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-point favorites on a neutral field over my worst-rated team, the Texans (-7). Using a typical three-point adjustment for home-field advantage, the Buccaneers would be 17-point favorites over the Texans at home and 11-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||2-0 (1-1)||+.5||+550|
|2.||Kansas City Chiefs||6.5||1-1 (0-2)||-.5||+500|
|3.||Buffalo Bills||5.5||1-1 (1-1)||—||+1000|
|4.||Los Angeles Rams||5||2-0 (1-1)||—||+1100|
|5.||Green Bay Packers||4.5||1-1 (1-1)||+.5||+1400|
|6.||Cleveland Browns||4||1-1 (1-1)||—||+1700|
|7.||Baltimore Ravens||4||1-1 (1-1)||+.5||+1500|
|8.||San Francisco 49ers||4||2-0 (1-1)||+.5||+1400|
|9.||Seattle Seahawks||3.5||1-1 (1-1)||—||+2500|
|10.||New England Patriots||2.5||1-1 (1-1)||—||+3500|
|11.||Arizona Cardinals||2||2-0 (1-1)||+.5||+3500|
|12.||Denver Broncos||2||2-0 (2-0)||+.5||+2500|
|13.||Los Angeles Chargers||1.5||1-1 (1-1)||—||+3500|
|14.||Tennessee Titans||1.5||1-1 (1-1)||+.5||+3000|
|15.||Dallas Cowboys||1.5||1-1 (2-0)||+.5||+3500|
|16.||New Orleans Saints||1.5||1-1 (1-1)||-.5||+3500|
|17.||Miami Dolphins||1||1-1 (1-1)||-.5||+5000|
|18.||Pittsburgh Steelers||1||1-1 (1-1)||-1||+5000|
|19.||Minnesota Vikings||1||0-2 (1-1)||—||+5000|
|21.||Las Vegas Raiders||.5||2-0 (2-0)||+1||+5000|
|22.||Carolina Panthers||0||2-0 (2-0)||+1||+5000|
|23.||Indianapolis Colts||-.5||0-2 (1-1)||-.5||+5000|
|24.||Philadelphia Eagles||-1||1-1 (1-1)||-.5||+6500|
|25.||Chicago Bears||-1.5||1-1 (1-1)||—||+8000|
|26.||Cincinnati Bengals||-2||1-1 (1-1)||—||+20000|
|27.||New York Giants||-2||0-2 (1-1)||—||+20000|
|28.||Atlanta Falcons||-2.5||0-2 (0-2)||-.5||+20000|
|29.||Detroit Lions||-4||1-1 (1-1)||—||+50000|
|30.||New York Jets||-4||0-2 (0-2)||-.5||+50000|
|31.||Jacksonville Jaguars||-4.5||0-2 (0-2)||-1||+50000|
|32.||Houston Texans||-7||1-1 (1-1)||—||+50000|
Week 3 Risers
Teams who improved from the last Power Ratings update on Sept. 15.
Green Bay Packers (4 to 4.5) — The Packers still need to tighten up their defense, especially at Kevin King’s spot, who got roasted yet again, but the offense moved in the right direction with four touchdown passes in a dominant second-half victory over the Lions.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6.5 to 7) — I should’ve learned my lesson after the Super Bowl but I’m finally elevating the Buccaneers to the top of my Power Ratings after two weeks. Tom Brady is leading the league’s best offense with nine touchdown passes and Rob Gronkowski looks like he’s back in his prime.
Baltimore Ravens (3.5 to 4) — The Ravens have been ravaged by injuries and they’ve given up 30+ points in consecutive games to AFC West opponents, but they showed some real cojones to erase an 11-point deficit against the Chiefs.
San Francisco 49ers (3.5 to 4) — The 49ers are dealing with cluster injuries at cornerback and in their backfield, but they still racked up 117 rushing yards and they held Jalen Hurts to 99 passing yards on 22 attempts (4.5 YPA) outside of a 91-yard connection with Quez Watkins.
Arizona Cardinals (1.5 to 2) — Kyler Murray has accounted for 4+ touchdowns in each of his first two games, and he’s reached 400+ passing yards in two of his last five starts dating back to last season. The Cardinals could be an offensive juggernaut this season with 34+ points in each of their first two games.
Denver Broncos (1.5 to 2) — Teddy Bridgewater has covered the spread at an incredible 75% clip in his career with a 38-13 ATS record. The Broncos have opened as favorites in each of their first three games after they were the only team not to be favored in a game last season. They did lose Bradley Chubb indefinitely to ankle surgery, which is a blow for this pass rush.
