Playoff Value (08/27/15)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Odds for each NFL team to make the playoffs in 2015. Odds courtesy of Bovada.lv.



We are weeks away from the start of the NFL season and every team still aspires to reach the Super Bowl. As such, bookmakers have set odds for each squad to make the 2015 NFL playoffs. Below, utilizing our NFL Preview, we look for value in each 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, Washington is listed at +700 to make the playoffs, in order for us to feel comfortable wagering on the Redskins they would need to reach the postseason 12.5% (which is 700/(100+700)) of the time. We project Washington to reach the playoffs 22.0% of the time, meaning there is value in placing a bet at +700 odds.

Carolina Panthers
Odds: +145
Implied Chance: 40.8%
Projected Chance: 64.0%

The two time defending NFC South champions can't get any respect. New Orleans, a team with the worst defense in the NFL, and Atlanta, back-to-back losing seasons, have better odds to make the playoffs than the Panthers. Carolina is a top ten team with the second best defense in the league. Cam Newton and the Panthers take the NFC South for a third consecutive season.

Minnesota Vikings
Odds: +225
Implied Chance: 30.8%
Projected Chance: 51.2%

We have been on the Vikings' bandwagon for a while. Minnesota has a franchise quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater, one of the best running backs of all-time and a defense that ranks in the top ten. The Vikings are the projected 5th seed in the NFC in our most likely playoff.

Miami Dolphins
Odds: +120
Implied Chance: 45.5%
Projected Chance: 52.7%

It has been six long years since the Dolphins were in the playoffs. That streak ends this season. Miami is an incredibly balanced team with units that rank in the top ten both offensively and defensively. The cherry on top – the quarterbacks the Dolphins face to start the season are laughable. In the team's first six games the opposing signal caller will be RG3, Blake Bortles, one of the Bills quarterbacks, Ryan Fitzpatrick, rookie Marcus Mariota and Brian Hoyer. There is nothing else that needs to be said.

Additional teams with value: Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers.

2015 NFL Playoff Odds

Team Odds Odds Needed Projected Odds
Arizona Cardinals +145 40.8% 18.4%
Atlanta Falcons +135 42.6% 32.0%
Baltimore Ravens -130 56.5% 43.1%
Buffalo Bills +175 36.4% 28.7%
Carolina Panthers +145 40.8% 64.0%
Chicago Bears +500 16.7% 11.3%
Cincinnati Bengals EVEN 50.0% 42.4%
Cleveland Browns +500 16.7% 20.9%
Dallas Cowboys -175 63.6% 43.4%
Denver Broncos -300 75.0% 70.8%
Detroit Lions +155 39.2% 22.9%
Green Bay Packers -550 84.6% 86.8%
Houston Texans +150 40.0% 32.3%
Indianapolis Colts -600 85.7% 85.3%
Jacksonville Jaguars +800 11.1% 2.3%
Kansas City Chiefs +120 45.5% 35.7%
Miami Dolphins +120 45.5% 52.7%
Minnesota Vikings +225 30.8% 51.2%
New England Patriots Off The Board - 71.9%
New Orleans Saints +130 43.5% 24.9%
New York Giants +175 36.4% 31.9%
New York Jets +350 22.2% 11.5%
Oakland Raiders +900 10.0% 16.9%
Philadelphia Eagles -150 60.0% 57.5%
Pittsburgh Steelers -130 56.5% 42.9%
San Diego Chargers +160 38.5% 27.5%
San Francisco 49ers +400 20.0% 13.1%
Seattle Seahawks -800 88.9% 83.3%
St. Louis Rams +250 28.6% 26.1%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +500 16.7% 11.3%
Tennessee Titans +1000 9.1% 15.2%
Washington Redskins +700 12.5% 22.0%