The 2016-17 NFL season is scheduled to begin on September 8, 2016 with the annual Thursday night kickoff game. This year we will be treated to a Super Bowl 50 rematch with the defending champion Denver Broncos hosting the Carolina Panthers. Although this date is still roughly four months away, sportsbooks have been posting a smorgasbord of betting opportunities including Week 1 lines, futures and prop bets.
Recently CG Technology posted Yes/No odds for all 32 NFL teams to make the playoffs in the upcoming season. This continued the trend of sportsbooks pushing up their release date for major NFL prop bets and futures.
The table below displays the NFL playoff odds from CG Technology on May 9 along with the implied probability for both “Yes” and “No.” You’ll notice that due to the juice, each implied probability adds up to over 100%. This information will be updated as new information becomes available.
|TEAM||MAKE PLAYOFFS||IMPLIED PROBABILITY||MISS PLAYOFFS||IMPLIED PROBABILITY|
|Green Bay Packers||-420||80.77%||335||22.99%|
|New England Patriots||-260||72.22%||220||31.25%|
|Kansas City Chiefs||-130||56.52%||110||47.62%|
|New York Giants||120||45.45%||-140||58.33%|
|New York Jets||210||32.26%||-250||71.43%|
|Los Angeles Rams||220||31.25%||-260||72.22%|
|New Orleans Saints||320||23.81%||-400||80.00%|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||320||23.81%||-400||80.00%|
|San Diego Chargers||400||20.00%||-500||83.33%|
|San Francisco 49ers||600||14.29%||-900||90.00%|
There are a few surprises with these opening odds, and several teams appear to be offering value. For starters, oddsmakers seem to have overreacted to Tom Brady’s four-game suspension. The Patriots still have the best odds of winning the Super Bowl, however, they only have the fourth best odds of making the playoffs. I won’t typically recommend taking big moneyline favorites, but New England -260 is an excellent value.
Similarly, I can’t fully comprehend why the Colts (-130) are essentially a coin-flip to make the playoffs. The team struggled last year when Andrew Luck went down, but the franchise quarterback will be back behind center when this season begins. The AFC South remains one of the weakest divisions in football, and the Colts look poised for a bounce back season.
One team that I don’t believe will bounce back is the Dallas Cowboys. Although Tony Romo will be returning from a broken collarbone, their defense is painfully thin on edge pass rushers with several question marks about the healthy and production of their cornerbacks. The Cowboys are consistently one of the most popular teams among squares, which often cause their lines to be artificially inflated. For that reason, I like Dallas +115 to miss the playoffs.
Want a real contrarian viewpoint? I don’t think that the defending NFC Champion Panthers will make the postseason this year. Even if you don’t believe in the Super Bowl curse, there’s plenty of reason to think that Carolina will regress. Star cornerback Josh Norman signed with the Redskins and safety Roman Harper is still a free agent.
It’s true that Kelvin Benjamin will return for the upcoming season, but there are still major concerns about the team’s receiving corps. Coming off a 15-1 season and an appearance in the Super Bowl, this is the best time to sell high and take Carolina (+400) to miss the playoffs.
What do you think about these picks? Are there any teams that are offering value? Please leave your thoughts and comments in the section below.