NFL Playoff Picture: Our Model’s Ranking of Every Team’s Postseason Chances, More

NFL Playoff Picture: Our Model’s Ranking of Every Team’s Postseason Chances, More article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Michael Thomas, Tom Brady, Kyle Shanahan

  • Check out every NFL team's odds to make the playoffs, win their division and claim the Super Bowl at season's end, along with the updated NFL playoff picture and standings entering Week 8

The Dallas Cowboys are back atop the NFC East thanks to their statement win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7. Our Bet Labs model — which simulates the rest of the season 10,000 times — now gives America’s Team a 66.93% chance of winning the division after having only a 39.53% chance of even making the playoffs heading into Week 7.

So how does our model project every team’s postseason chances as we reach midseason? We’ll rank the odds for all 32 and much more below, but before we dig in, let’s take a quick look at the current playoff standings.

Note: You can sift through every team’s chances to secure specific playoff seeding and much more in the table at the very end of this story.

Current NFL Playoff Picture & Standings

AFC Playoff Picture & Standings

  1. New England Patriots (7-0)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (5-2)
  3. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
  4. Indianapolis Colts (4-2)
  5. Buffalo Bills (5-1)
  6. Houston Texans (4-3)

NFC Playoff Picture & Standings

  1. San Francisco 49ers (6-0)
  2. New Orleans Saints (6-1)
  3. Green Bay Packers (6-1)
  4. Dallas Cowboys (4-3)
  5. Seattle Seahawks (5-2)
  6. Minnesota Vikings (5-2)

2019 NFL Playoff Rankings & Projections

1. New England Patriots

  • Chance to make playoffs: 99.94%
  • Chance to win division: 97.97%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 36.00%

No surprises here: The Patriots are rolling as one of the two remaining undefeated teams. Their 87.85% chance to land the AFC’s 1-seed is as close to a lock as you can get with half the season left to play.

2. New Orleans Saints

  • Chance to make playoffs: 91.77%
  • Chance to win division: 80.03%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 10.76%

The Saints are 5-0 in Teddy Bridgewater’s starts since losing Drew Brees, solidifying themselves as a top contender in the NFC. They could even welcome Brees back as early as this week.

3. Kansas City Chiefs

  • Chance to make playoffs: 91.30%
  • Chance to win division: 88.70%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 8.06%

The Chiefs will have to weather the next few weeks without Patrick Mahomes (knee), but their path to the postseason isn’t expected to change much. Our sims still even give them a decent chance (29.65%) to secure a first-round bye.

4. San Francisco 49ers

  • Chance to make playoffs: 89.71%
  • Chance to win division: 72.87%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 10.99%

The 49ers are looking like the class of the NFC at 6-0. Their grip on the NFC doesn’t quite match the Patriots’ on the AFC, but our sims still give the Niners a 35.63% chance of locking in the 1-seed and a 56.73% chance of securing a first-round bye.

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Jimmy Garoppolo

5. Baltimore Ravens

  • Chance to make playoffs: 87.73%
  • Chance to win division: 80.86%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 5.11%

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are coming off a statement win over MVP contender Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in Seattle. Now they’re 5-2 and our sims give them their best chances to win the AFC North yet.

6. Green Bay Packers

  • Chance to make playoffs: 85.79%
  • Chance to win division: 68.26%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 7.73%

The Packers are rolling at 6-1, and perhaps most notably, Aaron Rodgers has found his groove in Matt LaFleur’s offense. Rodgers threw for five touchdowns and carried in a sixth this past Sunday.

7. Buffalo Bills

  • Chance to make playoffs: 78.74%
  • Chance to win division: 2.03%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.64%

The Bills’ only loss was to the Patriots. Granted, their five wins have come against five teams below .500, but Buffalo is firmly in the AFC wild card race.

8. Indianapolis Colts

  • Chance to make playoffs: 70.16%
  • Chance to win division: 47.87%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 1.65%

The Colts leapfrogged the Texans in the division standings with last week’s win. Our sims give Indy the best chance to win the AFC South, but it’s a slim margin over the Texans (47.87% vs. 41.34%).

9. Dallas Cowboys

  • Chance to make playoffs: 68.75%
  • Chance to win division: 66.93%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 3.25%

The Cowboys’ 37-10 win over Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football put them back in the driver’s seat of the NFC East, improving from a 36.49% to 66.93% chance to win the division.

10. Houston Texans

  • Chance to make playoffs: 68.25%
  • Chance to win division: 41.34%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 2.66%

The Texans are coming off a tough divisional loss to the Colts, tightening the race for the AFC South.

11. Minnesota Vikings

  • Chance to make playoffs: 65.79%
  • Chance to win division: 26.27%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 3.77%

The Packers might be sitting pretty atop the NFC North, but the Vikings aren’t far behind, and a near one-in-three chance of winning the division is nothing to ignore.

12. Los Angeles Rams

  • Chance to make playoffs: 48.73%
  • Chance to win division: 11.06%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 3.49%

The 49ers’ emergence and Russell Wilson’s MVP-caliber campaign have complicated things for the Rams. Their chances of reaching the postseason are still good, but not exactly the odds you’d want just a season removed from a Super Bowl appearance.

13. Seattle Seahawks

  • Chance to make playoffs: 43.75%
  • Chance to win division: 15.63%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 1.75%

Russell Wilson is playing like an MVP and has the Seahawks in a favorable position just behind the 49ers in the NFC West.

