As we approach Christmas and the end of 2023, the NFL season also draws near its conclusion. With only three weeks remaining on the schedule, four NFL Playoff spots have been clinched, and there is an opportunity for more to be secured in Week 16.
The San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers suffered a mid-season slump when a few key players were injured, but now that they’re healthy, they appear to be unstoppable on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Brock Purdy leads the league in passing touchdowns with 29, and running back Christian McCaffrey has the all-purpose TDs in the NFL with 20.
Purdy and McCaffrey are also both top contenders in the odds for betting on the NFL MVP. The following NFL Playoff picture bracket that we’ve created illustrates what the current Super Bowl futures suggest in regard to who will make the postseason and how deep their respective runs will be.
The other NFC teams that have qualified for the NFL Playoffs are the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles, two franchises that the 49ers have already annihilated this season.
The futures odds for betting on Super Bowl LVIII place San Francisco in the lead with a 350-point moneyline edge over the top projected team from the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens.
The Baltimore Ravens
While teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, and Buffalo Bills continue to suck up most of the air in the AFC, the Ravens have quietly chugged along, compiling eleven wins through fourteen games.
Baltimore has clinched the only playoff spot so far in the AFC and is 75 points ahead of the Chiefs in the current Conference futures. Despite their excellent performance thus far, we’re not all-in on betting on the Ravens to win the Super Bowl or the AFC.
They’ll have plenty of opportunities to prove us wrong over the final three weeks of the season, as they’ll be facing the 49ers, Dolphins, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Super Bowl 58 Sleepers
- The Detroit Lions can clinch the division with either a win or tie versus the Minnesota Vikings this weekend or a Los Angeles Rams or Seattle Seahawks loss in Week 16. The Lions are favored on the road against the Vikings by a field goal, and we’ll become believers if they can cover the spread on Sunday.
- The Cincinnati Bengals would be the sixth seed in the AFC if the season ended today. 2023-24 appeared lost after Joe Burrow went down for the year with a torn ligament in his wrist. Rookie QB Jake Browning has stepped in and played well, rallying Cincinnati to an 8-6 record. They’ve got Pittsburgh, KC, and the Browns remaining in 2023-24, so they deserve to be taken seriously if they end up qualifying for the playoffs after that run.