There has been no shortage of surprises thus far in the NFL season. This has kept the oddsmakers busy adjusting the lines for which teams will represent the AFC and NFC in the Super Bowl. Here’s a look at the teams with value to win each conference.
To determine if a team has value we look at what their current odds are to win the conference championship via Sports Insights and compare that to our projected chance that they win the title based on 10,000 simulations of the 2016 season. For example, New England is +125 to win the AFC Championship. In order for us to feel comfortable wagering on the Pats they would need to win the conference championship 44.4% (which is 100/(100+125)) of the time. The Patriots are projected to win the AFC title game 38.8% of the time, meaning there is no value in placing a bet at +125 odds.
Here are a few teams with value.
Current odds: +350, Implied Probability: 22.2%
Vikings win the NFC title 42.7% of the time
Here is what we said about Minnesota a month ago:
Sam Bradford showed why the Vikings gave up a first round pick for him Sunday night. The former top pick completed 22 of 31 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns in Minnesota’s win over Green Bay. The loss of Teddy Bridgewater and now Adrian Peterson hurts but with a strong defense and solid players on offense (Stefon Diggs) the Vikings are in contention for the team’s first NFC title since 1976.
Nothing has changed. The Vikings are 5-0 and the defense is still ferocious. Minnesota is the most likely team to earn home field advantage (68% chance) and a first round bye (87% chance) in the playoffs.
Current odds: +1400, Implied Probability: 6.7%
Bills win the AFC title 11.3% of the time
Buffalo is riding high with a four game-winning streak. One could poke holes in the Bills resume (only beaten one team with a winning record, played Jacoby Brissett, Case Keenum and Colin Kaepernick) but those wins are already banked. If the playoffs started today, Buffalo’s 16-year drought would be over. Rex Ryan’s crew could play .500 football the rest of the way and still be in the playoff conversation. The Bills have the fourth best odds to make the playoffs, once in, anything can happen.
Current odds: +850, Implied Probability: 10.5%
Broncos win the AFC title 19.3% of the time
Denver has lost two in a row. However, those defeats came with Trevor Siemian out and dealing with a shoulder injury and Gary Kubiak being hospitalized for a complex migraine. This is likely the best price you will get on Denver to repeat as AFC Champions. The defense is still terrifying (DeMarcus Ware is close to returning) and the schedule is manageable – half of the team’s remaining games come against opponents that are in the bottom half of our Power Rankings.
Other teams with value: Steelers +400 and Eagles +2000
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Below are all 32 NFL teams and their chances to win their respective conference.
|Team||Odds||Implied Probability (%)||Projected Chance (%)|
|New England Patriots||+125||44.4||38.8|
|Green Bay Packers||+600||14.3||3.8|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+850||10.5||1.4|
|San Diego Chargers||+5000||2||0.2|
|Los Angeles Rams||+5000||2||0.1|
|New Orleans Saints||+4000||2.4||0.1|
|New York Giants||+1600||5.9||0.1|
|New York Jets||+15000||0.7||0|
|San Francisco 49ers||+50000||0.2||0|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+5000||2||0|