Morning coffee: Buffalo Bills beat New England Patriots to lead AFC East
The Buffalo Bills took first place in the AFC East with a 33-21 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday.
The Bills, who came in on Sunday at +130 to win the division, are now a big favorite to finish atop the AFC East at -800.
All they need is home wins over the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets to wrap it up.
While they won’t reach the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC seed, a first-place finish in the division will give Buffalo at least one home playoff game in January.
Which opponent will travel to Highmark Stadium is still pending, with just one AFC team stranded in a playoff spot ahead of Monday Night Football.
Here is the TSN EDGE morning coffee for Monday, December 27, 2021.
Chiefs clinch playoff berth in wide open AFC
The Chiefs became the first AFC team to clinch a playoff berth with a 36-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers as a 10-point favorite.
For the sixth consecutive year, Kansas City won the AFC West.
– Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 27, 2021
It was Kansas City’s eighth consecutive victory and sixth consecutive cover.
The Chiefs, who entered Week 16 as favorites to win the Super Bowl for the first time since entering Week 5, remain the top pick to win Super Bowl LVI at +370.
Kansas City is one game ahead of the Tennessee Titans for the AFC’s top spot with two games to go.
AYYYYOOOO‼ ️ @pringle_byron
– Kansas City Chiefs (@Chefs) December 26, 2021
The Chiefs started as a 4.5-point favorites for next Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. They will end the season on the road against the Denver Broncos.
Tennessee, Cincinnati and Buffalo all lead their respective divisions by a game or less before entering the home stretch.
– Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) December 27, 2021
The Colts and Indianapolis Patriots are tied for the top two wild card spots.
Behind them, the Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders are all 8-7, while the Steelers are 7-7-1 and the Miami Dolphins are 7-7.
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns and Broncos still haven’t technically been eliminated from the playoffs at 7-8.
With the playoff image so uncertain, I still think it pays to take a chance on the Colts to win both the AFC at +800 and the Super Bowl at +1800.
Indianapolis has taken three straight wins and six of its last seven games to move up to 9-6 with two games left on the schedule.
– NFL (@NFL) December 26, 2021
This stretch includes wins against the Bills and Patriots.
While the Chiefs remain the AFC favorites, I think the combination of the league’s most dynamic rush offense with Jonathan Taylor and strong defense would give the Colts a chance to win it all once January.
Rams take first place in NFC West
The Bills weren’t the only NFL team to go from second choice to win their division to the crushing favorite in Week 16.
Less than 24 hours after the Colts beat the Arizona Cardinals 22-16 on Saturday night, the Los Angeles Rams beat the Minnesota Vikings 30-23 on Sunday to take first place in NFC West.
Catch you on the flip. ️ pic.twitter.com/EvQyWvDpSF
– x – Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 27, 2021
The Rams, who entered Week 16 at +140 to win their division, became the -290 favorites to finish first in NFC West.
Meanwhile, Arizona’s odds fell from -160 to +240 after a third straight loss.
LA took a one-game lead at the top of the division at 11-4 and will close the regular season in Baltimore and then at home to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 18.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals will visit the Dallas Cowboys and host the Seattle Seahawks to close out the regular season.
The Green Bay Packers remain alone atop the NFC at 12-3 before the home stretch.
4️⃣ selections for the Pack!
– Green Bay Packers (@packers) December 26, 2021
However, they can’t afford to let go with the Cowboys, Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 11-4.
Remember, the new playoff format only has one team in each conference that gets a first-round playoff pass and a field advantage, so finishing first is more important than ever. .
The Packers host the Minnesota Vikings at home before heading to face the Detroit Lions in Week 18.
I still think they win and clinch the No.1 seed, but there is certainly considerable pressure to perform for a team that is 12-3 down the home stretch.
Matt LaFleur continues to win in Green Bay pic.twitter.com/JqCQgYrKXk
– FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 26, 2021
Although it ultimately failed last season, it could be argued that Green Bay was the best team in the NFC last season and is again the best team in the conference this season.
If I was forced to make a prediction now, my best would be on the Colts and Packers playing in the Super Bowl.
Green Bay has +195 to win the NFC Championship and +450 to win the Super Bowl.
However, if I’m looking to take a chance on an NFC team, I think I have a legitimate chance of having longer odds, I’d roll the dice with the Cowboys.
– NFL (@NFL) December 27, 2021
Dallas comes off an unbalanced 56-14 victory over the Washington soccer team in Sunday Night Football, and while there may be recency bias involved, the most important factor is the betting odds.
As of this morning, the Cowboys are +490 to win the NFC Championship and +1000 to win the Super Bowl.
I think those are decent numbers for a team with enough pieces from both sides of the game to compete with any NFC opponent in the playoffs.
Monday night football preparations
Week 16 ends tonight with the Miami Dolphins on the road to take on the New Orleans Saints as a three-point favorite in Monday Night Football.
Miami, which has won six in a row and a 5-1 ATS record in that span, needs a win to fight its way to a tie with Baltimore for the latest AFC Wild Card. .
– Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) December 26, 2021
Meanwhile, the Saints will look to fourth-string quarterback Ian Book, in hopes he can help them end up tied with the 49ers and Eagles in the NFC Wild Card photo.
With Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian sidelined, there will be more pressure on Alvin Kamara and the New Orleans defense to step up than at any time this season.
Miami has one of the best stunt units in the league, so I’m going to go with Alvin Kamara to go over 27.5 receiving yards as my best bet for Thursday night football.
Canada rally to win WJC opener
Canada went about business as the -3000 favorites with a 6-3 win over Czechia in their first game of the World Junior Championship on Sunday.
The two teams combined for six goals in the first, then three the rest of the way as the total exceeded seven.
A turbulent first period saw Canada lose two goals before a timeout from Dave Cameron settled the team …@GMillerTSN & @rayferrarotsn on how Canada fought back and Owen Power’s influence on the game with his hat trick: https://t.co/fvozk00Wl7#TSNHockey #WorldJuniors pic.twitter.com/YB7qpHI39V
– TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) December 27, 2021
Finland also emerged as the -3000 favorites in a 3-1 win over Germany.
Sweden outscored Russia 6-3 and the United States beat Slovakia 3-2 as the favorites posted a perfect 4-0 record on Day 1 of the tournament.