Week 5 Power Ratings


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Week 5 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 Bills (6.5), would be 14-point favorites on a neutral field over my worst-rated team, the Texans (-7.5). Using a typical three-point adjustment for home-field advantage, the Bills would be 17-point favorites over the Texans at home and 11-point favorites over the Texans on the road.

RankTeamPower Rating2021 Record (ATS)Ratings ChangeSuper Bowl LVI Odds
1.Buffalo Bills6.53-1 (3-1)+.5+750
2.Tampa Bay Buccaneers63-1 (1-3)-.5+500
3.Los Angeles Rams5.53-1 (2-2)-.5+800
4.Kansas City Chiefs5.52-2 (1-3)+600
5.Green Bay Packers53-1 (3-1)+1200
6.Cleveland Browns53-1 (3-1)+.5+1400
7.Baltimore Ravens4.53-1 (2-2)+.5+1200
8.Arizona Cardinals44-0 (3-1)+1+1600
9.Dallas Cowboys3.53-1 (4-0)+1.5+2000
10.Los Angeles Chargers3.53-1 (3-1)+1+2000
11San Francisco 49ers32-2 (1-3)-.5+2800
12.Seattle Seahawks2.52-2 (2-2)-.5+2800
13.New Orleans Saints22-2 (2-2)-.5+3500
14.Denver Broncos23-1 (3-1)-.5+4000
15.Minnesota Vikings1.51-3 (2-2)-.5+6500
16.New England Patriots1.51-3 (2-2)+8000
17.Las Vegas Raiders13-1 (2-2)+6000
18.Carolina Panthers13-1 (3-1)+10000
19.Tennessee Titans12-2 (2-2)-.5+4000
20.Cincinnati Bengals03-1 (2-2)+.5+13000
21.Washington-.52-2 (1-3)-.5+10000
22.Indianapolis Colts-.51-3 (2-2)+.5+10000
23.Pittsburgh Steelers-11-3 (1-3)-1+15000
24.Miami Dolphins-11-3 (2-2)-1+10000
25.New York Giants-1.51-3 (2-2)+.5+30000
26.Philadelphia Eagles-21-3 (1-2)-.5+20000
27.Atlanta Falcons-2.51-3 (1-3)+40000
28.Chicago Bears-2.52-2 (2-2)+20000
29.Detroit Lions-3.50-4 (2-2)+100000
30.New York Jets-4.51-3 (1-3)+.5+100000
31.Jacksonville Jaguars-50-4 (1-3)+.5+100000
32.Houston Texans-7.51-3 (2-2)-.5+100000

Week 5 Risers

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

Buffalo Bills (6 to 6.5) — The Bills are the third different team to make an appearance at the top of the Power Ratings with the Chiefs and Buccaneers tumbling down the list before them. The ​​Bills have completely dominated their opponents since their bizarre loss to the Steelers in the season opener, outscoring their last three opponents 118-21.

Cleveland Browns (4.5 to 5) — The Browns may have a legit top-flight defense as they’ve played under the total in two straight games thanks to allowing just 13 combined points to the Bears and the Vikings. The Browns pressured Kirk Cousins on a week-high 53.7% of his dropbacks and they limited Vikings’ RBs to just 2.8 YPC.

Baltimore Ravens (4 to 4.5) — The Ravens, in a controversial fashion, tied the NFL record for consecutive games with 100+ rushing yards at 43 (the Steelers also did it in 1974-77) by running Lamar Jackson in a clear kneel-down situation in their victory over the Broncos. Baltimore is skewing more to the pass this season with Lamar Jackson topping 7.8 YPA in every game, and his passing yards per game have grown every week (235<239<287<316).

Arizona Cardinals (3 to 4) — The Cardinals have scored 31+ points in every game this season and they’re now averaging 35.0 points per game after they hung 37 points on their NFC West rivals, the Rams, last week. Kyler Murray has averaged 8.4 YPA or better in each of his four starts, and he’s completing an NFL-best 76.1% of his passes in the early going.

Dallas Cowboys (2 to 3.5) — The Cowboys are the last undefeated ATS team after starting last season 0-8 ATS. I’m making a major adjustment for the Cowboys this week because I’ve been too under-market on them through the first month of the season. Dallas has an NFL-best eight-game streak with multiple takeaways, and CB Trevon Diggs has interceptions in every game this season after picking off two more passes last week — he has eight INTs in his last nine games dating back to last season.

Los Angeles Chargers (2.5 to 3.5) — Justin Herbert and the offense gets most of the publicity for the Chargers, and rightfully so, but this defense has helped Los Angeles play in four straight under games to open the season. They held the AFC Offensive Player of the Month, Derek Carr, to under 200 passing yards and 5.8 YPA as they pressured him on 45% of his dropbacks.

Cincinnati Bengals (-.5 to 0) — The Bengals stumbled through the first half without a point against the winless Jaguars, but they awoke with 24 points to pull out a last-second victory. Joe Burrow was forced to throw more than he had through the first three weeks and he passed with flying colors, averaging 10.9 YPA with two scores.

Indianapolis Colts (-1 to .5) — The Colts kept their season from going off the rails by landing their first win of the season, and they’re suddenly back in the hunt for the AFC South title after Tennessee’s upset loss to the Jets. Carson Wentz had his best performance of the season by completing 75% of his passes for 7.1 YPA, and they got Jonathan Taylor rolling with 16/03/1 rushing.

