It seems like yesterday that the NFL season was getting underway, but with week 11 now behind us, we actually have two thirds of the regular season consigned to the pages of history. We are definitely onto the final straight as we head into Thanksgiving weekend. From there, there will be little between us and Christmas, New Year, the playoffs and finally Superbowl LII.
Betting sites going playoff crazy
Most sports fans like to place the occasional wager, and the march of technology has brought online gambling to a wider audience than ever. A host of new sports betting sites has appeared over recent months, and the most popular bet in town is how the playoffs are going to shape up.
Here, we take a look at some of the defining moments that have brought us where we are today, and that could help you decide where to place your money.
1) Bills bench Taylor
The decision by Sean McDermott to bench Tyrod Taylor in week 10 could go down as the call that cost the Bills their playoff berth. At the time, the AFC was still wide open and at 5-3, the Bills were well and truly in the thick of it.
Even after the week 10 loss to the Saints, bookmakers were still offering reasonable odds of the Bills making the playoffs, but the die had been cast, Peterson was chosen to start against the Chargers and the rest is history – as are Buffalo’s realistic postseason expectations.
2) Seahawks defense drop like flies
In week 8, the 5-2 Seahawks were ranked third in the NFL Power Rankings, looked like a shoe in for the playoffs and were good bet for the NFC West. Three weeks later, they are stuttering at 6-4, and nothing is certain anymore.
Sadly, this is what happens when you lose two of the NFL’s most feared defensive players in the space of minutes. Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman are out for the remainder of the season and Seattle have yet to show that they can come up with a viable alternative.
3) David Johnson out in Week 1
The Seahawks would potentially have even more to worry about if Arizona’s star running back had been available for more than a few minutes of the regular season. One man doesn’t make an NFL team, but it can’t be denied that the Cardinals have only looked a running back short of being playoff contenders this year.
4) The Luckless Colts
Indianapolis were always going to struggle to make the postseason, but before we got underway, bookmakers certainly thought they had a realistic chance of duking it out with the Titans, Ravens and Chargers for that final wildcard spot. Andrew Luck’s failure to recover from injury has all but put paid to that, and now the real question is whether he will ever be back.
5) Alshon Jeffery’s Philly gig
Jeffery’s decision to take a one-year deal with the Eagles could not have worked out better. He might not look quite the power house that he was in his Chicago days, but being the top receiver in the NFL’s top performing team is hard to fault.