NFL betting preview: Will teams like Broncos, Cowboys and Lions make the playoffs?

The NFL expanded the playoffs, but 18 teams will still be left out of the postseason party.

At BetMGM, there are odds on each team to make or miss the playoffs. It's a lively market, with bettors able to plant their flag on a surprise team to crash the postseason party or a division favorite to completely fall apart. Our Yahoo Sportsbook team gave out our best bets in the make/miss playoffs market:

MARK DRUMHELLER: I already discussed the projected success of Doug Pederson, Trevor Lawrence, and Travis Etienne. Let’s hit the Jacksonville to make the playoffs at +450. The real ones from Philly know who was responsible for the Eagles Super Bowl in 2017, and it wasn’t the guy who convinced Chris Ballard to pay Carson Wentz. I will take the Rams to miss at +200 after losing some offensive linemen, spending the offseason making fun of the Patriots draft picks, flirting with Amazon and patching Matthew Stafford back together again.

NICK BROMBERG: I wouldn’t be stunned if the Dolphins make the playoffs at +135. Miami has a manageable schedule and could have the second-best roster in the AFC East. That’s a good recipe for a run at 10 games and a possible wild-card spot. Conversely, I think the Denver Broncos to miss the playoffs at +115 is good value. If the Chiefs and Chargers are still the top two teams in the division, that leaves the final wild-card spot for the Broncos. Can you really count on that with teams like the Dolphins and Bengals and Ravens in easier divisions?

Will the Denver Broncos make the playoffs with new quarterback Russell Wilson? (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
Will the Denver Broncos make the playoffs with new quarterback Russell Wilson? (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

PETER TRUSZKOWSKI: I’m going with a longer plus-money shot here with Carolina to make the playoffs at +275. They opened last season with a 3-0 record before Christian McCaffrey got hurt and Sam Darnold imploded. The defense gave up the second-fewest yards in the NFL last season and they get Jaycee Horn back in the secondary this year. Baker Mayfield is twice the quarterback Darnold is. If McCaffrey stays healthy, they really have a chance of surprising people. As far as a team to miss, give me the Cowboys at +175. Their offensive line is worse with no La’el Collins and Tyron Smith. Amari Cooper is gone and Michael Gallup is still injured, so their explosive offense won’t be as explosive. They took advantage of a weak schedule and going up against bad quarterbacks last year. I think the Eagles win the NFC East and Dallas finishes behind teams like LA/SF, Minnesota, New Orleans and the Panthers in the wild-card race.

GREG BRAINOS: This season of “Hard Knocks” left me feeling like Fox Mulder. I want to believe. It helps that the Lions will enjoy the fifth-easiest schedule in the NFL and could have a sneaky good offense operating behind a top-five offensive line. At +350, I’m betting that the 2022 Detroit Lions will be the team that can and will. I’ll pair that with the Cowboys to miss out on the postseason at +175. The Dallas defense is unlikely to regress as much as many are predicting, but its offense has a floor that’s subterranean.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I’ll grab the Saints to miss the playoffs, -145 currently but you might fish out a better number. I don’t trust the quarterback. I don’t trust the offensive line. Tampa Bay is better in the division — although the Saints do play the Buccaneers very well — and Carolina might be, too.

The Panthers at +275 could be a fun playoff bet. The NFC is weaker than you might realize. I’ve been fading New Orleans all summer, and the Falcons are still in a multiple-year rebuild. Every other division has at least two teams that I can throw out instantly. If Baker Mayfield is finally a stable quarterback, the Panthers have a plausible path to a winning record.

FRANK SCHWAB: I also like the Lions to make the playoffs at +350. There’s a lot to like and the NFC isn’t stacked this season. But for my best bet, it's the Tennessee Titans to miss the playoffs at -120. The Titans' No. 1 seed last season was a bit fluky. Then this offseason they lost A.J. Brown on offense and Harold Landry (torn ACL) on defense. I like the Colts to win the AFC South, and the competition for wild-card spots in the AFC will be insane. You have to lay a little juice on the "no" for the Titans to make the playoffs, but not enough to scare me off.

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