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NFL Odds to Make/Miss Playoffs (Vol. VI)

Scott Morris | July 9, 2024
Josh Allen QB

It’s brutally hot in the early summer, meaning only one thing,,,football. The 2024 NFL season is quickly approaching, though still months before the start of the playoffs. So, the perfect time to continue looking at one of the more popular props on the board. 

We’ve been examining this make/miss wager four teams at a time, and while some of these wagers are admittedly low-risk propositions, they are available. Perhaps a multi-prop parlay to increase your return. 

Here is our sixth installment of NFL make/miss playoff wagers ahead of the 2024 season… 

 

Buffalo Bills to Make (-180)

The Buffalo Bills continue to control the AFC East. That’s been the case ever since Tom Brady left the New England Patriots. WInning in the playoffs has been a different story, however. That’s not at issue here. We’re just concerned about the Bills getting into the postseason.

Quarterback Josh Allen is a mediocre 5-5 in the playoffs, getting criticized by pundits and fans  about that pedestrian resume. Allen will enter his seventh season as one of the best in the league, and the Bills, despite a fair amount of turnover, remain the team to beat in the division. Buffalo ‘stole’ the East last season, that after the Miami Dolphins imploded when it mattered. 

Some regression is possible, but we expect the Bills, at odds of 5-9 (-180), to make the playoffs once again. That’s a bet that has to be made. 

 

Carolina Panthers to Miss (-900)

There isn’t much to get excited about with the Carolina Panthers, the worst outpost in the NFL. The team goes through coaches the way people go through socks (meet Dave Canales while he’s there), and its offense scored the fewest points (236, same as the New England Patriots) in the league. Carolina, despite its residence in the insipid NFC South, is not prominent, as in the first team in league history never to lead in the final quarter.  

Carolina hasn’t sniffed the postseason since 2017. That won’t change here. Quarterback Bryce Young (11 touchdowns, 10 interceptions) had an uneven rookie season, though with license to improve. A two-win team in 2023, so five victories would be something of an accomplishment. 

The team’s victory total is set at 5½, according to NFL regular-season wins.

It’s low-hanging fruit to wager against the Carolina Panthers making the postseason, but…

 

Cleveland Browns to Make (+140)

The Cleveland Browns have to come with some sort of asterisk, so this 7-5 (+140) prop may be a leap of faith, While quarterback Joe Flacco found the Fountain of Youth to get the 11-6 Browns into the playoffs last season, this is clearly Deshaun Watson’s team. 

The polarizing quarterback and his rehabing shoulder have been one of the biggest offseason storylines. Add in running back Nick Chubb’s knee injury which prematurely ended 2023. 

Cleveland lost just once at home (8-1) last season, but get ‘em out of the new Dawg Pound and there are issues. Cleveland has made the playoffs twice in the last four seasons (coming after an 18-season drought), and the team figures to have a shot in the compacted AFC North. 

Cleveland also has a favorable, non-division schedule, including the Washington Commanders, New York Giants and Denver Broncos.   

Despite the question marks at ‘skill’ positions (aren’t they all?), take the value in this bet.

 

Detroit Lions to Miss (+195)

Josh Allen and Lions not to make the playoffsComing off a 12-5 season and a first division title/playoff appearance in forever, the Detroit Lions are a popular pick to be good once again. They are the 12-1 (+1200) fourth choice to win the title in New Orleans, as per Super Bowl LIX odds.

However, we’re going the other way. Detroit incinerated a 24-7 halftime lead in the conference title game at San Francisco 49ers, an ignominy that’ll produce a hangover. 

Coach Dan Campbell has his players buying into his gung-ho style, those sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. It was in the title game, and with this season’s version of the NFC  North being as competitive as any quadrant in the league, that will make it difficult to see these Lions having the same sort of success. quarterback Jared Goff (4,575 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, 12 interceptions) notwithstanding 

Detroit missing the playoffs at nearly 2-1 (+195) is the way we’re going.

More playoff make/miss picks here

or

See James Willis’ picks to win the Conference and Super Bowl 59

 

 

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