2016 NFL playoff odds: Will Broncos and Bucs sneak in?

Week 15 will prove to be a critical week for the Broncos and Buccaneers as each have a shot at making the playoffs. Getty Images

There are only three weeks left in the NFL season, and the race for the last few playoff spots is intense. Yet the scheduling for Week 15 worked out so that there's only one game with major in-or-out ramifications for both teams: Lions at Giants. Detroit is almost guaranteed a spot with a victory (98.4 percent odds), and the Giants would be pretty close (93.8 percent odds). A loss would drop each team's odds a lot closer to 50-50.

However, nearly every other game has at least one team that is either virtually assured a playoff spot or is completely out of the running.

Tennessee's playoff odds are much stronger with a win in Kansas City on Sunday, but the Chiefs are pretty much in whether they win or lose. That's also the situation in Denver, where the Broncos desperately need to beat the Patriots to stay in the race for the second AFC wild card, but New England will still be AFC favorites even with a loss.

Other teams who still aren't sure they're in for January are playing teams that are way out of it. Atlanta, Baltimore, Green Bay, Houston, Miami, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Washington all play against teams that currently have playoff odds under 2 percent.

There's only one exception, one other game between two teams with a slight glimmer of hope for playing in January: Indianapolis at Minnesota, where the loser is toast but the winner still has a small chance of taking a division title -- as long as two other teams go on nice losing streaks.

You'll find our playoff odds for every team still in the hunt below. For a full explanation on how we calculate each team's playoff odds, see the bottom of the article.



1. New England Patriots (11-2)

Odds of making playoffs: 99.9 percent

Although the Patriots have not clinched a playoff spot, they did not miss the postseason in any of our 50,000 simulations. Not only does this week's game not really affect the Patriots' playoff odds, it doesn't affect the Patriots' Super Bowl odds much either. With a win, they get the No. 1 seed 94 percent of the time and win the Super Bowl in 26.9 percent of simulations. Even with a loss, they get the No. 1 seed 71 percent of the time and win the Super Bowl in 25.5 percent of simulations.