February 26, 2024
Annapolis, US 36 F

NFL Playoff Picture Coming into Focus – Who’s Getting Your Support?

Thanksgiving is now a distant memory, and Christmas is almost upon us. For sports fans, that means one thing – the NFL regular season is coming toward its conclusion. This year has seen mixed fortunes for Maryland’s two NFL teams. Neither has exactly dominated, but at the same time, both are still in with a chance of making it to the post season. 

Who will be getting your support? Let’s take a look at the story so far and the likely prospects for the coming weeks. We’ll also see what the genuine experts at crystal ball-gazing seem to think by checking the odds on offer at some of the top selected bookies in the US for the concluding part of the biggest tournament in US sport. 

Ravens below the radar

The preseason pundits had Baltimore favored to take the AFC North this season, despite the obvious challenge presented by last year’s surprise AFC Champions, Cincinnati. The Ravens had been a constant presence in the playoffs in recent years until last season’s slip, which was very much a consequence of Lamar Jackson missing the tail end of the regular season through injury.  Despite the Week 12 hiccups against the Jaguars, Baltimore is still odds on with the bookmakers to win the division.

Once a team makes it to the post-season, anything can happen. The Bengals proved that last year. The bookies only have eyes for Kansas, Buffalo, and the resurgent Miami Dolphins in the AFC. It makes Baltimore a compelling outside shot to do precisely what Cincinnati did last year. Some even have the Ravens as long as +800 to make it to the Super Bowl and +2,000 to win it. 

Commanders still in the race

Maryland’s other team, the Washington Commanders, does not look so great a bet at first glance. Going into Week 13 fourth in the division certainly doesn’t sound encouraging – until you see just how tight the NFC is. Yes, the Eagles are flying away with the top spot, but there is the proverbial cigarette paper between the Giants, Cowboys, and Commanders. It’s unusual to reach this stage with all four teams in a division still in the chase, but that is what we see here, and the bookmakers are struggling to pull them apart. 

The Commanders have won six of their last seven games – the only slip-up being against the Vikings, who are many people’s pick to go all the way this season. Back-to-back games against the Giants on either side of a Week 14 bye could make or break the season for Washington, and even the neutrals will be glued to their screens. The bookmakers have the Commanders at odds on favorites to win the games and to leap from the bottom of the NFC East to second behind the Eagles. That will place them in a prime position to continue the form that got them this far into the playoffs.

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