It is Week 15 of the NFL season, and as we draw closer to the end of the regular season, the playoff picture becomes more clear. Last week, we dove into how the betting market evaluated all the playoff contenders and which bets I believed presented the most value. This week, we re-examine the entire playoff odds board and the changes from Week 14. Let’s see what Vegas thinks about your team and bet another future or two in this week’s deep dive into the NFL playoff odds as they stand in Week 15.
NFL playoff odds for each team heading into Week 15
AFC Playoff Odds
Baltimore Ravens: Yes -1250; No +725
Buffalo Bills: Yes -4000; No +1300
Cleveland Browns: Yes -1115; No +675
Indianapolis Colts: Yes -1250; No +725
Las Vegas Raiders: Yes +2200; No -10000
Miami Dolphins: Yes +200; No -250
New England Patriots: Yes +2200; No -10000
Tennessee Titans: Yes -3335; No +1400
The AFC playoff picture is certainly less murky than their NFC counterparts — tall odds almost across the board.
NFC Playoff Odds
Arizona Cardinals Yes -152; No +125
Chicago Bears: Yes +400; No -560
Minnesota Vikings: Yes +305; No -400
San Francisco 49ers: Yes +675; No -1115
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Yes -3335; No +1500
Just like last week, the NFC East is not listed in these playoff odds and is only listed on their chances to win their division. I have to agree with DraftKings here, as the NFC East is a truly special group and shouldn’t be lumped into the rest of the conference.
NFL Playoff Odds: Odds to win the NFC East
Washington Football Team -305
New York Giants +400
Philadelphia Eagles +600
Dallas Cowboys +5000
The battle to get into the playoffs is not the only playoff race that can be bet on. For the NFL’s top teams, the race to achieve the coveted number one seed and resulting bye week is heating up. Below are the odds for the odds to win the number 1 seed for their respective divisions.
NFL Playoff Odds: Odds to win the one seed in the AFC
Kansas City Chiefs: -3335
Pittsburgh Steelers: +1400
Buffalo Bills: +8000
NFL Playoff Odds: Odds to win the one seed in the NFC
Green Bay Packers: -167
New Orleans Saints +175
Los Angeles Rams +1400
Seattle Seahawks +2000
Takeaways from the Week 15 NFL playoff odds board
We saw some drastic changes in odds compared to last week, highlighting how critical each game is during this stretch. Perhaps the most dramatic value shift occurred in the AFC, where the once seven-team race for five spots has essentially been reduced to six. This is due to the Raiders all but eliminated following back to back losses to the Colts and the Chargers.
If you remember back to last week, I made a play on the Raiders not to make the playoffs at -154 considering their recent form and tough schedule. Just one week later you would have to pay -10000 to place this bet, showing some tremendous value. I hope you all joined me in placing this bet.
Reevaluating the board as it stands today, the books clearly believe that the AFC is fairly settled. The Bills, Browns, Titans, Colts, and Ravens all have odds over -1000, and all of these teams making it would complete the AFC playoff picture. There isn’t much value betting on these teams at this juncture.
This leaves just the 8-5 Dolphins on the outside looking in at +200 to make the playoffs. They certainly have the hardest schedule remaining with the Patriots, Raiders, and Bills on deck. If they can win two of these three, they will have a chance, and I am not ready to write this Dolphins club off just yet. They are in the race behind a solid defense. If Tua can mature rapidly, perhaps they enter the playoff dance.
Can any of the heavily favored teams drop off?
That being said, I am not ready to bet on them at just +200 either. Instead, I will look to more value and see which of the AFC teams with major plus money value may drop out. The Dolphins currently hold the tiebreaker against the Ravens, so why are the Ravens’ odds so high? Well, the talent on this roster is well known, and they have a cupcake schedule to finish (Jaguars, Giants, Bengals). The Ravens will be favorites in all these games, but that certainly does not mean they can’t drop one.
Minshew mania is back in Jacksonville, and I can guarantee that team will be trying to win as if their playoff hopes rest on it. The Giants’ defense is formidable and may give the Ravens trouble. The Ravens defense has not looked great in recent weeks, and there is reason to believe the struggling offenses may find some success.
I am not going to bet the house on it, but I believe the Ravens to make the playoffs line is too high following Monday night’s victory. At +725 it is worth a look. A small investment can look impressive after one week.
The Chiefs all but locked up the top seed with the Steelers’ loss to the Washington Football Team. I do not see them losing any of their last three games, but even if they do lose to the Saints, they will still hold the tiebreaker. At -1335, there is no value in betting on the Chiefs or anyone else to emerge as the number one seed in the AFC, and I am staying away.
Shifting over to the NFC playoff odds beyond Week 15
Now we transition to the NFC, where the top six teams are all but locked in. One wild card spot remains for three legitimate contenders: the Cardinals, Vikings, and Bears. Currently, the Cardinals sit one game up here, and there is little reason to have faith in either the Vikings’ horrible defense or the Bears’ putrid offense to mount a comeback.
The Bears and Vikings play this weekend with the loser all but eliminated, and I expect Minnesota to come away victorious here at home. Regardless, neither will have relevance in the overall picture. The Cardinals have a tough schedule as well, so dropping two games is entirely possible. I just do not think any of these teams deserve a bet right now, so I am staying away.
Last week, we placed a bet on the Packers to win the 1 seed at +160. A week later, and the odds have shifted greatly in our favor, with the Packers now at -167. With the Saints playing the Chiefs this weekend, it is hard not to feel extremely confident in this bet. If you missed out last week, I still think there is value in this play at -167 as I do not believe the Saints topple the Chiefs this weekend.
NFC East still a mess
Instead, I am shifting my sights to the worst division in football in the NFC East. The race to be best of the worst will come down to the Washington Football Team, the New York Giants, and the Philadelphia Eagles. The sportsbooks seem to think that the Football Team has this race locked up at -305, but I disagree. This will be the first and hopefully the last time I bet on a four-win team to make the playoffs in Week 15, but I have to be taking a look at the Eagles here at +600.
It is simply impossible to predict how these three weeks will shake out in this division, as all the contenders have shown that they can win or lose any given week. However, the Eagles have the easiest path coming in and looked like a new team with Jalen Hurts under center in their Week 14 victory over the Saints. They also have an opportunity to take down the division-leading Football Team in Week 17.
Don’t be surprised if you see the 7-8-1 Eagles sneak into the playoffs. Eagles +600 is the play. We may be shooting for the stars with our Week 15 plays, but I believe there is a lot of value in both of them. One hit, and we’ve won the jackpot. Plus, with our Week 14 picks looking so good, that has given us some wiggle room.
Good luck and be diligent with all of your Week 15 NFL playoff odds!