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 hope you find these ratings useful and good luck with your wagers!
Example: My top-rated team, the Buccaneers (7), would be 14.5-point favorites on a neutral field over my worst-rated team, the Texans (-7.5). Using a 1.5-point adjustment for home-field advantage, the Buccaneers would be 16-point favorites over the Texans at home and 13-point favorites over the Texans on the road.
|Rank||Team||Power Rating||2021 Record (ATS)||Ratings Change||Super Bowl LVI Odds|
|1.||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||7||8-3 (5-6)||—||+500|
|2.||Green Bay Packers||7||9-3 (10-2)||+.5||+750|
|3.||Arizona Cardinals||6.5||9-2 (8-3)||—||+800|
|4.||Buffalo Bills||6||7-4 (6-4-1)||+.5||+750|
|5.||Kansas City Chiefs||5.5||7-4 (4-7)||—||+700|
|6.||New England Patriots||5.5||8-4 (8-4)||+1||+1000|
|7.||Dallas Cowboys||5.5||7-4 (8-3)||—||+1000|
|8.||Los Angeles Rams||5||7-4 (4-7)||-1||+1200|
|9.||Baltimore Ravens||4.5||8-3 (5-6)||—||+1200|
|10.||San Francisco 49ers||3.5||6-5 (5-6)||+.5||+4000|
|11.||Indianapolis Colts||3||6-6 (7-5)||—||+5000|
|12.||Cincinnati Bengals||2.5||7-4 (6-5)||+1||+2800|
|13.||Minnesota Vikings||2.5||5-6 (6-5)||—||+6000|
|14.||Los Angeles Chargers||2||6-5 (5-6)||-.5||+2800|
|15.||Tennessee Titans||1.5||8-4 (7-5)||-1||+2800|
|16.||Cleveland Browns||1||6-6 (5-7)||—||+5000|
|17.||Philadelphia Eagles||1||5-7 (6-6)||-.5||+10000|
|18.||New Orleans Saints||.5||5-6 (4-7)||-.5||+10000|
|19.||Denver Broncos||0||6-5 (6-5)||+.5||+9000|
|20.||Las Vegas Raiders||0||6-5 (5-6)||-.5||+10000|
|21.||Miami Dolphins||-.5||5-7 (6-5-1)||+1||+40000|
|23.||Pittsburgh Steelers||-.5||5-5-1 (4-7)||-1||+15000|
|24.||Seattle Seahawks||-1||3-8 (5-6)||-1||+50000|
|25.||Carolina Panthers||-2||5-7 (5-7)||-1||+50000|
|26.||New York Giants||-2||4-7 (6-5)||—||+50000|
|27.||Chicago Bears||-2||4-7 (5-6)||—||+50000|
|28.||Atlanta Falcons||-2.5||5-6 (5-6)||—||+50000|
|29.||Detroit Lions||-5||0-10-1 (7-4)||—||+100000|
|30.||Jacksonville Jaguars||-5||2-9 (4-7)||-.5||+100000|
|31.||New York Jets||-5.5||3-8 (3-8)||—||+100000|
|32.||Houston Texans||-7.5||2-9 (5-6)||—||+100000|
Week 13 Risers
Teams who improved from the last Power Ratings update on Nov. 24.
Green Bay Packers (6.5 to 7) — The Packers are the most undervalued 10-2 ATS team you’ll just about ever see with line movement fading them in each of the last five weeks — they went 4-1 ATS in that stretch. Aaron Rodgers will get a week of rest to heal his broken toe, but he’s shown no ill-effects the last two games with 692/6 passing with an 8.8 YPA average and no INTs.
Buffalo Bills (5.5 to 6) — The Bills got back on track with a dominant 31-6 victory over the Saints on Thanksgiving Day. Josh Allen completed 82.1% of his passes (23/28), he averaged 9.3 YPA (260 yards), and he threw for four TDs with two INTs. On the downside, the Bills lost top CB Tre’Davious White to a season-ending knee injury, which is a major blow to one of the league’s top defenses.
New England Patriots (4.5 to 5) — The Patriots have been the biggest gainers in my power ratings in recent weeks having won and covered in six straight games, which has vaulted them to the top of the league in point differential at +146. They’re not only winning but they’ve been winning big, sporting an average cover margin of +20.5 points in their last six games.
San Francisco 49ers (3 to 3.5) — The 49ers have reeled off three outright and ATS wins with an average cover margin of +14.0 points in that span, and the offense is hitting their stride with 30+ points in each of those contests. I would’ve upgraded the 49ers even more if top WR Deebo Samuel (groin) and LB Fred Warner (hamstring) weren’t looking at absences over the next two weeks.
Cincinnati Bengals (1.5 to 2.5) — Cincinnati faded hard before its Week 10 bye with a pair of ugly losses to the Jets (34-31) and Browns (41-16), but they’ve shown a renewed energy coming out of their bye. They’ve completely wiped out fellow AFC playoff contenders in the Raiders (32-13) and Steelers (41-10) with an average cover margin of +22.0 points, and they now rank fifth in the league in point differential at +83. Joe Mixon has rolled up 58/288/4 rushing for 5.0 YPC in his first two games since their bye
Las Vegas Raiders (-.5 to 0) — The Raiders had scored just 14.3 points per game in Weeks 9-11 and they haven’t topped 16 points in a single game in that span, which coincided with the loss of their top vertical threat out of their bye week. The offense finally kicked it back into gear on Thanksgiving Day in a 33-30 overtime victory over the Cowboys as 7.5-point road underdogs, thanks in large part to speedster DeSean Jackson opening the field up with 3/102/1 receiving on a season-high 48% of the snaps.
