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49ers-Saints game offers playoff implications in Week 14

Two of the top teams in the NFC face off, as they work to position themselves for the 2020 NFL playoffs

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara celebrates after he ran for a first down in the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints have won their division and currently have the No. 1 seed in the NFC while the 49ers lost to the Ravens last week, while the Seahawks won, giving Seattle the lead in the NFC West and the 2nd seed while the 49ers fell to the fifth seed.

With four games left, there is still plenty of room for seedings to switch around, as Seattle, San Francisco and New Orleans are all at 10-2 and the Packers are next at 9-3.

The 49ers have the most to play for, as a second place spot in the division automatically drops them into the wildcard round and multiple road games to get to the Super Bowl. The Saints are locked in to a three seed or better.

Let’s take a look at the schedules for the Top-3 teams vying for NFC supremacy:

Saints: 49ers, Colts, @Titans, @Panthers
Seahawks: @Rams, @Panthers, Cardinals, 49ers
49ers: @Saints, Falcons, Rams, @Seahawks

The key games for this group will be this game, Saints vs. 49ers, and the 49ers at Seahawks in Week 17. By then, there is a chance that game won’t matter, but I wouldn’t bet on that happening.

The 49ers have the toughest schedule and sit last in tiebreakers for the group. A win this week over the Saints is extremely important, both for the division and especially for a top seed.

As for the NFC Championship and Super Bowl, the Saints lead the odds in both, as they have the inside track right now for the No. 1 seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Home field throughout would be a big plus for Drew Brees, as he’s always played better in the home dome.

The 49ers have better odds than the Seahawks to win the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl, but not the NFC West. The oddsmakers must value defense more than home field advantage and an extra game. I can’t say I agree.

To Make the Playoffs

49ers: Off the board
Saints: Clinched division

Division winner

49ers: +100 (Seahawks lead at -118)
Saints: Clinched division

NFC Champ

49ers: +250
Saints: +185 (favorites)

Super Bowl Champ

49ers: +750
Saints: +500

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