NFL Power Rankings: All 8 Playoff Teams Remaining

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View our consensus NFL Power Rankings for the 2022 – 2023 season below. Rankings will be updated weekly by TheLines’ staff throughout the pro football season. With the regular season in the books, this week we will be focusing on the eight teams still alive to win this season’s Super Bowl.

Everyone on our panel had the Chiefs as their No. 1 team heading into the Divisional Round. The Bills, who were our top team going into the Wild Card round, slipped to No. 2.

Check out the rankings for all eight teams left below.

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NFL Power Rankings

#
Team
Chg
Rcrd
1
KC Chiefs
Andy Reid is 20-3 after a bye week in the regular season and 7-1 in the playoffs, so the Chiefs (-8.5) are deservedly favored by over a touchdown against the inexperienced Jaguars in the Divisional Round. Patrick Mahomes has yet to play on the road in the playoffs, although he might face the Bills at a neutral site in the AFC Championship.  
1
0-0-0
2
BUF Bills
Josh Allen has struggled with ball security since the middle of the season and his three turnovers gave the Dolphins life in a game Buffalo (-14) entered as the biggest favorite of Wild Card weekend. The preseason MVP favorite will have to be sharper in a matchup with Joe Burrow and the Bengals this Sunday. 
1
0-0-0
3
SF 49ers
The Niners have now won 12 straight games with dominant performances on both sides of the ball. Brock Purdy passed for 332 yards with a 131.5 passer rating in his playoff debut, while Deebo Samuel (ankle) looked healthy and Christian McCaffrey maintained his insane streak of 100-plus scrimmage yards and/or a touchdown. 
0-0-0
4
PHI Eagles
A bye week will help Jalen Hurts (shoulder) and OT Lane Johnson (abdomen) heal, which is absolutely vital for an Eagles offense that is built around an elite run game. The Eagles (-7.5) are sizable favorites ahead of Saturday’s matchup against a Giants team they handled twice this season.
1
0-0-0
5
CIN Bengals
The Bengals survived a black-and-blue battle with the Ravens by producing a massive play on defense, leading to Sam Hubbard’s 98-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The reigning AFC champions have a balanced roster and a seemingly unflappable QB who has proven capable of taking down the Chiefs, or the Bills, in big games. 
1
0-0-0
6
DAL Cowboys
Dak Prescott (25-for-33, 305 yards, 4 TD, 143.3 passer rating) responded to criticism of his play down the stretch with the best playoff performance of his career, vaulting the Cowboys into a rematch with the Niners at San Francisco next Sunday. Last year, the Niners defense sacked him five times and held him to a rough 69.3 passer rating in a first-round exit for Dallas. 
2
0-0-0
7
JAX Jaguars
After looking completely overwhelmed by the postseason stage in the first half, Trevor Lawrence showed why he’s a winner with another insane comeback. The young Jaguars have to hit the road now for a much tougher matchup at raucous Arrowhead Stadium. 
1
0-0-0
8
NYG Giants
Count out Brian Daboll’s bunch at your own risk. The first-year coach has turned Daniel Jones into an excellent dual-threat QB and his defense has made timely plays all season with the third-best conversion rate on third downs. The G-Men will look to shock their division rivals in Philadelphia.
4
0-0-0

How the rankings are created

The sports betting experts at TheLines file individual NFL Power Rankings each Monday morning throughout the pro football season. Brett Collson, Matt Brown, Nate Weitzer, Matt Burke, Stephen Andress, Brett Gibbons and Mo Nuwwarah rank all 32 teams each week and we post the consensus rankings above.

Each person on staff at TheLines files their rankings based on week-to-week play in the NFL, providing a weekly snapshot as to how “powerful” each team is at certain points throughout the season.

Stay tuned for updates to our power rankings all season long! These can serve as a valuable tool for placing NFL futures bets or planning how to bet on NFL games.

Of course, you have to account for factors such as travel time, home field advantage, and injuries as the season progresses. Yet early in the season, it’s possible to go against the betting public by sticking to your own process.

Bettors tend to overreact to recent results and are very reactionary in an “update league” like the NFL. Therefore, the betting market shifts to these reactions.

If you stick with the raw data, i.e. metrics on offensive line play, a quarterback’s record at home, and turnover differential, you might be able to cash big early in the season before oddsmakers and the betting public adjust. Trust your data and stay one step ahead with a comprehensive Power Rankings system.

How to handicap NFL games

What does it mean to “handicap” a game? At first, it might seem that you’ll be running advanced metrics and spitting out numbers and point spreads. In reality, handicapping is a fancy bettor’s term for preparing and researching. There’s dozens of game factors that need to be taken into account like injuries, matchups, and metrics but also market factors like line movement and public biases.

Surface-level factors

First are the surface-level factors that can determine a game like home field advantage (though in 2020, that was severely diminished), key injuries, and the weather. For injuries, don’t just browse the fantasy football injury report– a diminished offensive line or defensive secondary can be devastating to a team’s performance.

Traditionally, the home team is given a 2- or 3-point advantage for playing in their home city in front of their home fans. Even without fans in attendance, travel takes a toll on visiting teams and has some (albeit diminished) effect on the line. Also needed for consideration is the weather: rain, wind, and snow can hurt a pass-heavy offense and cold weather might hurt warm-climate teams. Teams playing at altitude (Denver) may also have an advantage over teams that don’t frequently play at altitude (Miami).

Strength of schedule is useful when looking at futures bet. The Rams and Cardinals have the most difficult schedules in 2022, based on the combined 2021 record/winning percentage of their opponents. NFC West teams will have it rough in 2022, as they will face AFC West teams. Most prognosticators predict that the AFC West could be one of the greatest divisions in pro football history. Be sure to factor in all division vs. division matchups when surveying the NFL landscape.

Deeper factors

Beyond those easily-identifiable factors are matchups, schemes, and metrics. If you aren’t a film junkie, don’t worry – there’s plenty of Twitter follows and websites that can help you break it down and make it easily understandable.

Look for size advantages in receivers and defensive backs; players like Mike Evans can make life difficult for a 5’ 8” corner and the Buccaneers might gameplan to exploit that advantage. Other positional advantages to keep in mind: pass rushers against inexperienced/struggling offensive tackles and athletic pass-catching tight ends against linebackers who struggle defending receivers.

Advanced metrics can be telling and expose weaknesses in teams, but with thousands of metrics out there, it can be difficult to tell which are really helpful. NBC’s Warren Sharp is a great resource for finding advanced metrics that make significant differences in outcomes. A quick tab on stats worth paying attention to:

  • Yards per play (rather than total yards)
  • Expected points per drive (rather than points per game)
  • Air yards per attempt (rather than passing yards thrown)
  • 3rd down conversion

These numbers will break down the efficiency and effectiveness of an offense (or defense, if you’re going with allowed) and remove the “garbage time” numbers plenty of players can pile on. Contrary to the belief that stats never lie, stats can actually be the best liars when used incorrectly.

If you’ve really got a handle on the NFL game, a popular focus recently has been on coaches’ understanding of analytics and their willingness to utilize probability factors in their gameplan. Failing to use analytics and probability can cost teams victories. Examples include rushing on third and long, hoarding timeouts, settling for field goals inside the three yard line, etc. Older coaches who’ve rejected the use of modern analytics can move lines (especially over/unders) and are worth keeping tabs on.

Market factors

Outside of the game itself, bettors should understand how lines move and react to sharp bettors and the general public. One thing to remember about public betting: they are easily and drastically influenced by recency bias and non-sequitur trends.

Sharp bettors (professionals and those who prepare correctly) can take advantage of moving lines and get better odds for their wagers. Taking the Watkins example, bettors who take the under now have 20 more yards of breathing room and a higher probability of success. The same goes for good players who play a poor Week 1 (ex. Saquon Barkley in Week 1 of 2020). Their futures will decrease due to the public all betting under their totals, and gives sharp bettors more space to work with when betting overs.

This tactic is known as fading the public and has a long track record of success.

Power Rankings vs. Power Ratings

Everyone sees Power Rankings just about everywhere you look – SportsCenter, the Herd, just about every website – and those are useful in their own right. The concept is simple, just a 1-32 list of the best team to the worst team. Maybe it’s based on metrics, maybe it’s based on the eyeball test, maybe it’s both.

Power Ratings differ quite a bit despite sounding similar. Ratings quantify the numerical advantage one team has over another based on past scores and season performance. Ratings are drawn exclusively from quantifiable metrics (though those metrics may differ person to person) and are used to help predict future scores and outcomes, rather than saying Team X is just better than Team Y and should win.

How to build your own Power Rankings

For those looking to rank teams 1-32 based on last season, the games ongoing this season, and looking quickly at the depth chart, you can do just that. However, it likely won’t serve as a useful tool when it comes to betting, especially against the spread; you’ll want to build (or find) a set of power ratings first. That way, you’ll have a more accurate and quantifiable justification to your rankings and remove potential biases.

To create these power ratings, begin with ranking the teams according to projected number of wins. This will give you a base to work with rather than working from scratch. Assign a number to each team, starting at the top with 16 and running down to the bottom where the last ranked team receives -16. From there, adjust the numbers– 16 through -16, with zero being the middle– based on projected point totals, defensive ranks, and personnel. If interested, look up formulas on expected point differentials to create a more pinpoint rating for each team.

Putting it together

Once you have your numbers, compare two teams (numbers in parentheses are hypothetical power ratings): Indianapolis (12) @ Los Angeles Chargers (-8).

The difference between these teams ratings, 4, is now your theoretical point spread. Add in a 2.5-point advantage for the home team (Los Angeles) for an adjusted point spread of 1.5 in favor of the Colts.

Now add in your factors (injuries, metrics, etc.) to fine-tune your spread. Derwin James is out for the season and creates a massive disadvantage for the Chargers’ defensive secondary (the numbers on this are worth looking up) and should benefit the Colts at least half a point. Your final spread for this game comes out to Colts -2 (-110) @ Chargers.

Now, take your projected spread of -2 and compare it to the Vegas lines. Say the opening line comes out to Colts -4.5 (-110) @ Chargers. That should be an easy bet, since our projected point total is -2 and we would take the Chargers to cover. The process will take some refining and new factors will emerge as the season goes on, but this is the basic process in handicapping your own NFL games.

Not only will this help you quantify point spreads and decide on feasible spreads, but it will help you dig deeper and find new metrics that create a new dimension of understanding for betting on the NFL.

2022 NFL Pre-season Power Rankings

Here were our initial 2022 – 2023 Power Rankings accompanied by their DraftKings Sportsbook Super Bowl odds at the time.

RankTeamSuper Bowl odds - August 30
1Buffalo Bills+550
2Kansas City Chiefs+1000
3LA Chargers+1400
4LA Rams+1200
5Tampa Bay Buccaneers+700
6Cincinnati Bengals+2200
7Green Bay Packers+1000
8Baltimore Ravens+2000
9San Francisco 49ers+1600
10Indianapolis Colts+2500
11Denver Broncos+1800
12Philadelphia Eagles+2200
13Minnesota Vikings+3500
14New Orleans Saints+4000
15Las Vegas Raiders+4000
16Dallas Cowboys+2200
17Arizona Cardinals+4000
18Miami Dolphins+4000
19New England Patriots+5000
20Tennessee Titans+4000
21Cleveland Browns+5000
22Pittsburgh Steelers+9000
23New York Giants+13000
24Carolina Panthers+13000
25Detroit Lions+15000
26Washington Commanders+7000
27Jacksonville Jaguars+13000
28New York Jets+13000
29Atlanta Falcons+20000
30Seattle Seahawks+15000
31Houston Texans+25000
32Chicago Bears+15000