NFL Playoff Scenarios
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NFL Week 17 playoff scenarios:

The following teams still have potential playoff relevance heading into the final week of the regular season. The most likely and plausible scenarios are covered here.

All week 17 games are divisional games.

Betting lines are as of the time of this writing.

AFC:

1. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens have clinched the AFC North and the #1 seed. They have nothing to play for so expect starters to sit this week.

The betting line with the Steelers (8-7) has the game total at 39.5 points with the Ravens (13-2) as -1 point home favorites, kicking off at 4:25 PM EST. The Ravens’ implied team total is currently at 20.25 points and the Steelers are currently at 19.25 points.

Player Notes:
QB Lamar Jackson, RB Mark Ingram, RG Marshall Yanda, FS Earl Thomas, and DE Brandon Williams have been ruled out for week 17.

2. New England Patriots – The Patriots have clinched the AFC East. The Pats get a first-round bye as the #2 seed with a win OR a Chiefs loss.

The betting line with the Dolphins (4-11) has the game total at 45 points with the Patriots (12-3) as -16 point home favorites, kicking off at 1:00 PM EST. The Patriots’ implied team total is currently at 30.5 points and the Dolphins are currently at 14.5 points.

However unlikely, the Patriots could drop to the #3 seed with a loss AND a Kansas City win.

3. Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs clinched the AFC West and are likely the #3 seed.

The betting line with the Chargers (5-10) has the game total at 46.5 points with the Chiefs (11-4) as -7.5 point home favorites, kicking off at 1:00 PM EST. The Chiefs’ implied team total is currently at 27 points and the Chargers are currently at 19.5 points.

It is possible for the Chiefs to fall to the #4 seed with a loss AND a Texans win, which would have the Chiefs hosting the #5 Bills in this unwanted scenario, as opposed to the #6 seed (potentially the Titans, Steelers, or Raiders).

However unlikely, the Chiefs could get the #2 seed with a win AND a Patriots loss.

Player Notes:
RB Spencer Ware (shoulder) has been placed on IR.

4. Houston Texans – The Texans have clinched the AFC South and likely the #4 seed.

The betting line with the Titans (8-7) has the game total at 46 points with the Texans (10-5) as +5 point home dogs, kicking off at 4:25 PM EST. The Texans’ implied team total is currently at 20.5 points and the Titans are currently at 25.5 points.

It is possible for the Texans to climb to the #3 seed with a win AND a Chiefs loss. However, the Chiefs play earlier so the Texans will know their options before their game. If the Chiefs win, the Texans would have nothing to play for as the locked-in #4 seed.

5. Buffalo Bills – The Bills are locked into the #5 seed regardless. They have nothing to play for.

The betting line with the Jets (6-9) has the game total at 37 points with the Bills (10-5) as -1 point home favorites, kicking off at 1:00 PM EST. The Bills’ implied team total is currently at 19 points and the Jets are currently at 18 points.

6. Tennessee Titans – The Titans control their destiny and can clinch the #6 seed with a win at Houston, or losses by both the Steelers AND Colts. They will play to win.

Still alive:

Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers need help to get into the playoffs. Their best-case scenario for this would be a win at Baltimore AND a Titans loss.

The Steelers and Titans have the same start time so the Steelers will play to win.

Player Notes:
QB Mason Rudolph (shoulder) has been placed on IR. RB James Connor (shoulder) is questionable.

Oakland Raiders – The Raiders are technically still alive but need massive help (like hitting a five-leg parlay) to get into the playoffs.

The betting line with the Broncos (6-9) has the game total at 41 points with the Raiders (7-8) as +3 point road dogs, kicking off at 4:25 PM EST. The Raiders’ implied team total is currently at 19 points and the Broncos are currently at 22 points.

Player Notes:
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder/leg) underwent a minor surgery for a skin infection on his leg on Wednesday. His current status is unknown but he would make for a risky play regardless.

NFC:

1. San Francisco 49ers – A win clinches the NFC West and the #1 seed. They will play for the win.

The betting line with the Seahawks (11-4) has the game total at 47 points with the 49ers (12-3) as -3 point road favorites, kicking off at 8:20 PM EST. The 49ers’ implied team total is currently at 25 points and the Seahawks are currently at 22 points.

2. Green Bay Packers – The Packers clinched the NFC North.

The betting line with the Lions (3-11-1) has the game total at 41.5 points with the Packers (12-3) as -10 point road favorites, kicking off at 1:00 PM EST. The Packers’ implied team total is currently at 25.75 points and the Lions are currently at 15.75 points.

The Pack can secure a first-round bye with a win OR a Saints loss. They can ascend to the #1 seed with a win AND a 49ers loss. They will play for the win.

3. New Orleans Saints – The Saints clinched the NFC South.

The betting line with the Panthers (5-10) has the game total at 47.5 points (2nd highest on the board) with the Saints (12-3) as -13 point road favorites, kicking off at 1:00 PM EST. The Saints’ implied team total is currently at 30.25 points and the Panthers are currently at 17.25 points.

The Saints can get a first-round bye with a win, AND a 49ers loss OR a Packers loss. They can also get there with wins by the Packers AND Seahawks. The Saints will play for the win.

4. Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles control their destiny as a win clinches the NFC East and the #4 seed. This also happens if the Cowboys lose.

The betting line with the Giants (4-11) has the game total at 45 points with the Eagles (8-7) as -4.5 point road favorites, kicking off at 4:25 PM EST. The Eagles’ implied team total is currently at 24.75 points and the Giants are currently at 20.25 points.

The Eagles get eliminated with a loss AND a Cowboys win. The Eagles will play for the win.

5. Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks can clinch the NFC West with a win over the 49ers.

The Seahawks have a slim shot at the #1 seed but they would need a win, AND losses by both the Saints and Packers. The Seahawks will play to win.

Player Notes:
The Seahawks will now be without RBs Chris Carson (hip) and C.J. Prosise (arm) for the rest of the year. They signed RBs Robert Turbin and Marshawn Lynch.

6. Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings are locked into the #6 seed. They have nothing to play for.

The betting line with the Bears (7-8) has the game total at 41.5 points with the Vikings (10-5) as -7 point home favorites, kicking off at 1:00 PM EST. The Vikings’ implied team total is currently at 24.25 points and the Bears are currently at 17.25 points.

Still alive:

Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys have a slim shot at the NFC East division. They would need a win AND an Eagles loss.

The betting line with Washington (3-12) has the game total at 44.5 points with the Cowboys (7-8) as -11 point home favorites, kicking off at 4:25 PM EST. The Cowboys’ implied team total is currently at 27.75 points and Washington is currently at 16.75 points.

Player Notes:
The Cowboys will face QB Case Keenum as Dwayne Haskins (ankle) has been ruled out. WR Terry McLaurin (concussion) is currently in the protocol.

Last updated: December 26, 2019 at 12:24 pm


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