NFL Playoff Scenarios 2022: Complete Bracket Picture and AFC, NFC Odds

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2022

NFL Playoff Scenarios 2022: Complete Bracket Picture and AFC, NFC Odds

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    For the first time in forever—not an exaggeration; literally forever—the NFL is set to wrap its campaign with an 18th week.

    That's just as well, since there's still so much to sort out with the playoff picture.

    Three of the 14 playoff berths remain up for grabs. The Green Bay Packers are the only team to have their postseason seed set in stone, as they clinched the NFC's top seed with Sunday's win over the Minnesota Vikings.

    While the postseason bracket is far from set, it's still worth laying out the latest bracket to get a proper lay of the land. Then, we'll examine the latest Super Bowl odds before finally breaking down the many clinching scenarios still in play.

Current Playoff Bracket

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    AFC

    No. 1 Tennessee Titans: First-round bye

    No. 7 Los Angeles Chargers at No. 2 Kansas City Chiefs

    No. 6 Indianapolis Colts at No. 3 Cincinnati Bengals

    No. 5 New England Patriots at No. 4 Buffalo Bills

                      

    NFC

    No. 1 Green Bay Packers: First-round bye

    No. 7 Philadelphia Eagles at No. 2 Los Angeles Rams

    No. 6 San Francisco 49ers at No. 3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    No. 5 Arizona Cardinals at No. 4 Dallas Cowboys

Super Bowl Odds

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    Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

    Green Bay Packers +380

    Kansas City Chiefs +500

    Buffalo Bills +750

    Los Angeles Rams +850

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers +900

    Dallas Cowboys +1100

    Tennessee Titans +1200

    New England Patriots +1600

    Indianapolis Colts +1800

    Cincinnati Bengals +2000

    Arizona Cardinals +2000

    San Francisco 49ers +3500

    Los Angeles Chargers +4000

    Philadelphia Eagles +5000

    Las Vegas Raiders +10000

    New Orleans Saints +13000

    Pittsburgh Steelers +40000

    Baltimore Ravens +40000

Clinching Scenarios

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    Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

    Let's start with the NFC, since there's no mystery at the top. The Packers are the No. 1 seed for the second year in a row. Now, it's up to coach Matt LaFleur to lead Aaron Rodgers and the rest of this roster into the Super Bowl, a journey the team hasn't taken since the 2010 season.

    The Rams could finish anywhere from No. 2 to No. 5, although a win over the 49ers would wrap up the second spot. Lose that game, though, and L.A. only sticks at No. 2 with losses by the Buccaneers, Cowboys and Cardinals. The Rams could fall out of the top four—spots reserved for division winners—with a loss and a Cardinals win, which would give Arizona the NFC West.

    The real intrigue lies in the lone unclaimed spot in the conference. It's San Francisco's for now and will stay that way if it wins over or ties L.A.. Upping the intrigue, the Niners don't know (or at least won't say) who will start at quarterback, after rookie Trey Lance got the nod in Week 17 with starter Jimmy Garoppolo fighting a thumb injury in his throwing hand.

    New Orleans can swipe that last spot with a win over the Atlanta Falcons and a 49ers' loss.

    In the AFC, every seed is up for grabs and so are the last two playoff tickets.

    The Titans are the No. 1 seed with a win over the Houston Texans. A few other paths could put Tennessee in that spot, but that's the simplest. The Chiefs have the next easiest route, as they'd get it with a win over the Denver Broncos and a Titans' loss or tie. The Bengals and Patriots are technically in the running too, but each needs a win and a lot of help.

    Five teams remain in the hunt for the two unclaimed postseason spots. The Chargers and Raiders will battle head-to-head for one, as the winner advances to the playoffs. The Colts, meanwhile, need only a win or tie against the Jacksonville Jaguars to get in. Finally, the Steelers and Ravens are mathematically alive, but they're only in with a win and a series of fortunate events.

                 

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.


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