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Handicapping the Remainder of the 2020 NFL Season

Handicapping the Remainder of the 2020 NFL SeasonBefore the NFL season began, the Baltimore Ravens were the favorites to win the Super Bowl with 4-1 odds. Close behind at 6-1 were the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. San Francisco was third at 10-1, followed by the New Orleans Saints at 12-1.

The 49ers' loss to Arizona to start the season cast immediate doubt on their chances of getting back to the Super Bowl. The Dallas Cowboys were 16-1 picks to win the Super Bowl, but a 2-7 start has those chances unraveling.

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To start the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers were still assessing how effective quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could be. The 16-year veteran was coming off an elbow injury, and its long-term effects were uncertain.

Because of this uncertainty, the odds against the Steelers hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in February were 30-1. Pittsburgh has started the season 9-0, at times looking dominant on both sides of the ball. Those Super Bowl-winning odds have now dropped to 11-2, just behind AFC rival Kansas City.

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The Chiefs were at 6-1 odds when the season started, but that number has moved to 7-2. With the top two teams both in the AFC, it can be inferred that the AFC champion will win the Super Bowl.

In the NFC, the preseason favorite was San Francisco, but sports bettors know the Niners are now 4-6. The Saints are the pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, with 13-2 odds to win it. The severity of the rib injury to Saints quarterback Drew Brees is still undetermined, though.

How long Brees will be out of action could certainly impact the Saints' eventual seeding in the playoffs. A one-game lead and two wins over the Buccaneers gives the Saints a bit of a cushion in the NFC South. If Brees is only out two to three weeks as initially reported, New Orleans can probably weather the storm.

The Green Bay Packers and the Buccaneers are just behind the Saints with odds of 9-1. The Packers have a comfortable lead in the NFC North over Chicago by 2.5 games. Green Bay started out strong, then slumped, but now appears to be back on track.

The Ravens have slipped to odds of 10-1 but are definitely still in the conversation to win it all. They've lost to both Kansas City and Pittsburgh, so it's clear they need to improve to be in contention. They have another game left with the Steelers to make a run at the AFC North.

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Playoff Pictures

With the addition of a seventh playoff team in each conference, the NFC postseason picture is coming into focus. The pathetic NFC East has the Eagles in the lead with a 3-5-1 record. In the remaining divisions, there are six teams with at least a two-game lead on number seven.

The AFC will most likely see a good team get left out of the playoffs. Currently, there are nine teams with records of 6-3 or better.

The Steelers and Chiefs enjoy nice cushions at the top of their divisions. For the rest of the contenders, it will likely be a battle into Week 17.

Did you see last week’s NFL Week 9 by the numbers?

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