According to the bookmakers, the most likely teams to reach the NFL postseason are the Patriots (-1700), Seahawks (-525), Packers (-390) and Steelers (-365). Do any of these squads offer value to make the playoffs?
To determine if a team has value we look at what their current odds are to make the playoffs at 5Dimes and compare that to our projected odds they play past Week 17. For example, Dallas is -175 to make the playoffs, in order for us to feel comfortable wagering on the Cowboys they would need to reach the postseason 63.6% (which is 175/(175+100)) of the time. The ‘Boys are projected to make the playoffs 62.6% of the time, meaning there is no value in placing a bet at -175 odds.
Make the Playoffs
Current odds: +155, Implied Probability: 39.2%
Titans make the playoffs 50.5% of the time
It has been eight years since the Titans made a playoff appearance but Tennessee took a big step forward last year finishing with a winning record and a positive point differential. A year before the team was outscored by 124 points. With a franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota, a solid offensive line and improving defense, this is a team poised to end the playoff drought. Plus, the Titans play in the weak AFC South where nine wins could take the division.
New England Patriots
Current odds: -1700, Implied Probability: 94.4%
Patriots make the playoffs 98.5% of the time
Tom Brady is the most likely MVP and the Patriots are the favorites to win the Super Bowl. New England is projected to make the playoffs a ridiculous 98.5% of the time in 10,000 simulations. Even though you have to bet $1,700 to win $100, there is value on the Pats.
Other teams with value to make the playoffs: Steelers -365, Panthers +105, Ravens +120, Colts +145, Saints +2200, Bengals +155, Seahawks -525
Miss the Playoffs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Current odds: -210, Implied Probability: 67.7%
Buccaneers miss the playoffs 75.8% of the time
The Bucs made moves this offseason to give Jameis Winston more weapons. They signed deep threat DeSean Jackson and used a first round pick on Alabama tight end O.J. Howard. With a defense that was top 5 last year in weighted DVOA, this looks like a playoff candidate. Yet we expect the Falcons to win the NFC South and Carolina to bounce back as a Wild Card. Tampa Bay is projected to finish at the bottom of the division.
Current odds: -380, Implied Probability: 79.2%
Dolphins miss the playoffs 85.7% of the time
The Dolphins were lucky to make the playoffs last year. Pythagorean wins and record in close games suggests the team will regress in 2017. It also doesn’t help that there is virtual no chance the team wins its division thanks to the Patriots dominance of the AFC East.
Other teams with value to miss the playoffs: Chiefs +110, Giants -125, Texans -160, Broncos -240, Browns -4000, Bills -700 and Rams -1250
Make and Miss Playoff Odds (5Dimes)
|Team||Make||Miss||Proj. Chance Make|
|Green Bay Packers||-390||+320||77.2|
|Kansas City Chiefs||-130||+110||47.6|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+285||-345||23.5|
|Los Angeles Rams||+800||-1250||6.4|
|New England Patriots||-1700||+1100||98.5|
|New Orleans Saints||+270||-330||31|
|New York Giants||+105||-125||41.1|
|New York Jets||+2200||-4400||2.2|
|San Francisco 49ers||+1600||-3200||2.6|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+175||-210||24.2|