Week 18 Power Ratings

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Week 18 Power Ratings

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 Packers (7.5), would be 16.5-point favorites on a neutral field over my worst-rated team, the Jaguars (-9). Using a 1.5-point adjustment for home-field advantage, the Packers would be 18-point favorites over the Jaguars at home and 15-point favorites over the Jaguars on the road.

RankTeamPower Rating2021 Record (ATS)Ratings ChangeSuper Bowl LVI Odds
1.Green Bay Packers7.513-3 (12-4)+400
2.Kansas City Chiefs711-5 (8-8)+500
3.Tampa Bay Buccaneers6.512-4 (8-8)-.5+900
4.Buffalo Bills610-6 (8-6-2)+750
5.Los Angeles Rams612-4 (8-8)+850
6.Dallas Cowboys611-5 (12-4)-.5+1100
7.New England Patriots5.510-6 (10-6)+.5+1600
8.Indianapolis Colts59-7 (10-6)-.5+1800
9.San Francisco 49ers4.59-7 (8-8)+3500
10.Arizona Cardinals4.511-5 (10-6)+.5+2000
11.Tennessee Titans411-5 (10-6)+1+1200
12.Cincinnati Bengals410-6 (9-7)+.5+2000
13.Los Angeles Chargers3.59-7 (8-8)+4000
14.Philadelphia Eagles39-7 (8-7-1)+5000
15.Baltimore Ravens28-8 (8-8)+40000
16.Minnesota Vikings1.57-9 (8-8)
17.New Orleans Saints18-8 (7-9)+13000
18.Pittsburgh Steelers.58-7-1 (7-9)+.5+40000
19.Miami Dolphins.58-8 (8-7-1)-1
20.Las Vegas Raiders09-7 (7-9)+.5+10000
21.Cleveland Browns07-9 (7-9)-1
22.Seattle Seahawks-16-10 (8-8)+.5
23.Denver Broncos-27-9 (7-9)-1
24.Washington-26-10 (6-9-1)
25.Atlanta Falcons-2.57-9 (6-9-1)
26.Chicago Bears-36-10 (7-9)
27.Detroit Lions-4.52-13-1 (10-6)-.5
28.Carolina Panthers-5.55-11 (5-11)
29.Houston Texans-64-12 (7-9)
30.New York Jets-64-12 (6-10)+.5
31.New York Giants-8.54-12 (6-10)-1.5
32.Jacksonville Jaguars-92-14 (4-12)-1

Week 18 Risers

Teams who improved from the last Power Ratings update on Dec. 29.

New England Patriots (5 to 5.5) — The Patriots are back in the playoffs after missing the postseason in their first campaign without Tom Brady last season. The Patriots hung a 50-burger on the lowly Jaguars in Week 17, which tied Bill Belichick with Don Shula for the most 10+ win seasons in NFL history with 20 overall.

Arizona Cardinals (4 to 4.5) — The Cardinals aren’t dead quite yet after knocking off the Cowboys as 6.5-point road underdogs last week. Kyler Murray led the way by completing 26/38 passes for 263 yards (6.9 YPA) and two TDs while adding 9/44 rushing in the victory. They still have a chance to win the NFC West and to host at least one playoff game with a victory over the Seahawks and a Rams loss to the 49ers.

Cincinnati Bengals (3.5 to 4) — The young Bengals clinched the AFC North title with their upset victory over the Chiefs in Week 17, which was their first division title since 2015. Ja’Marr Chase was this year’s ultimate league winner in the fantasy finals thanks to his team-record 11/266/3 receiving on 12 targets for 55.6 FP against the Chiefs in Week 17. He also passed his LSU teammate Justin Jefferson for the most receiving yards in a season by a rookie with 1429 yards.

Tennessee Titans (3 to 4) — The Titans are one win away from clinching homefield advantage and a bye in the AFC playoffs after steamrolling the Dolphins for 40/198/2 rushing in a 31-point victory. Derrick Henry is also nearing a potential return after he started jogging in cleats last week and the Titans could open his 21-day practice window by designating him for return from the injured reserve. The Divisional Round will be about 10 weeks after his surgery so the stars could be aligning for Tennessee.

Pittsburgh Steelers (0 to .5) — Ben Roethlisberger is a long way from being the quarterback he once was, and he proved it in his last game at Heinz Field. He completed 24/46 passes for a truly awful 123 yards (2.7 YPA), one TD, and one INT but he found a way to get one last win in Pittsburgh as he became the first quarterback in the Super Bowl Era to win a game while attempting 40+ passes and throwing for fewer than 150 yards.

Las Vegas Raiders (-.5 to 0) — The Raiders were left for dead after losing by 39 points to the Chiefs in Week 14, but they’ve reeled off three straight outright victories over a pair of backup QBs (Nick Mullens and Drew Lock) and a miserable Carson Wentz in Week 17. Zay Jones has given this passing game a lift with 5+ catches in five of his last six games. He has three consecutive performances with 11+ FP after posting a season-high 8/120 receiving on 10 targets against the Colts in Week 17.

