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2023 NFL Make Playoffs Futures Picks & Best Bets To Back Today

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 10 mins

2023 NFL Make Playoffs Futures Picks & Best Bets To Back Today

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For a few teams, winning the Super Bowl is the one and only goal of the 2023 NFL season. For many others, making the playoffs is a massive step in the right direction. 

The NFL Playoffs expanded to 14 teams in 2020. That’s still less than half of the teams, and a berth remains a benchmark for teams, from the defending champion Chiefs to the three-win Bears (sorry, Chicago). 

Bookies.com NFL handicapper Adam Thompson, who has hit on 62-64% of his NFL picks each of the last three seasons for Bookies, reveals his five favorite Make Playoffs NFL futures picks. 

2023 NFL Make Playoffs Futures Best Bets

TeamTo Make 2023 NFL PlayoffsTeam Pick Odds
Cleveland BrownsYes

+115 at DraftKings

New Orleans SaintsNo

+180 at DraftKings

Green Bay PackersYes +180 at DraftKings
Los Angeles RamsNo

-380 at DraftKings

Philadelphia EaglesYes

-500 at DraftKings

Odds via DraftKings and current as of publication. Check out our DraftKings Review

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Cleveland Browns

Odds: Yes at +115 at DraftKings

One could make an argument for all four teams of the AFC North – the Bengals, Ravens, and Steelers, plus the Browns – to make the postseason. Cincinnati and Baltimore have far lower NFL odds of being postseason entrants. 

But there is a lot to like about Cleveland, from a bolstering of the defensive front which will take pressure off edge rusher Myles Garrett, to a rebuilt defensive backfield. The O-line should be better and Nick Chubb is running behind it. 

Deshaun Watson is the wild card here. After more than a year off, he looked OK-not-great in his brief return to Cleveland. Now he’s had a full off-season to get back on track. In his last full season, Watson led the NFL in passing yards and yards per pass. 

I’m of the belief the Bengals (-255), Ravens (-170), and Browns get to the postseason this year. Cleveland’s odds on the betting apps have the most value. 

New Orleans Saints

Odds: No at +180 at DraftKings

On the flip side of the AFC North is the NFC South, which could be the weakest division in football, or at least the one most likely to advance only one team to the NFL Playoffs. The Buccaneers were the division champions last year at 8-9. The Panthers, Saints, and Falcons each finished 7-10. 

All four teams could make an argument; the Saints have the strongest odds to make the postseason. But these aren’t your usual Saints. Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas are aging unknowns, and the team had to jettison much of its defensive talent due to salary cap issues and the addition of pricey QB Derek Carr. 

The Saints have the second-easiest schedule in the NFL this season. The easiest? That’s the rival Falcons, with the Panthers at 27th and Buccaneers at 22nd. We’ll take plus odds for any team that just went 7-10 and could be worse in personnel this year

Green Bay Packers

Odds: Yes at +180 at DraftKings

Aaron Rodgers is gone, off to New York to prove the doubters wrong. But for those who watched Rodgers last year, he was more of a detriment than a strength, missing open players while disagreeing with coaching and dividing the locker room. He’s gone, but just about everyone else of note is back. 

Green Bay’s defense should be improved at all three levels, and a shakeup in coaching on that side of the ball should help as well. It then comes down to QB Jordan Love. Is he ready for the spotlight? He’s proven his mettle in the preseason and coaches say he took massive steps mentally during the ’22 season. 

If he performs as Matt LaFleur believes he will, the Green Bay Packers challenge the Lions and Vikings atop the NFC Central, and for a wild card spot.

The Packers play in Chicago and Atlanta to open the season. Win one or both of those games, and a 9-8 or better finish is plausible. 

Los Angeles Rams 

Odds: No at -380 at DraftKings

These are huge odds, obviously, though ones that don’t seem likely, or possible, to miss. The Rams will have Cooper Kupp and Matthew Stafford in full health, and Aaron Donald returns on defense. 

But the team had only a few other playmakers last year en route to a 5-12 season, and two of the big ones, CB Jalen Ramsey and LB Bobby Wagner are gone. 

They won the Super Bowl just two seasons ago, and kudos for that. But the bill is due for those all-in moves. Stafford played just nine games last year but the team was only 3-6 with him, and his QB rating was his worst since 2014. 

The Rams aren’t going to win the NFC West, so it’s Wild Card or bust. There are 6-7 wins on the schedule. The 9-8 Detroit Lions missed out last year. 

Philadelphia Eagles

Odds: Yes at -500 at DraftKings

Another boring but strongly agreeable NFL futures pick. The Eagles went 14-3 and advanced to the Super Bowl, and arguably got better this off-season. They kept most of the free agents they wanted to keep while adding two of the premier edge rushers in the NFL Draft and trading for RB D’Andre Swift. 

That’s right, the Eagles should be improved from a team that ranked in the top 3 in both total offense and total defense. 

Surely there will be some marquee matchups, and the Eagles won’t win them all. But anything fewer than 12 games would be a shocker, and even that should get them back to the postseason to defend their NFC title. These odds should be closer to -1000.

About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.