NFL Playoff Clinching Scenarios in Week 17

by WagerHome Blog on December 29, 2023

Six teams are in, eight teams are out, and the other 18 NFL teams are fighting it out for the remaining eight playoff spots with just two regular season games left to play.

AFC Division Clinchers

The Baltimore Ravens are one of the two teams in the AFC that are in the playoffs. With a win this week, or a Cleveland Browns loss, and they will clinch the North. A win also gives the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

If the Miami Dolphins can beat the Ravens, they will clinch the AFC East. They will also clinch the division if the Buffalo Bills lose to the New England Patriots. Miami has already clinched a wild card berth.

The AFC West will be won by the Kansas City Chiefs for the eighth straight year if they can beat the Cincinnati Bengals. The Chiefs also clinch if the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos both lose or tie.

There is a three-way tie in the AFC South, but Jacksonville is the only team that could clinch this week. If they beat Carolina and the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts both lose, the Jaguars have the division.

NFC Division Clinchers

The Philadelphia Eagles can clinch the NFC East if they beat the Arizona Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys lose to the Detroit Lions.

The jumble in the NFC South can be decided this week with a Tampa Bay Buccaneers win. That would eliminate the New Orleans Saints and give the Bucs all of the possible tiebreakers in the division.

The 49ers have already clinched the NFC West, and they will clinch the No. 1 seed and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs with a win, and losses by the Eagles and Lions.

Wild Card Clinchers

Two teams in the AFC can clinch wild card berths this weekend – the Bills and Browns.

The Bills need to win, and then one of six other scenarios need to fall their way. The Pittsburgh Steelers or Cincinnati Bengals need to lose in each of them, and then a combination of losses by Jacksonville, Houston, or Indianapolis need to happen. If both the Steelers and Bengals lose, a Bills win has them in.

For the Browns it’s much simpler. Win and they are in. Or they are in with a loss by Pittsburgh, or Buffalo, or Jacksonville, or both Houston and Indianapolis.

The Los Angeles Rams will grab an NFC wild card berth with a win this week, plus either a loss by the Seattle Seahawks or a tie between the Packers and Vikings. Seattle is in with a win and a Packers-Vikings tie.

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WagerHome BlogNFL Playoff Clinching Scenarios in Week 17

NFL Super Bowl Odds after Week 16

by WagerHome Blog on December 27, 2023

A few weeks ago it was the NFC that appeared to be top heavy. The Cowboys, 49ers, and Eagles were only losing amongst themselves. Against everyone else, they were dominating. 

Meanwhile the AFC was struggling to find a dominant team, with the Ravens once again dealing with an epidemic of injuries, and the Dolphins having yet to record a win against a winning team.

This past weekend that was turned on its head when Miami knocked off Dallas at home on Christmas Eve, and Baltimore went into Levi’s Stadium and manhandled the 49ers on Christmas Day.

But did it change the favorites?

Odds to Win Super Bowl LVIII

  • San Francisco 49ers (+240)
  • Baltimore Ravens (+400)
  • Miami Dolphins (+750)
  • Philadelphia Eagles (+800)
  • Kansas City Chiefs (+850)
  • Dallas Cowboys (+1000)
  • Buffalo Bills (+1100)
  • Detroit Lions (+1800)

Despite five interceptions on Monday night for the offense, and the defense giving up a season-high 33 points, the 49ers are still the favorite to win the Super Bowl in February. They have not yet clinched the top seed in the NFC, but if they win out against the Commanders and Rams, the top spot will be theirs.

The Ravens made a statement, and they are now the favorites to win the AFC, and they did close the odds gap between them and the 49ers. But the Dolphins are right there behind them, and the two teams play this week on New Year’s Eve in Baltimore.

A win by the Ravens at home on Sunday will clinch the top seed in the AFC. A win by Miami, however, will take that race to Week 18. Miami also needs a win to prevent their Week 18 game against Buffalo from deciding the winner of the AFC East.

The Eagles ended their three-game losing streak on Christmas, and they are still very much in the Super Bowl mix. The Chiefs offense continues to struggle mightily, but that defense and Patrick Mahomes still makes them a Super Bowl possibility. The Cowboys are next, but their odds have gone from +750 to +1000 following their loss.

At the bottom of the contenders list is the Detroit Lions, who just clinched their first division title since 1993. Detroit still has an outside shot at the top seed, and currently they are in a three-way tie for the best record in the NFC. As it stands currently, they are the third seed, and they would play the Rams in the first round of the playoffs.

