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NFL playoff odds: Detroit Lions division odds dip slightly after loss

The Detroit Lions’ loss to the Bears cost them an opportunity to get that much closer to an NFC North title.

Detroit Lions v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

With the Detroit Lions’ loss to the Chicago Bears last week, they lost ground on their NFC North lead. The Minnesota Vikings may not have looked good against the Las Vegas Raiders, but they’re now 7-6, just two games behind the Lions with four games left to go—and both head-to-head matchups still to be determined.

That said, because nearly the entire NFC collapsed in Week 14—including a hilarious Green Bay Packers loss—Detroit’s playoff odds remain in a very good spot, even within the division.

Before we get into the Lions’ exact playoff odds, a reminder of where things currently stand in the NFC playoff race.

NFC Playoff Picture

  1. 49ers: 10-3
  2. Cowboys: 10-3
  3. Lions: 9-4
  4. Buccaneers: 6-7

Wild Card race (top three advance)

  1. Eagles: 10-3
  2. Vikings: 7-6
  3. Packers: 6-7
  4. Rams: 6-7
  5. Seahawks: 6-7
  6. Falcons: 6-7
  7. Saints: 6-7

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.

Playoff odds

DVOA: 97.8% (-1.5%%)
NYT: 99% (removed greater than symbol) 98% (-1%)

The Lions’ playoff odds slipped a tiny bit, but not in any significant way. Detroit is now on the verge of clinching a playoff berth thanks to the horrible performances from just about every NFC team who entered the week with a 6-6 record, fighting for that final Wild Card spot. Here’s a look at those performances:

  • Vikings: Beat Raiders, 3-0
  • Falcons: Lost to Buccaneers, 25-29
  • Rams: Lost to Ravens, 31-37 (OT)
  • Seahawks: Lost to 49ers: 16,28
  • Packers: Lost to Giants, 22-24

Essentially, the Lions hold a three-game lead over the final playoff spot with four games remaining. A Lions win, combined with one loss from all the teams above will clinch Detroit’s first postseason berth since 2017.

NFC North odds:

DVOA: 80.6% (-10.8%)
NYT: 91% (-4%) 82% (-10%)

While the Lions’ loss and the Vikings’ win dropped Detroit’s divisional odds, the damage was mitigated by a Packers loss on Monday night. It’s nearly a two-team race at this point.

The Packers’ loss put them nearly out of the divisional race, as they need both the Vikings and Lions to falter down the stretch, and that seems unlikely since they play each other twice. Green Bay’s division title odds are essentially between 2-4%, depending on the model.

In order to clinch the division, the Lions simply need to win two games, with one of those games being against the Vikings. Those two victories would move Detroit to 11 wins, while Green Bay’s current ceiling is 10 wins. The Vikings would have that same ceiling if Detroit hands them one more loss.

NFC No. 1 seed odds:

DVOA: 0.6% (-4.9%)
NYT: 1% (-6%) 2% (-6%)

After the Lions’ loss and the 49ers’ win, Detroit’s odds to win the division are all but gone. The problem is that they are now behind three teams: the 49ers, Cowboys, and Eagles. If Detroit wins out—which would include a big win over Dallas—they’ve got a shot. But the Lions aren’t exactly playing like a team capable of winning out right now.

And even if they do win out, they’re going to need some serious help from the 49ers, who not only have a one-game lead on Detroit, but also hold the key conference record tiebreaker (8-1 vs. 6-3).

Here’s the 49ers’ remaining schedule:

  • @ Cardinals (3-10)
  • vs. Ravens (10-3)
  • @ Commanders (4-9)
  • vs. Rams (6-7)

Can the 49ers lose two of those games? Maybe. Will they? Probably not.

Super Bowl champion odds:

DVOA: 1.5% (-2.7%)
NYT: 4% (-2%) 5% (-3%)

These odds continue to slip, but anything can happen once the Lions get into the tournament, and they are on the cusp of accomplishing that.

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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.