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The NFL season is well underway, and we’ve learned some things already.
The cream is rising to the top, but there is still a great opportunity to get good odds on some playoff and divisional bets. Fortunately, sportsbooks give bettors great odds on wagers for teams to make the playoffs and win the division.
Here’s a look at the 2022 field.
Odds To Make NFL Playoffs
All odds are current as of 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 5, courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.
- Buffalo Bills (-1900)
- Philadelphia Eagles (-1600)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-650)
- Kansas City Chiefs (-600)
- Green Bay Packers (-550)
- Minnesota Vikings (-360)
- Miami Dolphins (-320)
- Baltimore Ravens (-230)
- San Francisco 49ers (-225)
- Dallas Cowboys (-220)
- Los Angeles Rams (-215)
- Los Angeles Chargers (-126)
- Cincinnati Bengals (-112)
- Denver Broncos (+104)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (+112)
- Indianapolis Colts (+124)
- Tennessee Titans (+164)
- Cleveland Browns (+172)
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The Bills and Eagles have waltzed through the season’s first quarter practically unscathed and thus have the shortest odds in each respective conference to reach the playoff field.
The Buccaneers, Packers, and Chiefs, each popular preseason Super Bowl picks, are next, followed by a pair of upstarts in the Vikings and Dolphins.
The Broncos, Colts, and Titans each had minus-money odds to reach the postseason before the year yet are suddenly unlikely to reach the field as of early October. Plus, the Patriots, who have reached the playoffs in 17 of the previous 19 seasons, now have the NFL’s 10th-longest odds, and fourth-longest odds of all AFC teams to get to the playoffs at +370.
NFL Division Winner Favorites
AFC East: Buffalo Bills (-370)
Buffalo has the shortest odds of any potential division winner yet is 0-1 in the AFC East after being tripped up by the Dolphins in Week 3 in Miami. The Bills still feature MVP favorite Josh Allen and his top receiver Stefon Diggs, and despite the fact that their defense has been decimated by injury — lockdown cornerback Tre’Davious White still hasn’t suited up, safety Jordan Poyer has been injured, and safety Micah Hyde will miss the rest of the season due to a neck injury — Von Miller and co. are still wreaking havoc on opposing offenses.
The Dolphins (+370) are an intriguing alternative, but without Tua Tagovailoa, who was off to an MVP-caliber start before a series of high-profile head injuries, they aren’t likely to threaten the Bills.
AFC North: Baltimore Ravens (-105)
Lamar Jackson is off to an MVP-caliber start, as expected, leading the Ravens in rushing and the NFL in passing touchdowns (11) through four weeks. The Ravens’ defense has been an issue, and the Bengals are making a worthy challenge after starting the season 0-2, but Baltimore has the shortest odds so far.
AFC South: Jacksonville Jaguars (+155)
Nothing is assured in the AFC South — except for the Texans finishing last. But led by Trevor Lawrence, James Robinson, Christian Kirk, and a stingy defense, Jacksonville looks like the real deal in Year 1 of the Doug Pederson era.
The Titans are right there, and so are the Colts, who granted may not have star running back Jonathan Taylor at full strength for the rest of the season. The AFC South race should be one of the most fun to monitor — and one of the most profitable to bet.
AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs (-175)
The Los Angeles Chargers were knocking on the door, but Patrick Mahomes and a new-look offense is the clear and obvious favorite, and Kansas City’s 27-24 home win over the Chargers put them in the driver’s seat early on.
Plus, LA has been decimated by injuries to wide receiver Keenan Allen and defensive stalwart Joey Bosa while Chiefs coach Andy Reid has had Mahomes, all-world tight end Travis Kelce, and a running back by committee led by Clyde Edwards-Helaire to lean on. KC should be able to hang on and may even threaten Buffalo for the top seed and home-field throughout the AFC playoffs.
NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles (-310)
I tried to tell you to bet the Eagles to win the division when they were plus-money in the preseason, but between their dominant early-season start, which has been boosted by Jalen Hurts‘ MVP-caliber play, and Dak Prescott‘s injury, Philadelphia is the clear-cut favorite to claim the division crown.
The Eagles will need to take care of business in the NFC East slate, notably against Dallas who they still need to play twice, but the Cowboys should be Philadelphia’s only competition despite a surprising early-season run from the New York Giants.
NFC North: Green Bay Packers (-120)
It has taken the Packers longer than expected to get their offense going as they still try to replace No. 1 receiver Davante Adams after trading him to Las Vegas in the offseason. But with Aaron Rodgers and the two-headed backfield monster of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, Green Bay is once again the favorite to win the NFC North.
The Vikings expect to be within striking distance all season, particularly since they defeated the Packers in Week 1 in Minneapolis, but barring an injury to Rodgers, Green Bay should get the division’s automatic bid.
