The NFL postseason is a ways away, but it's never too early to get a head start on the market and take a shot at which teams will or won't make the playoffs. Here's how the odds currently stack up:
|Team||Odds to make||Odds to miss|
|Los Angeles (A)||-225||+185|
|Los Angeles (N)||-300||+240|
|New York (N)||+500||-800|
|New York (A)||+325||-425|
Before blatantly throwing out candidates and giving our reasoning behind them, here's something to keep in mind.
Death, taxes, and fresh blood in the NFL postseason. There have been at least four teams to make the playoffs that didn't qualify the previous season in every year since 1990. This is a helpful starting point, especially for finding teams the market might not value based off last season's success (or lack thereof).
Last year was underwhelming for the Vikings. Coming off an NFC Championship appearance and upgrading at quarterback with the shift from Case Keenum to Kirk Cousins, Minnesota flopped to an 8-7-1 clip and a second-place finish in the North division. The Vikings will have a tough schedule on their hands this season, but there's no denying the talent they have.
If you thought the Browns were gaining steam following the 2018 draft and Hard Knocks hoopla, the hype entering this season is on a whole different level. Cleveland's done an underrated job at rebuilding from scratch and didn't necessarily have a dire need in April's draft. The Browns landed Odell Beckham Jr. in a trade to bolster the offense and are well-positioned to make noise in the AFC North.
They're also going to be a huge liability for some shops in the futures market.
With Cleveland's stock rising, the Steelers are trending in the opposite direction. Following a drama-filled 2018 season, Pittsburgh is gearing up for life without offensive playmakers Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. The Steelers barely missed out on the playoffs last year despite being close to a 10-win team based on Pythagorean metrics.
Two teams in particular - the Falcons and Packers - are typically always paper tigers in the market, only to see mixed results by the end of the season. Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers has masked a flawed franchise for years, whereas Atlanta is a more complete roster. Out of those two fringe NFC playoff contenders, we're leaning Atlanta in this spot.
There has also been at least one division winner that finished or tied for last the previous season in 15 of the last 16 years. Parity!
That means there's a potential playoff berth looming for a team(s) from last season's basement. Without further ado:
The Jaguars found a quarterback on the open market in Nick Foles, who's a clear upgrade over Blake Bortles. Now it's time to decipher whether this season's squad is more 2017 or 2018, because that'll be key to where the Jaguars end up placing in the division. The Colts have separated themselves a bit from the rest of the pack, but the AFC North could realistically beat each other up all season. Some wins outside the division could pit Jacksonville in a decent spot by the end of the year.
Detroit had a sneaky-good offseason. A mid-season slump in 2018 forced the Lions to the cellar of the NFC North, and now the market is lukewarm, if not completely cool on the franchise. If Rodgers can't carry the Packers and the Vikings don't figure it out, Detroit could be a fringe wild-card club.
Indy was expected by most to have a down year last season, only to have the Andrew Luck comeback tour completely turn the tables on the league. The Colts are now the hunted in what should be a competitive division.
Someone tape bubble wrap around Carson Wentz right now. The Eagles won't have the luxury of a Foles contingency plan should something go horribly wrong in Philly, but if you're giving us a full schedule of a healthy Wentz, the Eagles should paste the rest of the NFC East.
Alex Kolodziej is theScore's betting writer. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 11 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AlexKoIodziej.