How Often Do 1-3 Teams Make Playoff in NFL?

How Often Do 1-3 Teams Make Playoff in NFL?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The NFL season is a short one, as any diehard fan who suffers through a long offseason knows well. With only 17 games on the regular season schedule, each week is vitally important when it comes to making the playoffs.

For teams with playoff expectations, a weak start can be a death blow and that certainly could be the case for the Minnesota Vikings this year. There is no legal Minnesota sports betting yet, but it would be a risky wager to count on the Vikings to make it.

The Vikings started the season winless through the first three weeks before finally getting their first win of the year against Carolina in a battle of winless teams. (Previously, we looked at how often 0-2 teams make the playoffs).

After the 0-3 start, getting a win was an absolute must, and history shows that it still might be too late in the season to finally get a win on the board. Seven teams started the season 1-3 last year and none made the playoffs. – your source for the best Minnesota sports betting promo codes if the state launches in 2024 - decided to look back even further in history to see if there is any hope for the 2023 Vikings. We did so by using ChampsorChumps,us  to see how teams finished the season after starting 1-3 over the past 10 years.

Teams That Started Season 1-3 Last 10 Years

SituationNumber of Teams Percentage
Making The Playoffs11 of 8213.4%
Winning Wild Card Round2 of 1118.2%
Winning Divisional Round0 of 20.0%


History Not Kind to 1-3 Teams

With 82 teams finding themselves at 1-3 after four games since 2012, there is more than enough sample size to get some reasonable expectations for this year's Vikings. Only 11 of the 82 teams have wound up making the playoffs, with only two winning a first-round playoff game, and none advancing past the divisional round.

After last year's first-round playoff collapse, Vikings fans and bettors appear to be in for another disappointing end to the season. Oddly enough, their first win came in the first game all year that QB Kirk Cousins threw for less than 300 yards. Cousins put up a paltry 130 in a winning effort. The defense and running game had strong performances, giving the team hope that they can put all aspects of the game together and turn the season around.

With Cousins and star WR Justin Jefferson leading the way, the offense has the potential to be explosive. If safety Harrison Smith can keep the defense playing as well as it did against Carolina, the Vikings will be able to keep games close.

The biggest problem for Minnesota, aside from its record, is that two of the next three games come against arguably the two best teams in the league in Kansas City and San Francisco. Wins against those teams will be a tough ask, but if they can manage to do so they have a chance to beat the odds and become one of the few teams to make the NFL playoffs after a 1-3 start.



Cecil Peters
Senior Betting Analyst

Cecil Peters is a Senior Betting Analyst for A professional sports bettor in Canada, Cecil specializes in analyzing the latest odds impacting professional sports, particularly MLB and the NHL. He will be providing insight throughout the baseball season.