NFL Playoff Predictions 2021: Playoffs are Wide Open with Top Teams Advancing to Divisional Round

NFL Playoff Predictions

Green Bay hosts the Rams in the first game of Divisional Weekend (Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire)

NFL Playoff Predictions, Divisional Round

The Wild Card Round is done and we are down to the final eight playoff teams. In this post, we will update each playoff round with the current matchups, as well as list our Super Bowl odds for all remaining teams.

For the most current projections, updated daily, check out our NFL betting picks page.

AFC Playoff Divisional Round Matchups

#2 Buffalo Bills vs. #5 Baltimore Ravens

When: Saturday, January 16th at 8:15 p.m. ET
Point Spread: Buffalo by 2
Projected Win Odds: Buffalo 53%

The first AFC Divisional semifinal gives us contrasting styles, but two of the most exciting young quarterbacks in the NFL. Buffalo QB Josh Allen made the leap this season, going from passing for just over 3,000 passing yards a year ago to over 4,500 this season, and throwing 37 TD passes.

Lamar Jackson’s passing numbers regressed this year after his MVP campaign a year ago, but he is still a dynamic threat on the ground. He’s run for over 80 yards in five of the last six games for Baltimore, including 136 yards in the win over Tennessee. Through the first 10 games, he only did that twice. Jackson’s increased production on the ground is a key factor in Baltimore’s winning streak, and him making plays with both his legs and his arm will decide this one.

#1 Kansas City Chiefs vs. #6 Cleveland Browns

When: Sunday, January 17th at 3:05 p.m. ET
Point Spread: Kansas City by 10
Projected Win Odds: Kansas City 82%

Cleveland jumped on Pittsburgh early with several costly turnovers for the Steelers, and held on to beat Pittsburgh in the Wild Card Round. They probably cannot rely on five turnovers again in their matchup with the Chiefs. What they will try to rely on is a power running game to try to shorten the number of possessions, but they will have to cash those in with touchdowns.

The Browns have injury and depth issues in their secondary, and were near league average in pass defense for 2020. That will certainly be tested going against a Kansas City offense that ranks near the top of the league in passing efficiency, with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback.

Kansas City repeatedly won but let opponents hang around over the last half of the season, and has gone over two months since last beating an opponent by double digits, something they will have to do to cover the number against Cleveland.

NFC Playoff Wildcard Round Matchups

#1 Green Bay Packers vs. #6 Los Angeles Rams

When: Saturday, January 16th at 4:35 p.m. ET
Point Spread: Green Bay by 7
Projected Win Odds: Green Bay 74%

The Rams beat the Seahawks with a great defensive showing, but we will have to see if the injury issues fell them this week. Jared Goff, pressed into action because John Wolford suffered a neck injury early in the game, struggled with his thumb injury and completed only 9 of 19 passes. That was enough, though, when the Rams D held Seattle to only 11 first downs all game and scored on a pick six.

It will likely take a little more offense against the Green Bay Packers, who led the NFL in scoring. Rams star DT Aaron Donald will try to play with torn rib cartilage, wide receiver Cooper Kupp left the game with a knee injury, and the quarterback situation is still a question mark. But if the Rams do pull the upset, it will probably be on the strength of the defense again.

#2 New Orleans Saints vs. #5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

When: Sunday, January 17th at 6:40 p.m. ET
Point Spread: New Orleans by 3
Projected Win Odds: New Orleans 60%

Bucs-Saints, Round III. New Orleans beat Tampa Bay in the season opener, and then crushed the Bucs on the road 38-3 back in Week 9, in one of the worst games of Tom Brady’s career (209 passing yards, 3 interceptions).

Don’t buy into any myth about beating a team three times, but also don’t be overconfident because of the results of any one game, when the Buccaneers will likely play better than that mid-season disaster.

This is the marquee matchup of the weekend, two Hall of Fame veteran quarterbacks, two quality defenses, and plenty of playmakers. It should be a fun way to close things out.

Super Bowl Predictions & Odds

Here are the Super Bowl winner odds for all teams still alive in the playoffs, according to our projections.

TeamSeedSB Win Odds
Kansas CityAFC #120.70%
New OrleansNFC #218.60%
BaltimoreAFC #516.10%
Green BayNFC #115.00%
Tampa BayNFC #512.00%
BuffaloAFC #210.20%
LA RamsNFC #65.70%
ClevelandAFC #61.70%
  • Our odds likely underestimate Kansas City, because it includes the results of a Week 17 game where Patrick Mahomes and several KC starters did not play.
  • Some teams shot up in Super Bowl winning odds, relative to the two teams that had a bye, because the risk of losing was incorporated in their previous odds.
  • Things look pretty balanced, with our top seven teams by predictive power rating playing this weekend, as only the Rams and Browns are given less than a 10% chance of winning the Super Bowl.

Enjoy the playoff games, and if you’re in a football pool that goes into the playoffs, or planning on betting some of the Week 17 games, please check out our NFL betting picks, and articles on picking strategy in our NFL pick’em pool picks and NFL survivor pool picks sections.

Below, you can find our previous weeks’ analysis of odds for each team to make the playoffs.


NFL Playoff Predictions, Wildcard Round

The playoff field is set in both the AFC and NFC. In this post, we will update each playoff round with the current matchups, as well as list our Super Bowl odds for all remaining teams.

For the most current projections, updated daily, check out our NFL betting picks page.

AFC Playoffs 2020-2021

Here are the seeds for the AFC.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (14-2)
  2. Buffalo Bills (13-3)
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
  4. Tennessee Titans (11-5)
  5. Baltimore Ravens (11-5)
  6. Cleveland Browns (11-5)
  7. Indianapolis Colts (11-5)

AFC Playoff Wildcard Round Matchups

#2 Buffalo Bills vs. #7 Indianapolis Colts

When: Saturday, January 9th at 1:05 p.m. ET
Point Spread: Buffalo by 7
Projected Win Odds: Buffalo 74%
TR Power Ratings: Buffalo +5.7 (6th), Indianapolis +2.8 (10th)

How important is being “hot” entering the postseason? Buffalo started the year 10-3, but had not beaten any team by more than 11 points over the first 13 games. They’ve won each of the last three games by 29 or more points to clinch the AFC #2 seed, including the impressive win over Miami to close things out.

Indianapolis’ defense ranks 2nd in rushing yards allowed and rushing yards per carry, though the pass defense has relatively struggled after a strong start to 2020. They allowed four straight 300-yard passers before the Jaguars game in Week 17. The offense, meanwhile, has improved steadily with the emergence of running back Jonathan Taylor over the final month.

