Playoff Odds (08/11/14)

By John Ewing
Odds for each NFL team to make the playoffs in 2014. Free pick analysis including value bet recommendations. Odds courtesy of

Below we look for value in the odds for each team to make the 2014 NFL playoffs. We utilize our 2014 NFL Preview, In-Depth Analysis, to find the likelihood of a given team reaching the postseason.

To determine if a team has value we look at what their current odds are to make the playoffs and compare that to our projected odds to reach the postseason. For example, Denver is listed at -450 to make the playoffs, in order for us to feel comfortable wagering on the Broncos they would need to reach the postseason 81.8% (which is 450/(100+450)) of the time. We project the Broncos to reach the playoffs 94.2% of the time, meaning there is value in placing a bet at -450 odds.

In 2013, this same analysis leading into the season had a positive return of +45.9% including big, plus-money wins from recommended wagers on the Chiefs (+300), Chargers (+275) and Panthers (+200) to make the playoffs.

New Orleans Saints
Odds: -180
Implied Chance: 64.3%
Projected Chance: 89.6%

When you think of the Saints, you think of Drew Brees and an explosive offense. Brees has thrown for 5,000 yards in four of the last six seasons and has averaged more than 42 touchdowns in each of the past three years.

But it is not all offense in the Big Easy, New Orleans is the only team to have both its offense and defense rank in the top five of our Power Rankings. With such a balanced team, the Saints are the third most likely team to win the Super Bowl.

San Diego Chargers
Odds: +225
Implied Chance: 30.8%
Projected Chance: 46.6%

We liked the Chargers last year at +275 to make the postseason and after successfully cashing that bet, we are riding the Bolts again in 2014.

The Chargers biggest weakness last season was its defense that ranked 29th and 32nd in defensive rush and pass efficiency. A healthy Melvin Ingram and the addition of cornerback Brandon Flowers will help improve both defensive units.

San Diego started last season 5-7 and needed a four game winning streak to close the year to reach the postseason. We project the Bolts to win five of their first seven games, positioning San Diego to reach the postseason in back-to-back years for the first time since 2008-2009.

Houston Texans
Odds: +200
Implied Chance: 33.3%
Projected Chance: 48.8%

The Texans finished last year with the worst record in the league. Luck, injuries and turnovers, played a big role in Houston's misfortune. A new head coach, regression to the mean with injuries and turnovers and the addition of Jadeveon Clowney has Houston in position to contend for the postseason.

The Texans are just one of two teams that did not make the playoffs last year that are in our most likely playoff in 2014.

Additional teams with value: Cardinals, Ravens, Bengals, Browns, Broncos, Colts, Vikings, Patriots, Giants, Seahawks, and Redskins.

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2014 NFL Playoff Odds

Team Odds Odds Needed Projected Odds
Arizona Cardinals +300 25.0% 27.7%
Atlanta Falcons +200 33.3% 19.6%
Baltimore Ravens +145 40.8% 43.7%
Buffalo Bills +450 18.2% 9.1%
Carolina Panthers +200 33.3% 25.4%
Chicago Bears +145 40.8% 18.1%
Cincinnati Bengals +120 45.5% 55.2%
Cleveland Browns +400 20.0% 31.9%
Dallas Cowboys +225 30.8% 5.9%
Denver Broncos -450 81.8% 94.2%
Detroit Lions +175 36.4% 33.3%
Green Bay Packers -225 69.2% 61.8%
Houston Texans +200 33.3% 48.8%
Indianapolis Colts -215 68.3% 68.6%
Jacksonville Jaguars +800 11.1% 5.9%
Kansas City Chiefs +250 28.6% 16.1%
Miami Dolphins +250 28.6% 26.1%
Minnesota Vikings +450 18.2% 25.6%
New England Patriots -500 83.3% 84.1%
New Orleans Saints -180 64.3% 89.6%
New York Giants +200 33.3% 45.7%
New York Jets +350 22.2% 12.2%
Oakland Raiders +700 12.5% 4.0%
Philadelphia Eagles -150 60.0% 46.5%
Pittsburgh Steelers +120 45.5% 35.3%
San Diego Chargers +225 30.8% 46.6%
San Francisco 49ers -250 71.4% 47.9%
Seattle Seahawks -325 76.5% 85.2%
St. Louis Rams +300 25.0% 15.6%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +350 22.2% 16.5%
Tennessee Titans +300 25.0% 18.1%
Washington Redskins +225 30.8% 35.7%