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Ravens Alone Atop the AFC; Here's Their Playoff Odds

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

The Ravens and fans in Baltimore not only woke up to snow on the ground Monday morning, but a rosy playoff picture. It got even better by day's end.

After Sunday's wild 37-31 overtime win over the Los Angeles Rams, the Ravens moved atop the AFC with a 10-3 record.

After the Miami Dolphins' loss to the Tennessee Titans on "Monday Night Football," in which they blew a 14-point lead with less than three minutes remaining, the Ravens remained alone atop the conference.

The Ravens have a one-game lead in the race for a first-round bye and two-game lead for the division crown. They control their own destiny with a little breathing room. Last week's bye saw losses from every other team in the division. This week, it was losses from two of the Ravens' top first-round bye contenders (Miami and Kansas City).

While other results keep going the Ravens' way, they still have to take care of business against the toughest remaining schedule of any team in the league.

Ravens' remaining schedule:

@ Jaguars (8-5)
@ 49ers (10-3)
vs. Dolphins (9-3)
vs. Steelers (7-6)

Here's the Ravens' playoff outlook, per the New York Times playoff simulator.

For a playoff spot:

The Ravens' playoff spot isn't secured, but they have a better than 99% chance of reaching the postseason. A cluster of six 7-6 teams (Steelers, Colts, Texans, Broncos, Bengals, Bills) are vying for the final two wild-card spots.

For the division title:

The Ravens have an 87% chance of winning the AFC North. The Browns' win against the Jaguars kept them just two games behind Baltimore with four left to go and the Steelers and Bengals (both 7-6) aren't out of it yet, though their odds are very slim.

Browns' remaining schedule:

vs. Bears (5-8)
@ Texans (7-6)
vs. Jets (5-8)
@ Bengals (7-6)

For a first-round bye:

If the Ravens win out, they get the top seed, a first-round bye, and homefield advantage. But with the Chiefs' loss to the Bills on Sunday and Dolphins' loss to the Titans, Baltimore has even more wiggle room.

The Ravens have a 52% chance of earning a first-round bye, the best odds in the AFC. The Dolphins have a 24% chance and the Chiefs have a 20% chance.

A New Years Eve date with the Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium still looms large for both teams, but either way, the Ravens can withstand a loss in the final four games and still have a good chance at getting the first-round bye. One loss to any team except the Dolphins would ensure it.

The Dolphins, who are now dealing with a hobbled Tyreek Hill, don't have a cakewalk either.

Dolphins' remaining schedule:

vs. Jets (5-8)
vs. Cowboys (10-3)
@ Ravens (10-3)
vs. Bills (7-6)

The Chiefs, Jaguars, and Browns are all lurking two games back in the hunt for the top seed. The Ravens face the Jaguars this Sunday at TIAA Bank Field, so they control their head-to-head fate. The top threat would be the Chiefs winning out and leap-frogging the Ravens if Baltimore dropped two more games.

Chiefs' remaining schedule:

@ Patriots (3-10)
vs. Raiders (5-8)
vs. Bengals (7-6)
@ Chargers (5-8)

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