Seattle Seahawks (-1.5 to -1) — The Seahawks came to play in potentially Russell Wilson’s final game in front of his home fans in Seattle. D.K. Metcalf erupted for 6/63/3 receiving on nine targets against the Lions after he averaged just 3.6/38.0 receiving per game with one TD in his first seven games since Wilson returned to the lineup. Rashaad Penny has been a revelation over the last four weeks with five rushing TDs and three performances with 100+ rushing yards, including a career-best 170 yards against Detroit last week.

New York Jets (-6.5 to -6) — The Jets are building some momentum late in the season with three straight covers, and they nearly stunned the Buccaneers in Week 17 before letting Tom Brady off the ropes late. Zach Wilson is far from a finished product but he’s averaged more than 7.0 YPA in two of his last three games after doing it just once in his first nine games, and he’s showing improvement with his top three WRs out of the lineup.

Week 18 Fallers

Teams who worsened from the last Power Ratings update on Dec. 29.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7 to 6.5) — The Buccaneers were an ascending team heading into the playoffs last season, but they’re trending in the wrong direction in 2021 despite riding 6-1 outright and a 5-2 ATS stretch heading into the season finale. Tom Brady already lost Chris Godwin (ACL) for the season and he’ll now be without Antonio Brown moving forward after he ended his playing career with his bare-chested exit at MetLife Stadium.

Dallas Cowboys (6.5 to 6) — It turns out Dak Prescott isn’t quite out of the woods just yet despite throwing for three touchdowns and posting 24.0 FP in their loss to the Cardinals. He averaged just 6.0 YPA against Arizona, which is the fourth time in his last five games that he’s finished at 6.0 YPA or worse. More importantly, Dak will be without his stud #3 WR Michael Gallup for the rest of the season after he tore his ACL on a touchdown catch.

Indianapolis Colts (5.5 to 5) — The Colts have a Super-Bowl caliber roster outside of the quarterback position, which is kind of important. Carson Wentz returned from the COVID list in Week 17 and he threw for just 148 yards on 27 attempts (5.5 YPA) in a loss to the Raiders as touchdown favorites. Most of his production came on a fluky, 45-yard tipped touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton — he would’ve averaged 4.0 YPA otherwise. He’s now thrown for multiple TDs just twice in his last seven games after doing it in six straight games in Weeks 4-9.

Miami Dolphins (1.5 to .5) — The Dolphins became the first team to win seven straight games and miss the playoffs since Washington did it back in 1996 — 79 teams won 7+ games and made the playoffs in between. Miami flamed out of playoff contention in spectacular fashion in a 34-3 loss to the Titans at the hands of their former quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Cleveland Browns (1 to 0) — Baker Mayfield is a broken quarterback heading into the final year of his contract. He completed just 16/38 passes (42.1%) for 185 yards (4.9 YPA), two TDs, and two INTs while absorbing nine sacks against the Steelers. Mayfield was coming off a four-INT performance against the Packers on Christmas Day, and they may mercifully end his season early with surgery needed on his injured left labrum.

Denver Broncos (-1 to -2) — Denver’s offense was nothing special with Teddy Bridgewater leading the group, but their rushing attack has vanished over the last two weeks since Drew Lock took over the offense. Javonte Williams managed just 21/42/1 rushing (2.0 YPC) and 3/10 receiving in the last two contests while Melvin Gordon hasn’t been much better with 17/39 rushing (2.3 YPC) and 4/33 receiving.

Detroit Lions (-4 to -4.5) — The Lions allowed a season-high 51 points in a loss to the previously lethargic Seahawks’ offense. At least fourth-round Amon-Ra St. Brown continues to be a revelation ever since he scored the game-winning touchdowns in Detroit’s first victory of the season against the Vikings in Week 13. He’s posted 8+ catches, 10+ targets, and 70+ yards with four TDs overall in his last five games.

New York Giants (-7 to -8.5) — The Giants have lost five straight games by double-digit margins and they haven’t covered a spread in that span. The Bears had no problems taking care of a New York offense that finished with -10 net passing yards. The Giants literally surrendered to the Bears last week, attempting just 11 passes compared to 40 rushing attempts in their 26-point loss.

Jacksonville Jaguars (-8 to -8.5) — The Jaguars enter the final week of the season riding an eight-game losing streak and a seven-game ATS losing skid after the Patriots drubbed them 50-10 last week. Trevor Lawrence heads into the final game of his rookie season averaging a miserable 6.0 YPA and 213.6 passing yards per game with 10 TDs and 17 INTs.

Tom is a Senior Writer at Fantasy Points who specializes in fantasy and betting analysis. He’ll be helping you to navigate the waiver wire and manage your fantasy teams while also keeping our betting content robust all year long, especially during the season. Tom's Best Bets against the spread won at 61.5% clip in 2019 and he was a perfect 8-0 on his Best Bets for season win totals in 2020.