2016 NFL Playoff Odds

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Every NFL fan has hope prior to the season.  Maybe your team’s quarterback makes a leap.  Perhaps your backup running back is a stud in hiding.  You imagine what your team can do if they stay completely healthy.  I’m not here to crap on your dreams, I’m here to put a probability on them happening this season.  Once you have a percentage, you know how much to temper your expectations and more importantly, if you should make a bet on the team to make the playoffs.

These probabilities come from the same 10,000 simulations of the NFL season that we used for our divisional previews.  If you haven’t checked those out, you should click here.

Let’s start with the AFC:

TeamPlayoffs1st round bye
NE76.6%37.9%
PIT75.9%36.7%
IND60.5%19.5%
CIN55.9%18.8%
KC55.7%19.9%
DEN54.4%19.7%
HOU41.5%10.3%
OAK36.9%10.0%
BAL27.8%5.9%
BUF27.7%5.6%
NYJ26.8%6.1%
JAX23.5%4.1%
MIA15.3%2.3%
SD15.2%2.5%
TEN5.2%0.6%
CLE1.2%0.1%

Despite Tom Brady missing the first four games, the Patriots are still the most likely team to make the playoffs.  However, there is nearly a 1 in 4 chance of New England not making the postseason for the first time since the 2008-09 season.  The only playoff team from last season that is below 50% to make it this year is the Texans who are projected to finish behind the Colts in the AFC South.

The Browns have the worst shot to make the playoffs at 1.2% and have roughly a 1 in 1000 chance to get a first round bye.

Now the NFC:

TeamPlayoffs1st round bye
CAR78.3%36.4%
GB77.0%38.4%
SEA75.2%34.9%
DAL59.9%18.6%
MIN59.0%19.5%
ARI58.1%19.2%
NYG34.4%7.3%
WSH24.3%4.5%
PHI21.5%3.6%
ATL20.9%3.5%
TB20.4%3.4%
LA18.8%3.2%
CHI18.1%3.0%
DET15.4%2.1%
NO14.9%2.2%
SF3.9%0.4%

There is a clear divide between the top three teams in the conference and the rest.  The Panthers, Packers, and Seahawks are all over 75% to make the playoffs and are all favorites to win their respective divisions.  The six most likely playoff teams all made the playoffs last season however there is less than a 10% chance that we get that exact 6-team field in the NFC.

Right behind last year’s playoff teams are three teams in the NFC East.  The Cowboys are the favorite, and we don’t expect any of the four teams to be dominant so it makes sense that all four teams have a reasonable shot to get into the postseason.

If you are able to bet whether a team will make the playoffs, the table below shows you what price you should be looking for before making the bet.

TeamYesNo
CAR-362362
GB-335335
NE-328328
PIT-315315
SEA-302302
IND-153153
DAL-149149
MIN-144144
ARI-139139
CIN-127127
KC-126126
DEN-119119
HOU141-141
OAK171-171
NYG191-191
BAL260-260
BUF260-260
NYJ274-274
WSH312-312
JAX326-326
PHI364-364
ATL378-378
TB389-389
LA432-432
CHI452-452
DET549-549
MIA555-555
SD559-559
NO573-573
TEN1827-1827
SF2477-2477
CLE8233-8233

Tomorrow we’ll take the next step and actually look at each team’s odds to win the Super Bowl and compare to futures odds to find the best value bets.

If you’re interested in using the Bet Labs software this football season, we are currently offering our Football Special which offers over 40% in savings through the Super Bowl.

©2016 Sports Insights Inc.

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