Browns Playoff Odds: Where do they stand after loss to Jets?

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Following their 23-16 loss to the New York Jets, the Cleveland Browns record fell to 10-5.

CLEVELAND — Following their 23-16 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday, the Cleveland Browns’ record fell to 10-5.

RELATED: More Cleveland Browns coverage from WKYC

But while the Browns were unable to punch their ticket to the playoffs on Sunday, hope remains.

According to advanced analytics website Five Thirty Eight, Cleveland now has a 57 percent chance of qualifying for postseason play. That number is down from the 92 percent chance that the Browns possessed a week ago, with Cleveland’s playoff hopes now hinging on the final week of the regular season.

With one game left and the Pittsburgh Steelers having already clinched the AFC North, the Browns’ path to ending the NFL’s longest active postseason drought is simple. With that in mind, let’s take a look at where the Browns fit into the AFC playoff picture heading into the final week of the regular season.

AFC Wild Card

Through 16 weeks, here’s how the AFC Playoff picture looks:

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (14-1)
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3)
  3. Buffalo Bills (11-3)*
  4. Tennessee Titans (10-5)
  1. Miami Dolphins (10-5)
  2. Baltimore Ravens (10-5)
  3. Cleveland Browns (10-5)
  4. Indianapolis Colts (10-5)

Thanks to the Steelers’ division-clinching win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, the Browns’ playoff scenario for this weekend is pretty simple: win and they’re in. Thanks to their win over Indianapolis in Week 5, Cleveland owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Colts and would have the edge on Indianapolis in any two or three-way tie.

So if the Browns beat the Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium, they’ll clinch their first postseason appearance since 2002. Meanwhile, if Cleveland ties Pittsburgh, it would get in with one of the following scenarios also taking place:

  • Colts lose or tie to Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Miami Dolphins lose to Buffalo Bills
  • Baltimore Ravens lose to Cincinnati Bengals
  • Tennessee Titans lose to the Houston Texans
  • Titans tie Texans, Dolphins win vs. Bills, Ravens win vs. Bengals

Should the Browns lose to their Steelers, their playoff odds would then drop to 16 percent, according to Five Thirty Eight. From there, the Browns would need one of the following scenarios to take place in order to qualify for postseason play:

  • Colts lose to Jaguars
  • Titans lose to Texans, Dolphins win/tie vs. Bills, Ravens win/tie vs. Bengals

What’s left?

While Five Thirty Eight currently gives the Browns a 57 percent chance of making the playoffs, the reality remains that Cleveland’s probability of making the postseason is likely higher than that.

With the Steelers having already locked up the division title and COVID-19-related rescheduling resulting in them having yet to enjoy a traditional bye week, it seems likely that Pittsburgh will rest its starters against the Browns on Sunday. That line of thinking has been reflected in the betting markets, where Cleveland is currently a 6.5-point favorite to beat the Steelers.

With a -275 moneyline setting the Browns’ implied probability of beating Pittsburgh at 73.3 percent, Cleveland’s odds of making the playoffs appear higher than some forecasts may project. Win on Sunday and the Browns are in. 

Oddsmakers project Cleveland to do just that.


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Marya Vinget

Marya Vinget is a freelance writer who works for may content writing agencies and for personal blog owners. She loves to write about everything from Tech to entertainment, You can hire her for the versatile writing attitude.