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A Look at the 2019 NFL Playoffs: Odds and Predictions

January 09, 2019


A Look at the 2019 NFL Playoff Picture, Predictions & Odds

This is it - were in the 2019 NFL Playoffs now!With Super Bowl LIII in clear sights, the next few weeks of football action are going to be grueling yet crucial. Assuming youve been keeping up to date with the regular season, youre most likely aware of whos in, whos out, and who the favorites are. If not, weve got some refreshers to fill in the gaps. Regardless of where you stand, were going to take a look at the NFL playoff picture to put the next few weeks and Super Bowl LIII into proper context.

NFL Playoffs 2019The 2019 NFL Playoff Picture

The regular NFL season wrapped up on Sunday, December 30th, 2018. Going into the first week of January, the standings were based on the most recent NFL seeding. The NFL playoff standings are as follows:

AFC

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4, 1st in AFC West)
  2. New England Patriots (11-5, 1st in AFC East)
  3. Houston Texans (10-5, 1st in AFC South)
  4. Baltimore Ravens (10-6, 1st in AFC North)
  5. Los Angeles Chargers (12-4, 2nd in AFC West)
  6. Indianapolis Colts (10-6, 2nd in AFC South)

AFC Wild Card Round (January 5-6)

  1. No. 3 Houston Texans (11-5) vs No. 6 Indianapolis Colts (10-6)
  2. No. 4 Baltimore Ravens (9-6) vs No. 5 Los Angeles Chargers (11-4)

AFC Divisional Round (January 12-13)

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) vs. Lowest winning seed from AFC Wild Card Round
  2. New England Patriots (10-5) vs. Highest winning seed from AFC Wild Card Round

NFC

  1. New Orleans Saints (13-2, 1st in NFC South)
  2. Los Angeles Rams (13-3, 1st in NFC West)
  3. Chicago Bears (12-4, 1st in NFC North)
  4. Dallas Cowboys (10-6, 1st in NFC East)
  5. Seattle Seahawks (10-6, 2nd in NFC West)
  6. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7, 3rd in NFC East)

Wild Card Round (January 5-6)

  1. No. 3 Chicago Bears (11-4) vs No. 6 Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)
  2. No. 4 Dallas Cowboys (9-6) vs No. 5 Seattle Seahawks (8-6)

Divisional Round (January 12-13)

  1. New Orleans Saints (13-3) vs Lowest winning seed from NFC Wild Card Round
  2. Los Angeles Rams (12-3) vs Highest winning seed from NFC Wild Card Round

NFL Playoffs 2019NFL Playoff Predictions & Odds

Maybe your hopes dont quite align with the playoff predictions, but the analysts have spoken. Lets take a look at the Super Bowl odds as they stand now.

Super Bowl Odds For Playoff Teams

  1. New Orleans Saints +250
  2. Los Angeles Rams +400
  3. Kansas City Chiefs +400
  4. New England Patriots +650
  5. Chicago Bears +700
  6. Baltimore Ravens +1300
  7. Los Angeles Chargers +1500
  8. Dallas Cowboys +2500
  9. Houston Texans +2500
  10. Seattle Seahawks +2800
  11. Indianapolis Colts +3000
  12. Philadelphia Eagles +3500

There are no surprises here. The Saints have crushed it all season and are no doubt the favorites. Coming in close are the runner-ups - the Rams and the Chiefs to claim the 2nd and 3rd spots. At the bottom, you have the teams who managed to squeeze themselves into the playoffs and have a tooth-and-nail fight ahead of them.

NFL Playoff Team Analysis

Lets add a little more context to these numbers. Yes, the team records are clear and you cant argue with them, but its worth taking a look at the top contenders to see what it is that makes them so special on the field. All 12 teams have their strengths and weaknesses, and were going to put them under the microscope.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have a solid offense that shows proficiency in just about all areas. Theyre the epitome of being well-rounded, ranking in the leagues top five for almost every statistical category you can think of. They also lead the league in points scored. However, the weakness theyve got to contend with is their susceptibility to falling into 3rd-and-longs too easily. Its problematic when over half of their third downs need seven or more yards to go.

