NFC Playoff-clinching Scenarios: Playoff Picture and Tie-breakers

Photo of Dylan Ruhl

Dylan Ruhl

NFL · 1 year ago

Show Bio

I lived in Italy for three years in college and learned the art of sports betting while I was there. Now I’m back in the States, and I want to share all the knowledge I acquired in one of the sports betting capitals of the world. Bills Mafia!!

Three spots are still up for grabs in the NFC as the final week of the season approaches this weekend. While the scenario is much more clear-cut than in the AFC, nothing is a certainty: the East, probably the most intriguing division in the league for better or for worse, will come down to Game 256, the final regular-season contest of the year, to decide its champion.

NFC Playoff Picture

  1. Green Bay Packers: 12-3 (clinched)
  2. New Orleans Saints: 11-4 (clinched)
  3. Seattle Seahawks: 11-4 (clinched)
  4. Washington Football Team: 6-9
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 10-5 (clinched)
  6. Los Angeles Rams: 9-6
  7. Chicago Bears: 8-7

On the bubble: Arizona Cardinals (8-7), Dallas Cowboys (6-9), New York Giants (5-10)

NFC Scenarios

For the Washington Football Team, the equation is simple. Win and you’re in. Lose and you’re out. This is a playoff game as much as next week’s potential game would be. Washington failed to clinch the division last week against Carolina, but they’ll have another shot on Sunday night as their game against the Eagles has been flexed to prime-time.

The Football Team made headlines earlier this week, releasing former first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins, who didn’t come close to proving his worth as the franchise quarterback they’d hoped he would turn out to be. Haskins’ poor performance on the field, combined with his poor decisions off the field, led to the end of his tenure, and it will instead be Alex Smith, still battling a calf injury, who’s expected to get the start under center (coach Ron Rivera said he was “optimistic” Smith would be ready).

All eyes in Washington’s front office will be on MetLife Stadium in New Jersey earlier in the day. The loser of the Cowboys-Giants game will be eliminated, while the winner will be on the edge of their seat throughout the evening, as that team would clinch the division with a Washington loss. Washington owns the tiebreak over Dallas but not New York, and if all three teams finish at 6-10 it would be the Giants who go through. Smith has gone 4-1 in his five starts, but that’s been thanks to his defense rather than his own play. In a primetime game, the slight underdog Eagles are a good bet to win the division for one of their two bitter rivals.

Two wild card spots remain, and the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears, who currently hold the sixth and seventh spots, just need to win to clinch a playoff berth. The Rams play the Arizona Cardinals, who are on the outside looking in, but while Arizona is the only team that would be automatically eliminated with a loss, they’ll also clinch a spot with a win. In that case, they’d have the tiebreaker over Los Angeles, and only a Chicago Bears loss to the Packers would send the Rams to the playoffs.

The Packers, though, have as much to play for as any team in the league: they hold the top spot but know their first-round playoff bye is in serious danger if they don’t win on Sunday. They’re a better team than the Bears, and should be able to clinch their top spot in an empty Soldier Field. Assuming the Packers do hang on, the Bears will be cheering hard for a Rams win, as they would be the ones on the short end if Arizona and Green Bay both get the job done. The Rams-Cardinals game is a clear tossup, with Los Angeles favored by just 1.5 at the time of writing, and it’s clearly the game you should be keeping your eyes on in the 4:25pm window.

NFC Tie-breakers

Washington over Dallas (7-9)

New York over Washington and Dallas (6-10)

Chicago over Arizona (8-8)

Chicago and Arizona over Los Angeles (9-7)

Green Bay over New Orleans (12-4)

New Orleans over Seattle over Green Bay (12-4)

Pickswise is the home of free NFL picks. Check out the latest NFL props and NFL parlays as well as expert underdog predictions and computer picks.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 Risk-Free Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

BetMGM

$200

Get $200 in Free Bets & a PICKSWISE HAT!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline wager on any team

Win $200 in free bets and a FREE Pickswise hat

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$250

Bet One, Get One: FanDuel will match your first bet placed up to $250 in free bets

Sign up for a new account with FanDuel Sportsbook

Deposit at least $10 into your account

FanDuel will match your first bet up to $250 in Free Bets!

Must be 21+ in CO. First deposit of at least $10 required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook.

DraftKings

$100

Bet $5+ on MLB and get $100 in Free Bets Instantly!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $100 no matter what!

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Risk-Free Bets!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,500

Get up to $1,500 Risk-Free First Bet!

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Make your first deposit of $50+

If your first bet is not a winner, get it all back as a free bet (up to $1,100) if you lose!

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.