My Power Ratings are designed to be a starting point for point-spread betting between two teams. They take into account recent performances, long-term injuries, coaching, and strength of schedule. These ratings are intended to help predict performances in the present, but they’re not necessarily predictive for the rest of the season. I will take my Power Ratings into account when I make my weekly against the spread picks, but I’ll also consider current injury reports, home-field advantage, weather, and other factors that may be relevant.
I’ll be updating my Power Ratings every week during the season, and this year’s format will include weekly betting notes and a look at the evolving futures markets to go along with my ratings.
Example: My top-rated team, the Bills (8), would be 12.5-point favorites on a neutral field over my worst-rated team, the Texans (-4.5). Using a two-point adjustment for home-field advantage (last year’s HFA average was 1.8 points), the Bills would be 14.5-point favorites over the Texans at home and 10.5-point favorites over the Texans on the road.
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Week 5 Power Ratings
|Rank||Team||Power Rating||2021 Record (ATS)||Ratings Change||Super Bowl Odds|
|1.||Buffalo Bills||8||3-1 (2-1-1)||—||+400|
|2.||Kansas City Chiefs||6.5||3-1 (2-2)||+1||+700|
|3.||Philadelphia Eagles||6||4-0 (3-1)||+.5||+800|
|4.||Green Bay Packers||5||3-1 (2-2)||—||+1000|
|5.||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4.5||2-2 (2-2)||—||+1200|
|6.||San Francisco 49ers||4||2-2 (2-2)||+1||+1500|
|7.||Baltimore Ravens||4||2-2 (2-2)||—||+1800|
|8.||Los Angeles Chargers||4||2-2 (3-1)||+.5||+2200|
|9.||Los Angeles Rams||3.5||2-2 (1-3)||-1||+1600|
|10.||Cincinnati Bengals||3||2-2 (2-2)||+.5||+2500|
|11.||Miami Dolphins||2.5||3-1 (3-1)||-1||+2200|
|12.||Minnesota Vikings||2||3-1 (1-3)||+.5||+2500|
|13.||Dallas Cowboys||1.5||3-1 (3-1)||+2||+2500|
|14.||Denver Broncos||1||2-2 (1-3)||-1||+3500|
|15.||Cleveland Browns||.5||2-2 (2-2)||-.5||+6000|
|16.||Jacksonville Jaguars||.5||2-2 (2-2)||—||+6000|
|17.||Las Vegas Raiders||.5||1-3 (1-3)||+.5||+5000|
|18.||New Orleans Saints||0||1-3 (1-3)||—||+8000|
|19.||Tennessee Titans||0||2-2 (2-2)||+.5||+6000|
|20.||Indianapolis Colts||-.5||1-2-1 (1-3)||-1||+6000|
|21.||Arizona Cardinals||-1||2-2 (2-2)||+.5||+7000|
|22.||New England Patriots||-1.5||1-3 (1-2-1)||+1||+15000|
|23.||New York Giants||-1.5||3-1 (3-1)||+.5||+10000|
|24.||Atlanta Falcons||-2||2-2 (4-0)||+.5||+20000|
|25.||Detroit Lions||-2||1-3 (3-1)||-1||+15000|
|26.||Carolina Panthers||-2.5||1-3 (1-3)||-1||+20000|
|27.||Pittsburgh Steelers||-3||1-3 (1-2-1)||-.5||+15000|
|28.||Washington Commanders||-3||1-3 (1-3)||-1||+20000|
|29.||New York Jets||-3.5||2-2 (2-2)||+.5||+30000|
|30.||Seattle Seahawks||-3.5||2-2 (2-2)||+.5||+50000|
|31.||Chicago Bears||-4||2-2 (1-2-1)||-.5||+50000|
|32.||Houston Texans||-4.5||0-3-1 (2-1-1)||-.5||+100000|
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The Buffalo Bills erased a 17-point deficit in their victory over the Ravens, which was their largest comeback since 2011. Buffalo also had won their previous 20 games by double digits before beating Baltimore with a last-second field goal.
Patrick Mahomes became the fastest player to reach 20,000 passing yards, doing it in 67 games — Matthew Stafford held the previous record at 71 games.
The Philadelphia Eagles are the only remaining undefeated team and they’re sporting the NFC’s best point differential at +44 — they’re behind only the Bills at +56 overall.
