The Miami Dolphins have four different ways to earn a playoff berth in Week 17, but how many are realistic possibilities?
The good news for the Miami Dolphins heading into Week 17 is that they will make the playoffs if any of four games go their way.
The bad news is that, based on opening betting lines, none of those four will do that.
After the Dolphins’ wild 26-25 victory at Las Vegas on Saturday night, they remained in control of their playoff fate, as they will clinch that postseason berth with a victory at Buffalo next Sunday.
But the opening line from BetOnline.ag has the Bills favored by 4 points.
If the Dolphins (10-5) lose at Buffalo, they’ll still get in if the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens or Indianapolis Colts lose in Week 17.
But, again, the opening line for each of those games goes in the wrong direction.
The Browns are favored by 7.5 points to win at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers and earn their first playoff berth since 2002.
The Ravens are favored by 11 points on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals, who are coming off back-to-back wins against Pittsburgh and Houston but are only 4-10-1 on the season.
The Colts are even bigger favorites, 14 points at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have lost 14 in a row and have clinched the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
Of course, the one spread that jumps out involves the Cleveland-Pittsburgh game, given that the Steelers are 12-3, are coming off an impressive 28-24 comeback victory against the Colts and routed the Browns 38-7 at Heinz in mid-October.
But here’s the issue: the Steelers (12-3) already are locked into the No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs, which means they won’t get a bye in the first round of the playoffs but will open at home.