14. Carolina Panthers

  • Chance to make playoffs: 41.13%
  • Chance to win division: 18.73%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 1.77%

Christian McCaffrey has been good enough to launch himself into the mainstream MVP discussion while Kyle Allen is 4-0 starting for the injured Cam Newton, keeping the Panthers in the thick of the NFC wild card race.

15. Philadelphia Eagles

  • Chance to make playoffs: 33.20%
  • Chance to win division: 29.57%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.88%

The Eagles’ chances of winning the NFC East looked good before getting steamrolled by the Cowboys in primetime. Still, they win the division one-in-three times according to our sims.

16. Cleveland Browns

  • Chance to make playoffs: 24.42%
  • Chance to win division: 11.67%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.21%

The Browns have underwhelmed relative to the preseason hype and now face their toughest task yet: Tom Brady and the Patriots in Foxborough. A loss would move Baker Mayfield & Co. to 2-5, but our sims aren’t totally out on their divisional and playoff chances.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Chance to make playoffs: 21.08%
  • Chance to win division: 7.44%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.14%

The season hasn’t gone to plan for the Steelers, who lost Ben Roethlisberger early and even had to rely on their third-string quarterback in Week 6. Still, they average 7.28 wins in our sims.

18. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Chance to make playoffs: 15.26%
  • Chance to win division: 5.70%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.07%

Indy and Houston are neck-and-neck, but the Jaguars aren’t out of play for the division title at 3-4.

19. Chicago Bears

  • Chance to make playoffs: 14.94%
  • Chance to win division: 4.06%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.52%

Things are not looking great for the reigning NFC North champs in Matt Nagy’s second year at the helm. Our sims give the 3-3 Bears a season-worst 4.06% chance to win the NFC North as Aaron Rodgers and the 6-1 Packers keep trending up.

20. Tennessee Titans

  • Chance to make playoffs: 14.76%
  • Chance to win division: 5.09%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.07%

Just like the Jaguars, the 3-4 Titans aren’t out of the hunt for the AFC South (or at least a wild-card spot).

21. Oakland Raiders

  • Chance to make playoffs: 14.41%
  • Chance to win division: 4.80%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.03%

The Raiders have followed up a turbulent camp with a middle-of-the-road first half. They sit at 3-3 and second in the AFC West (for now).

22. Los Angeles Chargers

  • Chance to make playoffs: 9.70%
  • Chance to win division: 5.96%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.27%

The Chargers have gone from serious contender to last-place in the uninspiring AFC West. Philip Rivers & Co. have hit new season-lows in our sims across the board.

23. Detroit Lions

  • Chance to make playoffs: 5.48%
  • Chance to win division: 1.41%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.03%

The Lions are losers of close back-to-back division battles against the Packers and Vikings. Detroit now sits at the bottom of the NFC North and is a massive underdog to mount a comeback to win the division.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Chance to make playoffs: 4.30%
  • Chance to win division: 1.17%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.07%

The Buccaneers are potentially looking at a below.-500 season, with our sims giving them 6.85 average wins.

25. New York Giants

  • Chance to make playoffs: 3.84%
  • Chance to win division: 3.49%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.02%

Our sims like the Giants to effectively hit their preseason win total (6) with an average of 6.01 wins.

26. Arizona Cardinals

  • Chance to make playoffs: 2.71%
  • Chance to win division: 0.44%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.04%

The 3-3 Cardinals to average 6.26 wins in our sims — which at least clears their preseason total of 5 — but their final nine games won’t be easy. They road trip to New Orleans this week then face the Rams and 49ers twice each.

27. Denver Broncos

  • Chance to make playoffs: 2.14%
  • Chance to win division: 0.54%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.02%

The Chiefs steamrolled the Broncos on Thursday Night Football, a game in which Kansas City lost Patrick Mahomes midway through the second quarter. The outlook isn’t great for Denver’s postseason chances.

28. New York Jets

  • Chance to make playoffs: 2.05%
  • Chance to win division: 0.00%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.00%

There was enough hope coming off Sam Darnold’s return and their upset of the Cowboys to make some think the Jets had at least a chance to cover the 10-point spread on Monday Night Football. The Patriots shut them out, 33-0.

29. Atlanta Falcons

  • Chance to make playoffs: 0.10%
  • Chance to win division: 0.07%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.00%

To say it’s been a disappointing season for the Falcons would be an understatement. After opening the season with a win total of 8.5, they’re 1-6 and now head into Week 8 with a hobbled Matt Ryan (sprained ankle).

30. Cincinnati Bengals

  • Chance to make playoffs: 0.06%
  • Chance to win division: 0.03%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.00%

The Bengals are still on the hunt for their first win of 2019, but it doesn’t look like that’ll come in Week 8 as they head across the pond to take on the Rams as 12.5-point underdogs. Needless to say Year 1 is not going as Zac Taylor had hoped.

31. Washington Redskins

  • Chance to make playoffs: 0.01%
  • Chance to win division: 0.01%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.00%

Landing a top-five draft pick is as good as its gonna get for a 1-6 team that fired its coach midseason. Our sims give the Redskins a 74.59% chance of doing so.

32. Miami Dolphins

  • Chance to make playoffs: 0.00%
  • Chance to win division: 0.00%
  • Chance to win Super Bowl: 0.00%

The ‘Tank 4 Tua’ campaign is going well in Miami. The Dolphins have far-and-away the best chance (72.89%) to land the first overall pick of the 2020 draft.

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