NFL Playoff Guide: How to watch the games and betting favorites

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Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Nelson Agholor (15) celebrates his touchdown catch with quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) during the first half of an NFL football AFC divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Three of the NFL's heavyweights have made it to the sport's championship weekend.

Then there are the Detroit Lions — who are one win away from their first Super Bowl appearance.

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The Lions continued their feel-good run with Sunday's hard-fought win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, advancing to the NFC championship game. They'll travel to face the 49ers, who needed a rare fourth quarter comeback to beat the Packers.

The Chiefs — along with Patrick Mahomes, Taylor Swift and a bare-chested Jason Kelce — are back in the AFC championship game for an impressive sixth straight season after they earned a narrow victory over the Buffalo Bills. They'll travel to face the one team that didn't have much trouble last weekend — the Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson.

The winners of the AFC and NFC championships will play for the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Las Vegas during Super Bowl 58 on Feb. 11.



No. 3 Chiefs at No. 1 Ravens, 3 p.m. EST, CBS

No. 3 Lions at No. 1 49ers, 6:30 p.m. EST, Fox


Oddsmakers are expecting two decent games this weekend but believe it'll be a Ravens-Niners Super Bowl.

The Ravens opened as a 3 1/2-point favorite over the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. The 49ers are a 6 1/2-point favorite over the Lions.

As for the Super Bowl winner, the oddsmakers still like the top seeds. The 49ers are +145 to win it all while the Ravens are at +190.

Feel like betting on a longshot? The closest thing left is the Lions, who are at +700 odds to take home their first Super Bowl title.

And — as always — there are the prop bets. Among the options: If you feel like one of the coaches has some trickery up their sleeve, there's +8500 odds that a QB will catch a TD pass on championship weekend.

If any of the four quarterbacks has a mammoth afternoon and throws for more than 500 yards, those odds would pay +15000.


This is the fourth season of the current NFL playoff format. The field was expanded to 14 teams in 2020 when the league added a third wild-card qualifier from both the AFC and NFC.

Wild-card round: Jan. 13-15

Divisional round: Jan. 20-21

Conference championships: Jan. 28

Super Bowl 58 in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium: Feb. 11.

The four division winners in each conference automatically get the top four seeds, regardless of record, and then the top three teams with the best record that didn’t win their division are the wild-card selections. That’s why it’s fairly common for a wild-card selection to have a better record — but worse playoff seeding — than a team that finished as a division winner.

The No. 1-seeded team in each conference gets a bye into the second round while No. 2 hosts No. 7, No. 3 hosts No. 6 and No. 4 hosts No. 5 during wild-card weekend.

The NFL has a re-seeding policy after each playoff round. That means that no matter how the bracket started, the lowest-seeded team will always travel to the higher-seeded team in the AFC and NFC.



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