Biggest NFL Playoff Odds Movers: Week 14

The Falcons picked up a huge win against the Saints to stay in the playoff picture. Who were the weekend's other big movers?

Don’t bury the reigning NFC champions.

In Week 13, the Falcons gave a lackluster performance in a loss to the Vikings that dropped their playoff odds under 27%. They bounced right back on Thursday night with a win over New Orleans, and thanks to the win and Seattle’s loss, Atlanta would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.

The Falcons’ playoff odds rose 25.0%, which was by far the biggest gain of the weekend. Seattle moved the most in the other direction after falling in Jacksonville, as their postseason odds took a 26.0% hit.


Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
Playoff Odds Movement: +25.0%
Week 12 Result: Def. New Orleans, 20-17
Playoff Odds Before Week 14: 26.9%
Playoff Odds After Week 14: 51.9%

The path to a division title repeat is still theoretically open for the Falcons, but we give them only a 10.7% chance to win the NFC South. They are a game behind both New Orleans and Carolina, trail both of them in the power rankings, and have a more difficult remaining schedule.

A wild card berth is their likelier path into the playoffs. Seattle actually still has higher playoff odds than the Falcons (63.3%), but the Seahawks’ most probable path into the playoffs is now as a division winner. Their wild card odds stand at only 23.1%, thanks in part to their head-to-head loss to Atlanta in November.

Among NFC teams, only the Panthers have a better chance of earning a wild card berth than the Falcons.

Team Wild Card Division Playoffs
Carolina Panthers 59.80% 17.60% 77.40%
Atlanta Falcons 41.20% 10.70% 51.90%
Los Angeles Rams 28.50% 59.80% 88.30%
Seattle Seahawks 23.10% 40.20% 63.30%
New Orleans Saints 22.40% 71.70% 94.10%
Green Bay Packers 11.10% 0.70% 11.80%
Detroit Lions 8.40% 0.30% 8.70%
Dallas Cowboys 4.60% 0.00% 4.60%
Minnesota Vikings 0.80% 99.10% 99.90%

Miami Dolphins (6-7)
Playoff Odds Movement: +9.1%
Week 12 Result: Def. New England, 27-20
Playoff Odds Before Week 14: 1.8%
Playoff Odds After Week 14: 10.9%

Miami almost surely will not make the playoffs, but they stayed alive thanks to an improbable win over the Patriots on Monday Night Football.

In this week’s power ranking article, I discussed how the Dolphins are actually among the worst 6-7 teams in NFL history, as their point and yardage differentials are among the worst in the league. This is why they are just 28th in the ratings.

As weak as the AFC has been this season, Miami will probably still need to win out to make the playoffs. This would mean picking up road wins in Buffalo and Kansas City, while also beating the Bills again at home.

For a team that we think is one of the five worst in the league, that is just not likely.

Los Angeles Chargers (7-6)
Playoff Odds Movement: +8.8%
Week 12 Result: Def. Washington, 30-13
Playoff Odds Before Week 14: 52.4%
Playoff Odds After Week 14: 61.2%

The Chargers are the anti-Dolphins in that they are actually much better than their record indicates. Los Angeles, the owners of a four-game winning streak, are now fourth in our power ratings.

If the season ended today, the Chargers would still be out of the playoffs, as the Chiefs won the first head-to-head meeting between the two clubs and still lead the AFC West, while Buffalo and Baltimore have better conference records.

This makes this Saturday’s matchup between the two clubs in Kansas City colossally important. We actually still have the Chargers pegged as the favorites to win the West, with 55.1% division title odds. The Chiefs are at 43.6%, and the Raiders still have a 1.4% chance.


Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
Playoff Odds Movement: -26.0%
Week 12 Result: Lost to Jacksonville, 30-24
Playoff Odds Before Week 14: 89.3%
Playoff Odds After Week 14: 63.3%

Seattle was the biggest winner last week but gave most of that gain back in Week 14.

After last week, the Seahawks were about as likely to make the playoffs as a wild card winner or division champion. Now, as shown in the chart above, they are almost twice as likely to do so as a division winner, provided they make the playoffs in the first place.

For this reason, the Seahawks were fortunate that the Rams also lost and kept the margin between the two teams at one game. The two teams will meet this Sunday in Seattle in a matchup that will obviously go a long way in deciding who wins the division.

The Seahawks are slightly favored to win on Sunday, but our numbers still have the Rams with just under a 60% chance of winning the West.

Tennessee Titans (8-5)
Playoff Odds Movement: -14.8%
Week 12 Result: Lost to Arizona, 12-7
Playoff Odds Before Week 14: 92.1%
Playoff Odds After Week 14: 77.3%

Baltimore Ravens (7-6)
Playoff Odds Movement: -10.6%
Week 12 Result: Lost to Pittsburgh, 39-38
Playoff Odds Before Week 14: 80.3%
Playoff Odds After Week 14: 69.7%

Both teams lost on Sunday and saw their playoff odds drop by double digits but are still in good shape to make the playoffs.

The Titans are a mediocre team with a negative point differential but are also the only team in the AFC wild card field with eight wins. Seven of these wins came in conference play, two more than the next best team in the conference vying for a wild card spot.

Baltimore appears to be the rare good team in this bunch. Among AFC teams currently in the wild card hunt, only the Chargers rank higher in the power ratings than the Ravens (eighth). Our numbers also say it is likely Los Angeles moves out of the wild card hunt and into first place in the AFC West, which would make the task ahead for the Ravens even easier.

Here is how the teams still alive for a wild card berth in the AFC break down.

TeamWild CardDivisionPlayoffs
Baltimore Ravens69.7%0.0%69.7%
Tennessee Titans56.9%20.4%77.3%
Buffalo Bills24.4%0.5%24.9%
Jacksonville Jaguars20.1%79.6%99.7%
Kansas City Chiefs11.0%43.6%54.6%
Miami Dolphins10.9%0.0%10.9%
Los Angeles Chargers6.1%55.1%61.2%
New England Patriots0.5%99.5%100.0%
Oakland Raiders0.4%1.4%1.8%