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How Do the NFL Playoffs Work

How Do the NFL Playoffs Work

The NFL Playoffs are a tricky beast. Unless you’ve been following the league throughout the entire year or for many years at a time, the way the standings break down and the teams are picked can be a little confusing. We at TopBet empathize with you and would like to help. [sc:NFL250 ]We’ve created the finest infographic on the net to help you through these difficult times, so you can sit back and enjoy the best part of the NFL year.

Take a look ahead for a quick description on the best few months on the annual sports calendar. If this is a little ahead of the game, so to speak, check our How Does The NFL Season Work infographic here and then come back to get full up to date.

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How Do the NFL Playoffs Work


The Conferences

First you have the NFC conference and then you have the AFC conference. Both consist of four divisions consisting of four teams each. You have a division from the North, East, West and South. Out of those teams, the ones with the best record in the div at the end of the season are named division winners.

Home Field Advantage

The best record overall out of all of the divisions in their conference earns Home Field Advantage and a First Round Bye (see below). Meaning, for the Divisional Round and Conference Championship game (should they win their divisional game), they will get to play at their home stadium.

First Round Bye

The First Round Bye goes to the first overall team in each conference (as you now know), but a bye also goes to the second overall team in each conference. That team will also get to skip the first round/Wild Card Round and begin their playoff game(s) in the second round. That team will also get home field advantage in the Divisional Round and may still get home field in the next round. It all depends who’s record is better heading into the Conference Championship.

Division Winners

The Division Winners who have the third and fourth best records in their conference will head to the postseason but will have to play in the Wild Card Round. Meaning that, unlike the First Round Bye teams, they’ll have to play three games before the Super Bowl (should they make it that far) rather than two.

Wild Card Winners

This is where it gets a little confusing for some. The Wild Cards are given to the two teams in each conference with the best records that aren’t divisional winners. So look at it this way, take the top four division winners out of the way and then look at the two best records – those two teams are winning the Wild Card in each conference. They play in the first round of the NFL Playoffs against the #3 and #4 seeds (as mentioned above).

Hope that helps. If you need more help, by all means comment below or shoot us an email and we’d be happy to clear up the confusion.

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Written by Ryan

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