The NFL Regular Season is Coming to a Close: Here are the Stakes and Betting Factors to Consider

Feb 1, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; A general view of the NFL shield logo during NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (not pictured) press conference in preparation for Super Bowl LI at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills trounced the New England Patriots 38-9 in the final game of week 16 of the NFL regular season. With this end to round 16 of the NFL regular season, we are now officially at the last NFL regular-season round. What teams are in playoff spot contention, which divisions are yet to be claimed, and what are the betting considerations to make as the NFL regular season winds out?

What positions are still unclaimed?

  • The NFC top spot: The Green Bay Packers (12-3), New Orleans Saints (11-4), and Seattle Seahawks (11-4) will be in contention for the NFC No. 1 seed on Sunday.
  • The NFC East champion: The New York Giants (5-10), Dallas Cowboys (6-9), and Washington Football Team (6-9) will be vying for the NFC East top spot and a playoff spot
  • Two NFC wild-card berths: Los Angeles Rams (9-6), Chicago Bears (8-7), Arizona Cardinals (8-7) are fighting out for the two-last wild-card berths in the east.
  • The AFC South champion: The Tennessee Titans (10-5) and the Indianapolis Colts (10-5) will fight it out for a chance to clinch the AFC South title.
  • Three AFC wild-card berths: Five teams can use the wild-card route to book themselves a spot in the AFC playoff round. The Indianapolis Colts (10-5), Cleveland Browns (10-5), Baltimore Ravens (10-5), Miami Dolphins (10-5), and the Tennessee Titans (10-5) will hope not to miss out.

It is all to fight for the NFC top spot

In the NFC, the top spot is up for grabs in week 17. Contenders for the NFC conference winners are the Packers, Seahawks, and the Saints, all division winners. A win against the Bear at home will be enough for the packers to clinch the top spot, but a loss will give the Seahawks and the Saints a chance.

The Saints will win the NFC if the Packers lose and the Seahawks win. On the other hand, the Seahawks will clinch the conference top spot with a win against the 49ers combined with a Packers and Saints’ loss.

The worst NFL division is up for grabs

The NFC East might be the NFL’s worst division, but the winner is guaranteed a playoff berth. A win for Washington on Sunday will be enough to clinch the NFC East title. On the other hand, the Cowboys will win it if they win against the Giants and hope that Washington falters.

The Giants‘ only route to clinching the division championship is if Washington and the Cowboys fall on Sunday.

The Bucs have one of NFC wild-card berths, who will grab the other two.

The Bucs 10-5 record was enough to see them clinch the first of three NFC wild-card berths. A Rams win, or a Bears’ loss will see them clinch the second playoff berth on Sunday.

On the other hand, the Bears and the Cardinals must win on Sunday to keep their playoff hopes alive.

It is all to play for in the AFC

Four playoff spots are up for grabs on Sunday in the AFC. The Bills took the AFC East, The AFC No. 1 seed (Chiefs) took the West, and the Steelers took the North.

The South division and the three wild-card berths are still up for grabs going into the final regular-season week.

The 10-5 Colts and Titans are fighting out for the AFC South title on Sunday. They can also clinch a playoff berth by grabbing one of the wild-card berths on offer.

The other three teams in the AFC playoff contention are the Browns (10-5), Ravens (10-5), and Dolphins (10-5). Every team will be fighting for a win while hoping that results elsewhere will go their way.

NFL Week 17 betting considerations

Going into the final week of the NFL regular season, game ramifications and team incentives to perform should be some of the factors you should consider while placing bets.

Some games such as that between the Chiefs and the Chargers have no ramifications to the playoff race. The chiefs are at the top of the heap and are guaranteed the top spot in the AFC. On the other hand, the Chargers are out of the playoff picture.

Be on the lookout for games where teams will be incentivized to rest key team members in preparation for the playoffs. Don’t bet in those until you are sure of the matchday team news.

Some games such as that between the Giants and Cowboys have playoff ramifications, and the two teams will be incentivized to play well and clinch a favorable result.

Happy NFL betting.