With the 49’ers and Packers set to kick off Thursday Night Football in less than an hour, we are about to enter the second half of the 2020 NFL season. In Week 9 of the fixture there will be four games that are set to have massive ramifications for who is favoured to win five of the eight divisions.
Division Favourites: Philadelphia Eagles (-278)
With the division favourite Eagles enjoying their much needed bye in Week 9, the Washington Football team has a real chance of turning the lowly NFC East into a two team playoff race. What stands in front of them?
The 1-7 Giants. A win for Washington would see them equal the division leading Eagles on three wins, resulting in their +400 odds shortening further. Whereas an upset victory for the Giants would leave New York only one win behind the division leaders and would likely see their +1800 odds drastically shorten as Washington’s odds would drift out.
Division Favourites: Green Bay Packers (-334)
Depending on the result of Green Bay’s Thursday Night Football matchup, Chicago will be coming into their game against Tennessee needing a win to either remain equal or potentially surpass the Packers for top spot in the NFC North.
If the Bears were to take a one win lead at the top of the division, I presume Green Bay would maintain favouritism having already had their week off. However, if the Bears were to lose and the Packers were to take a one win lead in the NFC North, Chicago’s +350 odds would significantly drift. If the two teams remain tied on 5 or 6 wins respectively, minimal odds fluctuations would occur.
Division Favourites: Pittsburgh Steelers (-358)
Now two games behind Pittsburgh in the AFC North, the Ravens need a Week 9 victory over the Colts to even have a chance at winning their division. As both Baltimore and Indianapolis are the current second favourites to win their respective divisions with 5-2 records, there are dire consequences for the loser of this game. More so for the Ravens who would likely find themselves three wins behind Pittsburgh in the AFC North, essentially out of contention.
AFC North standings: Ravens fighting for 2nd place https://t.co/UEYn5v569Z
— The Ravens Wire (@TheRavensWire) November 4, 2020
Division Favourites: Tennessee Titans (-130)
Based on the odds, bookmakers have the AFC South touted as the closest division to call in the NFL, with Tennessee the -130 favourites, closely followed by Indianapolis at +100. With both the Titans and Colts having 5-2 records, the results of both matches will have massive ramifications on who will be favoured to win the AFC South.
Wins for both Tennessee and Indianapolis would likely see the Colts take over slight favouritism given that they are playing Baltimore, however if one of the two franchises can secure a victory while the other suffers a loss, there will be greater separation for top spot in the AFC South.
Division Favourites: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-176)
Game in focus: New Orleans Saints (+130) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-176)**
An old-fashioned top of the division shootout between two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. Throughout Tom Brady’s NFL career, he has never completed a season having suffered an 0-2 record against a division rival. Entering just his ninth game in the NFC South he faces that possibility on Sunday Night Football against the Saints.
Other than their Week 1 matchup, the Buccaneers have been the superior team in their division. However, the winner of this game will undoubtedly be the favourite to win the NFC South going into Week 10, and will likely be the second favourites to win the conference. Trailing only Seattle.
It’s Brady-Brees again with 1st place on line in NFC South https://t.co/ms4l9KEiA5
— WGNO (@WGNOtv) November 5, 2020
** Division Rivals
Every game of the NFL season has a huge impact on a team’s chances to win their division, make the playoffs and subsequently win the Super Bowl. However, as we enter the second half of the season, these four games will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the eight teams chances to win their division and make a push for the playoffs.
*Odds correct at time of publication.
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Image by: Keith Allison