5 NFL longshots who could actually make the playoffs

As we pass the halfway mark of the NFL season, we think we know who is good and who is bad. Yet, every year, some teams make a second-half run and sneak into the postseason.
Atlanta Falcons v Tennessee Titans
Atlanta Falcons v Tennessee Titans / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages
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1. Cincinnati Bengals — Playoff Chances: 44 percent

This one feels like cheating, but right now the Cincinnati Bengals have a less than 50-50 chance to make the playoffs according to this analysis. We don't trust those numbers. Right now, the Bengals are in a playoff spot. They are the seventh seed in the AFC. Sure, the Baltimore Ravens have built a 1.5-game lead in the AFC North, but the Bengals have a few avenues to make the postseason.

The Bengals are playing their best football right now. They beat up on the Bills last weekend despite getting a small output from Ja'Marr Chase. They showed taking out their best weapon can't stop them anymore. The early-season injury for Joe Burrow doesn't seem to be an issue anymore. He's been great since the bye week and once again looks like the second-best quarterback in the NFL.

The real reason the Bengals deserve better odds. Look at the teams sitting in a playoff spot ahead of the Bengals. The Matt Canada-led offense of the Pittsburgh Steelers and The Deshaun Watson-led offense of the Cleveland Browns. There are a few opportunities here. They play the Steelers twice still this season, and they are massive favorites in both games. They also have a game against the Browns on the schedule at the end of the season, but those odds aren't out yet.

The Bengals have everything going for them in terms of a playoff route. It would floor most analysts if they missed. The numbers seem off there, and any bettor will tell you to jump on the numbers that seem a little off.

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