Can 3-3 NFL Teams Make The Playoffs?

Can 3-3 NFL Teams Make The Playoffs?
Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

It’s been a roller coaster ride out of the gate across Louisiana sports betting for fans of the New Orleans Saints, who have split their first six regular season contests to open the NFL regular season. Fresh off Sunday’s 20-13 road loss to the Houston Texans, the Saints stand at 3-3 for the year and are on the lookout for a much-needed win to turn the tide on their season when the Jacksonville Jaguars come to the Superdome on Thursday night. Safe to say, every game from here on out will have a significant impact on the Saints playoff chances.

Utilizing Champs or Chumps, looked at how teams ended up the rest of the NFL season after starting their season with an 3-3 record since 2012-13 campaign. There have been 83 teams that have started 3-3 in the last 10 seasons.  

For reference, last season saw the most 3-3 teams make the playoffs with 6 of 11 teams. The Bengals and 49ers were both 3-3 and made it to the Conference Championship.  

Performance Of NFL Teams Starting 3-3

SituationNumber of TeamsPercentage*
Making the Playoffs 24 28.9%
Winning Wild Card Round 10 12%
Winning Divisional Round 5 6%
Winning Conference Championship 1 1.2%
Winning Super Bowl 0 0%

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Odds Don’t Favor Saints In 2023

Of the teams that have started the season 3-3 since that 2012-13 campaign, only 28.9% (or 24 teams) made it to the playoffs, while 10 (12%) of those went on to win the Wild Card Round of their respective conference in the postseason. It’s worth noting that only five of those teams (6%) went on to win that Division Round contest, while one went all the way to the Super Bowl (though none won it all).  

This year, New Orleans will look to snap that streak, starting with Thursday’s home clash against a 4-2 Jags team that has won three straight games against the Indianapolis Colts (37-20), Buffalo Bills (25-20) and the Atlanta Falcons (23-7).  This week, the Saints are listed as two-point underdogs on Caesars Sportsbook Louisiana, as New Orleans looks to improve to 2-1 this year on their home turf for the season.  

From there, the Dennis Allen-coached collective will need to keep their foot on the pedal to qualify for the postseason for the first time since the 2020-21 season, with games against the Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons on the road over the next month, interspersed with a lone home clash with the Chicago Bears on Nov. 5.  

A few wins during that stretch and the Saints will be in solid shape to make it back to the playoffs, though any untimely defeats could ultimately throw that progress into disarray as the NFL’s regular season hits its stride. Should things go well? This site will have updated Saints Super Bowl odds.

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Christopher Boan writes for and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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