Saints can win playoff spot as early as Thursday

Could even clinch NFC South if things go right in Week 13

Chris Miller
November 26, 2018 - 3:10 pm

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints' magic number is one.

One more win, and the Saints will be guaranteed at least a Wild Card berth in the NFC playoffs. But when you're riding a 10-game win streak, aspirations are just a little higher.

The Saints are seven-point favorites over the Dallas Cowboys this Thursday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. And if the Carolina Panthers lose at Tampa (the cats are currently favored by 3½), the Saints will be NFC South winners for the second consecutive season.

While a repeat as division champs is nice in and of itself, the Saints are in the lead to grab a first-round bye and they control their own destiny for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. 

That first-round bye is a little farther off. It will take four wins in the five remaining games for the Saints to lock that in, or a combination of wins and losses by the Saints and other NFC teams. Winning out would lock in home field advantage, but the Saints and Rams are both 10-1, with the Saints holding the tiebreaker. The Rams have the second-easiest strength-of-schedule (SoS) in the NFC for the remaining five games, while the Saints SoS is the eighth-toughest, per playoffstatus.com.

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