Each week Football Outsiders updates their playoff odds. Given the Jacksonville Jaguars are sitting at the top of the division even after a loss last week, I figured it would be a good idea to look and see how the percentages are being played. Mike Harris of Football Outsiders compiles the odds each week of the season. Here's how he does it:
The playoff odds report plays out the season 10,000 times. A random draw assigns each team a win or loss for each game. The probability that a team will be given a win is based on an equation which considers the current Weighted DVOA ratings of the two teams as well as home-field advantage. (DVOA ratings are explained here.) Mean Wins is the average number of wins for this team over the 10,000 simulations. Odds are given for winning each playoff seed, as well as for winning the division (DIV), earning a bye week (BYE), or winning a wild card (WC). TOT represents odds of making the playoffs in any fashion.
Despite being in first place, Football Outsiders projects the Indianapolis Colts to win the division. The Jaguars currently don't even have the second best odds based on their system. The Tennessee Titans are current pulling second place using their formula, giving the Jaguars a 16.0% chance to win their first AFC South division title. Obviously a win at the Titans this weekend should dramatically change that percentage.
Interestingly enough, the Jaguars chance to make the playoffs (16.8%) is virtually identical to their chance of winning the division. This makes sense, given it's highly unlikely a team from the AFC South will make the playoffs via the Wild Card. No team in the division has even a 1% chance to make the Wild Card given the formula.
|Team||Rec||Mean Wins||Win Div||Bye||Wild Card||Playoff Chances|
Bear in mind, as explained above, things like home field advantage and future opponents factor into their formula. As I mentioned, the Jaguars playoff chances will change dramatically one way or the other this weekend. With a win, they'll need to win at least 3 of their last 4 games to get in. With a loss, it's likely the Jaguars would need to win their final four games and get help.