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NFL playoff odds: Despite rocky week, Detroit Lions still in stellar position

Despite the Thanksgiving loss, the Detroit Lions’ postseason odds remain relatively unchanged, and the outlook is very promising.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 24 Penn State at Michigan State Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It felt a little like the sky was falling on Thanksgiving after the Detroit Lions lost to the Green Bay Packers. It wasn’t just that Detroit lost to their biggest rival on national television, but that the team has now produced uninspiring performances in back-to-back weeks. This is the moment in previous years when the Lions have hit their stride, but they appear to be heading in the wrong direction.

While that could certainly be true, it’s also a bit short-sighted. The Lions have accomplished a lot already this year—which is why they are tied for the third-best record in football—and it has put them in a tremendous situation with just six games left in the regular season.

When we look at the updated 2023 NFL playoff odds, it really drives the point home just how comfortable of a position the Lions are in. Could they still spiral? Of course. Any team can. But they’ve built in a ton of margin for error thanks to a strong start.

Before we get into the playoff odds, a reminder of where things currently stand.

NFC playoff picture

  1. Eagles: 10-1
  2. 49ers: 8-3
  3. Lions: 8-3
  4. Falcons: 5-6

Wild Card race:

5. Cowboys: 8-3
6. Seahawks: 6-5
7. Vikings: 6-6

In the hunt:

8. Packers: 5-6
9. Rams: 5-6
10. Saints: 5-6
11. Buccaneers: 4-7

Detroit did drop a seed this week, and the 49ers have the tiebreaker in conference record (6-1 to 5-2). However, the Lions remain 2.5 games ahead in the NFC North and have a three-game buffer for the final playoff spot.

Now let’s get into the probabilities.

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

NOTE: The +/- is based on the numbers from last week, prior to Detroit’s loss to the Packers.

Playoff odds

DVOA: 97.7% (-1.8%%)
NYT: 99% (removed a greater than symbol) 98% (-1%)

Detroit’s postseason odds are still incredibly high, and almost completely unchanged despite Thursday’s loss. It would still take a colossal failure for Detroit to be out of the playoffs come January. With the lowest of the estimates at a 97.7% chance of making the playoffs, you should be able to breathe easy.

NFC North odds:

DVOA: 87.9% (-4.5%)
NYT: 94% (no change) 88% (-2%)

A loss and a Packers win likely took a couple percentage points off Detroit’s divisional title odds, but thanks to Minnesota’s loss on Monday night, the Lions remain the heavy favorite to end the season atop the NFC North. Green Bay is slowly chipping away at the odds, but it’s still the Vikings who pose the biggest threat to Detroit. Here are the odds for each team to win the North:


  • DVOA: 9.0%
  • NYT: 4%
  • 10%


  • DVOA: 3.2%
  • NYT: 2%
  • 3%

NFC No. 1 seed odds:

DVOA: 3.0% (-14.5%)
NYT: 4% (-11%) 3% (-9%)

Unsurprisingly, the biggest hit to the Lions’ playoff odds last week was their chances at the top seed in the NFC. Not only did Detroit lose, but the 49ers and Eagles both won. Philly is in a power position right now, with a two-game lead over the Lions and 49ers and an impressive resume that features wins over the Cowboys, Chiefs, and Bills in the past three weeks. Their perfect record in the NFC (6-0) is also a key tiebreaker—the Lions are 5-2 in conference play.

That said, this week the Eagles and 49ers face off against each other, so there’s a chance for Detroit to re-enter the conversation if San Francisco pulls off the win.

Super Bowl champion odds:

DVOA: 4.1% (-4.5%)
NYT: 6% (-1%) 6% (-5%)

The Lions’ Super Bowl odds are looking a little rough right now. It’s easy to see why. While the Lions are looking a bit uninspiring right now, the top teams in the NFL—the likes of the Chiefs, Ravens, Dolphins, Eagles, 49ers, and Cowboys—are all currently playing some solid football.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.