With just three weeks remaining in the NFL regular season, the playoff picture is far from clear, especially in the AFC where eight teams remain in the hunt for a coveted Wild Card berth.
Entering Week 15, the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers sit in control of the two AFC Wild Cards. While the Baltimore Ravens are deadlocked with the Steelers and Chargers at 8-5, they currently sit outside of the playoff picture due to Pittsburgh’s superior record against AFC North divisional opponents, and the Chargers’ slim 34-33 win over Baltimore two weeks ago.
The Steelers visit the 5-8 Atlanta Falcons on Sunday pegged as slim one-point favorites at sportsbooks available through www.bettingsports.com. The Falcons are currently tied with the struggling New Orleans Saints atop the NFC South, but currently own the tiebreaker as a result of their 37-34 overtime win over the Saints back in Week 1.
San Diego also faces a division leader this weekend when they take on the AFC West rival Denver Broncos as four-point home underdogs. A win by Denver would clinch the division title for the 10-3 Broncos and seriously damage the playoff hopes of the Chargers, who must face the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs in the final two weeks of the season.
The Ravens meanwhile, will be looking for their sixth straight home win over Jacksonville, when they take on the lowly 2-11 Jaguars as heavy 14-point favorites.
The Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, Chiefs, Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns all remain in AFC Wild Card contention, each with a record of 7-6.
The Texans hold the edge in tiebreakers over their four rivals, but face a huge task on Sunday when they visit the Indianapolis Colts as seven-point underdogs. Houston has never won in Indianapolis in their 12-year history, while the 9-4 Colts can clinch the AFC South division title by posting another home victory over their division rivals.
The Saints, SU and ATS losers in three of their last four games, travel to Chicago on Monday night to take on the Bears as surprising three-point road favorites. New Orleans is winless in their last four when favored and takes on a Bears squad that has lost two straight, both as favorites, but has won two of their last three at home.
A win is critical for the Saints, who welcome the Falcons to the Superdome next weekend for a showdown that will likely determine the division winner in the NFC South. Despite the uphill battle they face, New Orleans remains a strong 10/11 favorite to win the division in NFL futures betting.
The Falcons trail at 7/4, while the 4-8-1 Carolina Panthers remain in the hunt with odds of 4/1, after posting a stunning 41-10 win in New Orleans last weekend, winning outright as nine-point underdogs as seen in the Sharp Report.
Perhaps the most closely watched game on the Week 15 schedule will be the Dallas Cowboys’ visit to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. Dallas enters the weekend pegged as a three-point underdog, in what could prove to be the deciding game in the fight for the NFC East division title.
The Cowboys and Eagles hit the gridiron with identical 9-4 records, but Philly’s 33-10 win in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day currently gives them top spot in the division, leaving the Cowboys outside the playoff picture, at least temporarily.