Biggest NFL Playoff Odds Movers: Week 13
Week 13 could not have gone much better for the Seattle Seahawks.
As far as our playoff odds are concerned, Seattle went from being about an even-money bet to make the postseason to almost a sure thing. Things were looking up for them even before kickoff against the Eagles, as the NFC’s other top wild card contenders had a rough day.
The results meant the Seahawks’ playoff odds swung more than 30% in their favor, an increase that marked the biggest movement of the weekend in either direction.
Who else were the biggest winners and losers with regard to their changing playoff odds?
Seattle Seahawks (8-4)
Playoff Odds Movement: +34.1%
Week 12 Result: Def. Philadelphia, 24-10
Playoff Odds Before Week 13: 54.0%
Playoff Odds After Week 13: 88.1%
Week 13’s results mean it is nearly certain that Seattle will be playing in the postseason, but just how they will qualify?
The Seahawks currently have a 44.7% chance of reaching as a wild card and a 44.6% chance of doing so as NFC West champions. The 9-3 Los Angeles Rams are currently the favorites to win the division, with a 55.4% chance of doing so.
Both teams have a few things in their favor. The Rams have played like the better team and are 5th in our power rankings, while the Seahawks are 11th. They also own a one-game edge in the standings.
However, Seattle won the first matchup between the two teams and is hosting the rematch on December 17th, meaning they could have the all-important head-to-head tiebreaker on the horizon.
Tennessee Titans (8-4)
Playoff Odds Movement: +23.5%
Week 12 Result: Def. Texans, 24-13
Playoff Odds Before Week 13: 68.6%
Playoff Odds After Week 13: 92.1%
Tennessee, who was already in good shape to make the playoffs, is now the league's eighth team to have at least a 90% chance of doing so.
The margin is slim here, despite the fact that the Titans have a one-game lead and a head-to-head win over Jacksonville. They have a 51.8% chance to win the division, compared to the Jaguars’ 48.2% odds.
This is because there is a pretty wide disparity in quality between the two teams. As mentioned, Jacksonville tops our power rankings and is rated as 11.32 points better than average, while Tennessee is 18th and 2.86 points below average.
Baltimore Ravens (7-5)
Playoff Odds Movement: +9.9%
Week 12 Result: Def. Lions, 44-20
Playoff Odds Before Week 13: 70.4%
Playoff Odds After Week 13: 80.3%
Baltimore's increase was less pronounced than that of Seattle or Tennessee, but they held serve in the race for the AFC’s final wild card berth.
The Bills lost and fell to 6-6 and while the Raiders and Jets both won on Sunday. The bigger threat to the Ravens looks like the Chargers, who won their third straight game to improve to 6-6.
The Chargers are seventh in our power rankings, while Baltimore is ninth. Neither team has a particularly difficult remaining schedule, as both have only one game remaining against a team with an above-average nERD.
Kansas City Chiefs (6-6)
Playoff Odds Movement: -22.6%
Week 12 Result: Lost to the Jets, 38-31
Playoff Odds Before Week 13: 70.4%
Playoff Odds After Week 13: 47.8%
For the first time this season, our model says the Chiefs are more likely to miss the playoffs than participate in them.
Their downward spiral, in which they have lost five of their last six games, has corresponded with a surge from the Chargers. Both teams are now 6-6, with Kansas City maintaining its top spot thanks to a 24-10 win in Los Angeles in Week 3.
After that weekend, the Chiefs had an 81.8% chance of making the playoffs and a 57.8% chance of winning the AFC West. The Chargers’ numbers were 5.5% and 1.1%, respectively.
The Chargers are now the favorites to win the division, with a 48.5% chance of doing so. The Chiefs' odds stand at 42.6%, while the Raiders still have an 8.9% of winning the West.
Buffalo Bills (6-6)
Playoff Odds Movement: -18.5%
Week 12 Result: Lost to New England, 23-3
Playoff Odds Before Week 13: 35.8%
Playoff Odds After Week 13: 17.3%
Atlanta Falcons (7-5)
Playoff Odds Movement: -18.4%
Week 12 Result: Lost to Minnesota, 14-9
Playoff Odds Before Week 13: 45.3%
Playoff Odds After Week 13: 26.9%
Both teams had similarly bad weeks, and their comparable drops in playoff odds reflect such.
Buffalo lost to New England while watching the Chargers, Ravens, and Raiders all win on Sunday.
The NFC wild card contenders did not have as good of a day, but Atlanta’s loss coupled with Seattle’s win was enough to do serious damage to the Falcons’ postseason hopes. They are only a game out of the final wild card spot, but have a grueling remaining schedule that includes two games against New Orleans and another against Carolina.