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Using Vegas odds to examine playoff scenarios

Is your squad headed to the postseason? Joe Fortenbaugh

Print This December 30, 2010, 03:35 PM EST

Evaluations and predictions regarding the various playoff scenarios entering Week 17 are two things you can find just about anywhere on the internet. So we decided to look for a different approach to breaking down Sunday’s pivotal matchups.

We reached out to R.J. Bell of Pregame.com to get his take on the various postseason berths that are up for grabs this Sunday. You can check out more of R.J.’s terrific work by CLICKING HERE.

From R.J. Bell:

I consider it beyond debate that Las Vegas odds are an unmatched predictor of game outcomes. And the reason I’m so sure of that is the fact that Las Vegas DARES anyone to disagree, and they back up this dare will millions of dollars. Quite simply, if you can predict games better than Las Vegas, you can beat Las Vegas out of millions of dollars.

So, using Las Vegas odds, we can make a hyper-accurate assessment of the unsettled playoff races. This assessment allows us to gauge the motivation of the teams involved.  

DIVISION WINNERS

Steelers win division? 74% odds

Scenario: Steelers win (68%) OR Ravens lose (19%)

Colts win division? 91% odds

Scenario: Colts win (82%) OR Jags lose (50%)

Falcons win division? 93% odds

Scenario: Falcons win (91%) OR Saints lose (24%)

NFC #1 SEED

Falcons number one: 92.5%

Scenario: Falcons win (91%) OR both Saints and Bears lose (19%)

Saints number one: 7%

Scenario: Saints win (76%) AND Falcons lose (9%)

Bears number one: 1/2%

Scenario: Bears win (21%) AND both Falcons and Saints lose (2%)

NFC FINAL WILD CARD SPOT

Green Bay: 84% odds

Scenario: Packers win (79%) OR both Giants and Bucs lose (26%)

Giants: 14% odds

Scenario: Giants win (66%) AND Packers lose (21%)

Bucs: 2% odds

Scenario: Bucs win (24%) AND both Giants and Packers lose (7%)

NFC WEST WINNER

Scenario: Winner advances - Rams 58%, Seattle 42%

Note: The very rare chance of games ending in a tie has been discounted for these calculations.

So, for example, the Bears have only a 1 in 200 chance of winning the #1 seed, and they have the #2 locked up, so it’s logical to assume their effort will be minimal. It’s also interesting to consider that some of these games play at 1:00 et, and some play at 4:00 et – and thus some of the contingencies of these scenarios will be determined by the time the 4:00 games kick-off. If you are a sports bettor, and you understand correlated parlays, then there’s a great profit opportunity this week. (And if you are bettor and don’t understand correlated parlays, you need to read, watch, and listen more at www.Pregame.com).

RJ Bell is the founder and CEO of Pregame.com, and is the world’s most quoted sports betting expert, including ESPN, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, and NationalFootballPost.com! Follow RJ’s news-making info at www.Twitter.com/RJinVegas

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