to take on either the Texans or Chiefs in the AFC Wild Card Round. It's more likely that they will be facing Houston.

As for the final playoff spot, there are still three teams alive for the No. 6 seed. The Titans are in control of the race, as they'll secure the berth with a win over the Texans. Tennessee would also get in if Pittsburgh (at Baltimore) and Indianapolis (at Jacksonville) both lose.

The Steelers are 8-7, just like the Titans, and they'll get into the playoffs if they beat the Ravens and the Titans lose to the Texans. If Pittsburgh loses, it would still get in if the Colts win and the Titans, Bears, Lions, Chargers and Patriots all lose.

There's a slim chance that the Raiders surpass both the Titans and Steelers to earn the final spot. They need to beat the Broncos, have the Titans and Steelers lose, have the Colts win and have either the Bears, Lions, Chiefs or Patriots win.


NFC Playoff Standings

1. San Francisco (12-3, clinched playoff berth)

2. Green Bay (12-3, clinched NFC North)

3. New Orleans (12-3, clinched NFC South)

4. Philadelphia (8-7)

5. Seattle (11-4, clinched playoff berth)

6. Minnesota (10-5, clinched wild card)

The scenario for the 49ers is simple. If they beat the Seahawks in Seattle, they'll win the NFC West and be the No. 1 seed in the NFC. If they lose, they'll fall to a wild-card berth and be the No. 5 seed. It's easily San Francisco's biggest game of the regular season with a lot at stake.

The Packers can secure a first-round bye with either a win over the Lions or a Saints loss to the Panthers. They could also be the No. 1 seed if they win and the Seahawks beat the 49ers.

The Saints will get a first-round bye if they beat the Panthers and either the 49ers or Packers lose. They'd also move up to the No. 2 seed if the Packers and Seahawks both win, even if they don't beat Carolina.

The NFC East title and No. 4 seed will go to either the Eagles or Cowboys. The Eagles clinch with either a win over the Giants or a Cowboys loss to the Redskins. Dallas needs to beat Washington and have Philadelphia lose in order to reach the playoffs.

The Seahawks will win the NFC West if they beat the 49ers. The only way they could also secure the No. 1 seed is if they win and the Saints and Packers both lose.

The Vikings are locked into the No. 6 seed and will play whichever team finishes at No. 3.


Super Bowl Odds (via Caesars)

Baltimore +200 (bet $100 to win $200)

San Francisco +400

New Orleans +450

New England +700

Seattle +700

Kansas City +750

Green Bay +1200

Minnesota +2500

Buffalo +3500

Houston +3500

Philadelphia +5000

Dallas +12500

Tennessee +12500

Pittsburgh +75000

Oakland +200000

Right now, the most likely Super Bowl scenario features the Ravens and 49ers facing off in a rematch of Super Bowl XLVII.

Baltimore has won a franchise-record 11 consecutive games, with quarterback Lamar Jackson playing at an MVP-caliber level. He's passed for 3,127 yards and 36 touchdowns while rushing for 1,206 yards and seven scores.

San Francisco has the No. 1 defense in the NFC (No. 2 in the NFL behind only New England), allowing only 277.4 total yards per game. The 49ers have been one of the surprise teams in the NFL this season, as they've taken down some of the other top teams such as the Saints and Packers.

The Patriots, Saints, Packers and Seahawks all remain strong threats to make a deep playoff run, as each is led by a quarterback who has previously won the Super Bowl—New England's Tom Brady, New Orleans' Drew Brees, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and Seattle's Russell Wilson.

It's also worth remembering that the Chiefs are a talented team that reached the AFC Championship Game last season and has bounced back from some midseason struggles. Led by last year's MVP, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City has won five straight games and already owns wins over Baltimore and New England.

While the Ravens are the clear favorite at this point, a lot can change once the playoffs arrive, as there appear to be several other top teams who will give them competition.