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||9-3 (6-6)||—||+550|
|2.||Green Bay Packers||7||9-3 (10-2)||—||+750|
|3.||Arizona Cardinals||6.5||10-2 (9-3)||—||+700|
|4.||Kansas City Chiefs||6||8-4 (5-7)||+.5||+650|
|5.||New England Patriots||6||9-4 (9-4)||+.5||+700|
|6.||Buffalo Bills||5.5||7-5 (6-5-1)||-.5||+1100|
|7.||Dallas Cowboys||5.5||8-4 (9-3)||—||+1300|
|8.||Los Angeles Rams||5||8-4 (5-7)||—||+1200|
|9.||Indianapolis Colts||4||7-6 (8-5)||+.5||+3500|
|10.||San Francisco 49ers||3.5||6-6 (5-7)||—||+4000|
|11.||Baltimore Ravens||3.5||8-4 (5-7)||-1||+1600|
|12.||Los Angeles Chargers||3||7-5 (6-6)||+1||+2200|
|13.||Cincinnati Bengals||2||7-5 (6-6)||-.5||+3500|
|14.||Tennessee Titans||1.5||8-4 (7-5)||—||+2500|
|15.||Philadelphia Eagles||1.5||6-7 (7-6)||+.5||+8000|
|16.||Minnesota Vikings||1.5||5-7 (6-6)||-1||+10000|
|17.||Cleveland Browns||1||6-6 (5-7)||—||+6000|
|19.||Pittsburgh Steelers||0||6-5-1 (5-7)||+.5||+10000|
|20.||Miami Dolphins||0||6-7 (7-5-1)||+.5||+20000|
|21.||Denver Broncos||0||6-6 (6-6)||—||+10000|
|22.||New Orleans Saints||-.5||5-7 (4-8)||-1||+15000|
|23.||Las Vegas Raiders||-.5||6-6 (5-7)||-.5||+20000|
|24.||Seattle Seahawks||-1||4-8 (6-6)||+.5||+15000|
|25.||Carolina Panthers||-1.5||5-7 (5-7)||—||+50000|
|26.||Chicago Bears||-2.5||4-8 (5-7)||—||+100000|
|27.||New York Giants||-3||4-8 (6-6)||-1||+100000|
|28.||Atlanta Falcons||-3||5-7 (5-7)||—||+50000|
|29.||Detroit Lions||-4.5||1-10-1 (8-4)||+.5||+100000|
|30.||New York Jets||-5.5||3-9 (3-9)||—||+100000|
|31.||Jacksonville Jaguars||-5.5||2-10 (4-8)||-.5||+100000|
|32.||Houston Texans||-8||2-10 (5-7)||-.5||—|
Week 14 Risers
Teams who improved from the last Power Ratings update on Dec. 1.
Kansas City Chiefs (5.5 to 6) — Don’t look now but Kansas City has reeled off five straight outright victories and three consecutive covers, and they’re doing it with a recent defensive surge, allowing just 11.2 points per game over their five-game winning streak. The Chiefs have now had at least one five-game winning streak in each of Andy Reid’s nine seasons with the franchise.
New England Patriots (5.5 to 6) — The Patriots are the hottest team in the AFC with seven straight outright wins and covers after knocking off the Bills as three-point road underdogs to remain atop the division. They’re not only winning but they’ve been covering by big, sporting an average cover margin of +18.6 points in their last seven games after limiting Buffalo to 10 points in windy conditions in Orchard Park.
Indianapolis Colts (3.5 to 4) — The Colts shut out the hopeless Texans in Week 13 and they ended up outsourcing Houston 62-3 in their two meetings this season. They head into their bye week with 7-3 marks ATS and overall in their last 10 games after their sluggish start to the season through three weeks. Jonathan Taylor is now averaging 103.7 rushing yards per game, and he has as many offensive touchdowns as the Texans and Giants with 18 scores.
Los Angeles Chargers (2 to 3) — The Chargers jumped out to a quick 24-point lead over the Bengals, and they nearly gave it away before Tevaughn Campbell scooped and scored on a Joe Mixon fumble in the early fourth quarter. Justin Herbert averaged 9.1 YPA in the victory as he was letting it rip downfield with an aDOT of 10.3 yards — he entered the week averaging 7.4 YPA with an aDOT of 7.3 yards.
Minnesota Vikings (2.5 to 1.5) — The Vikings have played up and down to their competition all season long with 11 of their 12 games being decided by one score or less. They finally got burned when they played down to their competition by allowing a last-second victory to the previously winless Lions. The Vikings are on their last legs in the NFC playoff race and they’ll be without standout WR Adam Thielen (ankle) for at least the next game or two.
Philadelphia Eagles (1 to 1.5) — Gardner Minshew nailed his audition for future NFL starting work against the hapless Jets last week, but Jalen Hurts will be back under center when the Eagles return from their Week 14 bye. The Eagles have won and covered in three of their last four games, and they’ll end the season with four straight games against the NFC East.
