Are the Chiefs really a wild-card favorite?

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs are but one of five 4-5 teams in the AFC, and as such, they’re no better than fourth in the race for the two AFC wild-card playoff berths.

ESPN Analytics, which crunches the numbers and comes up with its own predictions about these things, disagrees. It calls the Chiefs the favorite to claim the second AFC wild-card spot.

It says the Chiefs have a 46.8 percent chance of making the playoffs, second-best behind the 6-4 Pittsburgh Steelers (57.7 percent) among teams unlikely to win their division. Something to keep in mind if the Chiefs and Steelers wind up with the same record and tied for the final wild-card spot: The Chiefs would make the playoffs because they beat the Steelers last month.

The Chiefs, according to ESPN Analytics, have a better chance of claiming a wild-card spot than either of two teams currently at 5-4, the New York Jets (43.4 percent) and the Buffalo Bills (42.1 percent).

Among the 4-5 teams, the Chiefs are given the second-best chance to make the playoffs. The Indianapolis Colts (67.4 percent) are first, but that’s because they are predicted to win the AFC South.

The chances of making the playoffs for the other 4-5 teams: 24.5 percent for the Houston Texans, 7.6 percent for the Miami Dolphins and 5.2 percent for the Oakland Raiders.

In another interesting twist, ESPN Analytics says the Chiefs have a 4.5 percent chance to win their remaining seven games. That’s behind only the Arizona Cardinals and the New England Patriots.

Much of the optimism surrounding the Chiefs has to do with their remaining schedule. They have one game against a team with a current record of better than .500. The Chiefs will play the Bills on Nov. 29 at Arrowhead Stadium.

Otherwise, the Chiefs will play the Raiders and the 2-7 San Diego Chargers twice and the 2-7 Baltimore Ravens and the 2-8 Cleveland Browns once.