Season Predictions

国产探花playoff predictions: Picking 8 division winners, 6 wild-card teams at midpoint of 2023 season

With the 2023 国产探花season at its midpoint, our analysts update their preseason predictions for the playoff field:

Table inside Article
AFC NFC
EAST EAST
NORTH NORTH
SOUTH SOUTH
WEST WEST
WILD CARD WILD CARD

NOTE: All betting odds listed below -- courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook -- are current as of 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 8.

AFC EAST CHAMPS

Rank
1
Miami Dolphins
6-3 · -200

(21 votes: Abdoo, Band, Battista, Blair, Carr, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Edholm, Filice, Florio, Grant, Holzman-Escareno, Jones-Drew, Kownack, Mariucci, Okada, Parr, Patra, Sessler, Shook, Walker.)


2) Buffalo Bills (+250)6 votes: Frazier, Gonzales, Magdziuk, Reuter, Ross, Zierlein.


Why Kevin Patra chose the Dolphins: Each team in the division is flawed in its own way. Down the stretch, the Dolphins must answer questions about getting bullied by the heavyweights (0-3 vs. teams currently owning a winning record; 6-0 vs. teams .500 and below), but I'm counting on Mike McDaniel's explosive offense to be the difference. Getting dynamic rookie De'Von Achane back soon will help push Miami over the top. Star defender Jalen Ramsey already returned to solidify the secondary. The true test for the Fins comes in the final three weeks of the regular season, when they face Dallas, Baltimore and Buffalo.


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AFC NORTH CHAMPS

Rank
1
Baltimore Ravens
7-2 · -145

(24 votes: Abdoo, Band, Battista, Blair, Carr, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Edholm, Florio, Frazier, Grant, Holzman-Escareno, Jones-Drew, Magdziuk, Mariucci, Okada, Parr, Patra, Reuter, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Walker, Zierlein.)


2) Cincinnati Bengals (+300)3 votes: Filice, Gonzales, Kownack.


Why Chad Reuter chose the Ravens: The Ravens are in prime form right now. It's tough to see any AFC North foe overtaking them. Lamar Jackson is playing like the league MVP this season (with the help of rookie receiver Zay Flowers), while Baltimore's defense is clamping down opponents to an NFL-low 124 points (13.8 per game) through nine contests.


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AFC SOUTH CHAMPS

Rank
1
Jacksonville Jaguars
6-2 · -550

(26 votes: Abdoo, Band, Battista, Blair, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Edholm, Filice, Florio, Frazier, Gonzales, Grant, Holzman-Escareno, Jones-Drew, Kownack, Magdziuk, Mariucci, Okada, Parr, Patra, Reuter, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Walker, Zierlein.)


2) Houston Texans (+575)1 vote: Carr.


Why Keegan Abdoo chose the Jaguars: Thus far, the Jaguars' offense has been held back by costly mistakes and red zone struggles. Look for Doug Pederson and Trevor Lawrence to right the ship coming out of the Week 9 bye -- just like last year, when they won six of their final seven regular-season games after the midseason break. Combining a more consistent offense with a surprisingly strong defense, Jacksonville should be able to hold off challenges to the AFC South crown from the frisky Texans and Colts.


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AFC WEST CHAMPS

Rank
1
Kansas City Chiefs
7-2 · -900

UNANIMOUS PICK


Why Michelle Magdziuk chose the Chiefs: The Chiefs have won the AFC West in each of the last seven seasons, and the other teams in the division are applying very little pressure to stop that streak in 2023. Entering Week 10, Kansas City has three more wins than any other AFC West squad.


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AFC WILD CARD TEAMS

We asked voters to pick the three wild-card teams from each conference, ranking their picks from 1 to 3 based on where they project the squads to land in the pecking order. Here are the vote totals for the AFC:

1) Cincinnati Bengals (62 points)

  • Fifth seed (15 votes): Abdoo, Band, Battista, Chadiha, Florio, Holzman-Escareno, Jones-Drew, Magdziuk, Mariucci, Okada, Parr, Patra, Sessler, Shook, Walker.
  • Sixth seed (8 votes): Blair, Carr, Cersosimo, Edholm, Frazier, Grant, Reuter, Ross.
  • Seventh seed (1 vote): Zierlein.

2) Buffalo Bills (37)

  • Fifth seed (4 votes): Blair, Cersosimo, Edholm, Grant.
  • Sixth seed (12 votes): Abdoo, Band, Battista, Chadiha, Florio, Holzman-Escareno, Kownack, Mariucci, Parr, Patra, Sessler, Shook.
  • Seventh Seed (1 vote): Jones-Drew.

3) Miami Dolphins (17)

  • Fifth seed (5 votes): Frazier, Gonzales, Reuter, Ross, Zierlein.
  • Sixth seed (1 vote): Magdziuk.

4) Cleveland Browns (16)

  • Fifth seed (1 vote): Carr.
  • Sixth seed (2 votes): Filice, Walker.
  • Seventh seed (9 votes): Band, Blair, Chadiha, Edholm, Kownack, Magdziuk, Okada, Parr, Shook.

5) Pittsburgh Steelers (9)

  • Sixth seed (2 votes): Jones-Drew, Zierlein.
  • Seventh seed (5 votes): Battista, Frazier, Grant, Patra, Reuter.