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WagerHome BlogNFL Super Bowl Odds after Week 16

Potential Super Bowl Previews Highlight Week 16

by WagerHome Blog on December 22, 2023

This week we have an NFL scheduling treat that is worthy of leaving for Santa, in place of his normal cookies and milk.

On Sunday we get the two highest scoring teams in the NFL going head-to-head when the Cowboys visit the Dolphins. Then on Monday the two top seeds in the NFL playoffs meet when the Ravens visit the 49ers.

It’s two of the best matchups of the season, and it comes on the best weekend of the year.

Dallas Cowboys at Miami Dolphins (-1)

The Dolphins are scoring the most points per game in the NFL, and the Cowboys are right behind them in second. Both of these teams are in first place in their divisions, and as things stand today, they are the second playoff seeds in each of their respective conferences.

But there are also inconsistencies with each team that make this an interesting game. For all of their high-octane scoring, when playing a team with a winning record, the Dolphins have yet to win. Miami has gotten fat off beating bad teams – the Patriots and Jets twice each, the Chargers, Giants, Panthers, Raiders, and Commanders.

When playing Kansas City, Buffalo, and Philadelphia, they lost.

There is a similar criticism for the Cowboys. They do have wins over the Eagles and Seahawks, but when going on the road against a winning team, Dallas loses. The 49ers, at the Eagles, and last week at Buffalo.

One of these two teams will answer these criticisms. Either Dallas beats a good team on the road, or Miami beats a winning team. We’ll find out Christmas Eve.

Baltimore Ravens at San Francisco 49ers (-5)

The Ravens and 49ers are tied for the best record in the NFL at 11-3, and as of today they are the top seeds in the AFC and NFC. They also come into this game playing great football.

Baltimore comes into this Christmas night game on a four-game winning streak, with a dominating 23-7 win at Jacksonville last week. San Francisco is on a six-game winning streak, and all six of those wins have been by at least 12 points. The average win has been 19 points.

The 49ers have the best scoring defense in the NFL. The Ravens are second. They are ranked third and fourth in points scored, and the Ravens have the best rushing team in the NFL while the 49ers are the most efficient passing team.

This game also features Brock Purdy, the MVP betting favorite, Lamar Jackson, the second betting favorite, and Christian McCaffrey, the fourth betting favorite and NFL touchdown leader.

It’s the perfect way to end Christmas weekend.

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WagerHome BlogPotential Super Bowl Previews Highlight Week 16

The Week 16 NFL Playoff Jumble

by WagerHome Blog on December 19, 2023

In the AFC there are seven teams that are either 8-6, 7-7, or 6-8. The NFC has five teams at 7-7 and two others at 6-8.

All of them can finish over .500 and in the playoffs, and all of them can finish below .500 and out of the playoffs. Through 15 weeks only four teams have clinched a playoff berth – only one in the AFC – and only six teams have been eliminated from the playoffs.

It’s a crazy wonderful mess and we head into the Christmas weekend.

NFC – Who’s In

The San Francisco 49ers have clinched the NFC West and they are proving to be the class of the NFL. They are currently the top seed in the conference, and they hold a one-game lead and the tiebreaker over the two teams who could possibly catch them, the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.

Both the Cowboys and Eagles are in the postseason, and one of them is going to be at home to begin the playoffs, and the other will be on the road as a wild card. That is still TBD.

NFC – Who’s Next

The Detroit Lions need just one win in their final three games to wrap up the NFC North. Beyond them it’s a total crapshoot.

Tampa Bay is currently 7-7, tied with New Orleans for first in the NFC South. The other NFC teams with realistic shots at the postseason are the Vikings (currently the 6th seed), the Rams (currently the 7th seed), the Bucs/Saints, Seahawks, Falcons, and Packers.

Seattle has the easiest remaining schedule with games against the Steelers, Cardinals, and Titans. The Vikings have the toughest with two games left against the Lions.

AFC – Who’s In

The Baltimore Ravens have clinched a playoff berth, but because of the magic of Joe Flacco they have yet to clinch the AFC North. They also have a challenging schedule ahead, with the 49ers this week and the Dolphins the week after.

If Baltimore were to lose those two games, and Cleveland wins out (Texans, Jets, Bengals), we’d go all the way to the fourth tiebreaker, best record in the conference, and that would go to the Browns.

AFC – Who’s Next

The Chiefs and Dolphins will clinch their divisions if they win this week, or any of the remaining weeks. Miami can clinch this week even if they lose, if the Bills also lose.

The Jaguars have dropped into a three-way tie for first with the Colts and Texans, and at 8-6 any or all of them can make the playoffs. 

