- NFL playoff odds became available at the BetMGM online sportsbook in May.
- The Chiefs have been bet into the top table position as the team most likely (-500) to make the playoffs.
- The Cardinals are the least likely team to make the NFL playoffs this year at +1000.
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.
NFL Playoff Odds: Current Prices For All 32 Teams
|Team||Record in 2022||Make the Playoffs||Miss the Playoffs||Win Total|
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 2023.
A -500 cost is a steep price to pay, but with implied odds of “only” 83%, Chiefs fans may find themselves feeling that these playoff odds might be mathematically worth the cost.
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 NFL 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 that at least one hyped AFC team wins 10 games and still misses the playoffs.
- The 49ers as a top playoff team might seem strange to some NFL betting enthusiasts. Given the overall NFC playoff picture, though, 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 +135 is a pretty fair price, given their challenges 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, if they don’t sell off at the trade deadline. I would never consider their win total over, but a playoff ticket at +375 might carry some contrarian value.
- The Vikings are a team destined for negative regression, but +110 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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