The Los Angeles Rams routed the Cleveland Browns, 36-19, to improve to .500 on the season. Now on a three-game winning streak, they have a real shot of making a return to the playoffs. After a tough 2022, it would appear that last season’s Super Bowl hangover has passed, and the turnaround for Sean McVay’s Los Angeles Rams is ahead of schedule.
With five games remaining in the NFL regular season, BetCalifornia.com, thinking with our California sports betting state of mind, decided to weigh the Rams’ playoff chances by taking a look at how other 6-6 teams closed out their respective seasons in recent years. By consulting the website ChampsOrChumps.us, we’ve looked back over the last decade to make the chart below, and break down how the 50 teams that were 6-6 through 12 games fared for the remainder of the season.
Season Performance of Teams Starting 6-6
If California betting apps were available, the information in the table below would be useful for bettors. Below you'll see just how often 6-6 NFL make the playoffs.
How Likely Are The Rams to Make The Postseason?
Considering past performance alone, 6-6 teams have made the playoffs just 12 times in the past decade — reaching the post-season 24% of the time. Meanwhile, only two teams — the 2016 Green Bay Packers and the 2021 San Francisco 49ers — managed to make it to the Conference Championship after starting the season 6-6. None have made it to the Super Bowl.
But looking at the Rams' specific prospects this season, the New York Times’ interactive playoff picture has set a 48% likelihood of Los Angeles making the playoffs. However, oddsmakers aren’t quite as optimistic. DraftKings Sportsbook currently lists the Rams making the playoffs at +145 — a 40.82% implied probability.
With the San Francisco 49ers currently at 9-3 on the season, the Rams' hopes of booking a trip to the playoffs via a division win is a big stretch. Instead, their most likely path in is through one of the three available wild card slots.
They certainly have the tools to do it. Rookies including Puka Nacua (who went over 1000 yards receiving on Sunday), LB Byron Young, and D-lineman Kobie Turner have all excelled in their first year as a pro. Meanwhile, QB Matt Stafford has returned to form after an injury-plagued season left many in doubt about his future with the Rams.
All told, Los Angeles is ninth in yards per play and has only turned the ball over 12 times (tied for 6th fewest in the NFL). While the defensive could use some improvement, they’re still in the top half of the league against both the pass and the run (albeit 14th and 16th, respectively)
The good news for the Rams playoff chances is that they own one of the league’s softest remaining schedules. Although they face the high-flying Baltimore Ravens (9-3) this Sunday, during Weeks 15-17 Los Angeles’ opponents are all sub-.500 football teams: the Commanders (4-9), Saints (5-7), and Giants (4-8).
Hopefully, the Rams can win all three because their final game of the season pits them against division foe the San Francisco 49ers. But who knows? If everything breaks right, the Rams may be battling for the NFC West’s top spot by that point.