What Are the Chiefs' Playoff Chances?
The Chiefs' playoff chances are 84.6% for the 2023 season, ranking them with the fourth-best odds to make the postseason among NFL teams. Ahead of them in chances to make the playoffs are the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Miami Dolphins, all of whom have a 90% chance or better to make the playoffs based on implied probability.
In the table below, I've noted Kansas City's playoff chances, as well as the team's chances to win the Super Bowl, AFC and AFC West.
The Chiefs' playoff chances are calculated by converting their latest postseason odds from DraftKings Sportsbook Kansas into implied probability. This is a percentage that shows the team's chances to make the playoffs. The implied probabilities above for the Super Bowl, AFC and AFC West are also based on odds from DraftKings.
We will also include data from top media sources such as the New York Times Postseason Simulator and ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI), the latter of which considers a team’s expected point margin against an average opponent on a neutral field. The Chiefs' FPI is installed at 7.5 heading into Week 4 — the third-highest among NFL teams. At the conclusion of Week 3, the Miami Dolphins lead the NFL with a 10.2 FPI, followed by the Buffalo Bills at 8.6.
Chiefs Week-by-Week Playoff Chances
All throughout the 2023 NFL season, we will analyze the ebbs and flows the Chiefs' playoff chances throughout the 2023 season. Barring unexpected news either for the Chiefs or the other teams in their division, the Chiefs' odds to make the playoffs should remain at or around 80%.
Following their Week 3 win over the Chicago Bears, the Chiefs surprisingly saw a slight decrease in their chances to make the playoffs based on implied probability. Possibly accounting for the decrease are several Week 3 wins among several teams that could contend for a wild card spot come January, including the Dolphins, Bills, Browns and Bengals, as well as the Chargers nabbing their first win of the season.
Chiefs Schedule and Betting Lines
Heading into the 2023-24 season, the Chiefs were favored in all 17 games on their schedule. Here's a look at how they've performed so far, as well as the most up-to-date odds for each game:
The Kansas City Chiefs may have very well started off their season with the most difficult matchup they'll see until Week 9 of the season. After bouncing back above .500 with a win over the Bears, they'll have the opportunity to face the Zach Wilson-led Jets, the Broncos and Vikings — both currently winless — and the 1-2 Chargers.
The most difficult part of their schedule will come after their Week 10 bye, with games against the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, and Cincinnati Bengals. The Chiefs game against the Bengals, in particular, could be a crucial one, as Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow should (hopefully) be in good health by then, having fought through a calf injury to start the season, likely accounting in part for their 1-2 start.
Kansas City Chiefs Playoff Chances: Key Offseason Updates September 2023
Throughout the 2023 season, we'll be tracking all of the latest moves for the Chiefs, injury updates and more. Stay up to date with the latest Chiefs news and how it impacts Kansas City’s playoff chances.
- 📆 September 24: The Chiefs dominate the Chicago Bears 41-10, with the win making them the only team in the AFC West with a winning record through three weeks.
- 📆 September 17: The Chiefs win over the Jaguars in Week 2 with a 17-9 effort in the season debut for TE Travis Kelce and DT Chris Jones.
- 📆 September 11: All-Pro DT Chris Jones ends his holdout from the team after missing Week 1 due to a contract dispute. The team signed him to a new one-year deal to increase his pay for the 2023 season, still set to become a free agent in 2024.
- 📆 September 10: Following the conclusion of Week 1's Sunday games, the Chiefs lost their hold as the odds-favorite to win Super Bowl 58. Now, ahead of Week 2, the San Francisco 49ers are installed as odds-favorites.
- 📆 September 7: The Chiefs lose their Week 1 matchup 20-21 to the Detroit Lions on Thursday Night Football. Kansas City was without All-Pros Travis Kelce (knee) and Chris Jones (contract dispute), two of their best players on either side of the ball.
- 📆 September 5: Andy Reid announces that TE Travis Kelce has hyperextended his knee in practice and is uncertain for Week 1. This news hasn't affected the Chiefs' playoff odds just yet, but the team could see a slight shift depending on the severity of the injury.
- 📆 August 29: The Chiefs placed All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones on the reserve/did not report list, having missed all of the team's offseason activities as the two sides are in a stalemate with a contract dispute. Jones must report by Week 8 in order to accrue a season and hit free agency in 2024. Though the move has yet to impact Kansas City's Super Bowl odds, his absence as a key fixture on this offense could be detrimental to their start in 2023.
- 📆 August 21: Kansas City wraps up their preseason with a 2-1 record, scoring a league-high 31.7 points and 414 yards per game on offense — even if it is "just the preseason."
- 📆 August 21: Chiefs starting running back Isiah Pacheco was cleared for contact after being limited through the duration of training camp, rehabbing after shoulder and hand surgeries.
- 📆 August 17: Kansas City Chiefs training camp concludes with defensive tackle Chris Jones still yet to report to the team amid a contract dispute.
- 📆 August 4: Chiefs defensive end Charles Omenihu receives a six-game suspension.
- 📆 June 13-15: All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones held out of mandatory minicamp as he and the Chiefs attempt to work out another long-term deal.
- 📆 May 4: The Chiefs added offensive tackle Donovan Smith to their offensive line on a one-year deal.
- 📆 May 2: Running back Jerick McKinnon re-joined K.C. on a one-year deal.
- 📆 April 27-29: Kansas City added seven players in the 2023 NFL Draft, including Kansas State edge rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah, SMU receiver Rashee Rice and Oklahoma offensive tackle Wanya Morris.
- 📆 April 19: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert joined the Chiefs to back up superstar Patrick Mahomes.
- 📆 April 7: The Chiefs added former New York Giants wideout Richie James to their receiving corps.
- 📆 March 21: Kansas City picked up former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Drue Tranquill.
- 📆 March 16: The Chiefs replaced left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. with former Jacksonville Jaguars tackle Jawaan Taylor, and also signed former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Charles Omenihu.
- 📆 March 7: Defensive end Frank Clark was released by the Chiefs, ending his four-year stint in Kansas City.
- 📆 February 24: The Chiefs promoted quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy to offensive coordinator. Nagy previously held the position with the team from 2016-2017 and served as head coach for the Chicago Bears from 2018-2021.
- 📆 February 18: Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy took a job with the Washington Commanders to be their new offensive coordinator and assistant head coach.
- 📆 February 12: The Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 in Super Bowl 57, winning their second title in four years.
Make sure to bookmark this page to stay up to date with Chiefs breaking news and developments that may impact the team’s playoff chances.
Key Contributors Toward Chiefs Playoff Chances
The Chiefs still sit among the top of the league in their odds to win Super Bowl 58, but it wouldn't be possible without two-time NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes enters Week 4 with the second-best odds in the league to win NFL MVP at +550, only behind Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa at +380. Despite the fact that he hasn't gotten off to the earth-shattering start we're used to, his standing atop the MVP odds is unsurprising after a 2022 campaign where he led the league with 5,250 passing yards and 41 touchdowns, punctuated with a Super Bowl victory. If Mahomes were to win NFL MVP in 2023, he would become the seventh player in NFL history to win the award three or more times.
Other contributors who will be key to the team's success in 2023 include four-time All-Pro TE Travis Kelce, coming off his seventh consecutive 1,000-yard season. Kelce's odds to become the first tight end to win Offensive Player of the Year sit at +5000 ahead of Week 4. Rookie WR Rashee Rice, who has continued to see a growing role week-by-week, is at +4000 to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, with Falcons RB Bijan Robinson sitting as the odds-favorite at +300 ahead of Week 4.
On defense, DT Chris Jones continues to be a force to be reckoned with, tallying 2.5 sacks, three tackles (two for a loss) and two QB hits through two games this season. There's plenty of time for Jones to heat up, but the hot start from defenders Micah Parsons, T.J. Watt and Myles Garrett have Jones lagging behind in the race for Defensive Player of the Year at +3500. Rookie Felix Anudike-Uzomah has his odds to win Defensive Player of the Year at +3000, ranked 10th among rookie defenders in the race, where Eagles' Jalen Carter is the odds favorite at +100.
Also pivotal to the team's success is, of course, Chiefs coach Andy Reid. Since being hired ahead of the 2013 season, the Chiefs have not had a single losing season. Reid's odds to win NFL Coach of the Year have remained steady at +5000 throughout the offseason and heading into Week 4.
Where Can I Bet on the Chiefs to Make the Playoffs?
You can currently bet on the Chiefs to make the playoffs at major sportsbooks like DraftKings, FanDuel Kansas, BetMGM, and Caesars, as long as you are 21+ and within state lines of a state that offers legal sports betting.
Futures bets like the Chiefs' playoff chances tend to hold the biggest variance between sportsbooks, so it's always a good idea to check out multiple Kansas betting apps to make sure you're getting the best price.
Looking Ahead: Chiefs Playoff Picture
The Chiefs took another step in Week 3 in their quest to make the 2023-24 NFL postseason, having surpassed the .500 mark with a dominant win over the Chicago Bears. With each passing week, the offense has looked more in sync, and the defense is looking as strong as ever following the return of DT Chris Jones. Regardless of their own strengths, however, the lack of competition within their division stands to help them secure a top-four seed once again. Their biggest competition, the Chargers, have started the year 1-2, losing a top receiving option in Mike Williams due to a season-ending knee injury.
Their chances to make the playoffs have hovered between 75-85% this season and should continue to hover around there (or rise) particularly with a relatively easy schedule leading up to their bye.
Do the Chiefs Have a Chance to Make the Playoffs?
Yes, the Chiefs have a very good chance to make the playoffs in the 2023 NFL season. They've made it to the playoffs in all but one of Andy Reid's season as head coach, advancing to the AFC Championship Game in each of Mahomes' five seasons as the starter.
Are the Chiefs Out of Playoffs?
No, the Chiefs are not out of playoffs. The Chiefs have the fourth-best odds in the NFL to make the playoffs, with an 84.6% chance based on the implied probability of their -550 odds on DraftKings Sportsbook, having made it to the postseason in each of the last eight NFL seasons.
Where Do the Chiefs Rank in the AFC West?
Since we're just three weeks into the 2023 NFL season with just a couple of intradivisional matchups having been played, the official AFC West standings don't as mean much as they will later on in the season. However, here's a look at where things stand for now.
- Kansas City Chiefs 2-1
- Las Vegas Raiders 1-2
- Los Angeles Chargers 1-2
- Denver Broncos 0-3
The Chiefs are favored to repeat as AFC West championship for the eighth consecutive season, with odds at -300 after the rest of the AFC West started the season with a combined record of 2-7. Odds rank the Chargers with the second-best chances to win the AFC West at +350, followed by the Raiders (+1100) and the Broncos (+3000).
Where Do the Chiefs Rank in the AFC Playoff Standings?
After just three weeks of gameplay, the Chiefs would rank as the No. 3 seed in the playoff standings with a 2-1 record. If the season ended today, the Chiefs would rank behind the Miami Dolphins (3-0), who would win the No. 1 seed, and the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) with the No. 2 seed.
Where Do the Chiefs Rank in the AFC Wild-Card Race?
Three weeks into the season, the Chiefs would rank as the No. 3 seed in the 2023-24 playoff picture by winning the AFC West, meaning they are not currently in the race for a wild card spot. The Chiefs have won the AFC West for seven straight seasons, dating back to 2016, which has put them in the mix as a top-four seed rather than in the mix as a wild-card team. Their top seeding has given them a huge benefit in maintaining home-field advantage, with QB Patrick Mahomes never having started a road playoff game in his career so far.
Can the Chiefs Get the No. 1 Seed?
The Chiefs can still earn the No. 1 seed, a projected likely outcome based on past precedent. They earned the No. 1 seed in 2018, 2020 and 2022 under Patrick Mahomes, while earning the No. 2 seed in 2019 and 2021. Only the No. 1 seed can earn a first-round bye now that seven teams in each conference make the playoffs, making that top seed all the more important. Kansas City will certainly vie for that top spot in 2023.
Who to Root for if You’re a Chiefs Fan
Fans of the Chiefs will naturally root against their AFC West rivals, including the Chargers, Broncos, and Raiders. The Chargers are projected as the Chiefs' biggest threat in the division, with the second-best odds to win the division and 11th-best odds in the league to win Super Bowl 58. The Chargers brought on former Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore this offseason to work with QB Justin Herbert, who signed a five-year, $262.5 million contract to become the league's highest-paid quarterback.
The NFL schedule formula has teams in the AFC West playing those in the AFC East (Bills, Jets, Patriots, Dolphins) and NFC North (Bears, Lions, Vikings, Packers). That means Chiefs fans can generally root in favor of teams in those opposing divisions whenever they play other teams in the AFC West, which would help the Chiefs' chances to win the division title. Fans will also generally want to root against other top AFC contenders that might be in competition for the top seed in the conference, including the Bengals and Bills.
Chiefs Postseason Outlook and Predictions
The 2022 season was a telling one for the Kansas City Chiefs, as QB Patrick Mahomes had a statement season despite having traded away star receiver Tyreek Hill. There was no attempt to reinvent the wheel, either, as he continued to feed TE Travis Kelce targets and distribute the remainder among a corps of receivers including JuJu Smith Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Mecole Hardman, and Justin Watson, among others.
This offseason, the team had a few key departures, including OC Eric Bienemy (now with the Commanders), as well as OT Orlando Brown Jr., S Juan Thornhill, and DE Frank Clark, who was released in a move that saved the team $28.6 million in cap space. Offseason additions have compensated for some of those losses however, adding edge rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah and WR Rashee Rice in the first two rounds of the draft, and adding OT Jawaan Taylor as a fixture on the OL.
The Chiefs have constructed their roster establishing depth on both the offense and the defense — a key part of what makes this team built for a postseason run each and every season. The Chiefs' playoff chances remain as high as ever, but the severity of the knee injury to TE Travis Kelce could be pivotal to their season outlook, particularly early on.
Kansas City Chiefs Playoffs FAQs
The Chiefs' playoff chances are 84.6% based on odds available with DraftKings. Their odds to make the postseason rank fourth-shortest among NFL teams, only behind the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, and San Francisco 49ers.
No, the Chiefs are not out of playoff contention, nor are any NFL teams, as we are just three weeks through the NFL season. It will be a while before the first team is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Last year, the Texans became the first team eliminated from playoff contention, and that wasn't until December 5, 2022.
The Chiefs are considered among the most probable teams to make the playoffs in 2023. Since Andy Reid was hired as the team's head coach in 2013, they've missed the playoffs just a single time in the 2014 season, despite having a winning record that year at 9-7.
You can bet on the Chiefs to make or even miss the playoffs through DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and other major legal sportsbooks.
Kate Magdziuk is an NFL betting expert for BetKansas.com, focusing on the Kansas City Chiefs. She's written for NBC Sports Rotoworld, DraftKings Nation, Gaming Society, and 4for4 Fantasy Football. She'll track the Chiefs' playoff chances and Super Bowl odds, where she'll use her expertise in fantasy football and sports betting to deliver the most up-to-date information available for KS bettors.