#3 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. #6 Cleveland Browns

When: Sunday, January 10th at 8:15 p.m. ET
Point Spread: Pittsburgh by 3.5
Projected Win Odds: Pittsburgh 64%
TR Power Ratings: Pittsburgh +4.2 (8th), Cleveland -1.4 (18th)

Pittsburgh and Cleveland meet again a week later, but this time around, Pittsburgh will be playing Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.

Pittsburgh limped into the postseason, finishing 1-4 after an 11-0 start, but it was still enough to win the AFC North. The pass offense has struggled, and they are only 24th in net yards per attempt. However, Pittsburgh’s pass defense finished 3rd in net yards per pass attempt on defense, and if they are to advance, it will be on the strength of that side of the ball. Cleveland has the advantage on offense (particularly rushing offense, where the Steelers finished last in the NFL) but Pittsburgh has the defensive advantage.

#4 Tennessee Titans vs. #5 Baltimore Ravens

When: Sunday, January 10th at 1:05 p.m. ET
Point Spread: Baltimore by 3.5
Projected Win Odds: Baltimore 60%
TR Power Ratings: Baltimore +8.5 (2nd), Tennessee +1.8 (11th)

Tennessee has beaten the Baltimore Ravens in both last year’s playoffs, and in the regular season this year. Will the third time also be a charm for the Titans? Baltimore is the betting favorite, though. Why? Well, the Ravens ended the year 1st in point differential, usually a more predictive indicator than win-loss record, for the second year in a row.

After the OT loss to the Titans and the short-handed loss to Pittsburgh (the game QB Lamar Jackson missed due to Covid), Baltimore was sitting at 6-5, but closed with five straight wins to make the playoffs.

Tennessee does have the passing advantage on offense, where Ryan Tannehill has been very efficient for the second year in a row, to go with Derrick Henry. This is the marquee matchup of the Wildcard Round and should be a slugfest, with the winner being dangerous going forward.

NFC Playoffs 2020-2021

Here are the seeds for the NFC.

  1. Green Bay Packers (13-3)
  2. New Orleans Saints (12-4)
  3. Seattle Seahawks (12-4)
  4. Washington Football Team (7-9)
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5)
  6. Los Angeles Rams (10-6)
  7. Chicago Bears (8-8)

NFC Playoff Wildcard Round Matchups

#2 New Orleans Saints vs. #7 Chicago Bears

When: Sunday, January 10th at 4:40 p.m. ET
Point Spread: New Orleans by 9.5
Projected Win Odds: New Orleans 82%
TR Power Ratings: New Orleans +8.5 (1st), Chicago +0.0 (16th)

Did the NFL do New Orleans a favor by scheduling the game for Sunday? Alvin Kamara, who missed Week 17 due to a positive Covid test, would have missed a Saturday game but could be cleared for Sunday. Of course, it may not have mattered, as the Saints are the biggest favorite of the week.

Chicago is a perfectly average team, finishing 8-8. Sure, they have a better record when Mitch Trubisky starts, and Trubisky has been better than Nick Foles at quarterback. But that’s also schedule driven, as they’ve defeated the bad teams on their schedule but went 1-6 against teams with a winning record.

These two teams did meet, in Chicago, in a game that the Saints won in overtime, after the Bears rallied with 10 points in the final 4 minutes of regulation.

#3 Seattle Seahawks vs. #6 Los Angeles Rams

When: Saturday, January 9th at 4:40 p.m. ET
Point Spread: Seattle by 4.5
Projected Win Odds: Seattle 67%
TR Power Ratings: Seattle +4.4 (7th), LA Rams +3.9 (9th)

The Seahawks and Rams meet for the third time, and have split the regular season matchups. Russell Wilson started the year hot, but has thrown just 12 touchdown passes in the last 8 games (after a league-leading 28 TD passes after the first 8 games).

Included in those last 8 games are both Rams games, where he averaged less than 240 yards passing, threw 1 total touchdown, and was sacked 8 times by the Rams’ defense. Of course, the Rams’ problems are on the other side of the ball. Jared Goff didn’t have a great season (the Rams are league-average in passing efficiency, and in the bottom six in passing touchdowns), and he had thumb surgery before Week 17. We await word on his status for this game, where John Wolford will get his second start if Goff cannot go.

#4 Washington Football Team vs. #5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

When: Saturday, January 9th at 8:15 p.m. ET
Point Spread: Tampa Bay by 7.5
Projected Win Odds: Tampa Bay 77%
TR Power Ratings: Tampa Bay +7.6 (3rd), Washington -2.2 (22nd)

Washington won the NFC East at 7-9. The NFL continues to award bad division winners with home games, something we have seen several times in recent years. So Tampa Bay has to go to Washington, where they are a big favorite. But those big wildcard round home underdogs have occasionally pulled the upset (though they have not advanced beyond that.)

Tampa Bay has the clear advantage here, most notably on offense. Washington, though, does have a stout defense led by rookie Chase Young. They finished 2nd in net yards per pass allowed, and 4th in points allowed. If they are to pull the upset, it will likely be in a game where the defense harasses Tom Brady and keeps it a lower scoring affair, or creates turnovers and short scoring opportunities.

Super Bowl Predictions & Odds

Here are the Super Bowl winner odds for all teams still alive in the playoffs, according to our projections.

TeamSeedSB Win Odds
Kansas CityAFC #119.4%
New OrleansNFC #216.6%
Green BayNFC #116.4%
BaltimoreAFC #510.9%
Tampa BayNFC #59.7%
BuffaloAFC #28.4%
PittsburghAFC #35.8%
SeattleNFC #34.5%
LA RamsNFC #62.8%
IndianapolisAFC #71.9%
TennesseeAFC #41.9%
ChicagoNFC #70.7%
ClevelandAFC #60.6%
WashingtonNFC #40.5%

Our odds likely underestimate Kansas City, because it includes the results of a Week 17 game where Patrick Mahomes and several KC starters did not play. Both #5 seeds are reasonably dangerous wildcard teams, if they can get out of the first weekend.

Enjoy the playoff games, and if you’re in a football pool that goes into the playoffs, or planning on betting some of the Week 17 games, please check out our NFL betting picks, and articles on picking strategy in our NFL pick’em pool picks and NFL survivor pool picks sections.

Below, you can find our previous weeks’ analysis of odds for each team to make the playoffs.


NFL Playoff Predictions Entering Week 17

In this post we summarize our 2020 NFL playoffs outlook for both the AFC and NFC, with predictions based on our power ratings based computer simulations of the remaining season schedule for each team.