Tennessee Titans (1 to 1.5) — Derrick Henry looked headed for a second disappointing fantasy performance in as many weeks when he was stuck with 13/35 rushing after the first two quarters against the Seahawks. Henry and the Titans flipped the switch in the second half, though, as he rumbled 22/147/3 rushing in the final 35 minutes as Tennessee erased a 15-point deficit in their Week 2 victory.
Dallas Cowboys (1 to 1.5) — Dallas is off to a 2-0 ATS start after going a league-worst 5-11 ATS last season. The Cowboys limited the Chargers to just two field goals in the second half, and their 17 points allowed in Week 2 matched the fewest points they allowed in a game in all of last season.
Las Vegas Raiders (-.5 to .5) — Derek Carr has thrown for 817 yards while averaging 8.8 YPA in two upset victories over two of the top teams in the AFC in Pittsburgh and Baltimore. They have the chance to knock off another top contender for an AFC Wild Card spot with a showdown with the Dolphins looming this week.
Carolina Panthers (-1 to 0) — The Panthers’ defense has looked like the real deal with just 21 points and 380 yards allowed (both NFL bests) in victories over the Saints and Jets to open the season. Sam Darnold has also looked the part in the early going with 584 passing yards and an 8.0 YPA average.
Week 3 Fallers
Teams who worsened from the last Power Ratings update on Sept. 15.
Kansas City Chiefs (7 to 6.5) — The Chiefs continued their absolutely dreadful play against the spread in Week 2 when they blew an 11-point, fourth-quarter lead in their road loss to the Ravens. They’ve dropped their first two contests ATS in 2021 and they now sport an 2-11 ATS mark in their last 13 games.
Miami Dolphins (2 to 1.5) — Tua Tagovailoa bruised his ribs on the second series of the game and Miami’s offense sputtered the rest of the way in their first shutout loss since Week 2 of 2019. They averaged just 3.1 yards per play with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback, but Tua has a chance to play this week and they’ll get Will Fuller (personal) back this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers (2 to 1) — The Steelers beat the Bills with their stout defense in Week 1, but they were down four of their studs in a Week 2 loss to the Raiders. The biggest loss was star OLB T.J. Watt going down with a groin injury, which completely crushed their pass rush. MLB Devin Bush and CB Joe Haden also sat out with groin injuries while they had a sneaky big loss with NT Tyson Alualu going down with a fractured ankle.
New Orleans Saints (1.5 to 1) — The Saints looked like a team that’s been on the road for nearly the last four weeks, who also dealt with a COVID-19 scare last week. New Orleans’ offense mustered just 128 total yards, they averaged 3.0 yards per play, and they didn’t crack the scoreboard until the fourth quarter in a 19-point loss to the Panthers.
Indianapolis Colts (0 to -.5) — Carson Wentz’s status for Week 3 is very much up in the air after he suffered a pair of ankle injuries. He’s either going to try to play (and likely play poorly) through the injuries for the next couple of weeks or they’ll have to turn to Jacob Eason if he can’t play, who looked way in over his head when he came into the game against the Rams.
Philadelphia Eagles (-1 to -1.5) — The Eagles’ negative injury luck from the last few years has reared its ugly head just two weeks into the season. DE Brandon Graham is done for the season with a torn Achilles while RG Brandon Brooks landed will be out at least three weeks with a pectoral strain.
Atlanta Falcons (-2 to -2.5) — The Falcons had a chance at an outright victory in the fourth quarter against the defending Super Bowl champions, but Matt Ryan threw a pair of pick-sixes to Mike Edwards in the final eight minutes to turn a three-point, fourth-quarter deficit into a 23-point loss.
New York Jets (-3.5 to -4) — Rookie Zach Wilson had a day to forget with four interceptions in his second career start. He joined not so elite company in Nathan Peterman (2017) and Kyle Orton (2005) as the only rookie QBs to throw four INTs in their first 10 attempts of a start. Wilson’s road doesn’t get much easier this week with a road trip to Denver to take on a Broncos’ defense that just suffocated Trevor Lawrence.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5 to 4.5) — Speaking of Lawrence, he averaged just 3.6 YPA against the Broncos with just 118 yards and two interceptions on 33 passes. Urban Meyer has now lost back-to-back for the first time since the 2013 season when Ohio State lost in the Big Ten Championship (Michigan State) and the Orange Bowl (Clemson).