The Detroit Lions’ win over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday wasn’t just a big victory because it was a dominant performance in a hostile environment on a national stage. It was also a decisive win over quite possibly the best divisional opponent in an NFC North that doesn’t appear to have much competition.
So after moving to 3-1 following a road victory over the Packers, it’s probably no surprise that statistical models give the Lions a good chance of making the postseason now. What may surprise you is just how high those probabilities are currently.
According to analytics site FTN Fantasy—using the same statistical model as now-defunct Football Outsiders—the Lions currently have a 93.4 percent chance to make the postseason—good for the third-highest probability in the league.
FTN’s playoff odds model is based on advanced metric DVOA, or defense-adjusted value over average—where the Lions currently rank fifth overall. It then simulates the rest of the season 25,000 times based on those metrics to determine these overall odds.
Part of the reason for such high odds is the poor NFC North. This model gives Detroit a 83.5 percent chance of being NFC North champions—something they’ve quite literally never done. With the Vikings at 1-3, the Bears’ season essentially over at 0-4 and the Packers now a game behind with a head-to-head loss, the Lions are indeed in the driver’s seat of the division.
Now, if you want to look beyond just making the playoffs or winning the divisional crown, there are more eye-opening odds provided by FTN. Take, for example, their odds that the Lions make the NFC Championship game: currently set at 36.4 percent. Take that in for a second. Per this model, Detroit has over a one-in-three chance to be a game away from the Super Bowl.
Speaking of which, FTN gives the Lions a 7.3 percent chance to win the Super Bowl, currently the seventh best odds in the NFL.
How do these odds compare to betting lines? Well, here are the latest odds according to the latest from DraftKings Sportsbook:
- Making the playoffs: -475 (implied odds: 82.6%)
- Win the division: -200 (implied odds: 66.7%)
- Win the NFC Championship game: +850 (implied odds: 10.5%)
- Win the Super Bowl: +1800 (implied odds: 5.26%)