We also list our Super Bowl odds for the favorites, and conclude with a section detailing where our numbers most differ from the current betting markets.

For the most current projections, updated daily, check out our NFL projected standings page.

AFC Playoff Picture 2020

The table below shows our predictions for the AFC playoff seeding, heading into Week 17.

We list the 7 projected playoff teams, determined by assigning the division winners sorted by chances to win division for each, and then overall playoff chances, and then the remaining wildcards by percent chance of reaching the postseason.

We also list all other teams in the AFC who have at least a 0.1% of reaching the playoffs.

SeedTeamDivisionCurrent WinsProjected WinsPlayoff Odds
1Kansas CityWest1414.8100.0%
2BuffaloEast1212.6100.0%
3PittsburghNorth1212.6100.0%
4TennesseeSouth1010.687.8%
5BaltimoreNorth1010.893.1%
6IndianapolisSouth1010.980.8%
7MiamiEast1010.469.5%
ClevelandNorth1010.468.8%

Analysis of Current AFC Playoff Odds

Three Teams Clinched

Only three AFC teams have clinched a playoff spot: Kansas City, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh. Some important notes there:

  • Kansas City is the only team that has clinched its playoff spot, the No. 1 overall seed.
  • Buffalo can get the No. 2 seed with either a win or a Pittsburgh loss this week.

Five Teams for Four Remaining Spots

That leaves five teams in the running for four final AFC playoff spots, and all five are at 10-5 entering the last game.

Here is what we know about the tiebreakers among those teams:

  • Baltimore has the tiebreaker over Cleveland in the AFC North (and ties are broken among division teams before going to the wildcard).
  • Tennessee has the tiebreaker over Indianapolis in the AFC South based on division record.
  • Miami did not play any of the other contenders, but holds the conference tiebreaker over all of them except Tennessee (who they would lose a tiebreaker with, based on common opponents).
  • Baltimore and Cleveland both have the tiebreaker over Indianapolis based on head-to-head wins.
  • Tennessee has the tiebreaker over Baltimore because of their win over the Ravens.
  • Cleveland has the head-to-head tiebreaker over Tennessee if they are the only teams involved in a two-team tiebreaker, but
  • In the event there is a three-way tiebreaker that includes Miami along with Tennessee and Cleveland at 10-6, Cleveland would be the odd team out.

Team Decisions on Resting Starters Could Swing Playoff Odds

Our projections are based on our power ratings, and an assumption that teams will play similar to how they have played already this season. But if a team rests starters and that shifts the game odds, that would impact the playoff odds.

The prime example in 2020 Week 17 is likely to be Pittsburgh against Cleveland, where it has already been announced that Ben Roethlisberger will not play. With the Steelers more likely to rest starters, the Browns are a larger favorite compared to how we would project them if Pittsburgh was going full out.

Using the implied betting win odds from DraftKings Sportsbook, here is the likelihood that each of the five teams finishes in various seeding positions, based on the odds and tiebreaker rules.

Team4 Seed5 Seed6 Seed7 SeedIn PlayoffsMiss Playoffs
Tennessee78.6%0.6%5.1%9.3%93.6%6.4%
Baltimore0.0%55.3%30.2%4.9%90.4%9.6%
Cleveland0.0%7.0%43.6%26.3%76.9%23.1%
Indianapolis21.4%1.8%16.2%35.1%74.5%25.5%
Miami0.0%35.3%4.9%24.4%64.6%35.4%

You can see that the Colts and Dolphins odds take a little hit, while the Browns go up, based on the Browns being a larger favorite against Pittsburgh.

Miami is the only underdog this week, but they do have tiebreaker advantages that give them a chance if others lose.

NFC Playoff Picture 2020

Here are our predictions for the NFC Playoff seeding, heading into Week 17.

Again, we list the 7 projected playoff teams, determined by assigning the division winners sorted by chances to win division for each, and then overall playoff chances, and then the remaining wildcards by percent chance of reaching the postseason.

We also list all other teams in the NFC who have at least a 0.1% of reaching the playoffs.

SeedTeamDivisionCurrent WinsProjected WinsPlayoff Odds
1Green BayNorth1212.6100.0%
2New OrleansSouth1111.7100.0%
3SeattleWest1111.5100.0%
4WashingtonEast66.443.6%
5Tampa BaySouth1010.7100.0%
6LA RamsWest99.683.8%
7ChicagoNorth88.478.5%
ArizonaWest88.437.6%
NY GiantsEast55.529.4%
DallasEast66.527.0%

Analysis of Current NFC Playoff Odds

Los Angeles, Chicago and Arizona for Final Two Wildcards

The last wildcard spots will come down to two of Los Angeles, Chicago or Arizona. The Rams’ losing to the Jets and then the Seahawks has left the door open for them to miss the postseason, Arizona’s loss last week also swung their chances drastically, and now Chicago is a favorite to get a wildcard spot.

Arizona can still pass the Rams by beating them. Remember, ties are broken within a division first. If Arizona beats the Rams, they would have the division wins tiebreaker at 9-7.

The Rams beat Chicago in the regular season, but that actually doesn’t matter. The only way that the Rams and Bears end up with the same record is if the Rams lose to the Cardinals and fall behind Arizona.

Meanwhile, Arizona and Chicago did not play in the regular season, but Chicago holds the common games tiebreaker over Arizona if they finish with the same record.

Our projected odds likely overstate Rams chances relative to Arizona. Rams quarterback Jared Goff is out this week with a thumb injury, and that game is now close to a pick’em in the betting markets.

Here are the potential results and who advances:

  • Rams win: Rams, Bears in; Cardinals out
  • Cardinals win, Bears win: Bears, Cardinals in; Rams out
  • Cardinals win, Bears lose: Cardinals, Rams in; Bears out

Three teams still alive in the NFC East

The Giants are still mathematically alive in the NFC East at 5-10. The Dallas Cowboys have come back to have a realistic chance, after a three-game win streak coupled with Washington and the Giants losing last week.

Washington still has the advantage here, having the lead on New York and the tiebreaker over Dallas. As a result, Washington is “win and they’re in” against Philadelphia Sunday night.

The Dallas-NY Giants game, though, will determine who would get into the playoffs if Washington loses this week. The winner would be in position to win the division with a Washington loss. If there is a tie between Dallas and New York, Dallas could also still win the division with a Washington loss as well.

Super Bowl Predictions & Odds

Here are the Super Bowl winner odds for all teams still mathematically alive for the playoffs, according to our projections.

