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NFL Power Ratings: The 4 Spreads That Are Off Most in Week 17

Dec 27, 2018 10:35 AM EST
Credit:

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff

  • Using The Action Network's NFL Power Ratings, we look at the teams the public is overrating and underrating in Week 17.
  • Comparing our Power Ratings to current point spreads reveals the biggest differences in the perception of the betting market to real value.

Flush with Christmas cash from grandma, bettors are eyeing Sunday’s NFL slate. But Week 17 is notoriously difficult to handicap.

Don’t worry, we are here to help. 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 Week 17.

Here are the spreads off the most, according to our power ratings.

All data as of Thursday morning.

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

  • NFL Power Rating spread: +0.5
  • Current Spread: +6.5
  • Value on: Cowboys
  • Time: Dec. 30, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)

The Cowboys are locked into the 4-seed in the NFC. Though the team has nothing to play for, owner Jerry Jones says Dallas will not rest its starters in Week 17.

In 2016, the Cowboys clinched the 1-seed in the NFC in Week 16. Jones claimed they’d play starters in Week 17, but Dak Prescott only played two series and Ezekiel Elliott didn’t play at all.

The betting market is approaching this game based on how the team behaved in the past, not by what Jones has told the media. This is important to consider as our power ratings do not directly reflect how we think teams will handle resting starters

Our numbers are meant to be a baseline for bettors. If you believe the Cowboys starters will play a majority of the game, then the spread should be closer to a pick’em. But if Jason Garrett pulls his stars after a series or two, then the current betting line is more accurate.

New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers

  • NFL Power Rating spread: -14.1
  • Current Spread: -8
  • Value on: Saints
  • Time: Dec. 30, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)

Sean Payton has not revealed whether or not he will sit his starters but history suggests key players will rest with New Orleans having already secured home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

In 2006, Payton rested starters in Week 17 after they were locked into the 2-seed. In 2009, Payton again rested starters in Week 17 after the Saints had locked up the 1-seed.

In 2010, the starters played the final game of the season because New Orleans had an outside shot at home-field advantage, but three important contributors were injured. Payton expressed regret about the decision.

Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers

  • NFL Power Rating spread: -14.1
  • Current Spread: -10
  • Value on: Rams
  • Time: Dec. 30, 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX)

Finally, a matchup that bettors can act upon without worry of resting starters. This is a must-win game for the Rams who could find themselves playing Wild Card Weekend if they lose.

A win would give LA the 2-seed in the NFC and a first-round bye. Sean McVay’s bunch will be highly motivated to beat the 49ers, a team they waxed, 39-10, in Week 7.

LA has been a double-digit favorite under McVay in six previous games. The Rams went 5-1 straight up (SU) and 4-2 against the spread (ATS) in those games per Bet Labs.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals

  • NFL Power Rating spread: -16.5
  • Current Spread: -13.5
  • Value on: Seahawks
  • Time: Dec. 30, 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX)

Seattle punched its ticket to the playoffs with a win over Kansas City in Week 16. The Seahawks have some motivation on Sunday as a win would earn them the 5-seed and a loss would drop them to the 6-seed.

Russell Wilson & Co. are 9-6 and heading to the playoffs, but according to Pythagorean expectations, which looks at the points a team has scored and allowed, the Seahawks have underperformed this season.

When a team with a winning record has underperformed its point differential, there has been value betting on them in December and January.

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