Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott
- Using The Action Network's NFL Power Ratings, we look at the teams public bettors are overrating and underrating in Week 5.
- Comparing our Power Ratings to current point spreads reveals the biggest differences in the perception of the betting market to real value.
At the quarter mark of the 2018 NFL season, the top teams in The Action Network’s NFL Power Rankings remain unchanged.
The Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs rank first, second and third, respectively, just as they did in Week 3.
The Rams, Patriots and Chiefs are the only teams in the league to have ratings of 4 or higher. LA has the highest rating of 6.7 – meaning the Rams would be favored by 6.7 points against an average team on a neutral field.
LA, New England and Kansas City are favored in Week 5, but are any of the top teams overrated according to the Power Ratings?
By comparing the projected point spread created using The Action Network’s NFL Power Ratings to the consensus spread number, we can determine which teams the public is overrating and underrating.
Overrated Week 5 Teams
Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans
- NFL Power Rating Spread: +4.1
- Current Spread: +3
- Time: Oct. 7, 8:20 p.m. ET
The Cowboys’ struggling offense came to life this past Sunday, topping 400 yards as Dak Prescott threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns while Ezekiel Elliott pounded the rock for a 152 yards.
Bettors like what they saw in Week 4 as most spread tickets are backing the ‘Boys as road underdogs in Houston on Sunday night (see live data here). But, since 2003, Dallas has gone 58-69-5 against the spread following a win (per Bet Labs).
The Cowboys are a public team, meaning casual bettors like to wager on Dallas regardless of the talent on the field. Oddsmakers understand this tendency and shade the line to help to make the Cowboys overrated.
Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers
- NFL Power Rating Spread: +6.4
- Current Spread: +5.5
- Time: Oct. 7, 4:05 p.m. ET
Why are a majority of spread bets on Oakland in Week 5? The most likely answer is recency bias.
More than 60% of wagers were on the Raiders and Chargers this past Sunday. Bettors remember the Raiders’ wild come-from-behind victory in overtime against the Browns to cover as 2.5-point favorites, and they surely can recall the Chargers’ struggles to cover as 10-point favorites against the 49ers.
Hell hath no fury like a bettor scorned.
Gamblers are taking the points with Oakland and fading LA. That could be a mistake, as The Action Network model lists the Chargers as 7-point favorites.
Underrated Week 5 Team
New York Jets vs. Denver Broncos
- NFL Power Rating Spread: -1.9
- Current Spread: -1
- Time: Oct. 7, 1 p.m. ET
Should the 1-3 Jets be favored over any team? That is a fair question to ask.
The overwhelming answer from the betting market is no. In one of the most lopsided bet games in Week 5 (see live odds here), 72% of spread tickets are on the Broncos as underdogs at the Jets.
Bettors are acting as if Denver is a lock, but considering that the Broncos are playing on a short week, facing a defense that ranks No. 2 in Football Outsiders’ DVOA and have to deal with the continued improvement of rookie quarterback Sam Darnold — who had no interceptions last week for first time this season — the Jets are being undervalued.