What are the chances of the Titans getting into the playoffs?

Thanks to Sharon Cobb and Jackson Miller, here is the hat-trick that must happen next Sunday if the Tennessee Titans are going to make it into the playoffs. Again, all four must occur:

1. Titans must beat Patriots
2. Steelers must beat Bengals
3. 49ers must beat Broncos
4. Chiefs must beat Jaguars

So what are the odds of all four of those happening? After consulting with the 16-year-old (who is playing a videogame while helping me figure this out), we’ve decided the “coin-tossing formula” is applicable — and it’s also they type of analogy Charlie Epps on the TV show Numb3rs would use to explain to the audience a concept like probability theory. “Each time you flip a coin, the odds are one-in-two that you’ll get heads. Therefore, the odds of flipping four heads in a row is 6.25% (.50 x .50 x .50 x .50 = .0625).

But unlike coin tossing, there is an industry that predicts the specific odds one of the teams will win — i.e., the odds of the coin landing heads or tails. By using the coin-tossing formula, and plugging in consensus match-up book-making (prediction) data provided by Covers.com, here’s our best-guess of what the chances are of the Sunday hat-trick happening: 3.4%.

Background:

  • New England (11-4) @ Tennessee (8-7) | current consensus odds of a Titans win: 41.9%
  • Pittsburgh (7-8) @ Cincinnati (8-7) | current consensus odds of a Pittsburgh win: 35.6%
  • Jacksonville (8-7) @ Kansas City (8-7) | current consensus odds of a KC win: 57.5%
  • San Francisco (6-9) @ Denver (9-6) | current consensus odds of a KC win: 40% (however, the covers.com site currently has it backwards)
  • If the coin-tossing odds formula is applicable (on the TV show, Numb3rs, the first analogy-theory is often incorrect) and the bookmakers’ consensus odds are correct, the chances of the Titans getting into the playoffs is 3.4% (.419 x .356 x .575 x .400 = .034)

    As a Titans fan, let me remind you: It could happen.

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