TeamDivisionSB Win OddsOdds Change
Kansas CityAFC West25.0%-1.5%
Green BayNFC North14.6%2.1%
New OrleansNFC South14.1%0.3%
Tampa BayNFC South9.5%2.8%
BaltimoreAFC North7.9%30.0%
BuffaloAFC East6.8%1.9%
PittsburghAFC North6.2%-0.2%
SeattleNFC West5.6%20.0%
LA RamsNFC West3.0%-1.8%
IndianapolisAFC South2.0%-0.8%
TennesseeAFC South1.8%-1.5%
MiamiAFC East1.2%
ChicagoNFC North0.8%
ClevelandAFC North0.4%
ArizonaNFC West0.4%
WashingtonNFC East0.3%
DallasNFC East0.2%
NY GiantsNFC East0.1%
  • Green Bay continues to climb and is now the second-favorite, with their recent good form as well as getting closer to the top seed in the NFC.
  • Baltimore continues to move up from Pittsburgh as they become more likely to make the playoffs.
  • Tampa Bay made a big jump, while the Rams dropped again, after last week’s results.

Enjoy NFL Week 17, and if you’re in a football pool or planning on betting some of the Week 17 games, please check out our NFL betting picks, NFL pick’em pool picks, and NFL survivor pool picks.


NFL Playoff Predictions Entering Week 16

In this post we summarize our 2020 NFL playoffs outlook for both the AFC and NFC, with predictions based on our power ratings based computer simulations of the remaining season schedule for each team.

We also list our Super Bowl odds for the favorites, and conclude with a section detailing where our numbers most differ from the current betting markets.

For the most current projections, updated daily, check out our NFL projected standings page.

AFC Playoff Picture 2020

The table below shows our predictions for the AFC playoff seeding, heading into Week 16.

We list the 7 projected playoff teams, determined by assigning the division winners sorted by chances to win division for each, and then overall playoff chances, and then the remaining wildcards by percent chance of reaching the postseason.

We also list all other teams in the AFC who have at least a 0.1% of reaching the playoffs.

SeedTeamDivisionCurrent WinsProjected WinsPlayoff OddsOdds Change
1Kansas CityWest1314.6100.00%0.00%
2BuffaloEast1112.1100.00%0.00%
3PittsburghNorth1112.2100.00%0.00%
4TennesseeSouth1011.096.00%3.10%
5ClevelandNorth1011.190.20%5.70%
6IndianapolisSouth1011.288.90%2.20%
7BaltimoreNorth910.781.60%-7.60%
MiamiEast910.042.80%2.50%
Las VegasWest78.00.50%-2.30%

Analysis of Current AFC Playoff Odds

Pittsburgh continues slide

The Pittsburgh Steelers were a slight favorite for the No. 1 seed just three weeks ago. Now, they have fallen to the No. 3 seed behind Buffalo, and are also not guaranteed to win the AFC North.

We now give the Browns a 12% of winning the division. Doing so would require Cleveland to win this week against the Jets, the Steelers to lose to the Colts, and then the Browns to beat the Steelers in Week 17.

Baltimore’s playoff odds drop as all the contenders win

Baltimore won, but so did Cleveland, Indianapolis, Miami, and Tennessee. As a result, Baltimore’s playoff odds dropped a bit since they still trail several of those teams by a game in the win column with two weeks left, and would lose a tiebreaker to Miami on conference record, if the Dolphins win out.

Baltimore still has the easiest remaining schedule with the Giants and Bengals to play, while Miami has to play Las Vegas and Buffalo. Still, Baltimore needs another contender to lose a game also. Right now, not much is separating all three wildcard spots.

NFC Playoff Picture 2020

Here are our predictions for the NFC Playoff seeding, heading into Week 16.

Again, we list the 7 projected playoff teams, determined by assigning the division winners sorted by chances to win division for each, and then overall playoff chances, and then the remaining wildcards by percent chance of reaching the postseason.

We also list all other teams in the NFC who have at least a 0.1% of reaching the playoffs.

SeedTeamDivisionCurrent WinsProjected WinsPlayoff OddsOdds Change
1Green BayNorth1112.2100.0%0.0%
2New OrleansSouth1011.5100.0%0.0%
3SeattleWest1011.1100.0%0.7%
4WashingtonEast67.070.6%6.1%
5LA RamsWest910.1100.0%0.0%
6Tampa BaySouth910.498.4%2.1%
7ArizonaWest89.067.8%7.4%
ChicagoNorth78.132.0%12.1%
NY GiantsEast55.711.8%-9.9%
PhiladelphiaEast4.55.611.7%-1.1%
DallasEast56.05.9%4.6%
MinnesotaNorth66.81.8%-14.2%

Analysis of Current NFC Playoff Odds

Minnesota Collapses

Just two weeks ago, Minnesota climbed back to 6-6, and they were the favorite in the betting markets among a plurality of wildcard options for the final spot (Arizona was still our favorite among the group).

Since then, Minnesota has lost to Tampa Bay and most recently, lost at home in a key game to Chicago, to drop to a long shot chance to make the postseason.

Chicago, meanwhile, has realistic hopes of catching Arizona for the final wildcard spot. They need to win this week at Jacksonville, and then have Arizona catch an upset to San Francisco, to surpass them entering Week 17.

The Wild NFC East

The only team in the NFC East to win last week was Dallas, who had the longest odds (and still do) to win the division. But now their chances are a little better. Dallas, though, needs to win out and have Washington lose both its final games.

Washington’s playoff odds, meanwhile, went up slightly despite a loss to Seattle, because the Giants and Eagles also lost to stay behind them. This week’s game against Carolina is huge for Washington; a win eliminates both Dallas and Philadelphia, even if those teams win too, and the Giants would have to then pull a big upset over Baltimore to stay alive.

A Washington loss to Carolina, on the other hand, swings everything. The Dallas/Philadelphia winner would be alive entering Week 17, as would the Giants, regardless of what they do against Baltimore. If Philadelphia wins at Dallas and Washington loses, the Week 17 matchup between those two teams would be for the NFC East title and the playoff spot.

NFC West on the Line in Week 16

The Rams’ big upset to the Jets flipped the favorite to win the NFC West, but both Seattle and the Rams can still win it.

If Seattle beats LA this week, the Seahawks would be the NFC West champ.

If the Rams win, then Los Angeles would own the tiebreaker, and the division would be decided in Week 17, with the Rams able to win the division title if they closed the season with another win.

Super Bowl Predictions & Odds

Here are the Super Bowl winner odds for the ten most likely teams to win it all this year, according to our projections.

