NFL Power Ratings: Spreads That Are off Most for Wild Card Weekend
Dec Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson
- Using The Action Network's NFL Power Ratings, we look at the teams public bettors are overrating and underrating for Wild Card Weekend.
- Comparing our Power Ratings to current point spreads reveals the biggest differences in the perception of the betting market to real value.
The NFL regular season is in the books and the playoffs are here. By comparing the projected point spread created using The Action Network’s NFL Power Rankings to the consensus number, we can determine the most overrated and underrated teams in the Wild Card round.
Here are the spreads off the most, according to our power ratings.
All data as of Wednesday morning.
Wild Card Weekend Betting Values
Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
- NFL Power Rating spread: -3.5
- Current Spread: -1
- Value on: Texans
- Time: Jan. 5, 4:35 p.m. ET (ESPN/ABC)
Andrew Luck has dominated the AFC South, going 20-8-3 against the spread (ATS) in division games. Perhaps that is why a majority of spread tickets (see live odds) are on the Colts as underdogs in the first game of Wild Card Weekend.
While it is scary betting against Luck, history suggests the Texans have an advantage in this game with their strong defense. Indy has averaged 27.1 points per game (fifth in the NFL), while Houston’s defense allowed 19.8 points per game (tied for fourth).
Since 2003, when a defense allowing fewer than 20 ppg faces an offense scoring more than 26 ppg in the playoffs, the defensive team has gone 39-29-2 ATS per Bet Labs.
Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens
- NFL Power Rating spread: +1.5
- Current Spread: +2.5
- Value on: Chargers
- Time: Jan. 6, 1:05 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Chargers are the most popular underdog bet Wild Card Weekend. More than 60% of spread tickets are on the Bolts as 2.5-point underdogs. Since 2003, popular dogs in the playoffs (teams receiving 55% or more of bets) have gone 27-17-1 ATS.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks
- NFL Power Rating spread: -2
- Current Spread: -1
- Value on: Cowboys
- Time: Jan. 5, 8:15 p.m. ET (FOX)
According to our power ratings, the Cowboys are undervalued, but bettors should exercise caution when wagering on this game. The Cowboys opened as 2.5-point favorites, but sharp money is on the Seahawks dropping the line to Dallas -1.
We have also seen the ‘Boys struggle as favorites under Jason Garrett, going 32-45-3 (42%) ATS. As home chalk, like they will be this weekend, Dallas has gone 17-32-1 ATS under Garrett, including 0-2 ATS in the playoffs.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears
- NFL Power Rating spread: +5
- Current Spread: +5.5
- Value on: Eagles
- Time: Jan. 6, 4:40 p.m. ET (NBC)
Did you know Chicago won five games last season? Few expected the Bears to make the playoffs this year – Chicago had a 5.5% chance according to The Action Network simulations.
Matt Nagy’s team surprised the league by winning 12 games and the NFC North. The Bears are one of just five teams with better than 10-1 odds to win the Super Bowl, but the team could struggle after a dramatic year-to-year improvement.
Since 1990, 25 teams have seen their win totals improve by seven or more games from one season to the next. Those teams went 11-24 ATS in the playoffs, and only one won the Super Bowl.