Gambling: Betting the NFL’s final week will be with an eye on playoff berths

Week 16 is in the books, leaving only one more week left in the regular season before the playoffs begin. Seven of the NFL’s 14 playoff spots have been clinched with the Kansas City Chiefs clinching a playoff bye after beating the Falcons 17-14, when Younghoe Koo missed a 39-yard field goal at the end of regulation.

While the Chiefs are riding a 10-game winning streak, they have failed to cover the spread in seven straight games, the longest streak in the NFL. While they sit atop the Super Bowl odds leaderboard at +180, they will need to find more consistency to bring home the Lombardi Trophy.

In the most lopsided game of the weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers erased the Detroit Lions, winning 47-7 after leading 34-0 at halftime. The lead not only left Tom Brady relaxing on the bench the entire second half, the earliest a quarterback has been pulled all year, but it was both the Buccaneers’ best first half in franchise history and the Lions’ worst.

With the victory, the Buccaneers clinched a wild-card spot and with a win in Week 1, they will play the NFC East champion, which might be the closest thing you can get to a bye in the playoffs. This marks Tom Brady’s 17th consecutive season making the playoffs, extending his NFL record.

While the NFC playoff picture is nearly set, with the Chicago Bears needing a win or a Arizona Cardinals loss to make the playoffs, the AFC playoff picture was a wild ride in Week 16. The Miami Dolphins had a wild comeback against the Las Vegas Raiders 26-25, not just keeping their playoff hopes alive but giving over backers one of the craziest wins of the year. They are in a win-and-in playoff scenario, as are the Baltimore Ravens after their dominating performance.

The Ravens, who came into the year as the No. 2 Super Bowl favorite, have seen their Super Bowl odds go from 26-1 to 12-1 in the last three weeks, as they round into old form and control their destiny. The same cannot be said of the Indianapolis Colts, who need help to get into the playoffs after losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game they led 21-0. The Colts went from controlling their own destiny to only the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys having longer odds to make the playoffs.

Latest posts