Fanbases Least Likely To See The Postseason Anytime Soon

Fanbases Least Likely To See The Postseason Anytime Soon
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Sports fans in some locales have loyalties that are more stretched than others. It’s only more discouraging that data and analysis reinforces what those fans are seeing for themselves. That’s exactly what fans in Michigan are facing, along with those in handful of other regions.

As part of our Michigan sports betting coverage, consulted DraftKings to determine the odds of each NFL, NBA and NHL team for making the playoffs, as of Oct. 5. We used the sportsbook operator’s numbers to calculate how likely each city’s team was in those three sports to make the postseason in the next several months, outside of baseball. Here’s how the towns least likely to see the postseason line up; below the chart we explain further how we arrived at these numbers.

Cities Least Likely To See Playoffs in 2023-24

CityNFLNBANHLCombined %
ChicagoBears (+2500, 3.8%)Bulls (+150, 40%)Hawks (+800, 11.1%)54.9%
Washington, DCCommanders (+285, 26%)Wizards (+1100, 8.3%)Capitals (+250, 28.6%)62.9%
New YorkJets (+850, 10.5%)Nets (+145, 40.8%)Islanders (+100, 50%)101.3%
PhoenixCardinals (+1500, 6.3%)Suns (-3000, 96.8%)Coyotes (+500, 16.7%)119.8%
DetroitLions (-475, 82.6%)Pistons (+950, 9.5%)Red Wings (+230, 30.3%)122.4%

By combining the percentage chance of each team for a specific city, – where you’ll find the best Michigan sportsbook promos – calculated which fanbases were least likely to see the postseason in the current sports calendar of 2023-24 (not including MLB, where of course the 2023 playoffs are just underway). Only cities with a team in each of the three leagues were included in the rankings.

Good News, Bad News For Michigan Fans

The not-so-good news for Michigan fans is that, despite the Detroit Lions’ relatively strong start to the NFL season, our overall score put Michigan fans in a No. 5 position for areas least likely to see the playoffs.

However, here’s the good news: The NFL revs fans’ engines like no other league, a fact reflected by the sport’s popularity at Michigan sports betting apps. And the 3-1 Lions, who lead the NFC North, have an 82.6% chance of making the NFL postseason, according to DraftKings futures odds.

What drags down Michigan in the calculation are the Pistons, who have an estimated 9.5% chance of making the playoffs, and the Red Wings, who have a projected 30.3% chance of making their playoffs. That’s based on the Pistons having +950 odds to make the NBA playoffs and the Red Wings having +230 odds for the NHL postseason. Michigan’s aggregate score is 122.4. In this calculation, the higher the aggregate score, the more optimistic the results.

That’s before the Lions play Sunday (1 p.m. Eastern) against the winless Carolina Panthers at Ford Field. The Lions are a 9.5-point favorite with DraftKings Michigan Sportsbook.

Detroit Teams Have Divergent Playoff Odds

The percentage chances of a team making the playoffs are based on moneyline odds for each team as of our cutoff date, Oct. 5. The Lions are -475 to make the playoffs, so they’re a heavy favorite. But should they collapse, the chances of Detroit seeing a playoffs team soon look pretty bleak.

Here are the cities/regions that made up the remaining five fan bases least likely to see the playoffs, starting with the worst.

Cities With Worst Postseason Chances

Chicago tops our sad list (probably bringing some satisfaction to most Michiganders) with an aggregate score of just 54.9. Again, that’s adding up the percentages for all three teams in the NFL, NHL and NBA. A wager at Michigan online casinos might be a better idea than one on any of the Windy City’s postseason odds. The Bears (1-4) are the worst laggard with just a 3.8% chance of making the NFL playoffs. The NHL’s Blackhawks (11.1%) and NBA’s Bulls (40%) rate better by comparison.

Washington, D.C., is next with an aggregate score of 62.9. The NBA Wizards are projected to have just an 8.3% chance to make the playoffs. The NFL’s Commanders don’t look likely after getting hammered by the Bears on Thursday night. Next comes New York with an aggregate score of 101.3. The three New York teams we used were the NFL Jets, the NBA Nets, and the NHL Islanders (the city has multiple teams in each league; we used a common combination among New Yorkers on social media).

Phoenix is fourth with an aggregate score of 119.8. The NBA Suns – who have +550 odds to win the NBA title at Caesars Michigan Sportsbook – are projected to have a 96.8% chance of making their playoffs. But the city in the desert still makes our list because of the awful Cardinals (a 6.3% percent probability to get into the NFL playoffs) and Coyotes (a 16.7% chance in the NHL).



Bill Ordine, senior journalist and columnist for, was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

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