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America’s favorite sport is football, and it’s not close. In a poll released last year, 37 percent of Americans named football as their top sport to watch. Basketball lagged behind with 11 percent, while baseball garnered 9 percent.
Regular season football is exciting, but nothing can match playoff football. The NFL playoff schedule is in full swing now, which means it’s a great time to make some NFL predictions.
Some people like to bet on football games, while others just like to make predictions for fun. Our NFL playoff predictor can help regardless of which category you fall into.
Keep reading to find out more about this year’s hottest teams.
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints have been one of the favorites for a while. It helps that they’re the NFC’s number one seed. No other team can get to the Super Bowl in Atlanta without first stopping in New Orleans.
Led by Drew Brees, the Saints have been a popular pick for a while. That changed a little with an unexpected loss to Dallas in late November. Yet they still have good odds to make the Super Bowl.
In fact, predictions website FiveThirtyEight gives the Saints a 42 percent chance of making the Super Bowl. They also have a 22 percent chance of winning the whole thing. That’s higher than any other team.
It’s not going to be easy to stop them. But if one team can, it might be the next entry on this list.
The Eagles surprised everyone last year by winning a Super Bowl with backup quarterback Nick Foles. In 2019, it looks like they’re trying to write a sequel to the immensely popular original.
Let’s go back to the wildcard game for a minute. For starters, the sixth-seed Eagles had to play the Chicago Bears in Chicago. Foles threw two interceptions, but he also threw a crucial 4th down touchdown pass to Golden Tate.
The Eagles won 16-15 when a Bears field goal attempt was partially blocked. After all that, Foles now has the highest quarterback rating in NFL playoff history.
But are the Eagles as complete a team as New Orleans? The betting odds say no, and the Eagles are a definite underdog going into the divisional game against the Saints. Our best guess is that their playoff run ends without another trip to the Super Bowl.
But if you’re the betting type, putting down money on Philadelphia isn’t the worst idea. They’re at their best when no one believes in them. If you’re ready to bet on the Eagles or any other team, you can read more here.
The Cowboys weren’t expected to go far in the NFL 2018 playoff bracket. Cowboys fans may think that’s unfair, but it makes sense when you look at their playoff history. They haven’t made it to an NFC championship game since the mid-90s.
The Cowboys are feeling confident after they beat the Seahawks at home. Oddsmakers aren’t as confident.
FiveThirtyEight gives the Cowboys a 13 percent chance of making the Super Bowl. As of this writing, they have the lowest odds of any team left in the playoffs.
The Cowboys got some help in the playoffs from one of their biggest rivals. When the Eagles squeaked by Chicago, that meant Dallas got to travel to Los Angeles to play the second-seeded Rams instead of heading to New Orleans to play the top-seeded Saints.
Yet the Cowboys have already beat the Saints once. The team’s defense is among the best in the league, even though they have some questions at offense.
There are a lot of Cowboys fans in Southern California, though. That’s not to say the Rams game will be a home game for the Cowboys, but the stands should have plenty of people dressed in blue and white.
Our NFL playoff predictor thinks the Cowboys can get it done in Los Angeles. But their journey will end in the NFC title game.
Los Angeles Chargers
Let’s move from the NFC to the AFC, starting with the Chargers. If you’ve forgotten that the Chargers play in Los Angeles now, you’re not alone.
The team moved from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2017, a year after the Rams moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles. But the Rams spent decades in Los Angeles prior their move to St. Louis in the 1990s.
The Chargers have no such history, though they do have good football players. Quarterback Philip Rivers is having one of his best seasons. The Chargers already upset the Ravens in Baltimore, but things only get tougher from here on out.
For the divisional round, the Chargers must fly back to the East Coast. This time, the opponent waiting for them is the New England Patriots.
The Patriots are always a threat. The team led by quarterback Tom Brady has struggled more than usual this season. However, it’s hard to bet against them.
We’re going to do that anyway, though. The dynasty has to end sometime, and it might as well be this year. We’re taking the Chargers to go to New England and win in an upset.
Kansas City Chiefs
It’s easy to assume the Patriots were the top seed in the AFC. While they still got a bye, they didn’t get the number one seed. Instead, the AFC’s route to the Super Bowl goes through Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is only in his second year, but he’s already making throws that seasoned vets would have trouble pulling off. The defense is suspect, though, and it’s hard to get to the Super Bowl with a decent defense.
The NFL playoff schedule has the Chiefs facing off against the Colts first. They should be able to win that, but we think they’ll fall to the Chargers in the AFC title game.
That means the Chargers and Saints should meet in the Super Bowl. In a battle of Drew Brees’ old team versus Drew Brees’ current team, we’re picking the Saints to win their second Lombardi Trophy.
Making Your Own NFL Playoff Predictor
No NFL playoff predictor is infallible, but that’s half the fun. Or rather, it’s half the fun as long as you aren’t losing too much money.
People loved the Super Bowl last year because the favored Patriots lost. Three of the four road teams lost during the wildcard round, so you can expect more upsets as the NFL playoff schedule unfolds.
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