Twelve of the 32 teams make the NFL playoffs, and handicapping which ones will make the postseason has become a favorite for gamblers. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook recently released its playoff propositions for next season.

NFL playoffs
The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to make the NFL playoffs again next season. (Image: Getty)

It is pretty easy to project who will be the top four teams from both the AFC and NFC. Defending Super Bowl Champions Philadelphia, New England, Minnesota and Pittsburgh should all breeze into the postseason.

The Patriots have the best odds at -1600. The Steelers are next at -500, followed by the Eagles at -270, and the Vikings at -200.

The next four teams is a little more difficult, but not impossible. The Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers should get in and are -170 to do so. The Los Angeles Chargers are -160 to get in by winning the AFC West. Jacksonville is at -150 to make it.

Who Could Surprise

It is picking those last four, the wild card teams, that is difficult.

Last year it wasn’t very likely that Buffalo, with a quarterback controversy and a 9-7 record would sneak into the playoffs, but on the last day of the regular season they did just that.

Buffalo’s chances of repeating that feat are slim. Oddsmakers have set the line on their total victories at 6.5 and at a +450 to make the playoffs. They don’t have much faith for a second consecutive year of playing after the regular season.

So if not the Bills, who will be the squad that shocks sportsbooks and makes the playoffs.

Texans, Baltimore Should Improve

In the AFC the Texans could be a good bet. They are -110 to make it and last year the squad was decimated with injuries. They lost quarterback Deshaun Watson (torn ACL), defensive end J.J. Watt (broken leg) linebacker Whitney Mercilu (torn pectoral muscle), running back D’Onta Foreman (torn Achilles) for the season. They all are expected back for 2018.

Another AFC team would be Baltimore. The Ravens finished 9-7 and shored up key spots, including tight end. They could be the best of the wild card possibilities. Plus at +150 it is a good value bet.

In the NFC South it is possible the two wild card teams come from that division like last year. New Orleans is predicted to repeat as divisional champs, leaving Atlanta and Carolina to scramble for the two remaining spots. Atlanta just made its quarterback Matt Ryan the highest paid player in the game and at +110 to make the playoffs, should get back there.

Carolina is the shakier pick. The Panthers are +130 and are led by a strong defense. The variable is Cam Newton. Can he put aside sometime childish behavior and lead this team back to the playoffs?

Teams to Avoid

Two squads jump out as ones to take a pass on next season. The first is Kansas City, who is +120 to make the playoffs. The Chiefs traded quarterback Alex Smith to Washington and are pinning their hopes on second-year player Patrick Mahomes. It will be his first year as a starter and could be too much to ask for him to get them to the postseason.

Another team to pass on is the Dallas Cowboys. They released Dez Bryant, lost tight end Jason Whitten to retirement and could be a team that dips this year. They missed the playoffs last year and are +150 to make it this year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *