Can Colts Change Trend of Teams That Clinch Playoff Berth in Final Week?

Can Colts Change Trend of Teams That Clinch Playoff Berth in Final Week?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The roadmap to the NFL playoffs for the Indianapolis Colts is very simple. A win Saturday night at home against the Houston Texans secures them a spot, but they might not know who they’re playing for another 24 hours.

Technically, the playoffs start this week for both the Colts and Texans. The winner of the AFC South duel advances, and the loser sees their season come to an end.

Uncertainty heading into the final week of the regular season is nothing new for the Colts. Twice in the past decade, they’ve earned playoff spots in the last week, but how have they and the other teams fared in the postseason?

Utilizing ChampsorChumps,us, BetKentucky.com is aiding your Kentucky sports betting on the NFL playoffs by looking at how far teams advanced after clinching a postseason spot in the last week of the season since 2013. There have been 29 teams to earn a playoff spot in the final weekend over the last 10 seasons.

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Performance of Teams Clinching in Week 18

SituationNumber of Teams Percentage
Winning Wild Card Round15 of 2951.7%
Winning Divisional Round2 of 296.9%
Winning Conference Championship0 of 290.0%
Winning Super Bowl0 of 290.0%

Kentucky sports betting apps have San Francisco as the Super Bowl favorite at +225. Baltimore is second at +800.

Five years ago, the Colts rebounded from a 1-5 start to make the playoffs as a Wild Card thanks to a 33-17 win over the Tennessee Titans. They won nine of their last 10 games and then carried that momentum into the playoffs, going on the road to beat the Texans 21-7. Their season, though, ended the following week at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round.

In 2020, a win over Jacksonville in the final week helped them clinch a spot, but the Buffalo Bills edged them 27-24 the following week in the Wild Card round.

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The Colts Playoff Scenarios

A win Saturday night guarantees the Colts a playoff berth, but which seed they’d earn wouldn’t be decided until Sunday’s games.

If the Titans beat or tie the Jacksonville Jaguars, then Indianapolis would be the AFC South champions. With a Jags win, the Colts would be a Wild Card team, but their seed would be determined by the outcome of the Bills game at Miami. If Buffalo wins or ties, Indy becomes the No. 7 seed. A Dolphins win gives the Colts the No. 6 seed.

Should the Colts and Texans tie, then it gets complicated as their fates would be tied to the outcomes of the Jags-Titans and the Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers game that takes place earlier Saturday. A Steelers win and a Colts tie would require the Titans to win for Indy to secure a playoff spot. A Baltimore win or tie would secure a playoff spot for the Colts if their game ended in a tie.

Despite being the home team, the Colts are underdogs for Saturday night. ESPN BET Kentucky oddsmakers have the Texans as a 1.5-point favorite. The PENN Entertainment sports betting app also gives the Colts +375 odds to win the AFC South, compared to Jacksonville’s -225 and Houston’s +450.

No team that has clinched in the final weekend over the past 10 years has gone on to win the Super Bowl, and ESPN BET gives the Colts +10000 odds to defy recent history.

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Must be 21+ to participate and present in KY. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. T&C’s and restrictions apply.
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Author

Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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