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 (7), would be 14.5-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 17.5-point favorites over the Texans at home and 11.5-point favorites over the Texans on the road.
|Rank||Team||Power Rating||2021 Record (ATS)||Ratings Change||Super Bowl LVI Odds|
|1.||Buffalo Bills||7||4-2 (4-2)||—||+550|
|2.||Los Angeles Rams||6.5||5-1 (4-2)||+.5||+850|
|3.||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6.5||5-1 (2-4)||—||+600|
|4.||Arizona Cardinals||6||6-0 (5-1)||+.5||+1100|
|5.||Green Bay Packers||6||5-1 (5-1)||+.5||+1200|
|6.||Dallas Cowboys||5.5||5-1 (6-0)||+.5||+1400|
|7.||Baltimore Ravens||5.5||5-1 (3-3)||+1||+1000|
|8.||Kansas City Chiefs||4.5||3-3 (2-4)||—||+700|
|9.||Los Angeles Chargers||4||4-2 (4-2)||-.5||+2000|
|10.||New Orleans Saints||2.5||3-2 (3-2)||—||+3500|
|11.||Tennessee Titans||2||4-2 (4-2)||+1||+2500|
|12||San Francisco 49ers||2||2-3 (1-4)||—||+5000|
|13.||Cleveland Browns||2||3-3 (3-3)||-2||+2200|
|14.||Minnesota Vikings||1.5||3-3 (3-3)||+.5||+8000|
|15.||Indianapolis Colts||1||2-4 (4-2)||+1||+10000|
|16.||Cincinnati Bengals||1||4-2 (3-3)||+.5||+10000|
|17.||Las Vegas Raiders||.5||4-2 (3-3)||+1||+10000|
|18.||Denver Broncos||.5||3-3 (3-3)||-1||+8000|
|19.||New England Patriots||0||2-4 (2-4)||—||+10000|
|20.||Carolina Panthers||0||3-3 (3-3)||-.5||+20000|
|21.||Pittsburgh Steelers||-.5||3-3 (2-4)||+.5||+10000|
|22.||Philadelphia Eagles||-.5||2-4 (3-3)||—||+20000|
|23.||Chicago Bears||-1||3-3 (3-3)||—||+20000|
|24.||Atlanta Falcons||-1.5||2-3 (2-3)||—||+25000|
|26.||Seattle Seahawks||-2.5||2-4 (3-3)||—||+10000|
|27.||Miami Dolphins||-3||1-5 (2-4)||-1||+20000|
|28.||New York Giants||-4.5||1-5 (2-4)||-.5||+50000|
|29.||New York Jets||-4.5||1-4 (1-4)||—||+100000|
|30.||Jacksonville Jaguars||-5||1-5 (2-4)||+.5||+100000|
|31.||Detroit Lions||-5||0-6 (3-3)||-1||+100000|
|32.||Houston Texans||-7.5||1-5 (3-3)||-.5||+100000|
Week 7 Risers
Teams who improved from the last Power Ratings update on Oct 13.
Los Angeles Rams (6 to 6.5) — The Rams held the Giants to just 3.6 yards per play, and Cooper Kupp did the rest of the work on offense. He leads all receivers in targets (68) and receiving touchdowns (7), he’s tied for first in receptions (46), and he ranks behind only Davante Adams in receiving yards (653).
Green Bay Packers (5.5 to 6) — Aaron Rodgers still owns the Bears and the Packers have now run off five straight outright and ATS victories since their season-opening no-show against the Saints. They could be getting some much-needed offensive line reinforcements in the near future with All-Pro LT David Bakhtiari slated to practice this week for the first time since he tore his ACL late last year.
Arizona Cardinals (5 to 6) — The Cardinals didn’t have HC Kliff Kingsbury and OLB Chandler Jones last week, but it didn’t matter as they as they got back to scoring 30+ points for the fifth time in six tries. They now own the best ATS cover margin at +12.8 points after covering by 26 points in a 37-14 beatdown of the Browns as three-point road underdogs.
Dallas Cowboys (5 to 5.5) — The Cowboys battled both the Patriots and the officials in Week 6, but they still came away with a 35-29 overtime victory and ATS cover as 3.5-point road favorites. The Cowboys head into their bye as the only unbeaten ATS team at 6-0 after they were the last team to cover a spread last season with 0-8 ATS start in 2020.
Baltimore Ravens (4.5 to 5.5) — The Ravens had the most impressive victory of Week 6 and it was one of the most impressive wins of the entire season up to this point. The Ravens limited Justin Herbert and company to 3.9 yards per play and to a 25% conversion rate on both third (3 of 12) and fourth downs (1 of 4). The Ravens have been ravaged by injuries this season, but promising first-round pick Rashod Bateman stepped into the lineup and played a big role immediately.
Tennessee Titans (1 to 2) — If you need proof that the NFL is difficult to predict (and bet on), the Titans lost to one of the league’s worst teams, the Jets, in Week 4 before beating one of the league’s best teams, the Bills, in Week 6. Derrick Henry, as he does often, placed the Titans’ offense on his back and carried them to a victory with 20/143/3 rushing against the Bills.
Minnesota Vikings (1 to 1.5) — The Vikings are one of the toughest teams to get a grasp on through the first six weeks of the season. They’ve played just one contest that hasn’t been decided by one score — a 30-17 victory over the Seahawks in Week 3 — and they’ve played up to the likes of the Cardinals in a heartbreaking 34-33 loss in Week 2 and down to the likes of the Lions in a puzzling 19-17 victory in Week 5.
