December 24, 2013 Travis Reason

NFL News

What NFL Teams Are Playing For In Week 17

It’s Week 17 of the NFL season and there’s still plenty of jockeying for position. Those who bet on the NFL know it’s important to note which teams are fighting for their playoff lives and which are already focused on starting Breaking Bad marathons once their season ends.

We’ve got the playoff races outlined for you right here so you can understand the motivation before you place your bets:

Seattle Seahawks

Playing For: No. 1 Seed in the NFC

As good as the Seahawks have been this season, losses in two of the past three weeks – combined with another loss on Sunday – could cost them the top seed in the NFC. They need to win to clinch it.

San Francisco 49ers

Playing For: No. 1 Seed or No. 5 Seed

If the Seahawks and Carolina Panthers lose, the 49ers have the opportunity to claim the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Carolina Panthers

Playing For: No. 1 Seed or No. 2 Seed

The Panthers have a relatively winnable game in Atlanta in Week 17. If they win, Seattle loses and San Francisco wins, they will take the top spot in the NFC by virtue of their tiebreaking win over San Francisco. However, if the Panthers lose and the New Orleans Saints win, they’ll give up their No. 2 seed and fall to one of the wild-card spots.

Philadelphia Eagles

Playing For: NFC East Title and No. 3 Seed

The Eagles win the NFC East and take the No. 3 seed with a win. It’s that simple. NFL football betting handicappers are expecting that to happen after it was announced that Tony Romo will not play when the Eagles visit the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Dallas Cowboys

Playing For: NFC East Title

The Cowboys are in with a win but as mentioned, there’s the Romo conundrum. They’ll be the No. 4 seed if they’re in.

Chicago Bears

Playing For: NFC North Title and No. 3 Seed

If Chicago defeats Green Bay on Sunday, they are in but since they lost to Philadelphia last week, they can’t get higher than fourth if the Eagles win. If the Eagles lose, they can claim that third spot.

Green Bay Packers

Playing For: NFC North Title and No. 3 Seed

Like the Bears, the Packers have beaten Dallas this season and lost to Philadelphia. That means if they beat Chicago on Sunday, they are in but will be the No. 4 seed if Philadelphia wins the NFC East showdown and the No. 3 seed if Dallas wins.

New Orleans Saints

Playing For: Playoff Berth, No. 6 Seed, No. 5 Seed or No. 2 Seed

The Saints have plenty on the line so they better not mess around this week. They’re a 13-point favorite on the NFL online betting lines as they host Tampa Bay. If they lose and Arizona wins, the Cardinals will move into the playoffs and push the Saints out. If the Saints win, they’re in but they can climb higher depending on what else happens. If the 49ers lose or the Panthers lose, the Saints can move up to fifth or second. If both win, they’re the No. 6 seed.

Arizona Cardinals

Playing For: Playoff Berth

As mentioned above, the Cards need the Saints to lose and a win over the 49ers. That’s how they get in.

Denver Broncos

Playing For: No. 1 Seed

The Broncos need a win in Oakland on Sunday to clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Bovada has them as a 12-point favorite on the NFL betting odds, so it looks pretty likely they’ll win.

New England Patriots

Playing For: No. 2 Seed, No. 3 Seed or No. 4 Seed

The Patriots can move up to first with a Broncos loss assuming they beat the Buffalo Bills. They are also expected to win as they are a nine-point favorite.

Cincinnati Bengals

Playing For: No. 2 Seed, No. 3 Seed or No. 4 Seed

If the Patriots lose, the Bengals can take the No. 2 seed with a win over the Baltimore Ravens. A loss, though, could drop them to fourth if the Colts win.

Indianapolis Colts

Playing For: No. 2 Seed, No. 3 Seed or No. 4 Seed

Indy is still in play for the No. 2 seed but they would need both New England and Cincinnati to lose.

Miami Dolphins

Playing For: Playoff Berth

There’s no convoluted scenarios or NFL betting tips needed for the Dolphins: they win, they’re in. That’s about it. If Baltimore and San Diego lose, they’re also in.

Baltimore Ravens

Playing For: Playoff Berth

The Ravens have made it harder on themselves thanks to last week’s loss. They now need a win and a Dolphins loss to get in. Had they won, they could have potentially claimed the AFC North with a win over Cincinnati this week.

San Diego Chargers

Playing For: Playoff Berth

The Chargers are going to be among many NFL betting picks this week as they’re a 10-point favorite while hosting a Kansas City Chiefs team that is supposedly planning to rest their starters. They need to win, and see Baltimore and Miami, lose to get in.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Playing For: Playoff Berth

Those betting on the NFL know that the Steelers are a longshot but they can get in if San Diego, Baltimore and Miami lose.