Washington Football Team (0 to .5) — Washington controls its own fate in the NFC East after ticking off four straight outright and ATS victories since their Week 9 bye. They close the season with five straight games against NFC East opponents, including two games each against their top competition in the Cowboys and Eagles.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-.5 to 0) — After losing by 31 points to the Bengals in Week 12, the Steelers picked themselves up off the mat with a 20-19 victory over the Ravens to snap their three-game winless streak and to keep their dwindling playoff aspirations alive. T.J. Watt jumped into the league lead with 16 sacks overall after taking down Lamar Jackson 3.5 times last week.
Miami Dolphins (-.5 to 0) — The Dolphins have picked themselves up by the bootstraps by winning five straight games outright and ATS after limiting the Giants to nine points in Week 13. They own an average cover margin of +11.3 points in their last five games, but they’ll need to stay hot if they have any hopes of sneaking into the playoffs as they enter their bye week with a 6-7 record.
Seattle Seahawks (-1.5 to -1) — The Seahawks broke their nine-game streak of unders in a 30-23 victory over the 49ers last week, but it was hardly an offensive explosion. They averaged just 3.8 yards per play against the 49ers if you toss out Travis Homer’s 73-yard touchdown run on a fake punt. Russell Wilson still averaged just 6.2 YPA so he’s hardly back to being the old Russ, but they did get their first win since he returned to the lineup. Seattle took another body blow with S Jamal Adams being lost for the season with a torn labrum.
Detroit Lions (-5 to -4.5) — The Lions broke into the win column in dramatic fashion with Jared Goff’s game-winning touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown with no time remaining on the clock. The Lions have covered four straight games since their bye, which coincides with when Dan Campbell took over play-calling duties, and they’ve played in one-score games in seven of their 12 games.
Week 14 Fallers
Teams who worsened from the last Power Ratings update on Dec. 1.
Buffalo Bills (6 to 5.5) — The Bills are in an uphill battle in the AFC East after falling to the Patriots in extremely windy conditions in Orchard Park in Week 13. The game hinged on an early 64-yard touchdown run off left tackle by Damien Harris on a third-and-5 play, and the Bills converted just one of their four chances in the red zone into touchdowns.
Baltimore Ravens (4.5 to 3.5) — The Ravens suffered a big blow with top CB Marlon Humphrey landing on the injured reserve after tearing his pectoral muscle on Diontae Johnson’s late touchdown. Baltimore’s offense has scored just four touchdowns and they haven’t reached 20+ points in a game over its last three games with a struggling Lamar Jackson in the lineup.
Cincinnati Bengals (2.5 to 2) — Joe Burrow dislocated his pinky on his throwing hand and he played through pain in Week 13 — he finished the game with three turnovers. He already said he won’t miss any games because of the injury, but it’s fair to wonder if he’ll be quite as effective moving forward as we’ve seen Russell Wilson struggle through a throwing finger injury.
New Orleans Saints (.5 to -.5) — Well, we found out why Sean Payton went with Trevor Siemian after Jameis Winston’s season-ending knee injury. Taysom Hill threw four INTs, including a late pick-six to a defensive lineman, and he completed 46.3% of his passes in a two-score loss to the Cowboys in Week 13. He was also sitting at a 4.9 YPA average until Deonte Harris broke a meaningless 70-yard touchdown on an underneath pass. The Saints desperately need to get RB Alvin Kamara (knee), LT Terron Armstead (knee), RT Ryan Ramczyk (knee), and DE Marcus Davenport (shoulder) back this week if they have any hope of making a charge for the last playoff spot in the NFC.
Las Vegas Raiders (0 to -.5) — The Raiders are 1-4 outright and ATS over the last five weeks, and they’ve scored 16 or fewer points in each of those losses. The Raiders lost Kenyan Drake (ankle) for the season in Week 14 and they’re expected to be without Darren Waller (knee) for another game or two.
New York Giants (-2 to -3) — The Giants already had one of the league’s worst scoring offenses before injuries ravaged the unit, and they could now be down to Jake Fromm at quarterback with Daniel Jones (neck) and Mike Glennon (concussion) looking unlikely to play this week. New York hasn’t scored more than 17 points in five straight games and their defense is giving up just 16.0 points per game over their last six games — they haven’t played over a total in seven straight contests.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-5 to -5.5) — Jacksonville’s defense playing relatively well but their offense has been in miserable shape since they came out of their Week 7 bye, averaging just 10.7 points per game. They’ve now played under the total in seven straight games and they’re 2-10 toward unders overall this season. First overall pick Trevor Lawrence has been downright putrid over the last six games, averaging 5.0 YPA with just two touchdowns.
Houston Texans (-7.5 to -8) — Houston’s offense has hit the skids even with Tyrod Taylor back in the lineup, averaging just 11.3 points per game in four games since he returned to the lineup. The Texans averaged just 2.8 yards per play in their shutout loss to the Colts in Week 13, and Taylor played so poorly that he got pulled for Davis Mills in the late third quarter.