NFL Luck Rankings: How Did Lucky and Unlucky Teams Fare in Week 5?
Christian Petersen/Getty. Pictured: Kyler Murray.
The Action Network's Predictive Analytics team debuted its newest evaluation system, "NFL Luck Rankings," this past week.
This metric was designed to help bettors try to see which teams have been overperforming or underperforming based on actual results.
As the team discusses in the piece linked above, we start by creating an “expected score” for each game. This is in an attempt to define what the score of a game should have been rather than what it was.
From there, we can translate that into an expected win-loss record.
By comparing this to a team’s actual win-loss record, we can determine which teams have been the luckiest so far.
The Predictive Analytics Team saw in Weeks 3 and 4 that teams with a luck rating 10 or more places worse than their opponent went 13-4 against the spread (ATS) using closing lines.
Let's see how teams fared in those situations on Sunday.
NFL Luck Rating Results Against the Spread
Heading into Week 5, there were nine situations in which teams had a discrepancy of 10 or more positions in the luck rankings.
The Chiefs vs. Raiders contest this evening represents the ninth, so there have been eight completed games with that qualification thus far. Here is how the results played out.
Luck rankings heading into Week 5 are placed in parentheses.
- Giants (1) vs. Packers (12) Outcome ATS: Luckier team covers
It appeared that the Packers – a team that has not been as lucky as the Giants this year – were on their way to a cover, but a massive second half from New York secured a cover and an outright win.
- Eagles (2) vs. Cardinals (17) Outcome ATS: Unluckier team covers
The second team in terms of luck this year, the Eagles, suffered almost the exact same fate as the Packers, at least against the spread. A big second-half comeback from the Cardinals secured a cover against the NFL's second-luckiest team.
- Dolphins (3) vs. Jets (21) Outcome ATS: Unluckier team covers
There are elements of luck that play into every single NFL game – and frequently – so it was easy to see that in this game as quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was injured and had to be replaced. Nonetheless, the luckier Dolphins weren't able to cover the three points against the Jets, who pulled away for a big win.
- Titans (4) vs. Commanders (14) Outcome ATS: Luckier team covers
The Titans' biggest stroke of luck may have been getting to line up against Carson Wentz, but the luckier squad was able to secure another win.
- Seahawks (5) vs. Saints (22) Outcome ATS: Unluckier team covers
The Seahawks have been fortunate on many occasions this year, namely the debacle of a Monday Night Football win they opened the season with, but they weren't able to overcome the Saints in this spot.
- Cowboys (6) vs. Rams (24) Outcome ATS: Luckier team covers
Defensive and special teams scores are key signs of fortune, and the Cowboys kept it rolling against the Rams with those massive, game-changing plays. The Rams haven't been fortunate this year, and the alert signs are on for the reigning champions.
- Ravens (8) vs. Bengals (25) Outcome ATS: Unluckier team covers
This is a classic NFL game that is as close as it gets. From extra points that were centimeters away from missing to massive bombs from kicker Justin Tucker, the game just about had it all. In this instance, the Bengals were able to get a narrow cover, providing a lesson on why you take the points.
- Jaguars (18) vs. Texans (28) Outcome ATS: Unluckier team covers
One of the most unlucky teams in the NFL was able to swing its fortune in a big way as the Texans secured a win ATS and outright as seven-point underdogs.
Be sure to check out the Predictive Analytics Team's updated rankings later this week!