Which Stats Predict that an NFL Team Will Make the Playoffs?

Imagine you could determine which NFL teams would make the playoffs? Such knowledge would produce numerous profitable betting opportunities. Super Bowl and conference futures bets would be easy winners. Luckily, SportsBetting3.com has research which stats predict whether an NFL will team the playoffs.

The following is adapted from a case study featuring the Kansas City Chiefs. For comparison purposes, we also looked at the New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, and Indianapolis Colts. The Cleveland Browns, who’ve experience years of failed playoff attempts, were the control team. Dig in below and make some money this NFL season!


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Case Study: How the Kansas City Chiefs Made the Playoffs 2003-Present

We reviewed key Kansas City regular season stats for each year they made the playoffs, 2003-present. We also tabulated numbers for the 49ers and Colts.

New England made the playoffs every year except 2008 in our 2003-present sample. Meanwhile, Cleveland has the longest playoff drought in NFL history. They haven’t made the postseason since 2002. Cleveland’s stats from 2003 onward effectively demonstrate how a team does not make the playoffs. The Raiders have a similar track record, save one playoff appearance in 2016.

Each team’s overall averages are displayed below. Separate tables containing each team’s regular season stats follow. Numbers for the Cleveland Browns are provided as a control group.

Stats that Predict Playoff Appearances

Kansas City makes the playoffs if their regular season is above their playoff year averages. In our estimation, the most predictive stats are possession time greater than 30 minutes, a 97 QB rating or better, 5700 offensive yards or better, and at least 50 touchdowns.

Note also an average of 327 1st downs in the regular season. Most of the totals cluster closely around 300. The Kansas City Chiefs must consistently advance the ball to win games!

For the record, the New England Patriots’ averages exceed these numbers. That suggests a range of high end performance – well above the lowly Cleveland Browns and Raiders – guarantees a crack at the Super Bowl.

Key Overall Stats Averages

Select Regular Season Averages, Playoff Teams vs. Drought Teams 2003-Present

Average Stats - Regular Season - Each Team
YearPoss.
Time
QB
Rating
Off.
Yds
TDs 1st
Downs
Chiefs Playoffs (13)
Averages
105.9598250348
Colts Playoffs (13)
Averages
102.3594150356
49ers Playoffs (7)
Averages
129.2590948331
Raiders Drought (1)
Averages
93.5519034289

Key Stats for Consistent Playoff Contenders

Chiefs 2003-Present Playoff Appearances - Key Season Stats

Chiefs - Regular Season Stats - Playoff Years
YearPoss.
Time
QB
Rating
Off.
Yds
TDs 1st
Downs
Average105.9598250348
2023122.9597239350
2022105.2703261408
2021118.8674655419
2020118.8665357397
2019105.3606748350
2018113.8681070384
2017104.7600739322
2016118.8548841305
201595.4529943303
201389.1505050303
201093.0559544319
200698.0514337310
200392.6591063348

Colts 2003-Present Playoff Appearances - Key Season Stats

Colts - Regular Season Stats - Playoff Years
YearPoss.
Time
QB
Rating
Off.
Yds
TDs 1st
Downs
Average102.3594150356
202097.0604950364
201898.7617952371
2014102.6650652371
201387.0546840318
201276.5579940360
201091.9609250366
2009158.3580953339
200895.0536842321
200798.0573953357
2006101.0607049376
2005104.1579951363
2004121.1647565379
200399.0587447348

49ers 2003-Present Playoff Appearances - Key Season Stats

49ers - Regular Season Stats - Playoff Years
YearPoss.
Time
QB
Rating
Off.
Yds
TDs 1st
Downs
Average129.2590948331
2023113.0677361383
2022158.3621652347
2021133.3633750361
2019118.8609754336
2013118.8518041286
2012104.1578942322
2011158.3497435282

Raiders 2003-Present Playoff Drought - Key Season Stats (Except: 2016)

Raiders - Regular Season Stats - Drought Years
YearPoss.
Time
QB
Rating
Off.
Yds
TDs 1st
Downs
Average93.4520033290
2023113.9492236292
2022118.8599341343
202194.0618437349
2020118.8613348359
2019581937315
201893.9537930300
201786.4518536287
201591.1533642300
201476.6451527248
2013158.3534035275
201285.2550428300
2011118.1607237328
201084.5567443306
200980.6425817234
200877.1435627225
200778.0471730267
200661.6393914243
200577.3495132294
200486.9515335275
200373.4457329258

Current NFL Futures Odds

2024-25 Super Bowl Odds

Team
BetRivers Sports Betting BetRivers BetMGM Sports Betting BetMGM
Chiefs
+600
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49ers
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Ravens
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Raiders
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Buccaneers
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Cardinals
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Broncos
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Patriots
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Panthers
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