Current NFL Playoff Picture: Matchups And Scenarios Heading Into Week 18

Updated on

Miami Dolphins Wild Card Injury Report — Jevon Holland Likely To Sit

As we get set for Week 18 action, there’s still plenty to sort out in the NFL playoff picture. There are four division races that need to be settled, plus a total of five playoff spots between the two conferences: three in the AFC and a pair in the NFC.  

In short, nearly every game this week has the potential to have at least some bearing on how it all shakes out. Let’s take a look at the latest NFL playoff odds and examine the current seeds and potential matchups. 

AFC playoff odds in Week 18

Based on the current standings, here’s how the seeds and matchups line up on the AFC side of the postseason bracket: 

Three of the teams that have clinched spots in the AFC are locked into their current seeds: the Ravens, Chiefs, and Browns. The Dolphins are the only other team that has clinched a spot thus far. Miami could be either the second or sixth seed depending on the results of this week’s matchup with the Bills. Below are the latest odds for the AFC teams still in the hunt: 

The stakes are high for this week’s edition of Sunday Night Football when the Bills travel to take on the Dolphins. The winner will claim the AFC East title and the conference’s No. 2 seed. If the game ends up tied, the division would belong to Miami. A defeat wouldn’t eliminate Buffalo, but the Bills would need help to punch a ticket if that comes to pass. 

The AFC South race remains wide open. The Jaguars hold the tiebreaker advantage over the Colts and Texans, with all three teams having matching records of 9-7. Jacksonville can clinch the division and fourth seed with a win over the Titans, while a tie or loss would open the door for the Colts or Texans. Houston will face Indianapolis on Saturday night. 

The chases for the sixth and seventh seeds are even more complicated. If the Dolphins lose to the Bills, seed six would be theirs. If the game is tied, Buffalo would get it. The winner between the Colts and Texans would snag one of the spots, while the loser would be eliminated. If the game ends tied, their fates will hinge on the results of other games. 

Meanwhile, the Jaguars and Steelers could also claim wild card berths depending on this week’s results. Below are the latest point spreads for the AFC teams that have something to play for in Week 18

NFC playoff odds in Week 18

Below are the NFC seeds and matchups based on the latest standings. 

The 49ers clinched the NFC’s top seed on Sunday. The Cowboys, Lions, and Eagles have all clinched spots, with their seeds hinging on this week’s results. The Rams have locked up a wild card spot and will be the sixth or seventh seed once the final week of action is in the books. Here are the latest odds for the remaining NFC contenders

The Cowboys can win the NFC East and lock up the conference’s second seed with a win over the Commanders. A Lions win over the Vikings plus losses or ties by Dallas and the Eagles would give Detroit the spot. The Eagles’ path to the second spot would need to play out as follows: a win over the Giants plus a Cowboys loss or tie or a win plus a loss by the Cowboys and a Detroit loss or tie. 

In short, two of the three clubs will hold down the second and third seeds depending on this week’s results. The fourth seed will belong to the winner of the NFC South. The Buccaneers have the clearest path, as they need a win over the Panthers to claim the crown. If the Bucs lose, the Saints and Falcons would both have a path as they prepare to square off in New Orleans. 

If Tampa Bay loses, the Saints would need to win or tie. Atlanta would secure the title with a victory plus a Buccaneers loss. The Rams can lock up the sixth seed with a win or tie versus the 49ers. If they lose, the Packers can move into sixth with a win over the Bears. Victories for both would leave the current order in place: Los Angeles in sixth and Green Bay in seventh. 

Meanwhile, there’s also a path to the seventh seed for the Seahawks, Buccaneers, Saints, and Vikings, all dependent on how the week shakes out. Below are the latest point spreads for the NFC teams that have something to play for in Week 18

Projected Super Bowl 58 matchups for Week 18

It’s the final week of NFL regular season action, and betting odds on the winner of Super Bowl 58 continue to shift. At most legal online sportsbooks, just five teams have odds of +1000 or less to win the big game:  

Based on the latest odds, potential matchups for Super Bowl 58 include the following: 

The 49ers, Ravens, and Chiefs have nothing to play for this week. San Francisco and Baltimore are locked in as the top seeds in their respective conferences, while Kansas City will be the AFC’s third seed. The Cowboys can claim the NFC’s second seed with a win over the Commanders. The Bills can do the same in the AFC with a win over the Dolphins. 

Behind the top five contenders, the next three teams on the board all have something to play for this week and have the potential to move up in odds: the Eagles , Dolphins , and Lions . Next on the board is the Browns , a club that is locked into the AFC’s fifth seed.