NFL Playoff Odds & Betting Lines: 2019 Postseason Picture
One of the most exciting aspects of NFL betting is the unpredictability. Outside of the New England Patriots, who are the model of consistency, the NFL postseason experiences huge turnover in terms of its participants each year.
From 1991 thorough to 2019, six teams return to the playoffs on average, which means we see a half-dozen new teams enter the knockout stage year-over-year. As we’re just about to get the 2019 season started, let’s take a look at who the oddsmakers project to be in the playoffs in 2019 and what seeds they’ll hold (in order of their odds to win each conference).
If the picture plays out as the oddsmakers suggest, there would only be three teams – across both conferences – that made the playoffs last year that miss them this year. In reality, historical averages tell us that we should see closer to six, which means there could be some good value either on the make/miss playoff props or with the odds to win the conference.
The question for bettors is which team(s) will be that unexpected playoff contestant? According to the bookies, the NFC is the most likely spot.
NFL Playoff Picture 2019
|1||Patriots (+320)||Rams (+450)|
|2||Chiefs (+400)||Saints (+450)|
|3||Colts (+700)||Eagles (+500)|
|4||Browns (+750)||Bears (+900)|
|5||Chargers (+750)||Packers (+1000)|
|6||Steelers (+1100)||Cowboys (+1200)|
Odds via 888Sport and current as of publication but subject to change. Compare the latest NFL futures odds from top bookmakers to get the most value on your wager.
2019 AFC Playoff Picture
Top seeds: 1. Patriots, 2. Chiefs
Wild-Card matchups: (6) Steelers @ (3) Colts; (5) Chargers @ (4) Browns
The Patriots, Chiefs, Colts and Browns are slated to win their divisions, while the Chargers and Steelers would be wild-card teams, according to the oddsmakers. Although very little in the NFL actually plays out as expected, let’s just assume that these are our six playoff teams.
If that’s the case, that means the Browns and Steelers would be the two teams who missed the playoffs last year that are getting in this time around, while the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens – two teams who won their divisions in 2018 – would be on the outside of the playoffs looking in.
Of course, it’s no surprise that the Patriots are at the top of the food chain as they’ve won at least 11 games in nine straight seasons. They lost some key players in the offseason in Rob Gronkowski (retirement), Trent Brown (free agency) and Trey Flowers (free agency), but they look like they have a solid new wave of young talent coming in.
They’re expected to be pushed by the Chiefs for the top spot as Kansas City has won 10 or more games in four straight seasons. With wideout Tyreek Hill dodging suspension, the Chiefs have what looks to be the fastest, most explosive passing game in the league.
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns are a popular sleeper as they loaded up in the offseason with the acquisitions of Odell Beckham Jr., Kareem Hunt, Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson. They’re expected to win the division even though they haven’t even had a winning season since 2007.
As for the Pittsburgh Steelers, some might be surprised to see them mentioned as a playoff team after losing superstars Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown in the offseason.
2019 NFC Playoff Picture
Top seeds: 1. Rams, 2. Saints
Wild-Card matchups: (6) Cowboys @ (3) Eagles; (5) Packers @ (4) Bears
The Saints and Rams finished No. 1 and No. 2 in the regular-season standings last season and played in the NFC Championship Game. It’s clear the oddsmakers are expecting them both to remain at the top of the NFC.
As a matter of fact, the oddsmakers are mostly expecting the status quo in the NFC as – according to the odds – the only team expected to make the playoffs this year that missed out last year would be the Green Bay Packers. They’re slotted in while the Seattle Seahawks would drop out.
What’s interesting to note here, though, is that the odds are very tight between a group of seven teams: the Bears, Packers, Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks are all in the range of +900 to +1400.
The oddsmakers clearly expect the NFC to be more competitive. In the AFC, there are only three teams in the range of +1000 to +2000; there are seven in the NFC. That means things may not play out as planned, and this is where bettors can find value.