TeamDivisionSB Win OddsOdds Change
Kansas CityAFC West26.50%2.00%
New OrleansNFC South13.80%-2.40%
Green BayNFC North12.50%1.10%
BaltimoreAFC North7.60%0.00%
Tampa BayNFC South6.70%0.70%
PittsburghAFC North6.40%-2.90%
SeattleNFC West5.40%0.80%
BuffaloAFC East4.90%1.60%
LA RamsNFC West4.80%-2.40%
TennesseeAFC South3.30%0.50%
  • Pittsburgh and New Orleans continue to fall with recent losses
  • Kansas City and Green Bay’s chances continue to move up a bit as they get closer to getting the No. 1 seed in each conference.
  • The Rams’ odds took a big hit with an unexpected loss to the Jets.

Enjoy NFL Week 16, and if you’re in a football pool or planning on betting some of the Week 16 games, please check out our NFL betting picks, NFL pick’em pool picks, and NFL survivor pool picks.


NFL Playoff Predictions Entering Week 15

In this post we summarize our 2020 NFL playoffs outlook for both the AFC and NFC, with predictions based on our power ratings based computer simulations of the remaining season schedule for each team.

We also list our Super Bowl odds for the favorites, and conclude with a section detailing where our numbers most differ from the current betting markets.

For the most current projections, check out our NFL projected standings page.

(Note: The projections in this post have been updated to include the Thursday and Saturday game results in Week 15.)

AFC Playoff Picture 2020

The table below shows our predictions for the AFC playoff seeding, heading into Week 15.

We list the 7 projected playoff teams, determined by assigning the division winners sorted by chances to win division for each, and then overall playoff chances, and then the remaining wildcards by percent chance of reaching the postseason.

We also list all other teams in the AFC who have at least a 0.1% of reaching the playoffs.

SeedTeamDivisionCurrent WinsProjected WinsPlayoff OddsOdds Change
1Kansas CityWest1214.1100.0%0.0%
2PittsburghNorth1113.0100.0%0.0%
3BuffaloEast1112.1100.0%+7.7%
4TennesseeSouth910.792.9%+13.5%
5BaltimoreNorth810.689.2%+17.2%
6IndianapolisSouth910.986.7%+19.2%
7ClevelandNorth910.684.5%-1.8%
MiamiEast89.540.3%-13.6%
Las VegasWest78.02.8%-31.9%
New EnglandEast67.83.5%-10.6%

Analysis of Current AFC Playoff Odds

The Playoff Projections Look a Lot Different Than the Current Standings for Ravens

If you look at a current playoff standings table on NFL.com or another site, it will show the Miami Dolphins in the last playoff spot, and Baltimore just out.

If you look at the playoff projections in the table above, though, you see that last week’s results made Miami (and Las Vegas or New England) longer shots to reach the playoffs.

Baltimore now has as good a chance as Cleveland or Indianapolis, and a much better chance than Miami, because of their remaining schedule (Jacksonville, NY Giants, Cincinnati).

Miami may be listed in playoff position, but they really need a win this week, and for at least one of Tennessee, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Baltimore to lose. All of those four teams are favored by at least 5 points this week, with Tennessee and Baltimore favored by double digits.

Kansas City Has Huge Edge for No. 1 Seed 

For the second week in a row Pittsburgh lost, and Kansas City now has a substantial lead in the race for the No. 1 seed. We project Kansas City with a 91% chance of being the top seed in the AFC.

Because Pittsburgh’s loss was to Buffalo, it clinched the common games tiebreaker for Kansas City, if the Steelers and Chiefs finish tied with the same overall record and conference record.

Pittsburgh’s route to a No. 1 seed now is one of the following:

  • Win out, and have Kansas City lose to the Chargers in Week 17 (so they win the conference tiebreaker)
  • Win out, and have Kansas City lose any two games (so Steelers win on overall record)
  • Go 2-1, and have Kansas City lose all three games

Kansas City, though, can now afford a loss to New Orleans this week and still be in the lead for the top spot.

Las Vegas Hopes Took a Big Hit

The Raiders game against the Colts was huge for their playoff hopes, and their chances fell by more than half with the loss (plus other results). The loss to the Chargers further took away almost all of their remaining playoff chances.

The Raiders are technically still alive for a playoff spot but their chances have cratered over the last two weeks.

NFC Playoff Picture 2020

Here are our predictions for the NFC Playoff seeding, heading into Week 15.

Again, we list the 7 projected playoff teams, determined by assigning the division winners sorted by chances to win division for each, and then overall playoff chances, and then the remaining wildcards by percent chance of reaching the postseason.

We also list all other teams in the NFC who have at least a 0.1% of reaching the playoffs.

SeedTeamDivisionCurrent WinsProjected WinsPlayoff OddsOdds Change
1Green BayNorth1112.2100.0%0.0%
2New OrleansSouth1012.0100.0%0.0%
3LA RamsWest911.0100.0%+0.8%
4WashingtonEast67.464.5%+30.5%
5SeattleWest910.699.3%+1.1%
6Tampa BaySouth810.096.3%+8.3%
7ArizonaWest78.660.4%+17.8%
NY GiantsEast56.321.7%-36.0%
ChicagoNorth67.619.9%+7.6%
MinnesotaNorth67.316.0%-12.2%
PhiladelphiaEast4.55.912.8%+5.2%
San FranciscoWest56.55.7%-17.5%
DetroitNorth56.01.8%-3.8%
DallasEast45.31.3%-0.7%

Analysis of Current NFC Playoff Odds

Green Bay Becomes NFC Favorite for No. 1 Seed

The New Orleans loss to Philadelphia shook up the top of the NFC Standings.

Green Bay is now the favorite over New Orleans (69% to 25%) because they have the head-to-head win against the Saints, and expanded that lead a little more by beating Carolina on Saturday.

The NFC West winner still has about a 6% chance of sneaking in and getting the top spot as well.

Arizona Bounces Back to Take Lead in Final Wildcard Race

Arizona had lost three in a row, and Minnesota had won five of the last six games entering Week 14. But the Cardinals won to move to 7-6, while Minnesota lost to drop to 6-7.

Prior to last week, we still had Arizona as the favorite, among a plurality of candidates, to get the final wildcard spot. The betting markets had moved Minnesota up to that role, and were 14% higher than our projections in implied odds.

That optimism, perhaps fueled by the narratives of the direction the two teams appeared to be heading, has largely gone away. Minnesota’s chances have been nearly cut in half as a result of the combination of their loss, and wins by both Arizona and Chicago.

That sets up a key NFC North game this week between Minnesota and Chicago, in what could practically, though not officially, be considered an elimination game for the loser.

