This is the time of the NFL season when much of the talk turns to which 12 teams will earn the right to compete for a trip to the Super Bowl by making it into the playoffs. BetOnline has recently updated its NFL playoff prop bet odds for a number of different teams as far as their chances to nail down one of those spots, and my job is to find the best value in these odds.
After digging deep into the facts, stats, betting trends and remaining schedules, here are my top three "best bet" picks for this NFL team prop betting opportunity.
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Jacksonville Jaguars +500
The last time Jacksonville made the playoffs was in 2007 when it went 11-5 to win the AFC South. Heading into this Sunday's game against the 2-8 San Diego Chargers as 4.5-point home favorites, the Jaguars are only 4-6 through their first 10 games, so it could be a stretch for them to even get above .500 this time around.
Fortunately, they play in a division where an 8-8 record could easily be enough to win this year's title. Right now Jacksonville is just one game behind both Indianapolis and Houston, and it has one more game against both of these teams left on its schedule. The Jaguars will also face the fading Atlanta Falcons at home and the 4-6 New Orleans Saints on the road. When you add in a road game next week against the 2-8 Tennessee Titans, I could easily see Jacksonville winning four or five of these games given the way this team is playing right now.
Buffalo Bills +180
It is pretty obvious that the 5-5 Bills are not going to win the AFC East with New England sitting in first place at 10-0, but the two wild-card spots in the conference remain completely up for grabs. Pittsburgh is 6-4 through its first 10 games, and it probably has the inside track at locking up one of those spots, but Buffalo is in excellent shape to lock up the other one.
Two weeks ago Buffalo upended the 5-5 New York Jets 22-17 on the road to gain the head-to-head edge over their division rivals, and this Sunday's road showdown against 5-5 Kansas City is an excellent opportunity to gain the tiebreaker against the Chiefs with a win. The Bills are six-point underdogs in this matchup, but I actually like their chances to win this game straight up. They have played well on the road lately with a 4-2 record in their last six games.
What really helps Buffalo's chances to make it into the playoffs is a remaining schedule that features three games against the NFC East (Philadelphia, Washington and Dallas) and home games against Houston and the Jets.
Seattle Seahawks +100
The simple fact that you can get +100 odds on Seattle at this point of the season tells you just how mixed up the NFC is this season. Carolina continues to roll in the NFC South at 11-0 after this past Thursday's win, and Arizona has a firm grip on the NFC West at 8-2. Minnesota is suddenly the frontrunner in the NFC North at 7-3 following Green Bay's unexpected loss to Chicago on Thursday night that dropped the Packers to 7-4. It really does not matter which team wins the NFC East, but I will defer to New York at 5-5.
That leaves the 5-5 Seahawks left in the race for one of the two wild-card spots in this conference. Atlanta has the edge right now at 6-4, but the Falcons are fading fast with just one win in their last five games. Tampa Bay is also in the mix at 5-5 along with Chicago at 5-6.
The Seahawks are definitely not the same team that went to the Super Bowl the past two seasons, but they are still more than capable of staging a strong finish over the their last six games. Seattle has a tough test this Sunday at home against Pittsburgh as a 3.5-point favorite and it will have to go on the road the following week to face Minnesota, but games against Baltimore on the road and Cleveland and St. Louis at home should fatten the win column. The season finale against the Cardinals could be a moot point if Arizona has a first-round bye locked up by then.
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