Odds Say Bucs, Rams, and Vikings Will Battle it Out for Final Wild Card Spot in NFC

Jared Goff
Jared Goff's Rams should be back in the playoff hunt in 2020. Photo by The 621st Contingency Wing (Wiki Commons)
  • The NFL will add a seventh playoff team in both the AFC and NFC for the 2020 season
  • Based on odds, the Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings are the top contenders for this new playoff spot. Which team is most likely to grab it? 
  • Analysis of the odds and predictions on the outcome of this race are outlined in the story that follows

The Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings will duke it out for a postseason spot during the 2020 NFL regular season.

A seventh team will participate in the NFC playoffs. These three teams as the ones mostly likely to be in the race for that new postseason position in the NFL playoff odds.

2020 NFC Playoff Odds

Team Odds to Make Playoffs Odds to Miss Playoffs at Bovada
New Orleans Saints -700 +425
San Francisco 49ers -500 +330
Green Bay Packers -300 +220
Philadelphia Eagles -200 +150
Dallas Cowboys -200 +150
Seattle Seahawks -180 +135
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -145 +110
Los Angeles Rams -115 -115
Minnesota Vikings -125 -105
Chicago Bears +130 -170

Odds taken Mar. 26th

The Vikings made the NFL playoffs as a wild card team in 2019. Both the Rams and Buccaneers missed out on postseason play.

These Six Are In

Expectations are that the following NFC teams will secure spots in the 2020-21 postseason: New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.

The 49ers are reigning NFC champions. The Saints have won the last three NFC South titles and are 37-11 over the past three campaigns.

The Packers went 13-3, won the NFC North Division and played in the NFC Championship Game. The Seahawks were 11-5 and a wild card team. Philly (9-7) captured the NFC East.

Only the Cowboys, 8-8 a year ago, missed out on postseason play among the favorites this season. In 2018, the 10-6 Cowboys won the NFC East. Dallas also won the NFC East in 2014 and 2016, so there’s definitely an even-year trend in play here.

Buccaneers Seek Brady Bump

In 2001, his first season as starting quarterback for the New England Patriots, Tom Brady led the Pats to the AFC East title and a Super Bowl win over the Rams. Will that same karma be in place as Brady debuts for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

Joe Montana left the 49ers for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993 and led them to the AFC West crown. Peyton Manning joined the Denver Broncos from the Indianapolis Colts in 2012 and took Denver to the AFC West title.

Rams Look to Bounce Back

The Rams won the NFC West and made the playoffs in 2017. They won the NFC Championship in 2018. But last season, they regressed. LA slumped to 9-7 and lost the battle for the second NFC wild card by a game to the 10-6 Vikings.

Had last year been this year, the Rams would’ve been a playoff team. But are these Rams those Rams? LA said goodbye to workhorse running back Todd Gurley and key defenders Michael Brockers, Dante Fowler and Cory Littleton.

They look to be a weaker club, the best bet among these three to miss the postseason.

Pick: Los Angeles Rams to miss playoffs (-115).

Vikings Live On the Edge

Since the NFL adopted its four division winners and two wild card playoff format for each conference in 2002, no NFC team was the odd one out more often than the Vikings. Four times, Minnesota ended up the #7 seed in the NFC.

However, the Vikings were gutted in the offseason. Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs, author of consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns, was dealt to Buffalo. The defense lost a tremendous pass rusher (Everson Griffen), a starting defensive tackle (Linval Joseph) and three cornerbacks (Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander) to free agency.

The Bucs Won’t Stop Here

There’s been a rule of thumb in pro football over the past couple of decades. Don’t bet against Brady.

Yeah, Tom is 43. He’s also invigorated by the chance to do something new. Brady has a chip on his shoulder and the urge to prove everybody wrong.

Tampa Bay hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007. The Bucs will buck that trend.

Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers to make playoffs (-145)

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