New York Giants (-2 to -1.5) — Is Daniel Jones turning a corner? He has just two turnovers and he’s averaging 8.2 YPA and 47.0 rushing yards per game through four weeks, and he just ripped a good Saints defense for 402/2 passing (10.1 YPA). The Giants could make some noise if they can clean up their red-zone woes as they rank dead last in touchdown scoring rate from inside the 20-yard line (33.3%).

New York Jets (-5 to -4.5) — The Jets were overmatched in their first three games, which resulted in outright and ATS losses, but HC Robert Saleh and QB Zach Wilson cracked the win column as 5.5-point underdogs against an injury-depleted Titans squad. They now have to navigate their first London game against the Falcons this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars (-5.5 to -5) — The Jaguars nearly snapped their 19-game losing streak last week but the Bengals nipped them at the end. They finally showed some fight in their first ATS cover of the season, and they’re starting to get the ball into the hands of James Robinson and Laviska Shenault. They’ll have to keep doing it into the future with D.J. Chark (ankle) done for the year.

Week 5 Fallers

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

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6.5 to 6) — The Buccaneers are heading into the ultimate flat spot against the Dolphins this week after playing a pair of emotionally charged games against the Rams and Patriots the last two weeks. The Buccaneers’ secondary has had some of the worst injury luck at the start of the season with Carlton Davis (quad) and Antoine Winfield (concussion) joining Sean Murphy-Bunting (elbow) and Jamel Dean (knee) on the sidelines.

Los Angeles Rams (6 to 5.5) — The Rams were neck-and-neck with the Cardinals in terms of yards per play — they held a 6.3-to-6.2 advantage — but Sony Michel had the key fumble deep in their own territory to swing the contest in Arizona’s favor. The lost fumble set up consecutive touchdowns for the Cardinals in a critical two-minute span in the second quarter to open up a two-score difference. The Rams defense has been vulnerable this season, allowing 24+ points in three straight games. They allowed 24+ points just five times last season and never in consecutive games.

San Francisco 49ers (4 to 3.5) and Seattle Seahawks (3 to 2.5) — The Seahawks are coming off a bit of a fraudulent victory against the 49ers in which they were outgained by two yards per play by San Francisco (6.3 to 4.3). The victory was significantly aided by a muffed kickoff return by Trenton Cannon, which allowed the Seahawks to score two touchdowns in less than a minute to open up a two-score lead against a rookie quarterback in his first real action. The 49ers left that game with injuries to QB Jimmy Garoppolo (calf) and LT Trent Williams (shoulder), which should be monitored this week.

Denver Broncos (2.5 to 2) — The Broncos are getting crushed by injuries for the second straight season, and they were down eight starters by the end of their loss to the Ravens in Week 4. The two biggest injury statuses to watch this week will be QB Teddy Bridgewater (concussion) and rookie CB Patrick Surtain (chest).

Minnesota Vikings (2 to 1.5) — The Vikings scored on their first drive of the game against the Browns, and they never made it back inside the Browns’ 30-yard line until the final play of the game in their 14-7 loss in Week 4. Minnesota’s O-line had played relatively well through three weeks, but Kirk Cousins was pressured on a week-high 53.7% of his dropbacks and their RBs managed just 2.8 YPC.

New Orleans Saints (2.5 to 2) — The Saints are playing some ugly offensive football with Sean Payton looking to limit Jameis Winston’s mistakes. He’s yet to attempt more than 23 passes in a game, but they’ll have the chance to find some success this week against a disappointing Washington defense that’s giving up 34.0 points per game in their last three contests (@Atl, @Buf, NYG).

Tennessee Titans (1.5 to 1) — I had my concerns about Tennessee’s thin receiving corps if Julio Jones or A.J. Brown got injured this season, but I didn’t realize how ugly it would look if both of their star WRs missed in the same week. The likes of Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (49), Josh Reynolds (48), and Chester Rogers (45) finished as their top route-runners in their overtime loss to the Jets.

Washington Football Team (0 to -.5) — The Football Team needed J.D. McKissic to go full Superman for the game-winning score to get their first ATS cover of the season last week. Washington came out the game a little worse for wear with OG Brandon Scherff (knee), TE Logan Thomas (hamstring), WR Dyami Brown (knee), LB Jon Bostic (shoulder), and WR Cam Sims (hamstring) picking up injuries. RB Antonio Gibson also left after he took a shot to the ribs and his status could be up in the air later this week.

Pittsburgh Steelers (0 to -1) — It’s sure looking like the Steelers will lose more games than they win this season for the first time in the Mike Tomlin era, barring the invention of the time machine for Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh scored on a free play from 45 yards away on the first drive of the game against the Packers in Week 4, and they managed just three points and one red-zone trip in the final 55 minutes.

Miami Dolphins (0 to -1) — The Dolphins have allowed 20+ consecutive points to be scored against them in each of the last three weeks, and they’ve lost all three contests since their season-opening victory. The Dolphins can’t get Tua Tagovailoa (ribs) back soon enough with Jacoby Brissett averaging a truly horrific 4.9 YPA in his three appearances.

Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5 to -2) — The Eagles continue to shoot themselves in the foot since their season-opening victory over the Falcons. They had three different touchdowns negated by penalties and they settled for three field goals, which isn’t going to cut it when your defense is giving up 40+ points for the second straight week.

Houston Texans (-7 to -7.5) — The Texans have scored just nine points in Davis Mills’ first two NFL starts after last week’s shutout loss to the Bills. Houston scored 58 points in the first two games with Tyrod Taylor starting, and their points scored have fallen each week (37>21>9>0).

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.