NFL Wild Card

NFL Playoffs

Brace Yourselves for the 2024 NFL Wild Card Showdown

It’s a weekend that promises to redefine football frenzy. As the 2024 NFL Wild Card Weekend unfolds, it’s David-meets-Goliath, where legends carve stories, and where the playoffs hit a whole new level. This season, the battle lines are drawn sharper and the heroes are more relentless en route to Super Bowl 2024.

In these Wildcard Games NFL lets you witness football’s finest lock horns in a series of epic clashes. It’s a celebration of grit, finesse, and unwavering spirit. Bleed your team’s colors, savor the emotions of every football aficionado. Stay on the pulse with real-time updates, expert breakdowns, NFL Wildcard standings, and exclusive insider scoops.

Embrace the heart of competition and the soul of football as we kick off this adrenaline-charged journey to the Super Bowl. Stay on board with us for the NFL Wildcard Schedule of the NFL Wildcard teams that will blow you away.

Welcome to the edge of your seat. Welcome to the 2024 NFL Wild Card Weekend.

2024 NFL Wild Card Matchups

NFL Teams Eliminated from 2024 Playoffs

Eliminated from 2023 Playoffs

What Is the NFL Wild Card?

There are always teams that get to qualify to the NFL playoffs even though they did not win their division; each one of these teams is referred to as an NFL Wild Card. These wild cards qualify for the playoffs based on their win-loss records. In other words, these are the three best teams that did not get to be division winners.

Hence, a wild card team, as of the 2023 NFL season, is not seeded higher than a division winner, even if their record is better. Wild card teams will play the three other winners in their division, and only the No. 1 seed in each conference will get a bye during the “wild card playoffs.”

These NFL wild card matchups can produce plenty of upsets, which is why NFL playoffs spreadsin this regard are typically popular on online sports betting lines; thus, the NFL Wild Card odds will open on the sportsbook to kickstart the NFL Playoffs.

Brief Backdrop

The Wild Card scheme was first instituted in 1978 as part of the NFL’s realignment to four divisions per conference (eight in total.) It created a 12 NFL team playoff field, which consisted of the four division winners plus two wild card teams per conference. In 2020, the NFL expanded to a 14-team field thus adding an extra wild card team per conference.

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The wild card teams are seeded five to seven using their regular season win-loss record as a basis. The wild card team with the best record is always seeded as the No. 5 seed, which is the highest seed for a non-division winner as of 2022. This means the conference’s second-most-winningest team will only be a No. 5 seed, since they finished second in their division.

The wild card round will serve as the first round of the NFL playoffs. There are six games programmed, and every wild card team will play on the road, since they are all lower seeds. As of 2022, the matchups take place in the following manner:

  • No. 2 seed takes on the No. 7 seed (wild card team)
  • No. 3 seed takes on the No. 6 seed (wild card team)
  • No. 4 seed takes on the No. 5 seed (wild card team)

In theory, home teams have an advantage here, which puts the wild card teams at odds. It is, however, very common for wild card point spreads to favor the visitor (wild card team) since they sometimes have a better record than the home team.

There are three wild card spots in each NFL conference, for a total of six teams. For example, the NFL Wild Card 2022 Standings have Baltimore, the Los Angeles Chargers, and Miami as the three AFC wild card teams. The NFC, on the other hand, has Dallas, the New York Giants, and Washington as the wild card teams.

Wild card teams are initially picked based on their standings. In the event, however, that two or more teams have the same record, there are extensive tiebreakers to break this tie. 

But prior to the tiebreaker resorts, the NFL needs to first determine between two categories (as outlined on the website) before applying them:

  • If the tied teams are from the same division, they need to apply the division tiebreaker.
  • If the tied teams are from different divisions, the tiebreaker steps to follow are the ones listed on NFL.com.

These include stats, such as head-to-head records, and best win-loss percentage in games played within the division. 

A coin toss constitutes the last resort to break the tie between teams.

Wild Card Odds & Best Betting Markets Tips

The NFL Wild Card Odds mainly concern the games played on that same weekend. 

These include the moneyline, totals, and NFL playoffs point spreads, although props are also one fast-expanding market for betting. Regarding props, much like most NFL playoff games, wild card games will be filled with props that go from exact score predictions up to player props.

You can find NFL outright odds for teams to make (or not make) the playoffs. These NFL futures are offered beginning the preseason and can still be up for any team that has not officially clinched, or been eliminated from, the playoff race.

For example, the Green Bay Packers’ 2022 Week 17 odds to not make the playoffs are listed at -215. They are 7-8 and way below their preseason projections. The Packers opened the 2022 season at -450 to make the playoffs. 

On a more positive note, the Giants’ current (Week 17) odds to make the playoffs sit at -900. They opened the 2022 season as +195 underdogs to qualify. Hence, the Giants will be a wild card team, and, if the Packers make it, they will be one too. 

In more specific settings, folks can also bet on teams to qualify specifically for the wild card spot. These NFL betting markets can pay more lucratively than simply betting on a team to make the playoffs. 

