Oddsmakers still have Bucs outside playoffs in 2017
There's a national buzz building about the Bucs getting back into the playoffs in 2017, but the oddsmakers in Las Vegas are still cautious about whether Tampa Bay can make its first postseason appearance in 10 years.
The latest playoff odds from Bovada.lv have the Bucs getting 8:5 (or 1.6-to-1) odds to make the playoffs -- that gives them the eighth-longest odds in the NFC and the 17th among NFL teams, well outside the six teams projected to make the playoffs from the NFC.
The NFC still has four strong favorites to win divisional titles -- Seattle (1:6), Green Bay (1:5) Dallas (1:2) and Atlanta (2:3) -- but the next-closest teams as potential wild cards are Carolina (1:1), the N.Y. Giants (11:10) and Arizona (3:2). The Bucs are next, and have the consolation of knowing they play all of the three teams ahead of them in the odds -- they get the Panthers twice, play host to the Giants and travel to Arizona this season. They also play at the Vikings, who have 9:5 odds right behind the Bucs, and play the Saints (2:1) twice.
If the Bucs were to simply beat the teams with worse odds and lose to those better odds, they'd finish 8-8 following Bovada's lines. So to get to 10-6 and a safe assumption of the playoffs, they'd need only split with the Panthers and beat either the Giants or Cardinals, while still winning all the games they're supposed to win.