Washington Takes Over the NFC East

Washington won their fourth game in a row, to overtake the Giants, who lost at home to Arizona.

Philadelphia and Dallas also won, though Dallas’ chances of winning the division actually went down slightly (and they were long odds already). That’s because Washington holds the tiebreaker over Dallas, and now Dallas has to win all three remaining games and have Washington lose all of them to have a chance.

All four NFC East teams are underdogs again this week, so any that can pull off a victory will see their chances improve, especially if the others lose.

Super Bowl Predictions & Odds

Here are the Super Bowl winner odds for the ten most likely teams to win it all this year, according to our projections.

TeamDivisionSB Win OddsOdds Change
Kansas CityAFC West24.50%3.00%
New OrleansNFC South16.20%-5.60%
Green BayNFC North11.40%1.60%
PittsburghAFC North9.30%-4.60%
BaltimoreAFC North7.60%1.10%
LA RamsNFC West7.20%1.90%
Tampa BayNFC South6.00%0.40%
SeattleNFC West4.60%1.20%
BuffaloAFC East3.30%0.80%
IndianapolisAFC South3.00%1.10%

Even though Tennessee is the slight favorite over Indianapolis to win the AFC South, the Colts moved into this top ten list:

  • Green Bay is the favorite for the No. 1 seed, but New Orleans has the slightly higher odds of winning the Super Bowl.
  • The gap between Baltimore and Pittsburgh closed quite a bit, after the Steelers’ odds were double those of Baltimore entering the week.
  • Kansas City solidified its hold as the Super Bowl favorite with the losses by New Orleans and Pittsburgh.

Enjoy NFL Week 15, and if you’re in an football pool or planning on betting some of the Week 15 games, please check out our NFL betting picks, NFL pick’em pool picks, and NFL survivor pool picks.


NFL Playoff Predictions Entering Week 14

In this post we summarize our 2020 NFL playoffs outlook for both the AFC and NFC, with predictions based on our power ratings based computer simulations of the remaining season schedule for each team.

We also list our Super Bowl odds for the favorites, and conclude with a section detailing where our numbers most differ from the current betting markets.

For the most current projections, check out our NFL Standings projections page.

AFC Playoff Picture 2020

The table below shows our predictions for the AFC playoff seeding, heading into Week 14.

We list the 7 projected playoff teams, determined by assigning the division winners sorted by chances to win division for each, and then overall playoff chances, and then the remaining wildcards by percent chance of reaching the postseason.

We also list all other teams in the AFC who have at least a 0.1% of reaching the playoffs.

SeedTeamDivisionCurrent RecordProjected WinsPlayoff OddsOdds Change
1Kansas CityWest11-113.7100.0%0.0%
2PittsburghNorth11-113.7100.0%0.0%
3BuffaloEast9-311.092.3%+4.0%
4TennesseeSouth8-410.379.4%-16.3%
5ClevelandNorth9-310.886.3%+16.7%
6BaltimoreNorth7-510.272.0%-8.1%
7IndianapolisSouth8-410.467.5%+11.3%
MiamiEast8-49.953.8%-5.5%
Las VegasWest7-59.134.7%-3.6%
New EnglandEast6-68.314.1%+2.9%

Analysis of Current AFC Playoff Odds

Cleveland and Indianapolis Make Biggest Jump as not all wins are equal

Most of the contenders for an AFC playoff spot won in Week 13. But not all wins are equal. Since our playoff predictions are based on projecting win odds for every remaining game, a team that wins a game where its perceived chances were lower will make a bigger jump. Beat someone that you are expected to beat, and you don’t move as much.

The biggest gainers in terms of playoff odds were Cleveland and Indianapolis. Cleveland won at Tennessee as an underdog to make a big leap. Indianapolis, meanwhile, won at Houston as a slight favorite. New England and Buffalo also won games that were closer to a toss-up.

Baltimore, Miami, and Las Vegas, meanwhile, won games where they were heavier favorites coming in, which is why their chances went down in a week where most of the contenders won, and explains why Indianapolis jumped Miami for our projected seventh seed for now.

Kansas City Moves Slightly in Front of Pittsburgh for No. 1 Seed 

Pittsburgh’s loss means that Kansas City and Pittsburgh are now tied at 11-1 in the AFC. Right now, Pittsburgh would have the tiebreaker based on conference record, since they still haven’t lost to an AFC team.

However, our projections now have Kansas City as a slight favorite to get the No. 1 seed. If Pittsburgh loses at Buffalo (and they are a slight underd0g) then Kansas City would hold the tiebreaker if the teams finished with the same conference record, based on common games (Kansas City already beat Buffalo).

Basically, it comes down to whether Pittsburgh loses at least one game over the last four, and the tiebreaker could shift. (In a weird twist, the Kansas City-New Orleans game may not have as much impact now, since KC could lose that and still win a tiebreaker if Pittsburgh also loses.)

NFC Playoff Picture 2020

Here are our predictions for the NFC Playoff seeding, heading into Week 14.

Again, we list the 7 projected playoff teams, determined by assigning the division winners sorted by chances to win division for each, and then overall playoff chances, and then the remaining wildcards by percent chance of reaching the postseason.

We also list all other teams in the NFC who have at least a 0.1% of reaching the playoffs.

SeedTeamDivisionCurrent RecordProjected WinsPlayoff OddsOdds Change
1New OrleansSouth10-212.8100.0%0.0%
2Green BayNorth9-311.799.9%+1.0%
3LA RamsWest8-410.699.2%+8.3%
4NY GiantsEast5-76.857.7%+15.8%
5SeattleWest8-410.498.2%-0.2%
6Tampa BaySouth7-59.788.0%+7.3%
7ArizonaWest6-68.142.6%-10.9%
WashingtonEast5-76.734.0%+9.0%
MinnesotaNorth6-67.628.2%+9.0%
San FranciscoWest5-77.323.2%-7.9%
ChicagoNorth5-77.012.3%-11.8%
PhiladelphiaEast3-8-15.27.6%-18.2%
DetroitNorth5-76.35.6%+4.3%
DallasEast3-94.62.0%-5.3%
AtlantaSouth4-85.50.9%-0.8%
CarolinaSouth4-85.70.4%+0.2%

Analysis of Current NFC Playoff Odds

NFC West Swings Again

The favorite in the NFC West shifted for the second week in a row. In Week 12, Los Angeles lost to San Francisco, and Seattle moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC West and became the favorite. In Week 13, Seattle turned around and lost unexpectedly as a big favorite, while the Rams won a division road game at Arizona.

