NFL Picks: Week 2 Power Ratings and Cheat Sheet

Here are my NFL power ratings after Week 1. I will update them every Wednesday during the season.

Team Power Rating
Patriots 15
Steelers 12
Packers 12
Seahawks 11.5
Cowboys 11.5
Falcons 10.5
Chiefs 10.5
Eagles 10
Vikings 10
Panthers 10
Ravens 9
Raiders 9
Titans 8.5
Bengals 8
Giants 8
Saints 8
Buccaneers 7.5
Chargers 7.5
Cardinals 7
Redskins 7
Lions 7
Broncos 7
Dolphins 6
Jaguars 5.5
Texans 5
Bills 5
Bears 5
Rams 4.5
Browns 1.5
49ers 1.5
Jets 0
Colts 0

Below is a cheat sheet of three different lines for Week 2 games. The first line is the look ahead line provided by the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. It was released before the Week 1 results and I think is the best starting point if you want to handicap games but don’t have your own power ratings.

The second line is the current point spread as of Wednesday afternoon.

The third line is my personal line for the game. As I wrote in this article before the season, I will now explain how to I get to my numbers. To make a spread you take the difference between the two teams that are playing. For example, I have the Bengals three points better than the Texans. That’s what the spread would be on a neutral field. Since the game is in Cincinnati I will add 2.5 points for home field advantage so I came up with Bengals -5.5 for the game. I give most teams 2.5 points for home field but some teams as much as 3.5 points and others as low as 1.5 points.

My numbers don’t account any scheduling factors or minor injuries so I wouldn’t blindly bet or pick the teams with the greatest discrepancies. But since I trust my numbers I will heavily weight my personal lines into my decisions and think this is a great starting point to understand the point spreads in the current market.

Game Look ahead Line Wednesday line My line
Texans at Bengals Bengals -3 Bengals -6.5 Bengals -5.5
Titans at Jaguars Titans -2.5 Titans -2.5 Titans -1.5
Browns at Ravens Ravens -7 Ravens -8 Ravens -10
Bills at Panthers Panthers -8 Panthers -7.5 Panthers -7.5
Patriots at Saints Patriots -6.5 Patriots -6.5 Patriots -4.5
Cardinals at Colts Cardinals -3.5 Cardinals -7.5 Cardinals -4.5
Eagles at Chiefs Chiefs -4 Chiefs -4.5 Chiefs -3
Vikings at Steelers Steelers -7 Steelers -6 Steelers -4.5
Bears at Buccaneers Buccaneers -6.5 Buccaneers -7 Buccaneers -4.5
Dolphins at Chargers Chargers -4 Chargers -4.5 Chargers -3.5
Jets at Raiders Raiders -16.5 Raiders -14 Raiders -11.5
Redskins at Rams Pick Rams -2.5 Redskins -1
Cowboys at Broncos Cowboys -1.5 Cowboys -2.5 Cowboys -2
49ers at Seahawks Seahawks -11.5 Seahawks -13.5 Seahawks -13.5
Packers at Falcons Falcons -3 Falcons -2.5 Falcons -1
Lions at Giants Giants -6 Giants -3.5 Giants -3

My favorite part of the lookahead lines and Week 2 is seeing the overreaction after one game. The Bengals were a field goal favorite going into Week 1 and now that line for Thursday has ballooned to -6.5 after the Texans poor showing at home against the Jaguars. The crazy part of that move is the Bengals were shut out at home by the Ravens. In most cases I would be on the Texans here but they accumulated a lot of injuries in the opener and don’t trust their offensive line. Plus I usually stay away from Thursday night games.

Another big move between lookahead line and current number is in the Redskins-Rams game. That game was a pick ’em last week and the Rams are now favored by either 2.5 or three points depending on where you look. This is a spot where I like the Redskins who need to win after a loss last week. The Rams looked great but it was against the Colts, who I have rated as one of the two worst teams in the league. I haven’t made an official pick because I’m hoping to get +3 but the Redskins are my favorite side of the week as of Wednesday afternoon.

I was hoping the markets and bettors would’ve overreacted more to the Chiefs and Jaguars wins. If the Chiefs were favorite by six or more I would’ve been very high on the Eagles plus the points. Bettors weren’t fooled by the Jaguars victory and Titans loss as Tennessee is seeing a lot of action early in the week. That game opened at a pick ’em and now the Titans have moved to a 2.5-point favorite. I still might like the Eagles and Titans before the end of the week so I’ll tweet if I make an official pick.

I have the Ravens -10 over the Browns and only have to lay eight points if I like Baltimore. However, I wasn’t impressed with Joe Flacco last week so don’t want to back the Ravens giving over a touchdown.

My numbers suggest plays on the Saints, Vikings and Bears but will probably hold off on taking those underdogs. I don’t want to bet against the Patriots after a loss. The Vikings looked great on Monday night but worry the Steelers will bring their best effort in a home opener on Sunday. The Bears are the most tempting of the group but the loss to the Falcons was heartbreaking and the several more key players on Chicago suffered injuries in Week 1.

Both primetime game interest me this week. The Packers will have revenge on their mind after two losses in Atlanta last season, including the NFC Championship Game. I think the Packers getting a field goal is a strong play especially since I’m down on the Falcons this season. The Giants were a six-point favorite last week and now are trending towards only a field goal favorite for Monday night. New York expects to get Odell Beckham Jr. back and I’m not high on the Lions so the Giants could be tempting even though I only make them a three-point favorite.

Tweet @SharpestSquares if you have any questions or if you have any thoughts about my power ratings.

Here are the lookahead line for Week 3 if you want a jump start on your research for next week:

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