Welcome to TheLines’ betting hub for the 2021 NFL Playoffs. On this page you’ll find current betting odds for every game throughout the 2021 NFL postseason, including spreads, totals, and moneylines. Plus, if you’re into betting player props, be sure to check out our free NFL prop shop to find the best odds for every player and team in the playoffs.
An exciting Divisional Round weekend is in the books, with the Bills and Chiefs advancing from the AFC and the Packers moving on to the NFC Championship to host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Jan. 24.
The biggest story going into the weekend is easily the health of Patrick Mahomes, who was forced from Sunday’s game with a concussion. He was able to clear the league’s five-step protocol, meaning Mahomes and Josh Allen will lock up in what should be an epic battle of high-powered offenses.
Here’s a live look at the lines at sportsbooks in the US as we begin the march toward Championship Weekend.
NFL Conference Championship odds 2021
Betting breakdown and analysis
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers, 3:05 p.m. ET
The Buccaneers utilized a balanced offensive attack and some opportunistic defense to upset the Saints in the Superdome on Sunday, 30-20. Meanwhile, the Packers rode a balanced team effort on both sides of the ball to a 32-18 home win over the short-handed Rams, who played without star wideout Cooper Kupp (knee).
What had been a high-octane Tampa Bay passing game was notoriously quiet Sunday, with Brady throwing for just 199 yards and the Chris Godwin-Mike Evans duo producing a combined 5-38-1 line. Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones proved to be a highly effective combination on the ground, and there could well be a similar plan of attack against Green Bay. Not only is the weather projected to be unforgivingly cold, but the Packers are allowing 117.1 rushing yards per home game this season and postseason.
The Packers were able to keep the Rams defense guessing at a near-ideal pace in their win, getting 185 combined rushing yards from the trio of Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and AJ Dillon to complement Rodgers’ 296 yards and two touchdowns. Rodgers’ ability to effectively get No. 2 wideout Allen Lazard (4-96-1) involved was particularly important, as it gives the Buccaneers’ sometimes shaky secondary a tangible reminder that there’s more to Green Bay’s air attack than Davante Adams. That could be especially critical when considering Tampa Bay has largely been a brick wall against the run.
Factoring in homefield advantage and their excellent play to this point, the Packers are currently listed as favorites with a total of .
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs, 6:40 p.m. ET
The Bills had an unsurprisingly tough time racking up their usual elite offensive totals against a tough Ravens defense in Saturday’s divisional-round clash, but Buffalo still came away with a 17-3 win thanks to excellent defense and a turnover-free performance from Allen. The Chiefs escaped with 22-17 win over the Browns on Sunday, but as already alluded to, they were forced to do it without Mahomes for most of the second half.
The Bills dropped a 26-17 decision to the Chiefs at home back in Week 6, a game in which Allen threw for a season-low 122 yards. Meanwhile, Buffalo’s running game was virtually non-existent, with Devin Singletary gaining just 32 yards on 10 carries. Assuming Mahomes suits up for the Chiefs, both Allen and Singletary will likely need to produce exponentially better numbers in the rematch for the visiting Bills to have a chance of notching the upset. Kansas City was one of the best defenses in the league at limiting receiver production all season, and fittingly, they held NFL receiving leader Stefon Diggs to a modest 6-46-1 line in that Week 6 contest. However, John Brown, who was held catchless on four targets in the regular-season meeting, could be an x-factor after being reincorporated into the offense to the tune of an 8-62 line against Baltimore’s stingy secondary.
The Chiefs were able to get by with Chad Henne against the Browns, with the veteran completing six of eight passes for 66 yards with an interception and providing a clutch 13-yard scramble late in the game to seal the win. Naturally, having to go to battle versus Allen and his weapons without Mahomes would be a monumental challenge for even as elite an offensive mind as Andy Reid. Another perhaps more under-the-radar health situation to keep an eye on is that of rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. CEH was unable to play through hip and ankle injuries versus the Browns despite having last taken the field Week 15. The 2020 first-round pick was notably the linchpin of KC’s offense in the first game against the Bills, throttling Buffalo’s defense for a career-high 161 yards on 26 carries. The Bills also gave up 126.5 rushing yards per game on the road this regular season, making it a source of vulnerability.
The spread opened at Bills -1.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook on Sunday evening but was quickly bet the other way, settling at Chiefs -2.5 by Monday morning. It currently sits at Chiefs with a total of .
