NFL Playoff Odds

by A.J. Coltrane

From Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight site. NFL playoff odds based on current record:

resized chart

The most interesting thing to me is the huge swings in probability that can take place early in the season — a season can functionally be over after the first three games.

3-0 — 75% playoff odds.

2-1  — 53% playoff odds.

1-2  — 25% playoff odds.

0-3  — 2% playoff odds.

If at any point a team is .500 or below then they’re worse than a coin flip to make the playoffs. Really, a team needs to have at least two more wins than losses to feel reasonably comfortable about their postseason hopes.

I’m guessing there’s going to be a fair amount of freaking out around Seattle if Sunday doesn’t go well for the Seahawks. After seeing this chart I might be a little less inclined to ignore the freakout.

Still, the 1-1 Seahawks are making the playoffs regardless of what happens against the Broncos.

Right?

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