As a result, the two teams are once again tied in the standings, and the Rams have moved back into the division winner favorite spot … for now.

The Last Wildcard Spot is Wide Open

While the AFC teams contending for wildcard spots mostly won in Week 13, the opposite was the case in the NFC. Arizona lost, Chicago lost, and San Francisco lost. Minnesota is the only team right near the cutline for the wildcard spot that won, and even that took overtime at home against the second-worst team in the NFL by record (Jacksonville).

We still project Arizona with the highest chance of making the playoffs among a plurality of options. Arizona has less than a 50% chance, though, at 6-6 currently.

In fact, every single team in the NFC is still mathematically alive for a playoff spot entering Week 14, though Philadelphia and Dallas can only make it as NFC East winner.

New York and Washington take over the NFC East

Last week, we noted that we were above the betting market in terms of the Giants’ playoff odds, and well below market on the Cowboys. This week, after big upset wins by the Giants and Washington, to go with losses by Philadelphia and Dallas, our projections are now in line with the market. Which is to say, the market now seems to have adjusted and lost its still-lingering Dallas optimism.

The Giants are the division winner favorite over Washington because they hold the tiebreaker with two wins head-to-head. Collectively, there is now over a 90% chance the either the Giants or Washington win the NFC East.

Meanwhile, we’ll note that what seemed implausible a month ago is still theoretically possible now: two NFC East teams in the playoffs.

If New York beats Arizona (the Giants are a slight home underdog) and Washington (also a slight underdog) wins in Arizona against San Francisco, then both teams will get to 6-7 and will have beaten the two other contenders for the final wildcard slot.

That’s merely hypothetical at this point, but it sure would be very 2020 for the division that everyone has called one of the worst ever to end up producing two playoff teams.

Super Bowl Predictions & Odds

Here are the Super Bowl winner odds for the ten most likely teams to win it all this year, according to our projections.

TeamDivisionSB Win OddsOdds Change
New OrleansNFC South21.8%+0.9%
Kansas CityAFC West21.5%+1.2%
PittsburghAFC North13.9%-3.8%
Green BayNFC North9.8%+1.3%
BaltimoreAFC North6.5%0.0%
Tampa BayNFC South5.6%+0.5%
LA RamsNFC West5.3%+1.4%
SeattleNFC West3.4%-1.8%
BuffaloAFC East2.5%+0.8%
TennesseeAFC South2.2%-0.8%

This top ten list features the same teams as last week, but the order has shifted a bit:

  • Pittsburgh’s chances went down with their loss (and increased chance of not getting the No. 1 seed)
  • Green Bay moved up as they stayed within striking distance of New Orleans, and separated from the NFC West leader with Seattle’s loss
  • Tennessee’s chances dropped a bit with their home loss to Cleveland.

Where Our Playoff Predictions Differ From the Betting Market

For this comparison, we are using the playoff futures odds posted at DraftKings Sportsbook, related to each team’s odds to make the playoffs and win its division.

Entering Week 14, there are two teams where we differ most from the betting market when it comes to playoff odds:

  • One is Miami, which we discussed last week, and in the past. Our points-based predictive ratings may be a bit too optimistic about Miami’s chances, because the Dolphins have produced points in ways that are less repeatable (special teams, defensive scores, and less dependent on offense), but currently our projections don’t consider that when evaluating scoring differentials.
  • The other is Minnesota, which has implied odds of about 40% to make the playoffs according to the betting market, but are at a lower 28% playoff odds in our projections.

Minnesota, Improved Play or Just Improved Record?

Interestingly, we were fairly in line with the Vikings’ playoff odds entering last week, but Minnesota made a bigger leap in the betting markets than in our projections this week. So let’s quickly talk about the Vikings.

Yes, Minnesota has swung from a 1-5 start to a now even 6-6. While some of that improvement is due to better play (and fewer turnovers), a lot of it is also the result of close game performance that makes the shift look bigger than it is.

Minnesota, who is a near average team in our power ratings, has beaten Carolina and Jacksonville at home in the last two weeks, one with a last-minute TD to come from behind, and the other in overtime. Three games ago, they lost at home to Dallas by 3 points. That’s hardly indication of a team playing significantly better in recent weeks.

The Vikings’ upcoming schedule gets harder, too. They close with games at Tampa Bay and at New Orleans, in addition to division games against Detroit and Chicago in the NFC North. In total, we project them for only 1.6 wins over these final four games.

As far as tiebreakers, Minnesota will not play any of the other wildcard hopefuls, so it will likely come down to conference record or common games if there is a tie at 8-8. Those aren’t determined yet, and upcoming games will play into those tiebreakers.

So while their may be optimism now that Minnesota has now moved into a wildcard spot at 6-6, leading to some momentum in the betting market, the upcoming schedule and their power rating don’t necessarily justify them as the favorite among all the possible contenders for the last spot.

Enjoy NFL Week 14, and if you’re in an football pool or planning on betting some of the Week 14 games, please check out our NFL betting picks, NFL pick’em pool picks, and NFL survivor pool picks.


Below we’ve archived our past weekly analysis for reference.


NFL Playoff Predictions Entering Week 13

In this post we summarize our 2020 NFL playoffs outlook for both the AFC and NFC, with predictions based on our power ratings based computer simulations of the remaining season schedule for each team.

We also list our Super Bowl odds for the favorites, and have a section detailing where our numbers most differ from some other betting market info.

AFC Playoff Picture 2020

The table below shows our predictions for the AFC playoff seeding, heading into Week 13.

We list the 7 projected playoff teams, determined by assigning the division winners, and then the remaining wildcards by percent chance of reaching the postseason.

We also list all other teams in the AFC who have at least a 0.1% of reaching the playoffs.

SeedTeamDivisionCurrent RecordProjected WinsPlayoff Odds
1PittsburghNorth11-014.6100.0%
2Kansas CityWest10-113.6100.0%
3TennesseeSouth8-311.195.7%
4BuffaloEast8-310.488.3%
5BaltimoreNorth6-510.180.1%
6ClevelandNorth8-310.169.6%
7MiamiEast7-49.659.3%
IndianapolisSouth7-49.856.2%
Las VegasWest6-58.938.3%
New EnglandEast5-67.611.2%
HoustonSouth4-76.31.1%
DenverWest4-75.70.3%

Analysis of Current AFC Playoff Odds

Indianapolis Has Tiebreaker Issues

Our projection for the final playoff spot in the AFC is tight. Indianapolis actually has a higher average projected win total than Miami, but a slightly lower chance of reaching the playoffs.

