NFL Playoff Scenarios 2021: Latest AFC, NFC Wild Card Picture and Vegas Odds

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2020

NFL Playoff Scenarios 2021: Latest AFC, NFC Wild Card Picture and Vegas Odds

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    We're heading into Week 17 of the 2020 NFL season, which means that the playoff picture is nearly set. The Kansas City Chiefs have locked up the No. 1 seed in the AFC, while the Green Bay Packers are closing in on the top seed in the NFC.

    However, while six of the eight division titles have been secured, seven playoff spots are still not settled. This means that a large percentage of this week's games will have playoff implications—and a 10-win team is going to be left out in the AFC.

    Here, we'll run down the latest AFC and NFC playoff standings, some of the most important Week 17 scenarios and the latest Super Bowl odds from DraftKings Sportsbook. Does your favorite team have a shot in 2020? Let's take a look at the field.

Week 17 Playoff Picture

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press


    1. Kansas City Chiefs 14-1 (Y, Z)

    2. Buffalo Bills 12-3 (Z)

    3. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-3 (Z)

    4. Tennessee Titans 10-5

    5. Miami Dolphins 10-5

    6. Baltimore Ravens 10-5

    7. Cleveland Browns 10-5

    8. Indianapolis Colts 10-5



    1. Green Bay Packers 12-3 (Z)

    2. New Orleans Saints 11-4 (Z)

    3. Seattle Seahawks 11-4 (Z)

    4. Washington Football Team 6-9

    5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-5 (X)

    6. Los Angeles Rams 9-6

    7. Chicago Bears 8-7

    8. Arizona Cardinals 8-7

    9. Dallas Cowboys 6-9

    10. New York Giants 5-10


    X = clinched playoff spot, Y = clinched playoff bye, Z = clinched division

Life at the Top

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    As previously mentioned, the Chiefs have already secured the No. 1 seed in the AFC.We may not see starters like Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce in the finale.

    After winning on Monday night, the Buffalo Bills only need to win in Week 17 to lock up the No. 2 seed in the conference. While the second seed doesn't carry a first-round bye under the new playoff format, it would guarantee Buffalo home-field advantage until the conference title game.

    If the Bills happen to lose, the Pittsburgh Steelers could swoop in and take the second seed. This is a big reason why the Steelers may not rest their starters in the finale.

    "We'll ponder those possibilities [Monday]," head coach Mike Tomlin said Sunday, per Chris Adamski of Trib Live.

    Similarly, the Packers only need a win over the Chicago Bears to secure the No. 1 seed in the NFC. A loss or tie by the Seattle Seahawks would also give Green Bay the top spot. 

    If the Packers lose, though, the Seahawks or New Orleans Saints could claim the top spot. The Saints would secure the No. 1 seed with a Packers loss, a win and a Seattle win. Seattle can get it with a win, a Green Bay loss and a New Orleans loss or tie.

    Whichever teams win the AFC South and NFC East will be locked into the No. 4 seed in their respective conferences.

Division Races

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    Brett Carlsen/Associated Press

    The Tennessee Titans could have locked up the AFC South with a win over the Packers on Sunday night. They fell flat. However, they can still claim the division with a win over the Houston Texans, a loss by the Indianapolis Colts or ties by both Tennessee and Indy.

    The Colts can steal the division with a win and a Titans loss. If the Titans don't win the division, they'll still get into the postseason with losses by the Miami Dolphins or Baltimore Ravens. The Colts will need more help if they're unable to take the division.

    The NFC East can be won by the Washington Football Team with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night. If the Eagles win that game, however, the winner of the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants matchup will claim the division.

    Yes, the Giants could host a playoff game as a 6-10 team.

    It's win-the-division-or-go-home for the three remaining NFC East contenders. The Eagles have already been eliminated, and only the division champion can make the postseason.

Wild Card Races

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    The AFC and NFC wild-card races are where things get interesting—and especially in the AFC, where a 10-win team won't make it.

    The Baltimore Ravens can clinch a berth with a win, a Cleveland Browns loss, a Colts loss or a tie and ties by Cleveland or Indy. They can also get in with a tie and losses by the Miami Dolphins or the Titans.

    The Browns can clinch a spot with a win over the Steelers or a loss by the Colts. A tie and losses by the Ravens, Dolphins or Colts could also do it. If the Colts don't win the AFC South, they'll need a win and losses by the Ravens, Dolphins or Browns to get in. A tie and a loss by any of those three teams would also get Indy in.

    Miami is in with a win or a Ravens, Browns or Colts loss.

    In the NFC, the Arizona Cardinals are in with a win or a tie and a Bears loss. Chicago can get a berth by beating the Packers or with a Cardinals loss. Ties by both the Bears and the Cardinals would also put Chicago into the postseason.

    The Los Angeles Rams are in the playoffs with a win over Arizona, a tie, or a loss or tie by Chicago. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are already locked into a wild-card spot.

Updated Super Bowl Odds

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Kansas City Chiefs 19-10

    Green Bay Packers 21-4

    New Orleans Saints 7-1

    Buffalo Bills 9-1

    Seattle Seahawks 10-1

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11-1

    Baltimore Ravens 14-1

    Pittsburgh Steelers 22-1

    Tennessee Titans 28-1

    Los Angeles Rams 33-1

    Indianapolis Colts 33-1

    Miami Dolphins 60-1

    Cleveland Browns 60-1

    Chicago Bears 70-1

    Arizona Cardinals 80-1

    Dallas Cowboys 100-1

    Washington Football Team 100-1

    New York Giants 150-1   


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