0-2 And BBQ? Odds To Make Playoffs Vs. NFL History

Written By Evan Scrimshaw on September 21, 2022
nfl playoffs odds

With two weeks of the NFL season through, there are a few teams who came into the season in the upper half of Super Bowl odds haven’t managed to get a win yet. That’s a precarious state for teams with ambitions of reaching the playoffs, and their NFL playoffs odds are getting longer.

Only 11% of 0-2 starting teams have made the playoffs in NFL history. Keep in mind, most of those 11% were in a six-team per conference format, but if that 11% was converted into a price, it would be about +800. Let’s check in on a few winless teams and where their odds sit now to be one of the seven to reach the postseason. Click on the odds anywhere in this post to bet now.

Cincinnati Bengals

Odds To Make The NFL Playoffs:

Odds To Win AFC North:

Last year’s AFC champions have gotten off to a very rocky start to the season, losing to the Steelers and Mitch Trubisky in their home opener and then going down to defeat against the Dak Prescott-less Cowboys at Jerryworld.

The issues start with the offence, which has put up 4.6 and 3.8 yards per play (YPP) so far this season, which has seen Joe Burrow sacked 13 times. The new look offensive line – returning one starter from the porous line that justified the changes – has been brutal so far.

Burrow avoided the turnovers in Week 2 after a four-pick, two-fumble (one lost) performance against the Steelers in Week 1, but the lack of time that caused the bad throws in Week 1 persisted.

Defensively, the Bengals have been decent, conceding a mere 5.0 YPP, good for 11th in the league, and against the Steelers they only conceded 23 points because Burrow’s interceptions kept giving Mitch Trubisky a short field. That said, playing only Trubisky and Cooper Rush leaves doubts about that defense when they play good offenses.

With a 4.3 YPP offense so far, the Bengals have the second worst in the league, only above the Texans. That mark just isn’t going to be enough to stay in most games. You could say they’ve run a little cold in the Red Zone by only scoring TDs on 50% of trips this year, but they only converted 54.55% of their trips last year too when they won the AFC North.

The good news for the Bengals is that nobody in the AFC North is 2-0, with all three of the Ravens, Steelers, and Browns losing in Week 2, but even then, they don’t look like a team who has much going for them.

The Bengals do have a fairly simple path back to winning games – they need their new look offensive line to start playing much better. If they can get on the same page and stop putting Burrow on his back, then the Bengals deep receiving core might actually have time to get open and make plays. Without that time, it’s going to be a long season in Cincinnati.

Indianapolis Colts

Odds To Make The NFL Playoffs:

Odds To Win AFC South:

Not 0-2 because of their tie against the Houston Texans in Week 1, but the Matt Ryan-led Colts have to be one of the biggest disappointments of the season.

After a 9-8 year with Carson Wentz at the helm, the idea of them starting the season winless – against the Texans and Jaguars – was unthinkable. They have looked good for one quarter so far this year, but there is some scope for improvement.

19th in YPP on offense is not that bad, and certainly not the results of a team that was shut out in its most recent game, because the real rub is their horrible Red Zone offense. Only 28.6% of their Red Zone trips have ended in touchdowns, a far cry from the 56.25% last year. Had the Colts run better in the Red Zone, especially against Houston, they would easily be in better shape, and the panic bells would be ringing less loudly. Throw in the fact that Ryan has three turnovers while in opponent territory, and this looks like a decent amount of bad variance.

The defense is also a bit of an enigma – 7th in YPP, but they’ve yet to concede a point in the fourth quarter of games. The problem is, the Jaguars (and to a lesser extent, the Texans) got complacent offensively with big leads, and ran inoffensive, vanilla offense.

Can they turn it around? Definitely; although, the Chiefs aren’t a great “get right” spot. If Ryan stops doing his best Carson Wentz impression, that will help. The point of Ryan was to be more dependable and to make fewer mistakes. Right now, his inability to convert goal-to-go scenarios into points and his backbreaking turnovers are killing the Colts.

The good thing is, Indy is in the weakest division in football, and if Ryan can manage to just be the Quarterback he was last year, and they get some positive regression in the Red Zone and turnovers, the division is still easily in play.

Tennessee Titans

Odds To Make The NFL Playoffs:

Odds To Win AFC South:

Obviously it’s a bit unfair to lump them into this category – they were likely always looking at a 1-1 start just by the nature of playing the Bills, but the Titans also played so poorly, the starters were yanked in the third quarter.

Let’s start with the offense, a paltry 25th in the league in YPP, which is being weighed down by a third-worst running game. Averaging a horrific 3.3 yards per rush, while producing a top half rushing volume, is a recipe for disaster.

Their defense is somehow even worse, with the Titans conceding a 30th in the league 6.6 YPP. Even if you exclude the Bills game – which actually doesn’t distort the stats much because of all the Case Keenum snaps – the Titans gave up 6.8 YPP against Daniel Jones and the Giants, not exactly a juggernaut.

Can the Titans turn this around? I mean, they’ve got to be praying that the rest of that division stays horrible, but right now, there’s nothing redeeming about their team. The 15th in yards per pass is their best quality, with the Giants showing that a good rushing team can gash the Tennessee front to the tune of 7.5 yards per rush.

The Titans moving away from Henry would be a stylistic concession, but continuing to pretend that he is the same player as he was in 2019 and 2020 when he is currently averaging 3.1 yards per carry – a mark that has him 37th amongst RBs – is another recipe for disaster.

Moving away from a run-heavy style might work, but given that the Titans traded away their best receiver (A.J. Brown), it seems unlikely that that is likely. At this point, praying for continued Colts incompetence and an end to the Jaguars’ current run of decent performances is about all the Titans have, because the Music City is close to needing a miracle to have a good team. The NFL playoffs odds are certainly not in Tennessee’s favor.

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