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NFL playoff odds: Detroit Lions still heavy NFC North favorites despite Vikings’ surge

Looking at the Detroit Lions’ odds to make the playoffs, win the NFC North, get the No. 1 NFC seed, and win the Super Bowl.

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions are in the driver’s seat in the NFC North as we enter Week 11 of the 2023 NFL season. At 7-2, the Lions hold a 1.5-game lead over the 6-4 Minnesota Vikings, but with the Vikings currently on a five-game winning streak, that hold on the division doesn’t seem as tight.

Despite losing starting quarterback Kirk Cousins for the year with an Achilles injury, newly-added Joshua Dobbs has continued to give that team a spark. But don’t overlook their defense, too, which currently ranks 14th in points allowed and eighth in DVOA.

But despite the Vikings’ surge, the Lions still remain a heavy favorite to claim their first division title in 30 years.

Let’s take a closer look at the Lions’ playoff odds, including their chances to take the No. 1 seed and even win the Super Bowl.

Too take a look at each source of playoff probabilities, click the following links:

Playoff odds

DVOA: 99.3%
NYT: 99% 99%

Looking at the latest NFC playoff picture, you can see that if Detroit somehow loses their grasp on the division, there’s still a very high probability they make the postseason via an NFC Wild Card spot. In order to fall all the way out of the playoffs, they would have to be jumped by one of the following teams:

  • 4-5 Buccaneers (Lions hold tiebreaker)
  • 4-6 Commanders
  • 4-6 Falcons (Lions hold tiebreaker)
  • 3-6 Packers (Lions hold tie breaker)
  • 3-6 Rams

With at least a three-game lead on all of these teams, the Lions would have to have an epic collapse to miss the playoffs.

NFC North odds:

DVOA: 90.3%
NYT: 86% 83%

As stated above, the Lions remain a heavy favorite to win the NFC North. DVOA is Detroit’s biggest supporter, as their probabilities are based on those rankings. Detroit is currently the fourth-best team in the NFL according to DVOA, while the Vikings rank 14th.

Also worth noting is the remaining strength of schedules for both teams. Per DVOA, the Lions have fourth-easiest remaining schedule in the NFL. The Vikings schedule is 11th easiest. Going by opponents’ winning percentage, the Lions have an even clearer advantage:

Lions remaining opponents: .468 winning percentage
Vikings remaining opponents: .523 winning percentage

NFC No. 1 seed odds:

DVOA: 25.9%
NYT: 14% 18%

In order to jump the Philadelphia Eagles for the No. 1 seed, the Lions need to gain at least one game on them and then win out on tiebreakers. Again, strength of schedule is going to play a big part in this, and again, the Lions have an advantage there.

Strength of schedule by DVOA:

  • Lions: 4th easiest
  • Eagles: 13th easiest

Strength of schedule by winning percentage:

Lions remaining opponents: .468 winning percentage
Eagles remaining opponents: .474 winning percentage

Super Bowl champion odds:

DVOA: 11.3%
NYT: 8% 12%

I have nothing to say here.

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