The Browns are the top wild card and probably in regardless of what happens with the Ravens. The Bengals and Bills are 8-6, and the Steelers and Broncos are both 7-7 and within a game of the playoffs.

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WagerHome BlogThe Week 16 NFL Playoff Jumble

Best Bets for NFL Week 15

by WagerHome Blog on December 15, 2023

We have Saturday, Sunday, and Monday NFL football this weekend, as the league begins its sprint to the postseason. And there is not one of the 15 games that doesn’t have meaning for the playoffs. In every game there is at least one team in the playoff chase.

Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals (-3)

Joshua Dobbs is out in Minnesota and Nick Mullens is in. And he’s not bad as far as backup quarterbacks, but he doesn’t present the excitement of a Dobbs, nor is he in command of the offense quite like Jake Browning has been in Cincinnati.

The loss of Joe Burrow was supposed to sink the Bengals, but Browning and the rest of the team has other plans. Those plans include winning this Saturday at home, and covering the spread against an offense that is playing its worst football of the season.

New York Giants (+6) at New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints are one of the worst teams in football when it comes to playing against the spread. Only three times have they covered the spread, and they’ve covered just once against a team playing good football. We don’t count covering against the Patriots and Panthers.

The Giants used to be one of the worst teams against the spread, but then Tommy DeVito happened. After losing to Dallas a month ago, New York was just 2-8 against the spread. They have since covered in three straight games, winning outright as the underdog in all three.

This week they are once again an underdog, and they are simply playing too well on offense with DeVito to warrant such a big spread. Take the Giants and the points.

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (Under 37.5)

The 37.5 points is the lowest over/under line of Patrick Mahomes’ career. But don’t take that fact to mean that you should bet the over. That would be a mistake.

This season the Chiefs have gone over just four times, while hitting the under nine times. And last week in their game against the Bills they were a full 12 points under.

The Patriots are also 9-4 in favor of the under, and four times they have been under by double digits. In the last four games, they have one over, and three unders by 32.5 points, 19 points, and 26.5 points.

The Chiefs play good defense, but struggle offensively. The Patriots, as bad as they are, also still play good defense. Kansas City wins this game 20-10, and the under hits by more than a touchdown.

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WagerHome BlogBest Bets for NFL Week 15

NFL MVP Race Has a Cowboy In Front

by WagerHome Blog on December 12, 2023

As crazy it sounds, considering the successful history of the Dallas Cowboys and the fact that two of their former quarterbacks are in the Hall of Fame, no Cowboy QB has ever won the MVP award.

Roger Staubach was the league’s top passer four times, he was never its MVP. Troy Aikman engineered the Dallas dynasty of the 1990s, but his highest vote total ever was three in 1993, the year that his teammate Emmitt Smith won the award.

The Cowboys QB shutout, however, may be about to change.


  • Dak Prescott (+160)
  • Brock Purdy (+200)
  • Lamar Jackson (+550)
  • Jalen Hurts (+650)
  • Tua Tagovailoa (+1000)
  • Tyreek Hill (+1300)
  • Patrick Mahomes (+1600)

For the first time this season, Dak Prescott is the odds-on favorite to win the MVP award. If the Cowboys grab both the NFC East and the top seed in the conference, it will be impossible to deny Prescott, who is having his finest season as a pro. His current quarterback rating of 107.5 is a career-high, and with Sunday night’s big win over Philadelphia, he has 10 wins this season. One more and he will tie his most wins in a season since his rookie year.

The current one-seed in the NFC is the San Francisco 49ers, and their quarterback, Brock Purdy, is the second betting favorite to win the MVP. The one knock against him is the incredible talent around him. But Kurt Warner had Isaac Bruce, Tory Holt, and Marshall Faulk; and Peyton Manning had Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, and Edgerrin James, and both of those QBs won the MVP with a collection of great teammates.

To deny his incredible season because he has great weapons is hollow. He has been outstanding this season.

The Baltimore Ravens escaped with an overtime win over the Rams, and that keeps them in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. It also keeps Lamar Jackson as the third betting favorite for the MVP. Jackson’s three touchdown passes against L.A. was tied for the Sunday-high, and his 316 yards was the third best performance.

Next in line would be Jalen Hurts even though the Eagles are on a two-game losing streak. The Eagles also failed to score an offensive touchdown against the Cowboys – the first time that has happened to them since 2019. Hurts has 31 total touchdowns this season, but his turnovers are up to 15, compared to just eight for all of last year.

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WagerHome BlogNFL MVP Race Has a Cowboy In Front

NFL Week 14 Playoff Clinching and Elimination Scenarios

by WagerHome Blog on December 6, 2023

As wild as it seems, with multiple nine- and 10-win teams, as well as 10- and 11-loss teams, no one has clinched a playoff berth, or been eliminated from the playoffs through 13 weeks of play.