Denver Broncos (-.5 to 0) — The Broncos are right in the thick of the AFC West race by winning outright and ATS in three of their last four games after dropping four consecutive games outright and ATS in Weeks 4-7. The Broncos could be getting some much-needed offensive line reinforcement this week with LT Garrett Bolles (ankle) and RT Bobby Massie (ankle) eyeing returns in their pivotal matchup with the Chiefs.
Washington Football Team (-1 to -.5) — Don’t look now but Washington is back in the mix in a wide-open race for the NFC playoffs with three straight outright and ATS victories against NFC opponents (Bucs, Panthers, Seahawks). Antonio Gibson looks as healthy as he has all season since their Week 9 bye, averaging 24.0/90.0 rushing per game with two rushing scores over the last three weeks.
Miami Dolphins (-1.5 to -.5) — The Dolphins are one of the hotter teams in the leagues with four straight outright and ATS victories, and they own a +13.0 cover margin over the last four games. Miami’s defense hasn’t allowed its last four opponents to score more than 17 points and it’s given up just 11.5 points per game in that stretch. Meanwhile, Tua Tagovailoa is quietly playing the best football of his career over the last 10 quarters, completing 80.5% of his passes and averaging 8.6 YPA with a group of misfits outside of Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki.
Week 13 Fallers
Teams who worsened from the last Power Ratings update on Nov. 24.
Dallas Cowboys (6 to 5.5) — The Cowboys opened the season as ATS darlings with covers in each of their first seven games, but they’ve dropped three of their last four games ATS and outright. They’ll get Amari Cooper (COVID) and CeeDee Lamb back in the lineup this week against the Saints, but they’re dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 that’s already knocked out HC Mike McCarthy for the contest.
Los Angeles Rams (6 to 5) — The Rams have quickly sunk to the bottom of the ATS standings in the NFC with five straight failed covers. They haven't been particularly close to winning the last three weeks with three consecutive outright losses as favorites with an ugly average cover margin of -17.8 points in that span. The Rams have turned the ball over seven times with a -5 turnover differential in the last three games after turning it over seven times combined with a +6 turnover differential through eight contests.
Los Angeles Chargers (2.5 to 2) — The Chargers have been an overvalued team for the last seven weeks with a 1-5 ATS record since Week 6, and they have an ugly cover margin of -9.8 points in that span. Los Angeles’ defense has given up 24+ points in seven straight games and they’re allowing 31.3 points per game in that span after the Steelers and Broncos came to life against them.
Tennessee Titans (2.5 to 1.5) — The Titans are holding on for dear life atop the AFC South with a current roster of skill players that would look pretty good for the new United States Football League. They luckily get a bye to recalibrate this week, and they also have the league’s easiest remaining with matchups against the Jaguars, Steelers, 49ers, Dolphins, and Texans remaining.
Philadelphia Eagles (1.5 to 1) — Jalen Hurts ran for 55+ yards for a sixth consecutive game last week, but he had a career-worst game as a passer in their ugly loss to the Giants. He completed just 45.2% of his passes for just 4.2 YPA with three INTs in Philadelphia’s seven-point offensive effort against New York. Even with his miserable performance, Hurts put the ball in Jalen Reagor’s hands near the end zone on the potential game-winning drive, but the 2020 first-round pick bobbled away the fourth-down pass.
New Orleans Saints (1 to .5) — The bottom has fallen out for the Saints, who have dropped all four games outright since they replaced Jameis Winston (ACL, IR) with Trevor Siemian at quarterback. New Orleans looked completely hopeless in a 31-6 defeat to the Bills, with the offense averaging just 3.3 yards per play and a pathetic 1.8 YPC with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram both out with knee injuries.
Pittsburgh Steelers (.5 to -.5) — Pittsburgh was completely overmatched in two matchups against Cincinnati this season, getting punished 65-20 by the up-and-coming Bengals. They looked like a team that was completely exhausted after playing three straight games that went down to the final whistle against the Bears (29-27), Lions (16-16 OT), and Chargers (37-41). The Steelers are staring at their first last-place finish in a division since they finished in the cellar of the AFC Central in 1988.
Seattle Seahawks (0 to -1) — I adjusted the Seahawks up five points when Russell Wilson returned to the lineup in Week 10 but it turns out that he’s been a marginal upgrade over Geno Smith. The Seahawks have slid back four points over the last three weeks with three straight outright and ATS losses, and the offense is averaging just 9.3 points per game with Wilson back in the saddle. He’s completing just 55.7% of his passes and averaging 6.3 YPA with a 2.1% TD rate in that span, while he owns career marks of 65.0%, 7.8 YPA, and 6.1% TD rate over his 10-year career.
Carolina Panthers (-1 to -2) — Carolina’s playoff hopes are quickly fading away with seven losses in their last nine games, and they’ll be without Christian McCaffrey (ankle, IR) for the rest of the season. Cam Newton completed a truly horrific 23.8% of his passes while averaging 4.4 YPA with two INTs before Matt Rhule mercifully pulled the plug on him with a quarter to play against the Dolphins.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5 to -5) — The Jaguars have played under the total in six straight games and in nine of their last 10 contests. The offense has failed to produce more than 17 points in five straight contests with Trevor Lawrence averaging just 5.0 YPA with two TD passes in that span.