New England Patriots

Regardless of their pass-centric reputation, the Pats have the offensive prowess of a team that focuses on their running game. Theyre adept at creating and converting short third downs, can easily avoid passing downs, and offer no chances for opponents to produce takeaways with fumbles or passes into traffic. As for their defense? Theres definitely room for improvement. Nevertheless, the Pats nearly-flawless offense puts them in a pretty secure spot.

Houston Texans

The Texans abide by a different philosophy as opposed to the Chiefs and the Pats - tilt the field and wait. Theyre the best field position team in the NFL, launching drives six yards further up the field than anyone else. The result? 60-80 yard gains that seem to come out of nowhere. In addition to this, theyve got a powerhouse duo - Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt - who contribute to the Texans impeccable run defense. With that said, however, theyve got the least effective and reliable offense, which will make it tough for them to match up with more offensive-dominant teams.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are defensive mavericks just like the above-mentioned Texans, but take their game a level further with their ability to run the ball however they please. They are explosive and efficient, with the ability to force three-and-outs without unnecessary effort and to force third-and-longs with ease. Baltimores weakness would be their offense in the sense that their defense stands out more (although their offense has become more efficient).

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers clean up very well when it comes to converting - they convert on blitz downs at a significantly higher rate than usual (34%as opposed to 26%). They also pick up plenty of yards when doing so (upwards of 20). But this is a double-edged sword. They face more blitzes than their opponents and its likely that this pattern will get the best of them.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts have a solid passing efficiency and, despite ranking at 28th in rushing marginal efficiency, they are masterful at creating third downs which they can easily manage. They also have a strong run defense and have an overall solid offense. Their one downfall is the fact that they have an inefficient pass defense, which will no doubt be a stumbling block for them.

New Orleans Saints

What is there that the Saints cant do? They have top five ranks in the majority of offensive categories. They also have a very strong passing game (like the Pats) in addition to having a top-tier run game (which New England doesnt have). They packed a serious punch when it comes to rushing efficiency and rushing explosiveness, and Brees - now 39 - continues to bring a skillset that has made the Saints a fearsome squad to face off against. In terms of weaknesses, New Orleans has a slight deficiency in terms of rushing the passer and creating turnover opportunities.

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams have proved one important thing this year - that their offense is a force to be reckoned with. They are the top team for open play and their defense is respectable. The Rams are also adept at creating many scoring chances, which will be tricky for other teams to overcome. The biggest concerns for the Rams are turnovers and a lack of efficiency in the red zone.

Chicago Bears

The Bears are a defensive team, having the best line besides what Baltimore brings. Scoring on Chicago requires a strategy that involves a lot of tip-toeing: a team has to avoid blitzes, create manageable third downs and try to take plays all the way because the Bears pick up steam closer to their own end zone. With all that said, Chicago doesnt have the strongest offense. The irony here is that their defense is so powerful and versatile, that theyre able to score from time to time.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys have one of the most complete defensive lines in the league. They didnt allow more than 28 points in a game the whole year, and have demonstrated their ability to defend runs, shut down big passes, and thrive in the red zone. The dilemma this Dallas team faces is their offense. Although they didnt allow teams to score very often, they couldnt score much against opposing teams, putting up just 19.8 points per game.

Seattle Seahawks

Few teams possess the explosive power the Seahawks unleash offensively. Russell Wilson can find who he needs downfield at certain moments such as David Moore or Tyler Lockett (who sports a ridiculous 81% catch rate). Theyve also managed to improve their run game to some extent, and theyve increased their scoring average from 23.5 points per game to 31.3. Unfortunately, the Seahawks come up short outside of their offensive skill with weaker defensive chops. Theyre a team that really need to make big plays if they have any hopes of winning.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles have found a comfort zone in open play since they are able to create the longest third downs in the NFL, and sometimes make the best of those plays. Unfortunately, the Eagles weaknesses are much more apparent than their strengths. Theyve got the worst big-play rate which completely betrays their biggest strength.

Get Ready For the Big Game

All of this is more or less a snapshot and it goes without saying that the NFL playoff picture can change quite dramatically in the coming days. With that said, the current portrait is probably what many of you predicted it would look like. Make sure to catch the action live because its crunch time - you wont want to miss it. Also, if going to SuperBowl LIII is the cards for you, then dont stall - make sure to buy your Super Bowl tickets here!

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