NFL Playoff Betting
The only single-elimination postseason in America’s professional sports, the NFL postseason is time of year for those watching and betting on football. After the regular season weeds out all but the top twelve teams, the NFL playoff format is such that any team can see its season end in a heartbeat.
The dramatic and pressure filled nature of pro football’s postseason makes for stunning games and major payouts for NFL bettors, with the winners of the AFC and NFC facing off in the Super Bowl for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
NFL Playoff Qualification and Seeding
After spending four months battling it out in the regular season, the twelve surviving teams of the NFL’s thirty-two advance to the playoffs. The NFC and AFC send six teams each to the playoffs: the four division winners and two wild card teams from each respective conference.
These teams are seeded one through six and are placed in a bracket of only teams of their conference. The division winners receive seeds one through four based on their regular season records. The wild card teams are the two teams with the best record who fail to win their division. In the event of a tie, head-to-head record is used for the first tiebreaker, followed by division record (for a divisional tie) or record of common conference opponents (for a non-divisional tie).
There are a total of twelve tiebreaking procedures, used sequentially if none are determinant, with the final being a coin-flip. Often, teams fail to make the playoffs despite superior records to those that qualify. This occurs when the divisions are lopsided in ability. In 2010, the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West despite a 7-9 record, while the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers failed to qualify with 10-6 records.
NFL Wild Card Round
The NFL Wild Card Round is the first round of the NFL playoffs, featuring four games among eight teams. The Wild Card Round takes place the weekend immediately following the regular season, with two games on Saturday and two on Sunday.
The round pits seed three vs. seed six and seed four vs. seed five in each division. The top two seeds are allotted a bye week. The higher ranked seed is granted the luxury of home field advantage. Wild Card Weekend is often the subject of several upsets, with teams capable of catching fire and taking down a more highly regarded opponent.
NFL Divisional Round
Those capable of advancing through the Wild Card Round of the NFL playoffs are subsequently matched up against one of the two top seeded teams in their conference.
The Divisional Round uses an identical format to the Wild Card Round, with four games in which the highest seeds face the lowest seeds and have home field advantage. Because the top two teams in each conference are afforded a bye the week prior, the Divisional Round factors in a new element. A bye week can be a luxury and a curse.
Despite what equates to a guaranteed Wild Card Round victory and an extra week to heal, rest, and prepare, many teams stumble after their bye week. This can be attributed to the “rust” of a week off or the momentum that a team coming off a playoff victory often brings in.
The NFL Divisional Round is also a great time for bettors to win money on some of the seasons most important games and best teams.
NFC and AFC Conference Championships
The final four NFL teams face off in the Conference Championships. At stake is the title of NFC or AFC Champion and, more importantly, the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl.
The two remaining teams in each conference face off on Sunday, with the higher seeded team playing at home. Historically, the NFC and AFC Championship games are often better contests than the Super Bowl and offer great betting opportunities between evenly matched teams.
NFL Playoff Betting
The NFL playoffs offer a great chance to win money by wagering on the games. Money line, point spreads, prop bets, and futures are just some of the available bets for the NFL playoffs. The NFL’s postseason is filled with quality football and stunning games. Whether the kings of the regular season continue to dominate or an underdog makes an unprecedented run, the NFL playoffs promise drama year in and year out.
Through the Daily NFL Tips we will help you know how the postseason is shaping up and where the smart bets are in January.