NFL Playoff Picture Through Week 7: Chargers, Bucs Trending Down

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Five teams have seen notable line movement on their odds to make the playoffs this week at the BetMGM Sportsbook; only one is who we thought they were.

The Kansas City Chiefs (5-2) didn’t just spoil San Francisco’s Run CMC Party; they obliterated the defense many believe is the best in the NFL while picking up a game on the Los Angeles Chargers in the process. But did anyone other than Bart Scott think KC wouldn’t make the playoffs?

To a lesser extent, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Tennessee Titans (4-2) in the postseason. They were the No. 1 seed in the AFC in 2021. Their win over the Indianapolis Colts not only added separation in the AFC South but also completed their sweep of the season series.

Indy is 3-3-1, which means the Colts will have to win two more games than the Titans while playing one fewer game the rest of the way. Throw in the Colts turning to Sam Ehlinger at quarterback, and the Titans’ chances of winning the division keep looking better and better. 

That brings us to the true stunners, the New York Giants (6-1) and the Atlanta Falcons (3-4), who are on this list for different reasons.

What can you say about the G-Men other than they know how to win? They are one of two teams in the NFL with six victories and saw their season win total move this week from 9.5 to 10.5. This isn’t about being in an easy division. It’s about undeniably quality football from a well-coached team.

I’m not ready to say the same about the Falcons, who have half the wins, which after seven weeks is good enough to be tied for first place in the NFC South. Atlanta’s odds are about the Tampa Bay Bucs as much as the Falcons. Could someone win the division with a losing record?

In a correlated line move, the Bucs saw notable line movement in their odds of missing the playoffs, going from +475 in Week 7 to +225. Coming off an unthinkable 21-3 loss to the woeful Carolina Panthers led to their win total plummeting from 10.5 to 8.5 wins.

It’s not often you see a two-game shift in one week.

Like the Bucs, everyone had the LA Chargers as a playoff team, if not a Super Bowl contender. They’ve underwhelmed, due partly to injuries, but that doesn’t entirely explain their lackluster efforts and what appears to be a poorly-schemed inefficient offense.

Two games that stand out are crushing home losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars (38-10) and Seattle Seahawks (37-23). Since their near-win at KC (27-24), the Chargers haven’t resembled a playoff team. LA’s season win total has shifted from 10.5 (likely playoffs) to 9.5 (shaky).

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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