We are entering Week 12 of the NFL season, and suddenly it is becoming time to scoreboard watch. Soon enough, we'll be firing up the playoff-situation analyzers and plugging in who we think wins each game and what that will do to the standings. It's an extremely dramatic surge down the stretch, especially if your team is involved in the playoff chase.
In the NFC, we have five teams that look to be playoff locks while the final two spots are wide open. In the AFC, the Tennessee Titans have eight wins. Then there are 11 teams who have between five and seven wins. Which teams have the best odds to make the playoffs at BetMGM? Where is there potential value?
A chase for two spots
We know who the cream of the crop is in the NFC. Arizona, Green Bay, Dallas, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles all have odds of -1400 or higher to make the playoffs. All five teams have a greater than 93% chance of making the postseason based on their odds.
That leaves two final wild-card spots available as an avenue for the other NFC teams to make the postseason. Currently, there are five teams with five wins competing for those two spots. There are also two four-win teams and three three-win teams that can't be considered dead and buried just yet.
Which of those teams have the best odds to make the playoffs?
Minnesota Vikings (51%): The Minnesota Vikings are 5-5, and they might be the best 5-5 team of all time. They've had a lead in every game they've played this season and have not lost a game by more than a touchdown. Despite Minnesota being a 3-point underdog Sunday at San Francisco, the Vikings are -105 to make the playoffs.
San Francisco 49ers (50%): Coming into the season, the expectations were high for the 49ers but inconsistency has been the only constant for San Francisco this year. The talent is there and the 49ers have exactly a 50% chance with +100 odds to make the playoffs.
Philadelphia Eagles (43%): Jalen Hurts has been better than many expected and the Eagles are running the ball down teams' throats. Philadelphia have won three of its last four games and have the easiest remaining schedule in the league according to Tankathon. The Eagles are +135 to make the playoffs.
New Orleans Saints (43%): The offense has not been pretty for New Orleans since Jameis Winston went down. Any bet on the Saints to make the playoffs hedges on their defense and the brilliance of Sean Payton. New Orleans sits at +135 to make the playoffs.
Further down the list, Carolina and Washington both have just a 13% chance to make the playoffs. Both teams seem to have gained momentum in recent weeks, but the Panthers and the Football Team sit at +700 to make the playoffs.
Seattle and Atlanta have +1200 odds to make the postseason while the Giants sit at +1800.
More wide open in the AFC
There are 11 teams in the AFC that have between five and seven wins. Which teams do the oddsmakers think have the best chance of making the playoffs?
Tennessee sits at -5000 to make the playoffs, which implies a 98% probability. Kansas City, Buffalo, New England and Baltimore all have implied probabilities of higher than 80%.
If we believe all of that to be true, we once again have just two spots open for a large collection of teams.
Los Angeles Chargers (71%): The Chargers sit at 6-4 and they're still alive for the division, which gives them multiple avenues to make the playoffs. Their schedule ranks 23rd toughest down the stretch as only the game against the Chiefs would be viewed as overly challenging. The Chargers sit at -250 to make the playoffs.
Indianapolis Colts (59%): The Colts have hopped on the back of Jonathan Taylor and he's gotten them back into the playoff race. The Colts currently sit at -145 to make the playoffs despite the fact their remaining schedule is among the toughest with Arizona, Tampa Bay and New England still to come.
Cincinnati Bengals (53%): The Bengals have been extremely tough to figure out this season, but when they're on their game they definitely play at a playoff level. Will we see the team that dominated Las Vegas this past weekend or will we see the team that lost to the Jets? Cincinnati currently sits at -115 to make the playoffs.
Cleveland Browns (42%): The Browns have the toughest schedule remaining of any team in the league. Their quarterback has a bad shoulder, knee and foot and for some reason they decided to start him over Case Keenum against the lowly Lions last week. It just feels like it's not Cleveland's year, again. The Browns are +140 to make the playoffs.
Further down the list, the Steelers have +260 odds to make the playoffs, implying a probability of 28%. Denver sits at +375, the Raiders are at +550 and the Dolphins are at 16-to-1 to make the playoffs.
If we take the oddsmakers at their word, these are the playoff teams they're projecting once the dust settles: