Last week saw our NFL plays go 2-1-1, with Baltimore and Indy both covering comfortable (and winning outright), but San Diego could not seal the deal in the last minute and let Tennessee get the backdoor push. It’s very early in the year to say this, but our ratings certainly show that there is a clear “best” team and “worst” team. Denver is lapping the field, with a rating 2.5 points higher than the next-best team, while Jacksonville is historically awful, ratings as more than 10 points worse than an average team on a neutral field, more than 4 points worse than Oakland, the second-worst team.
There were a number of big movers in our ratings this week. On the plus side, the Seahawks and Panthers rose 2.13 and 2.09 points, respectively, due to dominant performances on both sides of the ball. Dallas wasn’t far behind, gaining 1.97 points from their convincing win over St. Louis. On the flip side, St. Louis saw the biggest drop (-2.80 points) as they were manhandled in a game that should have been competitive. The Giants were not far behind (-2.67 points), with the Niners dropping 2.06 points. Believe it or not, Jacksonville only dropped 1.52 points. I guess when you’re already so bad, there’s only so far to fall. Everyone’s favorite surprise team, the Dolphins, saw their rating fall by 0.19 points despite beating Atlanta, while the Falcons actually improved by 0.53 points despite losing. Process over outcome…Atlanta played the better game from a predictive standpoint. Chicago also fell 0.25 points despite winning, while Pittsburgh gained 0.23 points. It’s hard to win when you lose the turnover battle by 5, but if you take the luck out, Pittsburgh was the better team.
On to this week’s games. As usual, injures (except to the QB) are not accounted for. Lines are widely available as of 2:30pm EDT on Wednesday. In cases where lines vary widely (this is generally on games lines between 7.5-9.5 and 1-2.5, and is due to differences in vig) I’m using the Bookmaker line.
Big Plays (3-1-1 YTD)
Other Plays (8-6 YTD)
- San Diego +2.5 vs. Dallas [MP= -1.2]
- Minnesota +2.5 vs. Pittsburgh [MP= -1.2] (neutral field)
- Chicago +3 at Detroit [MP= +0.3]
- NY Giants +4.5 at Kansas City [MP= +1.6]
- NY Jets +3.5 at Tennessee [MP= +1.6]
- Denver -10.5 vs. Philadelphia [MP= -12.7]