3 NFL Playoff Bets to Make Following Week 7
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7).
- We ran 10,000 simulations of the 2019 NFL season to find the most likely playoff teams.
- Using our projections, we have highlighted three make or miss playoff bets to place before Week 8 kicks off.
If the NFL season ended today, the Patriots, Chiefs, Ravens, Colts, Bills and Texans would play for the AFC crown, while the 49ers, Saints, Packers, Cowboys, Seahawks and Vikings would qualify for the postseason in the NFC.
Of course, we are not even at the midpoint of the season, meaning a lot will change between now and the start of the playoffs. But it is never too early to talk playoffs and which teams are offering bettors value to make or miss the postseason.
We ran 10,000 simulations of the 2019 NFL season using player and team statistics adjusted for strength of schedule to determine the most likely playoff teams.
By comparing our model to the betting odds at FanDuel, we found three make or miss playoff bets with value before kickoff of Week 8.
Indianapolis Colts to Make Playoffs
- Current odds: -156, Implied Probability: 60.9%
- Colts make playoffs 70.2% of the time
Without Andrew Luck, many expected this to be a lost season for the Colts. Yet, Indianapolis’ 30-23 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday put it in first place in the AFC South.
This is no fluke. Even without Luck, the offense has found its stride. The Colts rank ninth in offensive DVOA and Jacoby Brissett has been impressive.
During the team’s Week 7 victory, Brissett threw for a career-high 326 yards and four touchdowns. Brissett is fourth in the NFL in passing touchdowns (14) and 10th in passer rating (101.0).
Brissett is proving that the Colts don’t need Luck to be successful. Bettors can still find value on Indy to make the playoffs at -156 odds. According to our model, Brissett & Co. should be closer to -240.
Philadelphia Eagles to Miss Playoffs
- Current odds: -124, Implied Probability: 55.4%
- Eagles miss playoffs 66.8% of the time
The Eagles have lost back-to-back games and are currently the 11th seed in the NFC with a 3-4 record. Doug Pederson will have you believe this is just a bump in the road. After all, Philly was 4-6 last season before winning five of six to finish the year and claim a playoff berth.
To make a postseason run the team will need to fix a few problems. For starters, the Eagles have consistently fallen behind early. Philadelphia has trailed by double-digits in six of seven games this season.
The team’s secondary is mess, ranking 20th in passing efficiency, and on offense the receivers lead the league in dropped passes (11).
Our numbers say the Eagles won’t turn it around this time. We give Pederson’s team a 33.2% chance to make the playoffs.
Now is the time to buy Philly at a low price (bet $124 to win $100) to miss the playoffs. Three of the team’s next four games are against the Bills, Patriots and Seahawks.
Oakland Raiders to Miss Playoffs
- Current odds: -340, Implied Probability: 77.3%
- Raiders miss playoffs 85.6% of the time
Oakland is one of the surprise teams in 2019. At 3-3, the Raiders are in the mix for a wild card spot. Rookie Josh Jacobs (554 rushing yards, four touchdowns) and tight end Darren Waller (485 receiving yards, two touchdowns) have sparked Jon Gruden’s offense that ranks eighth in DVOA.
On the surface this is a team in contention, but the underlying numbers are concerning. For starters, all three wins have come by eight or fewer points and the team has a -38 point differential. Point differential is a good indicator of future success and right now this is team that should be closer to 2-4 than 3-3.
Our simulations do not believe in the Silver and Black. We give the Raiders a mere 14.4% chance of making the playoffs. At -340 odds, bettors are required to lay a steep price, though our model says it is very unlikely that we’ll see the Raiders play postseason football.