3 Outcomes: Cowboys opening odds, NFC playoff scenarios for Week 18

Week 17 is a wrap for the NFC. All 16 teams have fought the good fight and gleaned a little more intel about what they’re composed of. Two teams punched their ticket to the dance, the seven-team tournament for a trip to the Super Bowl now has just one opening remaining. The New York Giants improved to 9-6-1 after pummeling the listless Indianapolis Colts, 38-10. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers bounced back to tame the surging Carolina Panthers, 30-24.

The only vacancy is for the final wild-card slot, the seven seed. Three teams are in contention for the last scratch-off ticket remaining. Meanwhile, at the top of the totem sit three teams still with a chance of earning a bye week. The Dallas Cowboys are one of them. After all of the offseason handwringing, predictions of a nine-win season, or worse, from multiple outlets, the Cowboys are one of the last teams standing entering Week 18. Here’s a look at how it all could play out, and the current odds for the final slate of games that matter to the seedings.

Current NFC Playoff Seeding

  1. Philadelphia (13-3)

  2. San Francisco 49ers (12-4)

  3. Minnesota Vikings (12-4)

  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8)

  5. Dallas Cowboys (12-4)

  6. New York Giants (9-6-1)

  7. Seattle Seahawks (8-8)

  8. Detroit Lions (8-8)

  9. Green Bay Packers (8-8)

In Contention for No. 1 Seed

The Eagles, 49ers and Cowboys all still have a chance to finish as the top seed in the conference.

  • The Eagles will be the No. 1 seed if they defeat the NY Giants OR if they lose, but Dallas and San Francisco both lose.

  • The 49ers will be the No. 1 seed if they defeat Arizona AND the Eagles lose.

  • The Cowboys will be the No. 1 seed if they defeat Washington AND both the 49ers and Eagles lose.

In Contention for the No. 2 Seed

  • The Eagles will be the No. 2 seed if they lose to the Giants, SF wins and the Cowboys lose.

  • The 49ers will be the No. 2 seed if both they and the Eagles win OR if they, the Eagles and Minnesota all lose.

  • The Vikings will be the No. 2 seed if they defeat Chicago and the 49ers lose. The NFC East does not impact Minnesota’s seed.

  • The Cowboys will be the No. 2 seed if they defeat Washington, the Eagles lose and the 49ers win.

In contention for the No. 3 seed

  • The NFC East teams cannot finish as the No. 3 seed

  • The 49ers would be No. 3 if they lose but the Vikings win.

  • The Vikings would be No. 3 if they lose.

Locked in place

  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the NFC South champs and the No. 4 seed no matter what

  • The New York Giants are the NFC East’s third team and the No. 6 seed no matter what

Recap of Cowboys 3 outcomes

  • The Cowboys will be the No. 1 seed if they defeat Washington AND both the 49ers and Eagles lose.

  • The Cowboys will be the No. 2 seed if they defeat Washington, the Eagles lose and the 49ers win.

  • The Cowboys will be the No. 5 seed.

Battle for NFC's No. 7 seed

  • If Green Bay defeats Detroit, they win the No. 7 seed

  • Seattle needs to win and have GB lose

  • Detroit needs to win and have Seattle lose

Week 18 Opening Odds

NFL Odds via Tipico as of January 2 6:36 am

  • Packers -4.5 at home over Lions

  • 49ers -13.5 at home over Cardinals

  • Seahawks -6.5 at home over Rams

  • Eagles -13.5 at home over Giants

  • Cowboys -5.5 on road over Commanders

  • Vikings -2.5 on road over Bears

Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire