2013 NFL Playoff Odds: Colts Chances Getting Better, Still Remote For Bye

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

A new feature with the Winning Stats: Playoff Odds! Find out how likely a Super Bowl run is based on the Winning Stats. For the Colts, they will likely be the 4th seed, but a win Sunday will really make things interesting.

Using the Winning Stats, I've simulated the rest of the season, including the Playoffs, 50,000 times to come up with the Playoff odds. It should give you a pretty good idea how likely teams are to make the Playoffs, win Playoff games, and ultimately win the Super Bowl.

Week 15 saw the other three division leaders in the AFC lose (and three in the NFC as well), which means the Colts gained a game on everyone in the Conference, and remain alive for any of the top 4 seeds. Sure it would take lots of help for the Colts to get to the 1 seed, but with only two games remaining, anything can happen.

Here are the Colts odds at each seed (I'm going to leave out all the eliminated teams):

AFC South
Team Wins #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 Div Bye WC Total
Colts 10.0 1.0% 10.6% 23.2% 65.3% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 11.6% 0.0% 100.0%

You see the Colts are still most likely going to end up the 4th seed, but they've improved their chances of a Bye to almost 12%, much better than the 3% it was last week. If you looked at only the Colts winning/losing their last two games, here's how their odds would chance based on each combination (knowing two losses makes them the 4 seed):

Result Wins #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 Div Bye WC Total
WW 11.0 4.1% 42.0% 42.7% 11.2% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 46.1% 0.0% 100.0%
WL 10.0 0.0% 0.0% 30.4% 69.6% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%
LW 10.0 0.0% 0.0% 18.0% 82.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0%

The Colts won't need much help to get out of that 4th seed if they win both remaining games, as they'll have that same 11% chance to stay the 4th seed, but be at 42% each for the 2 or 3 seed. The Colts cannot get a Bye without winning both games either, and they are more likely to get the 4 seed with a lose, no matter which team they lose to. If they are going to lose, the "better" loss for seeding is to the Jaguars though.

The rest of the AFC:

AFC North
Team Wins #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 Div Bye WC Total
Bengals 10.3 0.2% 29.6% 37.8% 8.4% 0.0% 8.9% 76.1% 29.9% 8.9% 85.0%
Ravens 8.8 0.0% 3.5% 9.3% 11.1% 0.0% 17.1% 23.9% 3.5% 17.1% 41.0%
Steelers 7.2 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% 0.3%

AFC East
Team Wins #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 Div Bye WC Total
Patriots 11.1 12.5% 40.5% 24.8% 13.2% 0.0% 7.2% 91.0% 53.0% 7.2% 98.2%
Dolphins 9.3 0.0% 3.6% 3.8% 1.6% 0.0% 65.1% 9.0% 3.6% 65.1% 74.1%

AFC West
Team Wins #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 Div Bye WC Total
Broncos 12.3 67.0% 10.5% 1.1% 0.5% 20.9% 0.0% 79.1% 77.5% 20.9% 100.0%
Chiefs 12.1 19.3% 1.7% 0.0% 0.0% 79.1% 0.0% 20.9% 20.9% 79.1% 100.0%
Chargers 8.3 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.3% 0.0% 0.0% 1.3% 1.3%

The Bengals and Patriots can both still be the #1 seed, and could both miss the Playoffs entirely, which is amazing to think about with two games remaining. The Bengals are in the more precarious position, as they would lose the tie-breaker with both the Ravens and Dolphins (if they don't win division). Should be a very interesting final two weeks to see how this all shakes out.

The NFC:

NFC South
Team Wins #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 Div Bye WC Total
Saints 11.1 0.9% 57.8% 0.0% 0.0% 13.0% 26.4% 58.6% 58.6% 39.4% 98.0%
Panthers 11.2 1.1% 40.3% 0.0% 0.0% 23.4% 27.2% 41.4% 41.4% 50.6% 92.0%

NFC North
Team Wins #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 Div Bye WC Total
Bears 9.1 0.0% 0.0% 45.5% 13.5% 0.0% 0.0% 59.0% 0.0% 0.0% 59.0%
Lions 8.2 0.0% 0.0% 6.3% 16.6% 0.0% 0.0% 22.9% 0.0% 0.0% 22.9%
Packers 8.0 0.0% 0.0% 7.8% 10.4% 0.0% 0.0% 18.2% 0.0% 0.0% 18.2%

NFC East
Team Wins #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 Div Bye WC Total
Eagles 9.0 0.0% 0.0% 38.4% 24.4% 0.0% 0.0% 62.8% 0.0% 0.0% 62.8%
Cowboys 8.0 0.0% 0.0% 2.1% 35.1% 0.0% 0.0% 37.2% 0.0% 0.0% 37.2%

NFC West
Team Wins #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 Div Bye WC Total
Seahawks 13.5 96.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 3.1% 0.0% 96.9% 96.9% 3.1% 100.0%
49ers 11.3 1.2% 2.0% 0.0% 0.0% 58.1% 35.8% 3.1% 3.1% 93.8% 96.9%
Cardinals 9.7 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 2.4% 10.7% 0.0% 0.0% 13.1% 13.1%

Same situation as the Bengals could happen to the loser of the Panthers-Saints game Sunday, especially if it's the Panthers and the Cardinals find some way to win in Seattle, as Arizona holds the tie-breaker over Carolina. The Panthers would then need some help in Week 17 to get in. Also interesting to see the Seahawks can be either the 1 seed or the 5, but nothing else.

Advancing Odds for the AFC:

AFC
Team Div. Title Wild Card Div. Round Conf. Champ Win Conf. Win SB
Chiefs 20.9% 79.1% 67.1% 38.3% 22.5% 9.5%
Broncos 79.1% 20.9% 89.9% 44.3% 24.0% 9.3%
Bengals 76.1% 8.9% 61.9% 35.9% 18.7% 7.6%
Patriots 91.0% 7.2% 72.3% 31.1% 12.3% 3.9%
Dolphins 9.0% 65.1% 39.2% 20.0% 9.3% 3.3%
Colts 100.0% 0.0% 50.5% 22.5% 10.0% 3.2%
Ravens 23.9% 17.1% 18.2% 7.4% 2.9% 0.8%
Chargers 0.0% 1.3% 0.8% 0.5% 0.3% 0.1%
Steelers 0.0% 0.3% 0.2% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0%

The Colts have improved their odds of going to the Super Bowl up over 3%, which isn't all that bad at this point. Denver took a huge tumble after their loss to the Chargers, now the 2nd favorite in the AFC to the Chiefs, even though the Broncos are much more likely to win the Division. Funny how that works out.

Advancing Odds for the NFC:

NFC
Team Div. Title Wild Card Div. Round Conf. Champ Win Conf. Win SB
Seahawks 96.9% 3.1% 99.1% 64.9% 42.3% 29.3%
49ers 3.1% 93.8% 67.0% 31.9% 17.5% 11.1%
Saints 58.6% 39.4% 81.8% 41.6% 16.7% 9.4%
Panthers 41.4% 50.6% 71.7% 35.1% 14.2% 8.1%
Bears 59.0% 0.0% 24.3% 9.5% 3.2% 1.6%
Eagles 62.8% 0.0% 22.6% 7.1% 2.4% 1.1%
Cardinals 0.0% 13.1% 7.8% 3.4% 1.3% 0.8%
Lions 22.9% 0.0% 8.5% 2.6% 1.0% 0.5%
Cowboys 37.2% 0.0% 11.5% 2.5% 0.9% 0.4%
Packers 18.2% 0.0% 5.6% 1.4% 0.4% 0.2%

Seahawks now a big favorite to win the Super Bowl at nearly 30%, mostly because they would be assured two home games, where they rarely lose. Plus they are really, really good and have very few holes. Packers hang on to some hope as well, but it's pretty unlikely any of those teams still alive in the East or North will do anything.

The other thing I did yesterday was go back through the season and re-run all the percentages for the first 12 weeks that I didn't have this working, so you can get a sense of how they roller-coastered throughout the season for the Colts. First the seeds (sort by clicking on column header):

Week Wins #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 Div Bye WC Total
1 8.7 3.6% 9.6% 16.6% 23.5% 4.2% 5.4% 53.2% 13.2% 9.6% 62.8%
2 8.9 4.2% 10.6% 15.7% 10.6% 10.0% 9.6% 41.1% 14.8% 19.7% 60.7%
3 8.1 0.8% 4.0% 19.5% 19.3% 1.8% 3.9% 43.6% 4.8% 5.7% 49.3%
4 9.8 3.4% 12.2% 31.6% 21.3% 1.1% 2.8% 68.5% 15.6% 3.9% 72.3%
5 9.8 5.9% 9.3% 11.8% 5.3% 10.7% 11.2% 32.3% 15.2% 21.8% 54.1%
6 11.6 38.6% 25.5% 15.3% 7.3% 3.8% 3.3% 86.7% 64.0% 7.1% 93.8%
7 9.7 4.3% 13.8% 21.2% 29.8% 0.7% 3.0% 69.0% 18.1% 3.7% 72.7%
8 10.4 11.1% 33.1% 25.6% 11.8% 1.0% 3.7% 81.6% 44.2% 4.7% 86.3%
9 10.3 6.5% 20.7% 35.1% 21.1% 0.4% 2.9% 83.4% 27.2% 3.3% 86.7%
10 10.3 6.2% 22.9% 26.0% 25.8% 0.8% 5.4% 80.9% 29.1% 6.1% 87.0%
11 9.2 1.1% 12.7% 22.0% 36.1% 0.2% 4.3% 71.8% 13.7% 4.5% 76.3%
12 9.8 2.5% 21.9% 28.9% 41.6% 0.0% 0.9% 94.9% 24.4% 0.9% 95.8%
13 9.2 1.5% 7.8% 23.1% 52.7% 0.0% 2.1% 85.0% 9.3% 2.1% 87.1%
14 9.9 2.8% 11.7% 23.5% 61.3% 0.0% 0.1% 99.2% 14.5% 0.1% 99.2%
15 9.5 0.1% 1.6% 10.0% 88.3% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 1.7% 0.0% 100.0%
16 10.0 1.0% 10.6% 23.2% 65.3% 0.0% 0.0% 100.0% 11.6% 0.0% 100.0%

Then the Advancing odds:

Week Div. Title Wild Card Div. Round Conf. Champ Win Conf. Win SB
1 53.2% 9.6% 40.0% 15.3% 5.3% 1.9%
2 41.1% 19.7% 38.4% 15.7% 5.9% 2.3%
3 43.6% 5.7% 26.7% 8.2% 2.6% 0.9%
4 68.5% 3.9% 42.8% 16.1% 5.3% 1.8%
5 32.3% 21.8% 34.5% 16.0% 7.2% 3.1%
6 86.7% 7.1% 84.4% 57.2% 37.9% 19.8%
7 69.0% 3.7% 46.3% 24.1% 11.7% 5.2%
8 81.6% 4.7% 69.0% 41.1% 19.8% 8.2%
9 83.4% 3.3% 59.9% 29.2% 13.1% 5.4%
10 80.9% 6.1% 58.7% 27.3% 11.6% 4.7%
11 71.8% 4.5% 39.8% 15.3% 5.5% 1.5%
12 94.9% 0.9% 54.5% 21.4% 7.8% 2.4%
13 85.0% 2.1% 41.0% 13.7% 4.7% 1.5%
14 99.2% 0.1% 50.3% 18.0% 6.6% 1.7%
15 100.0% 0.0% 40.9% 14.7% 5.7% 1.8%
16 100.0% 0.0% 50.5% 22.5% 10.0% 3.2%

You can see the peak happened before Week 6 (after beating the Seahawks), where they were the favorite to be the #1 seed in the AFC, as well as the Super Bowl favorite (!). Then the next week brought them right back to Earth, where they've actually been pretty consistent throughout the season. Since I couldn't have these as they happened, I thought it'd be interesting to see how they've evolved over the last few months.

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