Last Year Recap - NFL Wild Card Odds

The 2023 NFL Wild Card Weekend was a whirlwind, with seven quarterbacks making their playoff debuts. The race to Super Bowl LVII had really kicked off with a bang!

49ers Outpace Seahawks: 41-23

The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks kicked things off. Despite trailing at halftime, the 49ers came back strong to win 41-23. Rookie Brock Purdy showed some jitters in his debut, but the 49ers’ defense stepped up big time in the second half.

Jaguars’ Stunning Comeback: 31-30 Against Chargers

The Jacksonville Jaguars, trailing by 27 points, pulled off an incredible comeback, beating the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30. It was a game that proved no lead is ever safe in the NFL.

Bills Edge Dolphins in a Chiller: 34-31

The Buffalo Bills continued their winning streak against the Miami Dolphins, narrowly clinching a 34-31 victory. It was a close shave, but the Bills held their ground in the frosty showdown.

Giants Triumph Over Vikings: 31-24

The New York Giants repeated their Christmas Eve magic, toppling the Minnesota Vikings 31-24. The Vikings’ unbeaten streak in close games ended, thanks to the Giants’ grit.

Bengals Squeak Past Ravens: 24-17

In a nail-biter, the Cincinnati Bengals just barely got the better of the Baltimore Ravens, winning 24-17. A game-changing fumble recovery turned the tide for the Bengals, sealing their trip to the AFC Divisional round.

Cowboys Gallop Over Buccaneers: 31-14

The Dallas Cowboys, despite a shaky special teams performance, outplayed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a solid ground game. Winning 31-14, the Cowboys proved they were a force to be reckoned with.

Each game was a cliffhanger, setting the stage for a very intense Super Bowl, indeed!

Background History of the Wild Card

The NFL is the first league to implement the wild card format. The term “wild card” itself was used by the media, and the NFL adopted it. 

Initially, the NFL only had one wild card team to round out the three division winners, but after the league’s expansion and realignment to four divisions, they added an extra wild card team to create an even, six-team NFL playoff bracket per conference.

Regardless of a wild card team’s win-loss record, they will typically not host playoff games. The only time a wild card team could potentially host one is by playing another wild card team, but this would require both teams to beat division winners and progress to the divisional round, as of 2022.

In spite of all this, plenty of wild card teams have won on the road and caused upsets to the NFL Wild Card Odds. A perfect example of this: the 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2021 playoffs.) The team was the No. 5 seed but still went on to win three straight road games before playing in -and winning- the Super Bowl on home soil (it was actually a coincidence that they ended up hosting it.)

The newest change the NFL implemented to the wild card system is the addition of a third wild card team per conference. This was added in 2020, with the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears becoming the first No. 7 seeds in the NFL playoffs. 

The addition of two more teams also created two additional games, thus giving the NFL two three-game days. 

The addition of another wild card slot can further add or extend the playoff consistency of some NFL franchises. And for some, it’s a chance to make the playoffs after a period of drought. 

As of the 2022 season, the NFL teams with the most playoff appearances include the Green Bay Packers (35,) the Dallas Cowboys (34,) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (33.) On the flip side, teams like the Houston Texans (6,) Jacksonville Jaguars (7,) and Carolina Panthers (8) have struggled to consistently qualify for the playoffs.

Of the most successful teams, the Packers (2010) and Steelers (2005) have won Super Bowls while being wild card teams. These teams, plus five others, are the only seven to win a Super Bowl as a wild card team. Hence, expect NFL wild card odds to feature more underdogs as winning multiple road games in the playoffs.

Wild Card FAQs

What’s the Tie Between the Wild Card Round and the Playoffs?

The NFL wild card round is the first round of the NFL playoffs. The top seed of each conference (the division winner with the best record) gets a bye while the other three division winners face the three wild card teams. The winners of these rounds advance to the next round. The NFL re-seeds the bracket so the one-seed will face the lowest seed at all costs (as of 2022.)

How Many Teams Make the NFL Playoffs?

As of the 2022 season, 14 NFL teams make the NFL playoffs: seven from each conference. This includes the four division winners plus three wild card teams.

When Do the NFL Playoffs Start?

The NFL playoffs start one week after the last regular season game ends. Since there are now 18 regular season weeks (as of 2021,) the playoffs start a week later than they used to. In 2022, the NFL playoffs begin on January 14, 2023.

How Does OT Work in the NFL Playoffs?

Thanks to the result of the 2022 divisional game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills, the NFL implemented some rule changes to overtime in the playoffs. The new rule now stipulates that each team will get a chance to possess the ball in overtime.Originally, a team can end the game if they score a touchdown. Now, the other team will get a chance to match the touchdown. Both teams keep playing in overtime until a team cannot match the score of the other during their possession.

What Is a Super Wild Card Weekend?

The Super wild card weekend refers to the first round of the NFL playoffs where the three wild card teams play the three divisional champions. The top divisional champion, the team with the best record in the conference, gets a bye.
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