That’s because of tiebreakers. Indianapolis and Miami do not play this year, but the Colts are 3-4 in AFC Conference games while the Dolphins are 4-3, and both teams are done playing teams from the NFC. If they finish with the same record, Miami would win the conference tiebreaker.

Indianapolis also has tiebreaker issues as the Colts lost to Baltimore, Cleveland, and split with Tennessee, but trail the Titans not only in the standings now, but also have one more division loss. As a result, the Colts really need the win at Houston this week.

Ravens Projecting Better Than Browns

You may also notice that Baltimore is projected for the same win total as Cleveland, yet has a higher chance of making the playoffs, despite currently trailing the Browns by two games in the standings.

That’s because the Ravens rank much higher in our predictive power ratings, have a very manageable schedule down the stretch, and also get Cleveland one more time this season.

Cleveland and Tennessee, meanwhile, are in the biggest swing game in the AFC this week for playoff purposes, as the winner moves to 9-3 and puts themselves in great position.

NFC Playoff Picture 2020

Here are our predictions for the NFC Playoff seeding, heading into Week 13.

Again, we list the 7 projected playoff teams, determined by assigning the division winners, and then the remaining wildcards by percent chance of reaching the postseason.

We also list all other teams in the NFC who have at least a 0.1% of reaching the playoffs.

SeedTeamDivisionCurrent RecordProjected WinsPlayoff Odds
1New OrleansSouth9-212.4100.0%
2Green BayNorth8-311.498.9%
3SeattleWest8-311.398.4%
4NY GiantsEast4-76.041.9%
5LA RamsWest7-410.190.9%
6Tampa BaySouth7-59.880.7%
7ArizonaWest6-58.653.5%
San FranciscoWest5-67.931.1%
PhiladelphiaEast3-7-15.525.8%
WashingtonEast4-75.725.0%
ChicagoNorth5-67.724.1%
MinnesotaNorth5-67.419.2%
DallasEast3-84.77.3%
AtlantaSouth4-75.81.7%
DetroitNorth4-75.51.3%
CarolinaSouth4-85.80.2%

Analysis of Current NFC Playoff Odds

Key NFC West Games This Week

San Francisco kept their playoff hopes alive last week, when they beat the Rams on the road, while Arizona lost at New England. The 49ers have a slightly higher chance of making the playoffs compared to both Chicago and Minnesota, also at 5-6.

San Francisco has the ability to give Arizona a loss directly when they play on December 26th, and that outcome is heavily tied to their chances of making the playoffs in a year decimated by injuries.

The NFC West has two key games this week in the playoff race and both take place in Arizona. The Cardinals face Los Angeles trying to avoid a three-game losing streak. The other is the San Francisco game against Buffalo, in Arizona, on Monday Night Football.

The 49ers need to win a toss-up game like this to stay within striking distance of a playoff spot.

Giants The Current Favorite In Terrible NFC East

Meanwhile, the NFC East is a mess and far from decided. The Giants are our current favorite among the four teams, and that’s largely because they beat Washington twice (by 4 combined points).

However, you’ll notice that their playoff odds are far lower than the other current NFC division winner favorites.

All four NFC East teams are sizable underdogs this week, so if any of them can pull off an upset, the playoff picture for the division could change considerably.

Super Bowl Predictions & Odds

Here are the Super Bowl winner odds for the ten most likely teams to win it all this year, according to our projections.

TeamDivisionSB Win Odds
New OrleansNFC South20.9%
Kansas CityAFC West20.3%
PittsburghAFC North17.7%
Green BayNFC North8.5%
BaltimoreAFC North6.5%
SeattleNFC West5.2%
Tampa BayNFC South5.1%
LA RamsNFC West3.9%
TennesseeAFC South3.0%
BuffaloAFC East1.7%

New Orleans has moved to the favorite, though these odds come with a bit of a caveat this year. Since our predictive ratings are based on point differentials and schedule strength, they don’t fully account for some of the COVID-driven weirdness where teams may be far from full strength for certain games.

The Saints just got to play a no-QB version of the Denver Broncos that did not accurately represent Denver’s typical performance level, and New Orleans’ 28-point win on the road is not as impressive if you know it came against a practice squad wide receiver playing quarterback with no preparation time.

Where TeamRankings Predictions Differ From the Betting Market

For this comparison, we are using the playoff futures odds posted at DraftKings Sportsbook, related to playoff chances and odds of winning a division.

Compared to the odds implied by DraftKings’ lines, our projections are more confident in three teams, in terms of their chance to make the 2020 playoffs:

  • NY Giants (+12% higher odds of making playoffs)
  • Baltimore (+11%)
  • Miami (+9%)

Our projections are less confident in two teams:

  • Cleveland (-8% lower odds of making playoffs)
  • Dallas (-8% lower odds of making playoffs)

New York and Dallas

The Giants are kind of two sides of the same coin, since the betting odds are higher on Dallas and lower on the Giants, relatively, to win the NFC East. (The Giants are still a slight favorite over Washington and Philadelphia, and Dallas is still fourth in terms of odds.)

Dallas has, frankly, been mostly bad since QB Dak Prescott got hurt, getting outscored by 91 points and going 1-5 without him. There’s a chance that current odds are still valuing the pre-Dak-injury games too much.

At the same time, our projections don’t proactively adjust future projections for recent injuries (which, outside of QBs, are often overrated in terms of their actual impact). So there is some Daniel Jones risk built into our Giants’ number, as the quarterback may miss a game or two.

Baltimore

Baltimore is a distressed asset, in that they are now 6-5 and sit outside an official playoff position.

However, the Ravens have lost close games against good competition, just had their roster wiped out for a key game against Pittsburgh, and are still 5th in the NFL in point differential, while playing an above average schedule to date.

They close with Dallas, Jacksonville, Cincinnati, and the Giants along with the key game against Cleveland. So the market may just be down on Baltimore right now, but the underlying indicators are still there for a potential playoff run.

Cleveland

We just wrote about Cleveland being a team with a winning record but a negative point differential. The Browns are an incredible 8-3 while being outscored on the year by 21 points, so they certainly seem to have some downside risk.

Miami

Miami may be a little overvalued in our ratings, and thus, our projections. That’s because while the Dolphins have a great point differential, so far, they have benefitted from less repeatable events like opponent missed field goals and big defensive and special teams returns, as opposed to consistently putting up many more offensive points than opponents.

Enjoy NFL Week 13, and if you’re in an football pool or planning on betting some of the Week 13 games, please check out our NFL betting picks, NFL pick’em pool picks, and NFL survivor pool picks.