- With 40% of the regular season over, some playoff teams are becoming clear
- Several preseason Super Bowl favorites now offer value just to reach the postseason
- Before wagering make sure to evaluate remaining schedules
Most NFL teams have completed seven games and so long as you have at least three wins there is every opportunity to reach the postseason. The only teams without three victories, the Bills, Browns, Colts, Raiders, Giants, Cardinals and 49ers, weren’t expected to be great this season anyhow. Cleveland and Indianapolis are incredibly still in it too. Thanks to bad divisions, they are within two games of first place.
The AFC feels completely wide open. The Chiefs are 6-1, while New England and the Chargers are 5-2. After that there are nine teams with either three or four victories.
Let’s look at the AFC odds to make the postseason.
AFC Odds to Make the NFL Playoffs
|Team||Odds to Reach the Playoffs|
|Kansas City Chiefs||1/90|
|New England Patriots||1/9|
|Los Angeles Chargers||1/3|
|New York Jets||17/3|
How Legit are the Chiefs?
The highest scoring team in the NFL seems unstoppable on offense. Patrick Mahomes is completing 65% of his passes, has tossed 22 touchdowns, and is averaging nearly nine yards an attempt. Over the past four games Kareem Hunt is tallying 5.7 yards a carry, and almost 150 yards of total offense a game. Meanwhile, Tyreek Hill has a dozen grabs of 20 yards or more, and has racked up 18 yards per punt return. Though the Chiefs are yielding 26 points a game, their offense may be good enough to outscore the rest of the conference
What about the Patriots?
Remember when New England was 1-2 and the sky was falling? Home sweet home, the Pats won three straight games near Boston, and went to Chicago and beat the Bears on Sunday. After averaging 19 points a game during the first three games, they’ve managed over 39 a contest since. Adding Josh Gordon and getting Julian Edelman certainly helps. Rob Gronkowski will return soon too. Like Kansas City, the Pats defense is suspect, but Tom Brady is more than capable of winning shootouts.
NFC Standings and Analysis
The Rams feel like a runaway train. That doesn’t mean they are going to win the Super Bowl, but at 7-0 they need to go something like 3-6 or worse to miss the postseason. With Seattle in second place in the NFC West at 3-3, it probably takes the Seahawks going 8-2 or 7-3 and LA collapsing, neither which feel very likely.
Behind the Rams there are lots of contenders in the NFC. Everyone besides the one win Giants, 49ers, and Cardinals are very much alive. Sure, the Eagles and Falcons, both at 3-4 have work to do, but they are only 1.5 games out of a Wild Card berth. In fact, Philly is only 1.5 games out of the NFC East lead, and still get to play the Redskins twice.
Let’s look at the NFC odds to make the postseason.
NFC Odds to Make the NFL Playoffs
|Team||Odds to Reach the Playoffs|
|Los Angeles Rams||1/500|
|New Orleans Saints||1/9|
|Green Bay Packers||1/1|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4/1|
|New York Giants||50/1|
|San Francisco 49ers||65/1|
Do The Rams Stand Out?
Knock LA’s schedule if you want, it is worst in the NFC, but by all other measures the Rams have been dominant. Their point differential of +107 is best in the NFL by 29 points, and tops in the NFC by a margin of 66 points. They’ve tallied the most points in the conference, and their 128 points allowed is third best in the NFC. The only two teams to give up fewer points, the Redskins and Seahawks, have played one fewer game than Los Angeles. The Rams went all in during the offseason in large part because Jared Goff’s rookie contract allows them to stack the roster around him. Now someone else needs to derail LA. It won’t be easy.
Don’t Sleep on New Orleans
After a surprising home loss against Tampa Bay to open the campaign, it has been all business since for the Saints. They’ve rolled off five straight wins and are second in the NFL scoring 34 points a contest. For years we have fallen in love with Drew Brees and New Orleans’ passing game, but what made them so dangerous last year was the threat of the run. While Alvin Kamara is having a respectable sophomore year, Taysom Hill, who acts as a wildcat quarterback, and Mark Ingram, just back from suspension, give the Saints depth and a degree of unpredictability. A week from Sunday New Orleans hosts the Rams. That should tell us a lot.