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  • Writer's pictureAvoid the Vig

NFL Week 2 Power Ratings

"The difference between sharps and squares is that sharps bet numbers and squares bet teams."

Most successful sports handicappers use a quantitative standard for assessing the game. In order to do that, it is imperative to use power ratings, also known as 'power rankings,' to identify the point differential between opposing teams. By comparing two teams’ power ratings and accounting for home-field advantage, the bettor can objectively determine what the point spread should be and take advantage of any difference in the actual line.


We spent the entire summer parsing through last year’s data, calculating player departures and signings, analyzing coaching and scheme changes in an ultimate quest to determine team valuation. As the hours turned to days and days into months it all culminated this past weekend for the opening round slate. There were surprises, disappointments, affirmations, and no-shows. Players have been injured, coaches have been aghast, fans celebrating in jubilation, while others sulking in what will inevitably be a harbinger of things to come.

Fans overreact. It’s in their nature. Its very etymology is derived from the word fanatical. As NFL bettors we need to be the opposite, unemotional and calculable. Week 1 games are simply a data point, which provides us with more information to consider. The box score tells a story, the game itself another, and somewhere in between is the actionable truth. It is our job to determine fact from fiction, and, more importantly, how to apply it moving forward. We don’t replace our preseason assumptions but rather amend them.

Below are my Week 2 power ratings. Taking into consideration the weekend’s games, I have made adjustments based on team performance, injury situation, and context. The truth is these power ratings are fluid. It is quite possible that moments after posting this article news breaks or I find more information to consider that will change my perception of a team. That is what power ratings are for, a basis to create a spread and determine potential value in the market. Whether you are using my power ratings to compare to yours or simply to help determine value in the line, let’s hope it provides another winning slate in Week 2.


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