NFL Odds: Pair of Attractive Betting Values on 2019-2020 Losing Teams

Professional sports handicapper and OSGA writer Ross Benjamin goes out on a limb to predict a couple of longshots to make this season’s NFL Playoffs. Ross concludes this highly informative article by disclosing those 2 picks and detailing why he chose both.

Odds on NFL Teams Making the Playoffs

Below are the NFL betting odds for all 32 teams pertaining to making the playoffs. All odds provided are courtesy of Bovada.

Arizona Cardinals +175
Atlanta Falcons +160
Baltimore Ravens -1000
Buffalo Bills -185
Carolina Panthers +350
Chicago Bears +130
Cincinnati Bengals +650
Cleveland Browns +175
Dallas Cowboys -200
Denver Broncos +150
Detroit Lions +245
Green Bay Packers -300
Houston Texans -125
Indianapolis Colts +120
Jacksonville Jaguars +330
Kansas City Chiefs -2000
Las Vegas Raiders -115
Los Angeles Chargers +140
Los Angeles Rams -115
Miami Dolphins +425
Minnesota Vikings -125
New England Patriots -160
New Orleans Saints -700
New York Giants +340
New York Jets +200
Philadelphia Eagles -200
Pittsburgh Steelers -135
San Francisco 49ers -500
Seattle Seahawks -180
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -145
Tennessee Titans -170
Washington Redskins +600

Recent Losing Teams to Make Playoffs the Following Season

Since the 2016-2017 season, there has been 13 teams which had losing records the year before who qualified for the NFL Playoffs. Those teams combined to go 10-16 straight up and 12-14 against-the-spread in postseason action.

It is worth noting, two of those teams advanced to the Super Bowl. San Francisco did it in 2020 after recording a 4-12 record the year before. Unfortunately, for San Francisco, they were defeated by Kansas City in SBLIV. Additionally, Philadelphia made it to the 2018 Super Bowl after going 7-9 the season prior. They then proceeded to pull a Super Bowl upset win over New England. By doing so, they became just the third team since 1983 to win a Super Bowl after suffering through a losing year in their previous season.

Best Value Bets on 2019-2021 Losing Teams to Make the Postseason

There are two teams I am going to take a shot with at underdog money line odds to make the postseason. As we have seen over the past three seasons, there has been a fair share of teams which have gone from being a pretender to contender. I am forecasting that trend to continue in the upcoming 2020-2021 NFL season.

Cleveland Browns (+175)

Cleveland Browns playoff oddsAs I alluded to in my recent article titled “AFC North Futures Betting Odds and Predictions”, Cleveland is coming off a vastly underachieving season in which they as an organization had extremely high expectations. The Browns finished 6-10 and that made it 16 consecutive years of not making a postseason appearance. As a matter of fact, since the Browns reestablished their franchise in 1999, they have made the playoffs only once and that occurred in 2003.

Nevertheless, I am predicting Cleveland will not only contend for a wildcard berth, but they have a legitimate chance of being AFC North Division champions. According to each NFL team's records from last season, Cleveland will be facing the 6th easiest schedule. The Browns already had an impressive array of talent in place, and their front office personnel did a stellar job of signing potentially impactful unrestricted free agents during this offseason.

There have been three teams in each of their previous three seasons that won 6 games or fewer during its previous campaign and then went on to qualify for postseason action. Look for this year's Cleveland Browns to be another of those teams who have made that positive turnaround and end their 16-year playoff drought.

New York Giants (+340)

After a dismal 4-12 season the Giants fired embattled head coach Pat Shurmur. They in turn hired former New England Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge to take over. Judge wasted no time in hiring long time Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett as his offensive coordinator. Garrett inherits a very talented second year quarterback Daniel Jones, who was thrown into the fire early last year and on most occasions held his own.

New York Giants playoff predictionThe Giants must remain relatively healthy this year after being plagued by injuries a season ago. New York should be able to address depth to their already capable wide receiver room (Sterling Sheppard, Golden Tate, Darius Slayton) during the 2020 NFL draft. They own a plethora of 10 picks and this year’s class of wide receivers is the deepest it has been in recent memory.

I would be remiss not to discuss the importance of Evan Ingram as well. Engram is basically a wide receiver playing tight end. Staying on the field has been an issue for Engram over the past two seasons as he missed 13 of a possible 32 games due to injury. When healthy, Engram has been a huge offensive weapon for the Giants during his first 3 NFL seasons. Throughout that time, Engram hauled in 153 pass receptions for 1766 yards and 12 touchdowns. His best year was as a rookie in 2018 when he played 15 games and caught 64 passes in addition to scoring 6 touchdowns. The Giants desperately need him to be available on a week to week basis if they hope to maximize their offensive capabilities.

The focal point of the Giants offense will once again center around star running back Saquon Barkley. It is imperative that the 3rd year player out of Penn State stay healthy if his team is going to contend for a playoff spot. Barkley missed three games due to injury last season and still rushed for 1003 yards and six touchdowns. During his rookie year in 2018, Barkley ran for 1307 yards, had a massive 91 pass receptions, and accounted for 2028 total yards from scrimmage while scoring 15 touchdowns.

The Giants front office did a terrific job of bringing in quality defensive players via free agency. Signed were former Green Bay linebackers Blake Martinez and Kyler Fackrell. Furthermore, they secured the services of former Carolina Panther cornerback James Bradbury. The Giants will also hope that last year's first round draft choice, defensive end Dexter Lawrence, out of Clemson, can make a giant leap forward in year two. Moreover, the Giants hung a franchise tag on former Jets first round pick Leonard Williams who will man the defensive end spot opposite of Lawrence.

My intuition leads me to believe that the NFC will have more parity than we witnessed last year. The Giants can be beneficiaries of that occurring in a season in which 9 wins may be good enough to secure a wildcard berth. At odds of +340 to make the playoffs, New York is well worth taking a flier on.

Ross Benjamin is a top sports analyst and one of the sports industry's most respected handicappers. Follow him on Twitter: @RossBenjamin1 or visit his website at

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