- NFL playoff odds became available at the BetMGM online sportsbook in May.
- The 49ers are the most likely team to make the NFL playoffs this year at -450.
- The Cardinals are the least likely team to make the NFL playoffs this year at +800.
The NFL is famous for its playoff turnover. Nearly every year, at least one team goes from worst to first in its division. Even more snap playoff skids by sneaking in as one of the Wild Card teams.
That’s why I look to the NFL futures market every summer, buying up a handful of positions on NFL playoff odds. If you look hard enough, there are plenty of good numbers in the middle of the board.
Now that the BetMGM online sportsbook has released the full market of NFL playoff odds for the 2023 NFL betting season, it’s time to spend the next few months examining and re-examining every number.
NFL Futures: Examining the Playoff Odds Market
As is often the case, teams that are coming off multiple playoff appearances or an impressive playoff run are expensive teams to buy in this particular market.
That’s not to say that some of these teams aren’t worth betting anyway. The Chiefs have played in the AFC championship game for five straight years; it would be pretty shocking if Kansas City missed the playoffs completely in 2022.
A -400 cost is a steep price to pay, but with implied odds of “only” 80%, Chiefs fans may find themselves feeling that these playoff odds might be statistically worth the cost.
Below, I’ve created a helpful spreadsheet of NFL playoff odds for all 32 teams. I’ve included the current vigs for both sides of the market, as well as each team’s record last season.
NFL Playoff Odds: Current Prices For All 32 Teams
|Team||Record in 2022||Make the Playoffs||Miss the Playoffs||Win Total|
Early Observations From the NFL Playoff Odds Market
My first gut reaction from the NFL playoff odds market was actually somewhat down the board. Because of the year-to-year turnover in playoff teams, I’m prone to throwing a lot of darts at the lucrative odds in the bottom half of the board, so I’m naturally drawn toward the teams that are mediocre or worse.
Seattle doesn’t strike me as an average team. I’m a believer in Geno Smith, and I think the Seahawks offense will only be more powerful with Jaxon Smith-Njigba in tow.
In a division that might have two teams in full rebuild mode, and an NFC that has far less playoff depth than the AFC, I was surprised to see Seattle sitting there with even odds to make the playoffs. At -120, the market is cheated slightly toward Seattle missing the postseason.
With an opening month of winnable games against the Rams, Lions, Panthers, and Giants, there’s probably not a better time to buy the Seahawks playoff odds than right now.
Some other quick observations that I made:
- Buy up AFC favorites at your own peril. The Bills, Jaguars, Chargers, and Jets may seem cheap, given how much appetite there is to bet on those teams, but the AFC is loaded with talented teams. There’s a very good chance an AFC team wins 10 games and misses the playoffs.
- The 49ers as the top playoff team might seem strange to some NFL betting enthusiasts, but it’s the right team to put on top at -450. Given the overall NFC playoff picture, a team with as much talent as San Francisco should be able to sleepwalk to a nine-win season, regardless of concerns about who plays quarterback.
- I love the Steelers as a general NFL futures target, but I’m not sure I love them as a playoff target. I think +150 is a pretty fair price, given the challenges they have in the AFC North. I prefer their futures odds in the NFL win totals market.
- I wonder if the market has fallen too far on the Buccaneers. I suspect the NFC South will continue to be a bad division this year, which means one of these teams — like last year — could have a shot at winning the division at 8-9. The Tampa roster is still talented. I would never consider their win total over, but a playoff ticket at +310 might have some contrarian value.
- The Vikings are a team destined for negative regression, but +125 playoff odds in a shallow NFC is pretty tasty. I don’t expect much from Green Bay or Chicago this year. Minnesota could easily be a mediocre Wild Card team with a record that’s more impressive than the on-field product.
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