NFL Power Rankings: Consensus Top Three Heading Into Divisional Playoffs

Written By Jeffrey Schreiber on January 18, 2023
nfl power rankings

Eight teams remain alive in the NFL. After a Wild Card Weekend that included back-up quarterbacks and perhaps teams that didn’t belong, we now get even more competitive football. NFL Divisional Power Rankings feature Joe Burrow vs. Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes vs. Trevor Lawrence. Whether you’re betting sides and totals, grinding props, or want to keep close tabs on all the action, it’s vital to remain aware of how these teams play from week to week.

We do NFL power rankings differently than the rest. These aren’t Super Bowl futures opinions. Instead, we only rank based on who we’d favor on a neutral field for this week. The ranks are a composite of six staff members.

Click on any odds below to place a bet. The price listed next to each team represents that team’s best available Super Bowl odds.

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NO. 1 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

The 1-seed Chiefs will host the 4-seed Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional Round. Kansas City was the lone team with a buy week in the AFC, deservedly so. Quarterbacked by Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City finished the regular season with the league’s best offensive in terms of total yards and points scored. What is quietly flying under the radar is the Chiefs defensive play being more potent than in years past. Kansas City’s defense ranked just outside the top 10 in yards allowed.

After suffering a 24-20 home loss to Buffalo in Week 6, Kansas City won 10 of its final 11 contests and ended the regular season with a five-game winning streak. One of the Chiefs’ victories during that stretch was a 27-17 victory over Jacksonville. Mahomes was the league leader this season in passing yards (5,250), touchdown passes (41) and total quarterback rating (77.7). The 27-year-old posted 10 games of 300-yards passing. Mahomes’ favorite target was tight end Travis Kelce who finished third in the NFL in receptions (110), eighth in receiving yards (1,338) and second in touchdown catches (12). The Chiefs have the best shot at hoisting the Lombardi this year.

Divisional Round Spread: Chiefs

The Chiefs are the unanimous No. 1 team in our NFL divisional power rankings.

NO. 2 BUFFALO BILLS

The Bills head into the Divisional Round incredibly hot. After winning on super wild card weekend, the Bills also finished the regular season, winning eight straight games. While the Bills offense remains elite, their defense ranks ninth in Pass DVOA and fourth in yards per pass. Buffalo forces the fourth-most takeaways per game. Bills quarterback Josh Allen has a 17:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his postseason career, the second-best ratio in NFL history (min. seven games).

While the Bills and divisional round opponent Bengals escaped from Wild Card Weekend with closer-than-expected victories, only the Bills escaped with a mostly healthy team. Cincinnati lost starting left tackle Jonah Williams in the game, making him the third starting offensive lineman lost in three weeks. Buffalo excels at getting to the quarterback, even without Von Miller and racked up four sacks against Miami. Buffalo, who faces the Bengals this week, holds slight edges on both sides of the ball, ranking second in points scored and points allowed compared to the Bengals’ rankings of sixth and seventh, respectively. Look out for the Bills home field advantage, where Buffalo is 8-1 this year, including the playoffs. Buffalo is also 13-1 across their last 14 home playoff games.

While maybe not the conscious No. 1 team, the Bills winning it all would not surprise anyone this year.

Divisional Round Spread: Bills

Who’s highest on the Bills? Brett Gibbons (No. 2).

Who’s lowest on the Bills? Stephen Andress (No. 3).

NO. 3 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Will the 49ers make it to the NFC Championship for the third time in the last four years? San Francisco has won 11 straight games and relied on its defense to dominate the Seattle Seahawks in a convincing Wild Card win. San Francisco dropped 41 points on Seattle and forced two turnovers. The 49ers rank fifth in the NFL in points scored per game (27.3) and tied for second in total turnovers (30).

Home-field advantage will significantly affect the 49ers chances of moving on. San Francisco is 8-1 at Levi’s Stadium this season and has posted an average scoring margin of +13.7 at home. It’s hard to understate just how well the 49ers have been playing during a stretch that has almost reached three months. The 49ers are 8-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last nine games and 6-0 ATS in their last six home games. They have won by more than 4 points in 10 of their last 11 games.

The 49ers proved why they belong in the back half of the season to win the NFC West with rookie Brock Purdy under center. The quarterback was selected with the last pick in the NFL Draft and has played exceptionally well, adapting to NFL speed. In the 49ers’ first playoff game, Purdy looked more than competent. “Mr. Irrelevant” completed 18 of 30 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns. Christian McCaffrey ran for 119 yards and caught two passes, including one for a touchdown.

While the 49ers have their most significant question mark at quarterback, no one can deny that this team is the deepest from top to bottom. Perhaps this is why two members of our staff have slotted them behind Kansas City in their NFL Divisional power rankings.

Divisional Round Spread: 49ers

Who’s highest on the 49ers? Stephen Andress and Nate Weitzer (No. 2). 

Who’s lowest on the 49ers? Brett Gibbons (No. 3).

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Written by
Jeffrey Schreiber

Jeffrey Schreiber is a sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media. Jeff is recent college graduate with a background in finance and analytics. His goal is to provide readers with data and information behind the "why" to make a bet. His most memorable betting moment came during the divisional round of the 2022 NFL playoffs when he turned $37 in same-game parlay bets into $25,000.

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