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NFL playoff odds: Detroit Lions’ chances to win NFC North skyrocket

A look at how the Detroit Lions’ playoff, division, and Super Bowl odds have changed after Week 15.

Denver Broncos vs Detroit Lions Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Week 15 could not have been much kinder to the Detroit Lions. Not only did they take care of business with a dominant win over the Denver Broncos, but they got plenty of help across the NFC to improve their playoff and divisional odds. Their chances to win the NFC’s top seed remain a long shot but are still alive. As for a Super Bowl championship... well, the Lions certainly didn’t hurt their case with their performance on Saturday night.

Let’s get into all of the Lions’ postseason odds and probabilities.

Note: Post is now updated to reflect Monday night’s game, featuring the Seahawks beating the Eagles.

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: 99.9% (+2.7%)
NYT: >99% (added greater than symbol) >99% (+2%)
ESPN: >99%

The Lions did not clinch a playoff spot this week, but at this point, it’s just a formality. I know some were disappointed that the Seahawks’ win over the Eagles shut down Detroit’s last clinching scenario of Week 15, but as you can see above, the Lions’ chances to make the playoffs are still astronomically high. You don’t need to realistically worry. The Lions are getting in, and it’ll probably happen in Week 16.

NFC North odds:

DVOA: 93.4% (+12.8%)
NYT: 96% (+5%) 93% (+11%)
ESPN: 96%

In Week 15, the Lions won and the rest of the division lost. With the Packers now 6-8, they are eliminated from NFC North contention (they can’t catch the Lions’ 10 wins). That means, it’s just between the Lions and Vikings. And the only way Minnesota can catch them is if they win all of their remaining games (vs. Lions, vs. Packers, @ Lions) and Detroit loses all three of their remaining games (at Vikings, at Cowboys, vs. Vikings). Per these statistical models, that only has a 4-7% chance of happening.

NFC No. 1 seed odds:

DVOA: 0.9% (+0.3%)
NYT: 1% (no change) 4% (+2)
ESPN: 2%

With the 49ers’ win and their impressive 9-1 record in conference play, the Lions are somehow going to have to make up two games on San Francisco to catch them. The 49ers do have a tough schedule ahead — vs. Ravens, @ Commanders, vs. Rams — but it’s still obviously a statistical longshot.

That said, the Eagles’ loss to the Seahawks did open up an opportunity for Detroit to at least jump to the No. 2 spot. The Lions now control their own destiny, meaning if they win out, they will be no lower than that second seed. Per ESPN, the Lions have a 15 percent shot at the No. 2 overall seed.

Super Bowl champion odds:

DVOA: 2.4% (+0.9%)
NYT: 4% (no change) 7% (+2%)

The Lions got a little bump in Super Bowl odds thanks to their dominant win over the Broncos and some questionable performances from other contenders (looking at you, Cowboys and Eagles).

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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.