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The AFC Playoff Race Is As Hot As It Gets Right Now

The AFC is red hot right now. What team will win? Can the Chiefs keep it up?

The NFL’s 15th week of action was all that, and there’s still football left to play. The Kansas City Chiefs enjoyed an exciting win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night while the New England Patriots were stopped by the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night.

This season has been particularly thrilling in that 29 games have been decided by a game-winner on the final play and it’s now abundantly clear that things will be even more exciting heading into the final stretch. 

It’s sure to be a dramatic finish to the playoff races in both conferences. The NFL picks have the Chiefs favored to clinch the No.1 seed in the AFC at 2/1 following their resurgence and recent win against Los Angeles. The Buffalo Bills are second in that regard at 9/2.

Most betting experts have grabbed the 16/1 odds on the Tennessee Titans as it presents lots of value – 27 percent of them have placed bets in hopes the AFC South side can seal the deal. The New England Patriots have been bet on by 20 percent while the Chiefs have secured 18 percent of the bets. 

As things stand, the Cincinnati Bengals are atop the AFC North courtesy of a remarkable win over the Denver Broncos, as well as the Baltimore Ravens losing to the Green Bay Packers. The Packers are the first team in the NFL to clinch a spot in the playoffs this season. 

The AFC has 12 teams boasting records of .500 or better, with the No.2 to No.12 seeds only separated by two games on the table. The conference will hand fans an intriguing finish to the campaign. 

That said, we take a look at how things are going for the entire conference.

AFC East

New England Patriots

The Pats’ loss to the Colts on Saturday saw them drop out of the top spot in the AFC,  given the Chiefs’ win two days prior. They’re currently second in the conference and have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Titans. They have the Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Miami Dolphins left to play.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills scored a huge win over the Carolina Panthers that leaves them holding on to the final playoff spot in the conference. While they have the same record as the Colts, Los Angeles Chargers, and Ravens, the other teams have a better win percentage in common games. 

The Bills will play their final three games against the Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, and New York Jets.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are one game off the final spot after an incredible run that has them standing as the only team to go from 1-7 to 7-7 since 1974.

With games against the New Orleans Saints, Titans and Patriots left to play, they’re 11th in the AFC and hold a conference-record tiebreaker over the Broncos.

New York Jets

The Jets are 14th in the conference following a win over the Houston Texans earlier in the year. The two teams have identical records, with the Jets primed to go at No.4 in the NFL Draft. Their schedule throws the Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Bills next. It appears it’s only possible for them to win one more game.

AFC North

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are back in first place after beating Denver and hold the tiebreaker over the Ravens. They’re to play Baltimore, Kansas and the Cleveland Browns to end the regular season.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens losing to the Packers dropped them from the top of the AFC North, as well as from their perch in the conference. They’re tied with the Colts, Chargers, and Bills for the final spot but are No.8. They no longer have the tiebreaker over Indianapolis and Los Angeles and are due to play Cincinnati, the Los Angeles Rams, and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Cleveland Browns 

A win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night would have put them in the race for a playoff spot – they were unable to win, however. The Packers, Steelers and Bengals are up next for them.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Just a half-game out of the final playoff spot, the Steelers are last in the AFC North and 10th in the conference overall. They’re to play the Chiefs, Browns, and Ravens next, with a win over Tennessee keeping them in the hunt.

AFC South

Tennessee Titans 

Only ahead of the Colts by one following their loss to Pittsburgh, they own the tiebreaker over Indianapolis. The Titans are third in the AFC, having lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Pats. The San Francisco 49ers, Dolphins, and Texans are up next.

Indianapolis Colts

Hanging on to the No.5 berth in the AFC, the Colts have the tiebreaker over the Chargers, Bills, and Ravens with games against the Arizona Cardinals, Raiders, and Jaguars remaining.

Houston Texans

The Texans are No.15 in the AFC following a season sweep over the Jaguars that will prevent them from getting the No.1 pick in next year’s draft. They will play the Chargers, 49ers, and Titans to end their season.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars have the worst record in the league at 2-12.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs lead the AFC West after their win against the Chargers and now have the top seed in the conference. They will face Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Denver ahead of the playoffs.

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers are two games off first place in the AFC West after losing to Kansas and are the No.6 seed in the conference with fixtures against the Texans, Broncos, and Raiders coming up.

Denver Broncos

Their playoff prospects took a hit on the back of them losing to the Bengals. They’re 12th in the AFC, with the Dolphins usurping them with the conference record tiebreaker. They play the Raiders next, before fixtures against the Chargers and Chiefs.

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders needed a win to stay in the race when they faced the Browns on Monday night and came up with just that. The Broncos, Colts, and Chargers will be up next.

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