December 6, 2013 Travis Reason

NFL News

Handicapping the NFC Wild Card Race

People who are betting on the NFL know that the NFC Wild Card race isn’t as competitive as the battle in the AFC. As of right now, the San Francisco 49ers have a one-game lead and control their own destiny. However, the race isn’t over just yet. San Francisco has disappointed bettors before and if they stumble, the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals will be hot on their heels.

Here’s a look at how the race for the final playoff spot in the NFC is shaping up:

San Francisco 49ers 8-4

Odds to Win Super Bowl: 9/1

The 49ers are currently the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs but NFL online betting cappers might want to note their Super Bowl odds. At 9/1, more is expected of them than the Detroit Lions (25/1), Carolina Panthers (10/1) and New Orleans Saints (10/1), even though each of those teams have a higher seed at this point.

The 49ers have an interesting trek to the playoffs. They have to host top-seeded Seattle this week and if they lose, could end up having a very meaningful Week 17 showdown with Arizona. People making their NFL betting picks are expecting this team to be back in the playoffs though.

Remaining: vs SEA, @ TB, vs ATL, @ ARI

Philadelphia Eagles 7-5

Odds to Win Super Bowl: 33/1

NFL football betting handicappers shouldn’t overlook the Eagles. Yes, they are 7-5 but they are 6-1 in games where quarterback Nick Foles plays the majority of the snaps. Foles has a ridiculous 16/0 touchdown-interception ratio this season with an off-the-charts 125.2 quarterback rating. The Eagles have a legitimate shot to win their final four games and they’ll probably be favored on the NFL betting odds in three of them. However, if they do win out – including their Week 17 showdown in Dallas – they’ll likely win the NFC East and won’t have to worry about the wild card spot.

This is an under-the-radar team and those looking for some shrewd NFL betting tips might want to invest in the 33/1 futures. Again, this team is 6-1 with Foles running the show this season.

Remaining: vs DET, @ MIN, vs CHI, @ DAL

Arizona Cardinals 7-5

Odds to Win Super Bowl: 100/1

Those who bet on the NFL know that the Cards have been a good story but they face an uphill climb to make the playoffs. They can probably beat St. Louis and Tennessee the next couple of weeks but the general consensus is that they’re not ready to compete with the NFC West big boys like Seattle and San Francisco. Their best hope is that Seattle has sewn up the No. 1 seed by Week 16 and for some reason, let’s their foot off the gas. That’s possible but unlikely. The Cards are just hoping that the 49ers will stumble along the way to set up a Week 17 matchup for all of the marbles.

Remaining: vs STL, @ TEN, @ SEA, vs SF

Chicago Bears 6-6

Odds to Win Super Bowl: 75/1

At one point, the Bears controlled their own destiny but they’ve lost four of six. They’re only one game behind the Lions in the NFC North but they’ve lost twice to them this season, which means they’re even further behind since they don’t have the tiebreaker.

The Bears have the longest way to go to catch the 49ers for the sixth seed and they may have the toughest schedule too. A matchup with Dallas this week is a toss-up and they’re just 2-4 on the road this season, so visits to Cleveland and Philadelphia won’t be easy. By the time they get Green Bay in Week 17, Aaron Rodgers could be healthy. The Bears look like they’re dead in the water.

Remaining: vs DAL, @ CLE, @ PHI, vs GB