NFC South: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-340)
Tampa Bay has sleepwalked through the first quarter of the season yet is clearly the class of a terrible division particularly due to its Week 2 road win over the only real challenger, the New Orleans Saints.
The only question is whether Tom Brady and the Buccaneers can turn up their play come postseason time and challenge for the NFC crown since the Super Bowl LV champs clearly will be in the tournament.
NFC West: Los Angeles Rams/San Francisco 49ers (+120)
The Niners and Rams are co-favorites to claim the West and are the only teams in consideration for the crown. San Francisco has weathered a storm of early-season injuries, notably to quarterback Trey Lance, running back Elijah Mitchell, and left tackle Trent Williams that has adversely affected its play in the early going.
The Rams have looked like they’re in the throes of a championship hangover, especially on offense, where they rank just 29th in points per game through four weeks. LA’s run game has been non-existent, and Matthew Stafford only seems to trust superstar wide receiver, Cooper Kupp.
The Niners look like the better bet at the moment, especially since they have historically owned the Rams. San Francisco’s 24-9 win in Week 4 was its seventh win over the Rams in their past eight meetings. Both teams are almost assured of an NFC playoff berth come January.
AFC Wild Card Favorites
Miami Dolphins (-320)
I tried to tell you to be sure to bet the Dolphins when they were plus-money in the preseason, but the offseason moves to acquire Tyreek Hill and running backs Raheem Mostert and Chase Edmonds have boosted Miami’s offense. Plus, the team’s typically stingy defense has remained tough to score against.
Tagovailoa’s injuries were scary and could threaten to derail an otherwise breakout season under rookie coach Mike McDaniel. But Miami should be in the tournament come the winter, and hopefully Tua is up and able to play again before then.
Los Angeles Chargers (-126)
The Chargers looked loaded before the season and could be a problem if they can get healthy in time for the playoffs. Los Angeles may have a hard time catching the Chiefs for the division crown but went toe-to-toe with Kansas City in their first meeting, with only Justin Herbert‘s pick-6 costing the Chargers the game.
If LA and KC meet in the playoffs, it could be a different story.
Cincinnati Bengals (-112)
Cincinnati’s season was teetering on the brink after an 0-2 start hallmarked by a couple of gut-punch losses, but with Joe Burrow and a terrific passing game, Cincinnati is now among the favorites to get back to the playoffs.
If they can get there, the Bengals should be very dangerous.
NFC Wild Card Favorites
Minnesota Vikings (-360)
The Vikings seem poised to be neck-and-neck with the Packers all season atop the NFC North, but given the fact that there are only seven teams among the top 18 NFL playoff odds, the NFC playoff field is basically set through the season’s first quarter — barring a catastrophic injury or something completely unforeseen.
Minnesota has a roster full of superstars, including third-year receiver Justin Jefferson, 2020 NFC rushing leader Dalvin Cook, solid WR2 Adam Thielen, and quarterback Kirk Cousins. Minnesota also scored a couple of key early-season wins over Green Bay and New Orleans that put it in the driver’s seat for the NFC’s top wild card spot.
Dallas Cowboys (-220)
The Cowboys’ playoff hopes were in serious peril after one week due to Dak Prescott‘s injury in Week 1, but Cooper Rush has kept Dallas’ offense afloat in time for Dak to get healthy. Plus, the Cowboys’ defense, led by Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs, has shut down opponents on offense.
The NFC looks extremely top-heavy, and the Cowboys are among the titans, so Dallas shouldn’t have any trouble getting to the postseason at this point.
Best Bets to Make NFL Playoffs
Cincinnati Bengals to win the AFC North (+200)
The Bengals are off the mat, and now is the time to get plus-money odds on them to win the division for the second straight year. Burrow is fearless, and Cincinnati should commit to running the ball with Joe Mixon as the weather gets colder.
Plus, the Ravens squandered the opportunity to run away with the division by losing a pair of close games against Miami and Buffalo. Baltimore will probably still get into the playoffs, but generally teams rue blowing games, especially early in the year. The Bengals should be able to make Baltimore pay for those lost chances.
San Francisco 49ers to win the NFC West (+120)
We’ve been championing this pick from the beginning of the season when it was +175, and now is your last chance to get plus-money odds before the Niners take off. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo gives the Niners a comfort level that they wouldn’t have had with any other QB after Lance went down, and the offense does just enough to complement San Francisco’s dominant defense.
Plus, the Rams look lost. Wide receiver Allen Robinson has done almost nothing since coming over from the Chicago Bears, and LA coach Sean McVay characteristically has shown little-to-no desire to run the ball. Both teams have good defenses, but we like San Francisco’s better.
Plus, if the Niners can sweep the Rams, they’ll own any tiebreaker.