Indianapolis Colts (0 to 1) — Indianapolis has covered the spread in four of its last five games, including in three straight games with an average cover margin of 10.2 points. They kept Houston out of the end zone and they wiped out the Texans 31-3 as 11.5-point home favorites. Carson Wentz is playing his best football in quite some time as he’s thrown two TD passes in each of the last three weeks while averaging 9.8 YPA, and it doesn’t hurt that he has T.Y. Hilton back in the mix.
Cincinnati Bengals (.5 to 1) — The Bengals won six games in Zac Taylor’s first two seasons in Cincinnati, and they’re just a pair of three-point losses away from being undefeated with six wins in 2021. Cincinnati outgained the Lions by 3.5 yards per play (8.0 to 4.5) last week, and rookie Ja’Marr Chase trails only Henry Ruggs in YPR with his average of 20.5 yards.
Las Vegas Raiders (-.5 to .5) — I overcompensated in my downgrade of the Raiders last week as they put together an inspired effort in their first game in the post-Jon Gruden era. The Raiders had a whopping seven passes that gained 25+ yards against the Broncos, which is the most since at least 1991. It’s not surprising that Derek Carr averaged a sick 12.6 YPA and the Raiders averaged 8.2 yards per play.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-1 to -.5) — The Steelers are holding it together heading into their bye after pulling out a 23-20 overtime victory over the Geno Smith-led Seahawks. Pittsburgh desperately needs to get DL Stephon Tuitt (knee, IR) after the Seahawks’ RBs gashed the Steelers for 26/145/1 rushing and 5.6 YPC.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-5.5 to -5) — The Jaguars’ finally snapped the NFL’s third-longest losing streak of all-time, and they did it in London of all places. Jacksonville ended their 20-game losing streak and they got back into the win column for the first time since Week 1 of 2020 with their last-second victory over the Dolphins in Week 6.
Week 7 Fallers
Teams who worsened from the last Power Ratings update on Oct. 13.
Los Angeles Chargers (4.5 to 4) — The Ravens completely baffled young QB Justin Herbert, holding the Chargers to 3.9 yards per play and to a 25% conversion rate on both third (3 of 12) and fourth downs (1 of 4). Herbert said of the Ravens after the game, “It was a lot of looks that we didn't see on film and stuff they constructed for us. They did a great job at disguising their looks, bringing pressure from one way and hiding from another.”
Cleveland Browns (4 to 2) — The Browns are the walking wounded coming out of their 37-14 beatdown by the Cardinals in Week 6. They listed 20 players on their injury report before Thursday Night Football with cluster injuries at offensive tackle, running back, and across all three levels of their defense. The cherry on top of the sh** Sundae is Baker Mayfield playing through a torn labrum in his left shoulder that isn’t healing any time soon as he continues to push through the injury.
Denver Broncos (1.5 to .5) — The Broncos opened the season a perfect 3-0 outright and ATS record against the three of the five worst teams in my Power Ratings (NYG, Jax, NYJ), but they’ve come crashing back to earth with an 0-3 outright and ATS run against AFC playoff contenders (Bal, Pit, LV). The Broncos allowed a whopping seven passes that gained 25+ yards against the Raiders, which is the most since at least 1991. It’s not surprising that Derek Carr averaged a sick 12.6 YPA and the Raiders averaged 8.2 yards per play.
Carolina Panthers (.5 to 0) — Carolina’s perfect start is well in the rearview mirror with Sam Darnold turning back into a pumpkin against some real pass rushes. Darnold was the QB5 (24.7 FPG) through the first four weeks of the season while being pressured on 33.1% of his dropbacks, but he’s plummeted to the QB26 (13.1) the last two weeks while being pressured on 45.6% of his dropbacks. Darnold’s receivers didn’t help him any by dropping eight passes in Week 6, including three apiece by D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson.
Washington Football Team (-1.5 to -2) — Washington owns a league-worst 1-5 ATS record and they could easily be without a cover this season if not for a late J.D. McKissic touchdown against the Falcons when they only needed a field goal to win. They had their worst offensive output (13 points) against a lowly Chiefs’ defense, and they were outscored 21-0 in the second half after holding a three-point halftime lead.
Miami Dolphins (-2 to -3) — Miami is the only team out of the four that played in London that elected to play the following week. The Dolphins are likely regretting that decision with injuries mounting in their secondary and in their receiving corps. The Dolphins are a sinking ship after the Jaguars snapped their 20-game losing skid against them last week, and Miami has dropped three straight games ATS with an average cover margin of -11.7 points.
New York Giants (-4 to -4.5) — The Giants were dead in the water as soon as WR Kadarius Toney left the lineup after posting 3/36 receiving on the first seven plays of the game. The Giants have absolutely no firepower if Toney, Saquon Barkley (ankle), and Kenny Golladay (knee) are unable to play this week, and the O-line took a hit with LT Andrew Thomas suffering an ankle injury.
Detroit Lions (-4 to -5) — Jared Goff completed 67% of his passes against the Bengals and he still averaged only 4.8 YPA in a lopsided loss to the Bengals last week. Detroit has been shut out in the first half of three of their last four games and they haven’t scored a first-half touchdown since Week 2.
Houston Texans (-7 to -7.5) — The Texans can’t get Tyrod Taylor (hamstring, IR) back soon enough as they’ve failed to find the end zone in two of their last three games. The Colts outgained the Texans 8.1 to 4.8 yards per play and they crushed them 3-0 in the turnover battle.