The NFL Playoffs Explained

NFL Playoffs Explained

The NFL's postseason is a somewhat recent innovation for the sport of American Football. In fact, the current playoff set up wasn't established until 1967. However, playoffs can be traced all the way back to 1933.

Establishing the Playoffs

Establishing the Playoffs

Looking at the history of American football, between 1920 and 1923 there wasn't a playoff system in place. Back in those days the NFL determined the championship team by holding a vote between the major team owners at the annual owners' meeting.

Following this the system was adapted in 1924 so that the championship title was decided by the team with the best winning percentage over the course of the season. The system continued until 1932 until a tie threw a spanner into the works. Suddenly the need for a playoff game was evident as the Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth Spartans both had a winning percentage of .857. In order to fairly determine that year's champion the league decided to hold a final game between the two (the Bears won 9-0).

Though this first championship determining game was not officially called a 'championship game', it did create a buzz in the football world and, in 1933, the first official NFL Championship Game was created. This would change online gambling, American Football and our take on the game forever. Along with this innovation came the need to determine winners in the case of a tie and, thus, the playoffs were born. This format continued through to the 1960s with impromptu playoff games being held when necessary. It wasn't until the 1970 AFL-NFL Merger that the playoffs finally began to resemble their current form.

Current Playoff System

The current playoff system is divided up into three rounds: Wild Card Round, the Divisional Round, and the Conference Championships.

For the purposes of betting, American Football's 32 NFL teams are divided up into two conferences (AFC and NFC). Each conference is divided up into four divisions with four teams in each. Following the 16-game regular season the four division champions from each conference advance to the playoffs. They are seeded 1 through 4 based on their win-loss-tie records of the season.

There are also two wild card spots for each conference that are filled by the two teams with next best records. These two teams are seeded 5 and 6. All up, 12 teams advance to the postseason. In the case of a tie, divisional or conference, the NFL has established a set of criteria in which the teams are compared to fairly determine a winner.

The Wild Card Round starts in the second week of January and pits the two Wild Card teams from each conference against the third and fourth seeded divisional winners. The first and second seeded teams get this week off. The two winning teams advance to the next round.

The Divisional Round is held the following week and sees the top seeded teams playing against the Wild Card Round winners with the top seeded teams getting the home field advantage. The winners advance to the Conference Championships.

The Conference Championships determine the winning team for each conference. With the field narrowed down to four teams, two from each conference, the winners of these two games are declared the NFC Conference Champion and the AFC Conference Champion. These two winning teams will go on to face one another in the Super Bowl for the chance to claim the national title and hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Gambling Online: NFL Playoffs Betting

NFL Playoffs Betting

When it comes to online gambling, NFL playoff betting is one of the largest markets in the world. In fact, when it comes to American Football betting in general, postseason wagers are usually the most popular and the ones online gambling fans often focus on each year. When you look at gambling online, NFL playoffs betting has a symbiotic relationship with the betting industry: the sport needs gambling and gambling needs the sport. Moreover, betting on NFL playoffs in the postseason is a great way to add a little extra excitement to a sport that is already filled with feverish enthusiasm.However, before you rush off to a top NFL playoffs betting portal, you need to know what you're doing. So, with this in mind, here are a few tips for improving your American Football betting EV.

Online Gambling: NFL Playoff Betting Tips

1. Look at the Season: When you're gambling online, NFL playoffs betting is all about looking backwards to look forwards. It's always good to consider how a team has performed over the course of the regular season. Have they faced this team before? Did they win? How do they rank compared to their opponents? This is all-important when considering a wager, though keep in mind that this is only something to consider. A great regular season isn't going to guarantee a win in the playoffs. The playoffs often see teams pull out all the stops for a win, so upsets can and do happen.

2. Location of the game: Home field advantage is an important factor in American Football, especially when it comes to the best NFL playoff teams. Teams almost always play better in front of the home crowd than they do on the road. This is particularly true when it comes to the playoffs when they have a sold out home crowd boosting their confidence. Also, weather can play a factor. Is the stadium indoors or outdoors? Snow and freezing temperatures may slow down a team that is accustomed to playing in more mild climates, so always look into the location of the game before putting down your wager.

3. Injuries: This is an important tip when it comes to Internet gambling, NFL playoffs and our bottom-line. Normally, NFL teams will rest their starters toward the end of the season to ensure they're healthy and ready to compete in the playoffs. However, it's not out of the question to have a key player get an injury that could jeopardize the team's playoff performance. If they've had to replace a star running back or defensive tackle at the last minute, the performance could suffer. So, have a quick look at the injury reports to make sure your team of choice is healthy and ready to go.

4. Bet the Underdog: If, after you've considered all of the above, you're not sure where to put your money then your NFL playoffs betting strategy should focus on one thing: the underdog. It's cheaper than taking the favorite and if the underdog wins you stand a chance of winning a pretty substantial amount of money. Plus, with so much on the line during the playoffs, upsets are not out of the question.

5. Be Smart: This is probably the best tip when it comes to online gambling, NFL playoffs betting and your money management in general. Do your research. Find a trusted online sportsbook, and, most importantly, don't ever bet with money that you can't afford to lose. Smart betting ensures that you will never find yourself miserable and in the hole when the season is over.

For more information on NFL playoffs betting, check out our American Football page. Our pages here on also have a range of guides on internet gambling, NFL playoffs and how you can improve your overall betting EV. Of course, if you're ready to jump into the action right now we also offer a list of top NFL playoffs betting site which are all certified as safe and secure. Not only that, but our best NFL gambling platforms have generous odds and the most lucrative bonuses in the industry.

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