The New Orleans Saints upset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 17 and have kept their playoff hopes alive.
They'll need some help to get it done, but they'll play a pivotal game against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 18 with the winner keeping their dreams afloat and the loser being eliminated from the race, no matter how the other games pan out.
Let's take a look at their odds and all the different scenarios they have to get into the playoffs.
Saints playoff odds
The Saints' odds to make the playoffs are +250, which is an implied probability of 28.57%. A $100 bet on them to make the playoffs would win you a profit of $250.
The Saints, unlike the Falcons, do still have a chance to get in via a wild card spot so their odds to win the NFC South are longer than their odds to make the playoffs. They're +370 to win the division, which is an implied probability of 21.28%.
Saints playoff scenarios
The Saints pathway to winning the NFC South is very straightforward. It is as follows:
- Saints win (vs. Falcons) + Buccaneers lose or tie (vs. Panthers)
- Saints tie + Buccaneers lose
So, if the Saints win and the Buccaneers lose or tie, the Saints will be division winners. New Orleans can still be crowned kings of the NFC South if it ties against the Falcons and the Bucs lose to the Panthers.
The Saints can also get in via a wild card berth the following ways:
- Saints win (vs. Falcons) + Seahawks lose or tie (vs. Cardinals) + Packers lose or tie (vs. Bears)
- Saints tie + Seahawks lose + Saints lose
It's a bit more of a longshot in terms of things that need to happen, but if the Saints and Bucs both win, the Saints will get in via a wildcard if the Seahawks lose or tie to the Cardinals AND the Packers lose or tie to the Bears.
Saints playoff prediction
Regardless of what happens in other games, the Saints need to beat the Falcons to have any shot of advancing to the playoffs. Oddsmakers currently have them set as 3-point home favorites to Atlanta and -164 on the moneyline which gives them a 62.12% of winning the game.
The Saints lost to the Falcons earlier in the season by a score of 24-15, but this time they'll face them on their home turf.
The most likely scenario, which will cause heartbreak amongst Saints fans, is the Saints will beat the Falcons but the Buccaneers will beat the lowly Panthers to win the NFC South and either the Seahawks or Packers will win to dash their wild card hopes.
It's a slim chance for the Saints, but it all starts with beating the Dirty Birds.
If you want to bet on the Saints to win the NFC South, make the playoffs, or beat the Falcons, then place your bets over at FanDuel Sportsbook. If you click the link below to sign up for an account, you'll receive $150 in bonus bets when you place your first $5 wager.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
You can check out all of Iain's bets here!