NFL Playoff Odds: Winner Take All For Final AFC Playoff Spot

NFL futures odds have hit a boiling point as we are now in Week 18. Here's the latest look at NFL playoff odds, plus division and first-round bye clinching scenarios, headlined by a Chargers-Raiders winner-take-all showdown.

Last Updated: Jan 4, 2022 10:29 AM ET Read Time: 6 min
Austin Ekeler Los Angeles Chargers NFL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Here we are: Week 18, where the NFL futures odds have reached a climax in the final week of the regular season.

There are three playoff spots, two division titles, and one first-round bye still available as teams get ready to make a run for the Super Bowl.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. You need to walk before you run, and some teams still need to qualify for the playoffs before they can dream about the bigger prizes.

Here's the updated look at where each team stands and their odds to make the NFL playoffs (and more) in the final week of regular-season action.

AFC playoff odds 2021

How the odds work is very simple: "Yes" means that they advance to the NFL Playoffs (as a division champion or a wild card), while "No" means they miss the postseason... so better luck next year.

Team Yes Odds No Odds
Tennessee Titans (Clinched playoff spot) OTB OTB
Kansas City Chiefs (Clinched playoff spot) OTB OTB
Cincinnati Bengals (Clinched playoff spot) OTB OTB
Buffalo Bills (Clinched playoff spot) OTB OTB
New England Patriots (Clinched playoff spot) OTB OTB
Indianapolis Colts -1,200 +900
Los Angeles Chargers -150 +120
Las Vegas Raiders +105 -125
Pittsburgh Steelers +1,400 -5,000
Baltimore Ravens +4,000 OTB
Miami Dolphins (Eliminated) OTB OTB
Cleveland Browns (Eliminated) OTB OTB
Denver Broncos (Eliminated) OTB OTB
Jacksonville Jaguars (Eliminated) OTB OTB
New York Jets (Eliminated) OTB OTB
Houston Texans (Eliminated) OTB OTB

Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of January 4, 2022.

The Titans, Chiefs, Bengals, Bills, and Patriots have all punched their ticket to the postseason, meaning five of the seven AFC playoff spots are accounted for.

For the remaining two spots, the Colts have the best odds to advance, needing to simply win against the hapless Jaguars in Week 18. The Chargers and Raiders control their destiny — as they face each other and the winner gets in — while the Steelers and Ravens need to win... plus a little help.

Current AFC playoff picture

Here are the current AFC playoff standings, with each team's current record, remaining schedule, and most logical route to a playoff spot and/or first-round bye, where there are technically five teams fighting for two remaining playoff spots.

  1. z-Tennessee (11-5): @ Hou — Win clinches first-round bye
  2. z-Kansas City (11-5): @ Den — Win + TEN loss clinches first-round bye
  3. z-Cincinnati (10-6): @ Cle — Win + TEN loss + KC loss + either NE loss or BUF win clinches first-round bye
  4. x-Buffalo (10-6): vs. NYJ — Win or NE loss clinches division title 
  5. x-New England (10-6): @ Mia — Win + BUF loss + TEN loss + KC loss clinches first-round bye
  6. Indianapolis (9-7): @ Jac — Win clinches playoff spot
  7. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7): @ LV — Win clinches playoff spot
  8. Las Vegas (9-7): vs. LAC — Win or IND loss clinches playoff spot
  9. Pittsburgh (8-7-1): @ Bal — Win + IND loss + LAC/LV game does not tie clinches playoff spot
  10. Baltimore (8-8): vs. Pit — Win + IND loss + CLE loss + LAC loss + MIA loss

z: Clinched divisional title
x: Clinched playoff spot

NFC playoff odds 2021

Like the AFC table, "Yes" means that they advance to the NFL Playoffs (as a division champion or a wild card), while "No" means their season ends after Week 18.

Team Yes Odds No Odds
Green Bay Packers (Clinched playoff spot) OTB OTB
Los Angeles Rams (Clinched playoff spot) OTB OTB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Clinched playoff spot) OTB OTB
Dallas Cowboys (Clinched playoff spot) OTB OTB
Arizona Cardinals (Clinched playoff spot) OTB OTB
Philadelphia Eagles (Clinched playoff spot) OTB OTB
San Francisco 49ers -145 +110
New Orleans Saints +110 -140
Minnesota Vikings (Eliminated) OTB OTB
Atlanta Falcons (Eliminated) OTB OTB
Washington Football Team (Eliminated) OTB OTB
Seattle Seahawks (Eliminated) OTB OTB
New York Giants (Eliminated) OTB OTB
Carolina Panthers (Eliminated) OTB OTB
Chicago Bears (Eliminated) OTB OTB
Detroit Lions (Eliminated) OTB OTB

Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of January 4, 2021.

The NFC playoff odds are far less exciting, as six teams — Green Bay, Dallas, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay, Arizona, and Philadelphia — have already punched their playoff tickets, with two teams left to fight for the one remaining spot.

San Francisco is favored to grab it at -145, although it is in tough against a Rams team still needing a win to clinch the division. If the Niners falter, the Saints (+110) can sneak in by defeating the already-eliminated Falcons.

Current NFC playoff picture

As mentioned above, six teams are already in, with two teams still vying for the final spots.

  1. y-Green Bay (13-3): @ Det — First-round bye secured
  2. x-Los Angeles Rams (12-4): vs. SF — Win or ARI loss clinches division title
  3. z-Tampa Bay (12-4): vs. Car
  4. z-Dallas (11-5): @ Phi
  5. x-Arizona (11-5): vs. Sea — Win + LAR loss clinches division title
  6. x-Philadelphia (9-7): vs. Dal
  7. San Francisco (9-7): @ LAR — Win or NO loss clinches playoff spot
  8. New Orleans (8-8): @ Atl — Win + SF loss clinches playoff spot

y: Clinched first-round bye
z: Clinched divisional title
x: Clinched playoff spot

NFL Playoffs 2021 Format

The NFL Playoffs expanded prior to the 2020 season and will run the same format in 2021, with 14 teams in the postseason — seven from each Conference.

In each conference, the division winners will comprise the Nos. 1-4 spots, while the Nos. 5-7 spots will come via wild cards. The top seed in both the AFC and the NFC will get a first-round bye, with the other matchups proceeding as follows:

  • No. 2 seed vs. No. 7 seed (lowest-ranked wild card)
  • No. 3 seed vs. No. 6 seed
  • No. 4 seed (lowest-ranked division winner) vs. No. 5 seed (highest-ranked wild card)

After the first round, the No. 1 seed will face the lowest remaining seed in their conference, while the other two teams will square off. Those winners will meet in the conference championship, and then the winners of those games — the AFC and NFC champions — will meet in Super Bowl LVI on February 13, 2022 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA.

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