NFL Playoffs 2012: Wild Card Weekend Games, the Playoff Bracket and Betting Odds

Shane LambertAnalyst IIJanuary 3, 2012

Mike McCarthy
Mike McCarthyKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The NFL regular season is over, and coaches are getting axed left and right as NFL team owners that are unimpressed with how their franchises performed over the last few months are looking for answers.

As the majority of the NFL franchises prepare for the offseason, 12 teams are still in the hunt for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, including the defending champion Green Bay Packers.

Betting odds with Bodog make Green Bay the favorites to win the Super Bowl again this season, as they are priced at 15/8 (+188) to repeat as champions. They will be idle next weekend, as—unlike last season—they have a bye through wild-card weekend.

The 2012 NFL playoff "bracket" isn't your typical bracket like the kind you find in the NBA playoffs or the road to the Final Four. Much like the NHL, the NFL re-seeds teams in the second round, making a proper bracket impossible. However, here's what the situation looks like:


NFC Wild-Card Weekend Games

No. 5 Atlanta Falcons vs. No. 4 New York Giants (Metlife Stadium, Sunday at 1pm ET on FOX)

No. 6 Detroit Lions vs. No. 3 New Orleans Saints (Mercedes Benz Superdome, Saturday 8pm ET on NBC)

The lowest seed remaining of these four teams will face top-seeded Green Bay in one of the NFC semifinals at Lambeau Field. The other team will face the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park.



AFC Wild-Card Weekend Games

No. 5 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. No. 4 Denver Broncos (Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Sunday 4:30pm ET on CBS)

No. 6 Cincinnati Bengals vs. No. 3 Houston Texans (Reliant Stadium, Saturday 4:30pm ET on NBC)

The lowest seed remaining of these four teams will face top-seeded New England in one of the AFC semifinals at Gillette Stadium. The other team will face the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.


The winners from the conference semifinals will meet in the conference finals. Following that, the two conference champions are scheduled to meet in Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5 from Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis.

From top to bottom, here are the betting favorites and their best prices according to the sportsbooks listed at

  1. Green Bay Packers, +188 (15/8) with Bodog
  2. New England Patriots, +400 (4/1) with Bodog
  3. New Orleans Saints, +500 (5/1) with Bodog
  4. Baltimore Ravents, +850 (17/2) with Stan James
  5. San Francisco 49ers, +1200 (12/1) with Bodog
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers, +1400 (14/1) with Paddy Power
  7. New York Giants, +2500 (25/1) with Bodog
  8. Atlanta Falcons, +4000 (40/1) with Paddy Power
  9. Houston Texans, +6600 (66/1) with Paddy Power
  10. Detroit Lions, +6600 (66/1) with Stan James
  11. Cincinnati Bengals, +8000 (80/1) with Boylesports
  12. Denver Broncos, +10000 (100/1) with Stan James 

Prediction: Green Bay is too tough at home to miss their chance of going back to the Super Bowl, where they will beat either New England or Baltimore.