Rams Among Best NFL Playoff Bets Following Week 10
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jared Goff.
- After 10,000 simulations of the NFL season, four teams are offering betting value to make or miss the playoffs.
- See which teams are worth betting heading into Week 11.
After Week 3, the Rams were 3-0. Los Angeles didn’t appear to be suffering from a Super Bowl hangover. According to our simulations, Sean McVay’s team had an 86.6% chance of making the playoffs following three consecutive wins.
Fast forward to Week 10 and the Rams’ postseason prospects appear completely different. Los Angeles has lost four of six games since starting 3-0, and the team’s only wins have come against the Falcons and Bengals, who are a combined 2-16.
Our model now gives the Rams a 28.6% chance of playing past Week 17 — not great if you are a fan of Jared Goff & Co. Though, our projections are higher on Los Angeles than the betting market.
Bookmakers at PointsBet set the Rams’ odds of making the playoffs at +425. That implies a 19.0% chance of Los Angeles returning to the postseason. Given our model’s estimates, there is value in placing a wager on the Rams to turn it around and make a playoff push.
Odds as of Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
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 PointsBet, we have found three more make or miss playoff bets worth placing before kickoff of Week 11.
Buffalo Bills to Make Playoffs
- Current odds: -125, Implied Probability: 55.6%
- Bills make playoffs 60.8% of the time
If the playoffs started today, the Bills would be the 5-seed in the AFC. Few would project Buffalo to make a deep postseason run. In fact, Sean McDermott’s team, despite being 6-3, ranks 24th overall in Football Outsider’s DVOA.
The Bills’ record looks good, but the wins haven’t come against the stiffest competition. Of the six teams Buffalo has defeated, Tennessee has the best record at 5-5.
Buffalo is not a true Super Bowl contender with a 0.4% chance to win it all according to our projections. But it would be unwise to write it off as a playoff team.
With six wins banked and a manageable second-half schedule, including games against the Dolphins and Jets, the Bills are primed to reach the postseason for just the second time since 2000.
Jacksonville Jaguars to Miss Playoffs
- Current odds: -500, Implied Probability: 83.3%
- Jaguars miss playoffs 91.3% of the time
Jacksonville is 4-5 and has seven games remaining on its schedule. Any outcome is possible from a playoff run to a top-10 pick. If the betting market is any indication, it is much more likely that the Jaguars are watching the playoffs from their couches than participating in the postseason.
At PointsBet, the Jags are -500 to miss the playoffs. The implied probability of missing the postseason is 83.3%, which might seem harsh given the team’s 4-5 record, but our simulations are down even more. We give the Jags an 8.7% chance of making the playoffs.
Jacksonville is at the bottom of the AFC South and lost both of its games against division-leading Houston. The Jags will regret narrow defeats against the Texans in Week 2, Panthers in Week 5 and Saints in Week 6.
Records in close games, those decided by seven or fewer points, often decide which teams make or miss the playoffs. The Jaguars are currently 1-3 in such games and are longshots to play in January.
Oakland Raiders to Miss Playoffs
- Current odds: -186, Implied Probability: 65.0%
- Raiders miss playoffs 69.8% of the time
Oakland is one of the surprise teams in 2019. At 5-4, the Raiders are in the mix for a wild-card spot. Rookie Josh Jacobs (811 rushing yards, seven touchdowns) and tight end Darren Waller (588 receiving yards, three touchdowns) have sparked Jon Gruden’s offense that ranks fifth in DVOA.
On the surface this is a team in contention, but the underlying numbers are concerning. For starters, all five wins have come by eight or fewer points and the team has a -32 point differential. Point differential is a good indicator of future success and right now this is team that has performed like a sub-.500 club, rather than one that is 5-4.
Our simulations do not believe in the Silver and Black. We give the Raiders a 30.2% chance of making the playoffs. At -186 odds, there is value that we don’t see the Raiders in the playoffs.