- Bookmakers have posted odds for 19 NFL teams to make or miss the playoffs.
- By comparing our projections to betting odds, we found four teams offering value.
The Green Bay Packers are 4-6-1 and longshots (+450) to make the playoffs. But with a favorable schedule — tied with the Los Angeles Rams for easiest — there is a path to the postseason.
Aaron Rodgers told reporters exactly what needed to happen following a loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football:
“So we just got to go back home, get some rest, beat Arizona … and then come back and beat Atlanta … then go to Chicago, a place we’ve won a number of times, beat them … go to New York around Christmas, beat them …and then come home against Detroit, beat them. Get a little help.”
It is not smart to bet against Rodgers (96-68-5 against the spread in his career), but how likely are the Packers to make the playoffs? According to The Action Network’s NFL simulations, the Cheeseheads have a 2.7% chance of playing past Week 17.
At +450 odds, the implied probability of Green Bay reaching the playoffs is 18.2% (which is 100/(100+450)). With less than a 3.0% chance of running the table and getting help, there is no value at +450 odds.
In fact, Green Bay may be offering value to miss the playoffs.
Based on the difference in implied probability and projected chance, the analysis below looks at the two best bets to make and miss the playoffs.
Make the Playoffs
- Current odds: -220, Implied Probability: 68.8%
- Vikings make the playoffs 81.0% of the time
Looking at the NFC playoff picture the Saints, Rams and Bears are locks to reach the postseason. Our simulations project the Cowboys to win the NFC East, which leaves two wild-card spots up for cards.
The Vikings are currently the 5-seed followed by the Redskins, Seahawks and Panthers. Washington lost its starting quarterback for the season and Carolina still has to play New Orleans twice.
The most likely wild card teams are the Vikings and Seahawks. With an 81.0% of making the playoffs, Minnesota’s odds should be closer to -425, not -220.