Aaron Rodgers completed 4/11 passes for 44 yards and he threw his fourth-career pick-six in the first 30 minutes against the Patriots, which resulted in his lowest passer rating (11.2) in any half of football in 210 career games
Tom Brady’s Buccaneers have the fewest carries by a team in a game with five (vs. NO in 2020) and they’re tied for the second-fewest after attempting six runs against the Chiefs.
Nick Bosa registered two of San Francisco’s seven sacks against the Rams, which vaulted him into the league lead with six sacks overall.
The Baltimore Ravens have blown a 21-point lead against the Dolphins and a 17-point advantage against the Bills through the first four weeks.
Austin Ekeler failed to score through the first three games of the season after tying for the league lead with 20 TDs in 2021, but he made up for lost time with three scores against the Texans.
The Los Angeles Rams averaged just 3.5 yards per play and settled for three field goals against the 49ers, which marked the fifth time they’ve failed to score a TD in Sean McVay’s six seasons with the club.
The Cincinnati Bengals got to .500 in the span of five days after starting the season with two surprising losses. The Bengals are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games and they’ve played under the total in nine straight games.
Tua Tagovailoa could be looking at an absence after suffering a terrifying concussion on Thursday Night Football. Teddy Bridgewater will fill in for the time being after starting 29-of-33 games between Carolina (2020) and Denver (2021) the last two years. He owns a career ATS record of 42-20-1 (67.8%) in 63 career starts.
The Minnesota Vikings rank 25th in red-zone scoring with just seven of their 15 red-zone trips (46.7%) going for touchdowns. They’re the lowest ranked team with a winning record.
The Denver Broncos scored three touchdowns in Week 4, which equaled their total scores from its first three games of the season.
Cooper Rush moved to a perfect 4-0 career record as Dak Prescott’s fill-in starter, and he became the first player to win his first four starts in franchise history.
Nick Chubb has posted 110+ rushing yards and 19+ carries in three of his first four games, and he’s scored in three straight games with five total TDs in that span.
Trevor Lawrence struggled through sloppy conditions with four lost fumbles and an INT against the Eagles, and he connected on just 22.2% of his passes with Christian Kirk after hitting on 66.7% of their attempts through three weeks.
Josh Jacobs ripped off a career-high 144 rushing yards and two TDs on 28 carries, and he also had a career-best 33 touches with an additional 5/31 receiving on six targets.
Andy Dalton completed 20/28 passes for 236 yards (8.4 YPA) and a TD with a lost fumble in his start for Jameis Winston (back), and he did it without Michael Thoams (toe) and Alvin Kamara (rib).
The Indianapolis Colts’ offense has been stuck in the mud with 20 or fewer points in each of the first four weeks. Matt Ryan has a whopping nine fumbles through four games, which has him on pace to easily shatter the NFL record of 23 set by Kerry Collins (2001) and Daunte Culpepper (2002).
The Tennessee Titans have outscored opponents 68-37 in the first half in their first four games, but they’ve been outscored 64-7 in the final 30 minutes of those contests.
The Arizona Cardinals have yet to score a single point in the first quarter of any game and they’ve been outscored 66-16 in the first half of their first four games.
The New England Patriots were down to third-string QB Bailey Zappe, who completed 10/15 passes for 99 yards with a TD in his first NFL action after being drafted in the fourth round in the spring.
The New York Giants were down to Saquon Barkley as the team’s wildcat quarterback with Daniel Jones (ankle) and Tyrod Taylor (concussion) picking up injuries. Saquon is pacing the league with 463 rushing yards after compiling 31/146 rushing against the Bears.
The Atlanta Falcons rank fifth in rushing YPG (168.0) after beating the Browns at their own game, besting them in YPC (5.8 to 5.1) and in rushing yards (202 to 177).
The Detroit Lions are leading the league in scoring with 140 points but they own a 1-3 record because they’ve allowed 141 points. The 281 combined points in Detroit’s contests are the most through four games in NFL history.
Baker Mayfield is the new second-worst starting QB with Mitchell Trubisky benched in Pittsburgh. He ranks ahead of only Justin Fields in passer rating (75.0) and completion percentage (54.7%), and he’s dead last in ESPN’s QBR (15.3).