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How the NFL Playoffs work
The NFL postseason field will be bigger than ever in 2020-21 as, back in March, league owners voted to approve expanding the field from 12 to 14 teams.
Under the traditional format, six teams made the postseason from each conference each year. Of those six teams from both the AFC and NFC, two teams from each conference were given a first round bye. The other four teams squared off in Wild Card games for the right to advance to the Divisional Round.
Different, starting this season, is that an extra team will be added to the field in both conferences.
- Now, only one team from each conference will receive a first round bye. This will give a massive advantage to the two teams that will not have to play Wild Card weekend.
- The remaining six teams from each conference will play in Wild Card games, giving Wild Card weekend two extra games each year (six games in total).
- Wild Card weekend will feature three games on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, and three more games on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021.
- The No. 1 seed in each conference will play the lowest remaining seed in each conference in the Divisional Round. The Divisional Round will take place on Saturday, Jan. 16 and Sunday, Jan. 17.
- The winners of the Divisional Round matchups will advance to their respective conference’s Championship Game. The NFC and AFC title games will be played on Sunday, Jan. 24.
- The winners of the title games will then play in Super Bowl LV, which is scheduled for Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay.
Also of note is that NFL owners approved a proposal on Nov. 10 that would expand the playoff field to 16 teams if regular season games are canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NFL last tinkered with the postseason 30 years ago as in 1990, the playoffs expanded from 10 to 12 teams.
How to bet on the NFL Playoffs
NFL Playoffs odds for each Wild Card game will be posted at sportsbooks as soon as the 2020 regular season ends on Jan. 3, 2021.
Playoff futures can usually be found at online sportsbooks in the Team Futures section under a tab labeled “To Make Playoffs.” This indicates the bettor is offered a Yes/No proposition on which teams will make the postseason.
Perennial powers such as the Saints or Chiefs are usually listed with negative odds at the start of the season because they’re expected to make the playoffs every year. For example the Saints were listed with -480 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook to start the season so it would have taken a bet of $480 on New Orleans to make the playoffs to profit $100.
Teams in stronger divisions tend to get longer odds, whereas teams that dominate their divisions get better odds because of their clear path to a playoff berth.
Most teams have NFL Playoffs odds somewhere between -200 and +200 at the start of the season. There are some true longshots, such as the Jacksonville Jaguars, who had +590 odds to make the playoffs in early September.
ALSO READ: NFL Power Rankings – Bills in elite company
NFL Playoffs betting strategy
The important thing to consider when betting NFL Playoffs futures is public perception. These lines are set almost entirely based on the esteem each team has earned in the public eye. The Cowboys had -250 odds to make the playoffs entering the season because of their reputation as a star-studded team. But going against the grain by taking a +200 bet on Dallas to miss the playoffs again could pay off. Dallas was upset in Week 1 by the Rams, 20-17, and nearly lost to the Falcons in Week 2. They then lost their starting quarterback for the remainder of the 2020 season.
Also consider the division landscape when betting on NFL Playoffs futures. Not only does a weak division provide a path to the postseason, it provides six relatively easy, or six very difficult games depending on the division. It makes sense to analyze the entire season schedule before placing a significant wager on a team.
Note that if you’re interested in trying to predict the exact pecking order in a division, DraftKings Sportsbook is offering odds on the finishing position for each team within their division.
Odds are also different at different sportsbooks, so shop around and see where you can find the best price on each team to make or miss the playoffs.
What happened last year?
Here is a list of the teams that made the playoffs in 2019 along with their preseason odds to qualify:
- Baltimore Ravens (+180)
- Buffalo Bills (+500)
- Green Bay Packers (+110)
- Houston Texans (+150)
- Kansas City Chiefs (-550)
- Minnesota Vikings (+130)
- New England Patriots (-900)
- New Orleans Saints (-310)
- Philadelphia Eagles (-190)
- San Francisco 49ers (+240)
- Seattle Seahawks (+160)
- Tennessee Titans (+375)
Based on preseason NFL playoffs odds, the Bills were the most surprising team to make the playoffs in 2019. The Titans also had long odds to make the playoffs and needed some help down the stretch to eventually earn the second Wild Card spot in the AFC.
The 49ers did not have very high expectations during the preseason, but were a trendy pick to snap their five-year postseason drought and obviously came through by winning the NFC West. The defending NFC champion Rams had -310 odds to make the playoffs and were the biggest favorite to come up short of the postseason.