I get it, we haven’t even played a single game in the regular season, so why are we predicting the NFL playoff bracket in August? Because, believe it or not, you actually want to know. You want to know because it’s better than analyzing 7-on-7 drills in camp, and if we’re wrong, you have material to roast us for being so stupid. We want to know because if we’re right, we can say we knew it all along.
There will be so many surprises along the way, but here’s my best guesstimate of what will actually happen when the dust finally settles on the long arduous 17-game regular season.
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Predicting the NFL Playoffs, Super Bowl Winner in 2024
All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook
NFC North Champions: Detroit Lions (+140)
The Detroit Lions moved on to this season at the end of last season when they took Green Bay out of the playoff picture despite already being eliminated themselves. Detroit had a winning record last year, and the teams around them are poised to take a step back as they continue ascending.
NFC South Champions: New Orleans Saints (+120)
It was the absolute worst division in football last season, and it’s not much better heading into 2023.
The Buccaneers made the playoffs last season because they had the best QB, and by rule, a team has to be taken from each division. Well, the New Orleans Saints now have the best quarterback in the division, as well as weapons and a stout defense.
NFC East Champions: Dallas Cowboys (+190)
Everyone in Philadelphia, relax. The Eagles have the best team in the division, but history says they won’t repeat as champions. It’s been 18 straight seasons since a team has repeated as NFC East champs — the Eagles did it from 2001-2004.
If not Philadelphia, then it has to be Dallas, a team trying to win double-digit games three seasons in a row for the first time since their glory days of the 1990s. There is no middle ground with Dallas, by the way. They will either rise to the occasion or fall apart like a terribly cooked cake.
NFC West Champions: San Francisco 49ers (-160)
The Niners are a statistical anomaly in the NFL — a team that can win with almost anyone playing quarterback. Last year, they almost got to the Super Bowl with a rookie who was the last player taken in the draft.
There are no holes on Kyle Shanahan’s roster, and barring another injury plague at QB, San Francisco should be right in the mix for it all again.
NFC Wild Card Teams
Seattle Seahawks (-120)
Philadelphia Eagles (-500)
Green Bay Packers (+180)
AFC North Champions: Cincinnati Bengals (+150)
This is obviously contingent on Joe Burrow not having any massive long-term effects on the calf issue that has sidelined him all summer. The AFC North is a very tough division, but I still believe that Cincinnati at its best is as good or better than anyone, and they’ve managed to keep a large chunk of their core intact.
AFC South Champions: Jacksonville Jaguars (-155)
This might have been the easiest call to make. Jacksonville has a Super Bowl-winning head coach and an ascending young QB that they’ve given more weapons like Calvin Ridley. Add in that every other team in the division has major question marks, Jacksonville should rule the AFC South.
AFC East Champions: Miami Dolphins (+300)
A tough one, as you could make a legitimate argument for three teams in this division. All of the hopes in Miami come from Tua Tagovailoa being able to avoid the injuries that finished him a year ago. Something just doesn’t seem right in Buffalo, and I’m not sure if Year 1 is the year the Jets and Aaron Rodgers put it all together.
AFC West Champions: Kansas City Chiefs (-165)
The Chiefs have won the AFC West for seven straight seasons, including every year Patrick Mahomes has been the starter. That streak will eventually end, but it won’t be this season.
That’s really all I have to say about that.
AFC Wild Card Teams
Buffalo Bills (-265)
Baltimore Ravens (-170)
Los Angeles Chargers (-125)
Complete NFL Playoff Bracket
The most up-to-date NFL playoff bracket:
Who Will Win Super Bowl 58?
For my Super Bowl prediction, I’m picking Kansas City (+600). The Chiefs are poised to end the longest repeat champion drought in Super Bowl history.
MORE: Super Bowl 58 Odds
Kansas City is playing for history, and as long as they have Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Andy Reid, they’ll be the team on top. I believe they will defeat the presumptive NFC champion San Francisco 49ers to round out these NFL playoff predictions.
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