NFL Playoffs: Matchups and Super Bowl LV Odds
05 January 2021
Last updated: 05 February 2021 at 6:47 am
The NFL playoffs have arrived, with the top seven teams in each conference set to battle it out for Super Bowl LV glory. This season, instead of there being two Wild Card games per conference, a third has been added due to the addition of two playoff teams. Here, we will take a look at what the matchups are in the first round of the NFL playoffs as well as each team’s NFL betting odds to win Super Bowl LV.
AFC Wild Card Matchups
(7) Indianapolis Colts vs. (2) Buffalo Bills
The Bills have looked like a juggernaut all season long. But they have struggled in the NFL playoffs historically and lack experience with their current roster in this situation. Indianapolis, meanwhile, will look to earn their first playoff win with Philip Rivers at the helm.
(6) Cleveland Browns vs. (3) Pittsburgh Steelers
The Cleveland Browns finally appear to be living up to the hype. Their rushing attack is the best in the NFL, but recent COVID-19 issues on their roster have left them depleted at the skill positions. Against a stout Pittsburgh Steelers defense, Cleveland will not be able to afford to be short-handed again.
(5) Baltimore Ravens vs. (4) Tennessee Titans
Last season, the Tennessee Titans knocked the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens out of the AFC playoffs. This year, the Titans will host the rematch between those two teams in the NFL playoffs. With Lamar Jackson set to face the worst defense he has played in the postseason so far in his career, he will be expected to deliver in Tennessee to outperform Derrick Henry and the explosive Titans offense.
NFC Wild Card Matchups
(7) Chicago Bears vs. (2) New Orleans Saints
After a 5-1 start to the season, the Chicago Bears barely held on to qualify for the NFL playoffs. At 8-8, their reward is a trip to New Orleans to take on the Saints. New Orleans has had one of the top defenses in the NFL this season statistically, and are expected to make Mitchell Trubisky’s day a long one.
(6) Los Angeles Rams vs. (3) Seattle Seahawks
The Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks will square off for the third time this season in the Wild Card round. Both teams have won once against the other this year so far. But the Rams are likely to be without starting quarterback Jared Goff in this game due to an injury he sustained in the last matchup with the Seahawks. That could open the door for Seattle to win the rubber match.
(5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. (4) Washington Football Team
After a rather anticlimactic finish to the regular season, the Washington Football Team barely won the NFC East at 7-9. Now that they have qualified for the NFL playoffs, they have to face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The question in this game will be whether or not the fearsome Washington pass rush can slow down the potent Tampa passing game.
Super Bowl LV Odds
|Kansas City Chiefs||+225|
|Green Bay Packers||+450|
|New Orleans Saints||+750|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+1000|
|Los Angeles Rams||+3000|
|Washington Football Team||+10000|
When looking at the odds to win Super Bowl LV, it is interesting to note just how far ahead of the field the Chiefs and Packers are. The first round bye certainly makes it easier for them than the rest of the competition. But given the quality at the top of each conference, it might be worth looking at a team with longer odds to win the title. This is especially true in a year where home field advantage does not carry the same weight as usual.
Instead, it could be worth looking at a team like the Buffalo Bills or Tampa Bay Buccaneers to run through the NFL playoffs. Both of those teams are playing at a high level late in the season. And both have the potential for stellar quarterback play. It could be argued that Josh Allen was the third best quarterback in the league behind Rodgers and Mahomes in 2020. And Tom Brady of the Bucs is certainly no stranger to postseason success.
When looking at a longshot, a team like the Tennessee Titans is tempting. Their defense leaves plenty to be desired. But the Titans can control the clock with Derrick Henry and their running game. And with enough explosive options to move the ball through the air, the Titans always have the potential to outscore their opponent. At 28/1 odds, they are a much better option than the similarly priced Los Angeles Rams.
NFL Betting FAQ
The NFL playoffs start on Saturday, January 9. They begin with the Wild Card round, which features the six games listed above. Three of those games will be played on January 9, with the next three being contested on January 10. The higher seed will host each of those matchups.
The opponents of the Packers and Chiefs will depend on which teams win in the Wild Card round. The Chiefs and Packers will play the lowest remaining seed in their conference after the Wild Card games are done. Each of those games will be held at the home field of the Packers and Chiefs.
Heading into the postseason, the AFC is favored to win the Super Bowl. They are listed as -143 favorites to be the winning conference. The NFC, meanwhile, comes in at +118 to take home the title. The Chiefs and Bills are two of the top three teams to win the Super Bowl from an odds perspective, hence the AFC’s favorite status.