The NFL regular season is now over, which means that we can focus on the playoffs starting today. It was a wild season that delivered a large number of surprises, not the least of which was the Jacksonville Jaguars going on a late run that led them to the postseason. Surprises aside, we have some definite favorites in either conference, but as we have seen in the past, surprises can happen. A #6 or #7 seed can get hot and go on an unexpected run, while a top seed can fall at the first hurdle. All that aside, let’s look at all the matchups, with our NFL Playoff betting picks coming in later posts.
Wild Card Round Picture After the Week 18 Games | NFL Playoffs Betting Analysis
After a weird ending to the season, the AFC seedings are set, with the Kansas City Chiefs in at #1. The Bills and Bengals may feel a little slighted at how things played out after their game was suspended, but with that coming so late in the season, the NFL was pretty limited in what they could do to make things right.
The Bills got the #2 seed after putting together a 13-3 season, and they will open things up in the Wild Card against the Miami Dolphins, who snuck in courtesy on a 9-6 win over the New York Jets on the final week of the season.
The Cincinnati Bengals are in at the #3 spot and will host a very familiar dance partner, with the Baltimore Ravens heading to town. The Bengals actually beat the slumping Ravens in the final game of the regular season and will feel good about a rematch.
Finally, it will be the Jacksonville Jaguars hosting the LA Chargers after beating Tennessee to win the AFC South. The Jaguars are hot right now and playing with house money, but this will be a tough opponent to get past.
After a bit of a stumble with Jalen Hurts on the sidelines, The Philadelphia Eagles ended the season at 14-3, which was good enough to get them the #1 seed. That extra week of is a real bonus, as it will give Hurts another week to rehab his shoulder and get ready for the challenges ahead.
No team is heading into the playoffs hotter than the #2 seeded San Francisco 49ers. Despite losing their starting QB and their backup, they went on a 10-game win streak, with 3rd stringer Brock Purdy playing at a high level. They will open up at home against the Seattle Seahawks.
The Minnesota Vikings flew under the radar a little, picking up 13 wins on the season, which was goof enough to get them into the #3 seed, which means a home game in the Wild Card Round. The Vikings will host the New York Giants, who went off the boil a little after a fast start to the season.
The other division winner, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, actually ended the regular season with a losing record, but that division win means they get to open the playoffs on home field. The bad news is that they will be up against the Dallas Cowboys, a team that a lot of people are looking at as a dark horse to win the conference and go to the Super Bowl.