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NFL Handicapping: Cappers Betting Analysis

Rocky NFL Start Doesn’t Necessarily Mean No Playoffs

Three teams that started the first half of the NFL sports betting season even-steven still have a shot at making the playoffs. In addition, one in each conference could win their division.

The AFC East is a three-way race. The Jets, Patriots and Dolphins each have 8-5 records with three regular season games to go.  

Miami, 4-4 after eight games following last year’s 1-15 record, is playing the best with four victories in its last five. The only loss was to New England, which evened the series.

The Dolphins have the easiest road to the playoffs: at San Francisco on Sunday and hosting Kansas City on Dec. 21.

The decider likely will be the Dec. 28 contest on the road against the Jets. However, Miami hasn’t beaten New York in the Meadowlands since 2003 when it swept the series. But three losses were by a total of 16 points.

New York is playing the worst of the three, losing the last two. The Jets did win at Dolphins Stadium earlier in the year and have split with the Patriots. New York hopes to sweep the series against the Bills at home on Sunday and visits Seattle on Dec. 21.

The Patriots, even-steven against New York and Miami, go to Oakland on Sunday, host NFC West champ Arizona on Dec. 21 and then travel to Buffalo on Dec. 28 with high hopes of sweeping the series.

If either the Jets or Dolphins capture all their games, that team wins the division. All three have a shot at the playoffs.

In the NFC, Minnesota leads the North while none of the other three teams have a winning record. The Vikings evened their record at 4-4 after a bye week.

Since early November they’ve won five of six and go for their fourth in a row on Sunday at the Cardinals. Then Minnesota closes out at home where it’s 5-1: Atlanta on Dec. 21 and the Giants on Dec. 28.

New Orleans is alive, bit barely after going 4-4 in the NFC South as October ended. But it appears unlikely that the Saints will go marching into the playoffs. The main reason: 1-5 on the road where two games will be played.

New Orleans closes out at home, but it’s against Carolina.

On Oct. 7, the Panthers crushed the Saints, 30-7, en route to winning six of their last seven.

The odds of winning it all are stacked against all three teams. Since ’00, only one of 19 that were 3-5 or 4-4 at mid-season captured the Super Bowl. It was New England that finished 11-5 in ’01 and nipped the St. Louis Rams , 20-17.

Only one other squad even made it to the Super Bowl: Oakland in ’02, losing 48-21 to Tampa Bay. Nine others didn’t get past the wild card contests. And two others lost in the AFC conference finals.

Meanwhile, only three teams this year have clinched division titles: The Giants, 11-2, NFC East; Arizona, 8-5, NFC West; and Tennessee, 12-1, AFC South.

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