That is likely to change this week as the number of games remaining dwindles down to just four after this week.

NFC Clinching Scenarios

Philadelphia Eagles

As the only 10-win team in the conference, the Philadelphia Eagles have the easiest of the clinching scenarios. Win on Sunday in Dallas, and if the Rams or Seahawks lose, the Eagles are in. 

The Eagles also get it if they win, and they get one of the following combinations: Minnesota loss/tie + Green Bay loss/tie, or Green Bay loss/tie + Detroit loss/tie.

An Eagles tie on Sunday also gets them into the playoffs with a number of other teams losing outright.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are going to get into the playoffs, but it likely won’t happen this week. Even if they beat the Eagles (a must if they are to get in this week), they would also need the following: A Detroit win/tie, Tampa Bay loss, Seattle loss, Green Bay loss, Rams loss/tie, and Minnesota loss/tie.

It could happen this week but don’t bet on it.

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers have a fairly easy road to clinching this week. If they win, and if the Vikings lose, or the Packers lose, or both the Vikings and Packers tie, the 49ers are in. The only way the 49ers don’t clinch this week is they lose, or both the Packers and Vikings win.

NFC Elimination Scenarios

The Arizona Cardinals are off this week, but they are the only NFC team that could get knocked out of the playoffs. If the Rams and Packers win, or the Rams win and the Packers tie and the Vikings win/tie, Arizona can look ahead to next season.

AFC Elimination Scenarios

In the AFC there are no teams that can clinch a playoff berth this week, so we move straight to the elimination scenarios.

New England Patriots

Anything less than a win for the Patriots this week, and they are out. A loss or tie with the Steelers on Thursday will eliminate the Patriots.

If they do win on Thursday, but Houston also wins, or Cincinnati wins, or the Raiders + Bills win, then the Patriots are also out.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans aren’t dead yet, and the scenario to knock them out this week is unlikely to happen. But they will be gone at some point soon. It happens in Week 14 if the Titans lose, Jacksonville and Cleveland tie, Indianapolis wins, Pittsburgh wins, and Houston wins or ties.

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WagerHome BlogNFL Week 14 Playoff Clinching and Elimination Scenarios

A Bettor’s Guide to the College Football Playoff

by WagerHome Blog on December 5, 2023

With the College Football Playoff going to 12 teams next year, we’ll never see another unbeaten conference champion like Florida State get passed over for a one-loss Alabama. But if anyone thinks there won’t be controversy involving the 11th, 12th, and 13th best teams in the country, I have a bridge to sell you.

There will always be controversy in a sport that uses polls. But we are getting closer to making sure the best team in college football is always given an opportunity to compete for the National Championship, and this year we have succeeded.

Odds to Win College Football Playoff and National Championship

  • Michigan (+185)
  • Alabama (+200)
  • Texas (+260)
  • Washington (+750)

This year the committee had no room for second place finishers. Georgia, after an entire season of sitting at No. 1, is out after losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship. The Tide rolled through the last half of the regular season and they enter the playoffs as the fourth seed by the committee, but as the second betting favorites in Las Vegas.

Texas beat Alabama early in the year, and then they put a loss to Oklahoma in the rearview mirror by cruising to an easy Big 12 title. The Longhorns closed out the season with a 50-point win over Texas Tech to get into the Big 12 Championship Game, then they beat Oklahoma State by 28 to claim their fourth conference championship.

Washington finished the season undefeated and beat Oregon twice on its way to winning its final Pac-12 title. Next year, along with Oregon, USC, and UCLA, the Huskies move to the Big Ten. Before the Huskies begin their quest to win the school’s first National Championship since 1991, quarterback Michel Penix Jr. hopes to win Washington’s first ever Heisman Trophy this weekend in New York.

For Michigan, three straight wins over Ohio State and three straight Big Ten titles are no longer enough. To complete the resume of this era of Wolverine football they must finish the season as National Champions. They are the betting favorite, and they are the most experienced. They are the only team returning from last year’s group of four.

Semifinal Matchups

  • No. 4 Alabama vs. No. 1 Michigan (-1.5)
  • No. 3 Texas (-4.5) vs. No. 2 Washington

Beginning our New Year’s Day of top college football will be Alabama and Michigan in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The Wolverines are favored in that one by just 1.5 points. 

Following the conclusion of the Rose Bowl, Texas and Washington will kick off in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Texas is 4.5-point favorites.

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WagerHome BlogA Bettor’s Guide to the College Football Playoff