The Washington Commanders have lost three consecutive games after being called for 136 penalty yards against the Cowboys. Carson Wentz averaged an ugly 4.5 YPA in losses to Philly and Dallas the last two weeks.
Kenny Pickett became the first quarterback to ever run for two TDs in his pro debut, and he also didn’t have a pass hit the turf with his three incompletions going for INTs.
The Seattle Seahawks averaged 8.8 yards per play and 555 total yards on their way to scoring 48 points against the Lions. The Seahawks scored 47 combined points in their first three games.
Zach Wilson became the first New York Jets quarterback to catch a touchdown when he scored on the “Philly Special” at the goal line against the Steelers.
Justin Fields finally reached double-digit completions in a game with 11 and he had his most productive game with 174 passing yards, which was 108th-most passing yards by an individual QB in a game through four weeks.
The Houston Texans are the final winless team in the league, but they at least have a potential star at RB in Dameon Pierce, who exploded for a 75-yard touchdown run on his way to 131 rushing yards.
Super Bowl Odds
The top of the Super Bowl board stayed relatively stagnant compared to the first three weeks of the season. The San Francisco 49ers (+1800 to +1500) were the biggest riser among the top contenders after they limited the Los Angeles Rams (+1500 to +1600) to just 3.5 yards per play and just three field goals. The Dallas Cowboys (+3000 to +2500) are also making after being written off after the season opener with Cooper Rush guiding them to three straight victories. The Las Vegas Raiders (+7000 to +5000) and Tennessee Titans (+8000 to +6000) were two playoff teams from last season who are starting to play up to their 2021 standards.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1000 to +1200) took the biggest dip at the top of the board off their lopsided loss to the Kansas City Chiefs (+750 to +700). I actually feel better about the Bucs with their passing game showing signs of life since they have a better defense than they showed against the Chiefs. The Denver Broncos (+2500 to +3500) and Indianapolis Colts (+3500 to +6000) saw their odds plummet this week and they’ve been two of the biggest disappointments through four games. They’ll square off on Thursday Night Football, which will leave one team buried in the AFC.
Sportsbooks aren’t buying the New York Giants with a 3-1 record (I’m not either) with their +10000 odds staying stagnant after another victory. They are by far the team with the worst odds among the squads with a losing record — the Cowboys and Miami Dolphins are the next closest at +2500.
The MVP race is turning into a four-player race through the quarter pole with Josh Allen (+300 to +275) continuing a steady march to the top. His passing stats weren’t pretty in wet conditions, completing 19/36 passes for 213 yards (5.9 YPA), one TD, and one INT, but he added 11/70/1 rushing to lead the Bills back from a 17-point deficit. Patrick Mahomes (+700 to +500) and Lamar Jackson (+700 to +500) surged into a tie for the second-best odds while Jalen Hurts’s odds improved (+600 to +550) but he dropped to the fourth favorite. Both Tua Tagovailoa (+1400 to +5000) and Trevor Lawrence (+3000 to +5000) saw their odds tumble with Tua suffering a gruesome concussion in primetime and T-Law turning it over five times in their loss to the Eagles.
The Offensive Rookie of the Year race remains the most wide-open and intriguing award race since the spring. Drake London (+400 to +700) went from being the OROY favorite to being tied with the third-best odds after his disappointing 2/17 receiving performance on seven targets. Chris Olave (+800 to +500) vaulted into favorite status with his third consecutive game with 13+ FP while Dameon Pierce (+900 to +650) and Romeo Doubs (+800 to +700) continue to pick up momentum. Pittsburgh’s rookie duo of Kenny Pickett (+1600 to +1000) and George Pickens (+1600 to +1200) are alive for the award once again with Pickett finally plugged into the lineup, which helped Pickens to a career-high 6/102 receiving.
Devin Lloyd went from +2000 odds to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year after Week 2 to being the favorite at +200 after Week 4 thanks to a 14-tackle performance against the Eagles. Saquon Barkley has distanced himself as the favorite (+150) to win the Comeback Player of the Year with a 146-yard rushing performance against the Bears, but Brian Robinson is lurking as the second favorite at +600. He’s expected to make his NFL debut for the Commanders this week, and he has by far the best narrative as the survivor of a carjacking attempt if he’s able to play at a high level.