6) Baltimore Ravens (8)

  • Fifth seed (2 votes): Filice, Kownack.
  • Sixth seed (1 vote): Gonzales.

7) Houston Texans (7)

  • Sixth seed (1 vote): Okada.
  • Seventh seed (5 votes): Abdoo, Cersosimo, Filice, Sessler, Walker.

8) Los Angeles Chargers (4)

  • Seventh seed (4 votes): Florio, Gonzales, Holzman-Escareno, Ross.

T-9) Jacksonville Jaguars (1)

  • Seventh seed (1 vote): Carr.

T-9) New York Jets (1)

  • Seventh seed (1 vote): Mariucci.

NFC EAST CHAMPS

Rank
1
Philadelphia Eagles
8-1 · -650

UNANIMOUS PICK


Why Bobby Kownack chose the Eagles: Philadelphia hasn't even fully found its groove yet ... and still holds the NFL's best record at 8-1. Some might be dissuaded by the gauntlet of a schedule -- the Chiefs, Bills, 49ers, Cowboys and Seahawks await after a Week 10 bye -- but these Eagles are battle-tested, just opened up a 2.5-game lead over Dallas and possess the DNA to become the NFC East's first repeat winner since 2004.  


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NFC NORTH CHAMPS

Rank
1
Detroit Lions
6-2 · -1200

UNANIMOUS PICK


Why Steve Mariucci chose the Lions: 锘匡豢锘匡豢锘匡豢锘This year鈥檚 Lions team has built off its strong finish from last season and seized control of the division. Dan Campbell鈥檚 group has the perfect mix of veterans and young players, all of whom are hungry to prove doubters wrong and give the Detroit fan base meaningful football in January. The Lions are not without flaws, but they should win their first division title since 1993, when they played in the NFC Central.


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NFC SOUTH CHAMPS

Rank
1
New Orleans Saints
5-4 · -175

(24 votes: Band, Battista, Blair, Carr, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Filice, Florio, Frazier, Gonzales, Grant, Holzman-Escareno, Jones-Drew, Kownack, Mariucci, Okada, Parr, Patra, Reuter, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Walker, Zierlein.)


2) Atlanta Falcons (+215)3 votes: Abdoo, Edholm, Magdziuk.


Why Lance Zierlein chose the Saints: New Orleans' defense and the extended weaponry on the offensive side of the ball give the Saints an advantage in their quest to outlast the Falcons over the 18-week season. Ultimately, Atlanta just won't have enough offense.


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NFC WEST CHAMPS

Rank
1
San Francisco 49ers
5-3 · -360

(26 votes: Abdoo, Band, Battista, Blair, Carr, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Edholm, Filice, Florio, Frazier, Gonzales, Grant, Holzman-Escareno, Jones-Drew, Kownack, Magdziuk, Mariucci, Okada, Parr, Patra, Reuter, Sessler, Shook, Walker, Zierlein.)


2) Seattle Seahawks (+290)1 vote: Ross.


Why Michael F. Florio chose the 49ers: The 49ers used the Week 9 bye to get healthy, correct some issues and implement Chase Young into an already-loaded defense. Now I anticipate they'll start looking like their dominant selves again and win the division after sweeping a couple upcoming games against their biggest challengers, the Seahawks.


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NFC WILD CARD TEAMS

We asked voters to pick the three wild-card teams from each conference, ranking their picks from 1 to 3 based on where they project the squads to land in the pecking order. Here are the vote totals for the NFC:

1) Dallas Cowboys (77 points)

  • Fifth seed (23 votes): Abdoo, Band, Blair, Carr, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Edholm, Filice, Florio, Frazier, Gonzales, Grant, Holzman-Escareno, Kownack, Magdziuk, Mariucci, Okada, Parr, Reuter, Ross, Sessler, Walker, Zierlein.
  • Sixth seed (4 votes): Battista, Jones-Drew, Patra, Shook.

2) Seattle Seahawks (54)

  • Fifth seed (4 votes): Battista, Jones-Drew, Patra, Shook.
  • Sixth seed (21 votes): Abdoo, Band, Blair, Carr, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Edholm, Filice, Florio, Frazier, Gonzales, Grant, Holzman-Escareno, Kownack, Mariucci, Okada, Parr, Reuter, Sessler, Walker, Zierlein.

3) Minnesota Vikings (16)

  • Sixth seed (1 vote): Magdziuk.
  • Seventh seed (14 votes): Band, Carr, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Florio, Gonzales, Grant, Holzman-Escareno, Kownack, Mariucci, Ross, Sessler, Shook, Walker.

4) Atlanta Falcons (6)

  • Seventh seed (6 votes): Blair, Okada, Parr, Patra, Reuter, Zierlein.

T-5) Los Angeles Rams (2)

  • Seventh seed (2 votes): Filice, Jones-Drew.

T-5) New Orleans Saints (2)

  • Seventh seed (2 votes): Abdoo, Edholm.

T-5) San Francisco 49ers (2)

  • Sixth seed (1 vote): Ross.

T-5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2)

  • Seventh seed (2 votes): Battista, Frazier.

9) Washington Commanders (1)

  • Seventh seed (1 vote): Magdziuk.

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