Oh, the NFL Playoffs. What a time of the year that is. Only the best NFL teams remain in their quest to lift the coveted Lombardi trophy.
It’s the best vs. the best. Only 14 out of the 32 NFL teams qualify, so more than half of the franchises go home early. Seven teams from each conference go into the sudden-death mode to define the Conference Champions.
The last two standing play in the Super Bowl for all the marbles.
The betting world doesn’t let an opportunity pass by. There are markets for you to place a wager on whether a specific team qualifies for the postseason or not.
In this article, you’ll find the odds for the teams to “Make the Playoffs” and the format of the postseason. All you need to know about playoffs futures you’ll find here.
For a second year straight, the playoffs will pit 14 teams in total, seven per conference. So here’s how it works:
Before this year, the regular season consisted of 16 games, with one bye week. We enter a new era where the regular season brings 18 weeks and 17 games per team to define who gets into the playoffs.
No more chances for teams to end a season at a .500 record. No more 9-7 teams squeaking in. One game changes a lot. This also affects the playoffs futures betting.
These are some of the records a playoff team should aspire to under the new 17-game calendar:
A 10-win season may not be able to get you in, but the NFL is wild. Anything can happen, any given Sunday, right?
As soon as the postseason bracket is clear, the NFL odds for each Wild Card game will show at sportsbooks’ menus. The regular season ends on January 9, 2022. As soon as it’s the weekend, you’ll see the odds waiting for you.
Playoff futures are under the ‘Team Futures’ section, under a ‘To Make Playoffs’ tab. There, you’ll see each team with two odds, one where they qualify (YES). The other one is if they fall short of the postseason (NO).
Super Bowl contenders like the Chiefs or Buccaneers will usually have negative odds at the ‘YES’ tab. They are expected to make it to the playoffs. For example, Kansas City’s odds are -1000. This means you need to bet $1000 to get $100 if you bet on the Chiefs to get to the playoffs.
Teams in stronger divisions usually get longer odds. This is due to the competitiveness within it; look at the NFC West. Au contraire, teams that dominate their divisions get better odds. Their path to the playoffs is clearer.
The average odds to make the playoffs at the start of the season are between -200 and +300. Of course, you can find the odd long shot. These odds can change as the season progresses.
Public perception is key when betting on NFL playoff futures. These lines are almost only set based on each team’s reputation to the public eye.
The Cowboys were listed at -250 to make the playoffs last year. This was purely based on their image as a star-studded roster. Going against the public at +200 that Dallas wouldn’t make it was a great bet.
The oddsmakers consider the division’s strength, and you should too. At the end of the day, divisional games are six per year, a good chunk of the season. Apart from the divisions, check the whole team’s schedule before placing a wager.
Last but not least, shop lines, a small shift can translate into big dimes on your bankroll.
These teams played in the postseason last year. Attached to them, you can see their “To Make the Playoffs” preseason odds:
Kansas City Chiefs -1400
Baltimore Ravens -900
Tennessee Titans -140
Indianapolis Colts -160
Buffalo Bills -190
Cleveland Browns +135
Pittsburgh Steelers -125
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -220
Washington Football Team +650
Chicago Bears +155
New Orleans Saints -330
LA Rams +150
Seattle Seahawks -135
Green Bay Packers -140
As you can see, almost all teams were expected to play in the postseason.
The big surprise was the Washington Football Team, who entered with a 7-9 record, but managed to win the NFC East.