Week 18 NFL Playoffs Clinch Scenarios, Odds

Written By Brant James on January 4, 2022

With one week remaining in the NFL regular season – make that the NFL betting regular season – five of seven American Football Conference slots have been taken, and only one remains in the National Football Conference.

What AFC teams have already clinched playoff spots?

Cincinnati Bengals – AFC North winner

Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West winner

Tennessee Titans – AFC South winner

Buffalo Bills – possible AFC East winner

New England Patriots – possible AFC East winner


What are the AFC playoff clinch scenarios?

BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-8) vs.Pittsburgh (8-7-1)

Baltimore clinches with:

  • WIN + Chargers + Colts loss + Dolphins loss or tie

BUFFALO BILLS (10-6) vs. New York Jets (4-12)

Buffalo clinches AFC East division title with:

  • WIN 
  • Patriots loss
  • TIE + Patriots tie

CINCINNATI BENGALS (10-6) at Cleveland (7-9)

Cincinnati clinches AFC’s No. 1 seed, only first-round bye and home-field advantage with:

  • WIN + Titans loss + Chiefs loss + Patriots loss or tie
  • WIN + Titans loss + Chiefs loss + Bills win

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (9-7) at Jacksonville (2-14)

Indianapolis clinches playoff berth with:

  • WIN or TIE
  • Chargers loss + Steelers-Ravens tie
  • Chargers loss + Steelers loss + Dolphins win

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-5) at Denver (7-9)

Kansas City clinches AFC’s No. 1 seed, only first-round bye and home-field advantage with:

  • WIN + Titans loss or tie
  •  Chiefs tie + Titans loss

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (9-7) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7)

Las Vegas clinches playoff berth with:

  • WIN
  • TIE + Colts loss
  • Colts loss + Steelers loss or tie

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (9-7) at Las Vegas (9-7)

Los Angeles Rams clinch playoff berth with:

  1. WIN or TIE

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-6) at Miami (8-8)

New England clinches AFC’s No. 1 seed, only first-round bye and home-field advantage with:

  • WIN + Bills loss or tie + Chiefs loss + Titans loss

New England clinches AFC East division title with:

  • WIN + Bills loss or tie
  • Patriots tie + Bills loss

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-7-1) at Baltimore (8-8)

Pittsburgh clinches playoff berth with:

  • WIN + Colts loss + Raiders-Chargers game does not end in a tie

TENNESSEE TITANS (11-5) at Houston (4-12)

Tennessee clinches AFC’s No. 1 seed, only first-round bye and home-field advantage with:

  • WIN
  • TIE + Chiefs loss or tie
  • Chiefs loss + Bengals loss or tie + Patriots loss or tie
  • Chiefs loss + Bengals loss or tie + Bills win

What NFC teams have already clinched playoff spots?

Green Bay Packers – NFC North winner, No. 1 seed, only first-round bye and home-field advantage

Dallas Cowboys – NFC East winner

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – NFC South winner

Arizona Cardinals – possible NFC West winner

Los Angeles Rams – possible NFC West winner

Philadelphia Eagles – wild card


San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) celebrates his touchdown in the first half during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Emilee Chinn)

What are the NFC playoff clinch scenarios?

ARIZONA CARDINALS (11-5) vs. Seattle (6-10)

Arizona clinches NFC West division title with:

  • WIN + Rams loss

LOS ANGELES RAMS (12-4) vs. San Francisco (9-7)

Los Angeles Rams clinch NFC West division title with:

  • WIN or TIE
  • Cardinals loss or tie

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (8-8) at Atlanta (7-9)

New Orleans clinches playoff berth with:

  1. WIN + 49ers loss

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (9-7) at Los Angeles Rams (12-4)

San Francisco clinches playoff berth with:

  1. WIN or TIE
  2. Saints loss or tie

Source: NFL Communications

Photo by Matt Patterson / Associated Press
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Brant James

Brant James is a veteran journalist who has twice been recognized in the Associated Press Sports Editors Awards, most recently in 2020. He's covered motorsports, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball among a myriad of others beats and written enterprise and sports business for publications including USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com.

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