NFL Power Ratings: Buffalo Bills Most Underrated Week 8 Team

Oct 24, 2018 7:50 PM EDT
  • Using The Action Network's NFL Power Ratings, we look at the teams the public are overrating and underrating in Week 8.
  • Comparing our Power Ratings to current point spreads reveals the biggest differences in the perception of the betting market to real value.

The Los Angeles Rams are the best team in football. LA leads the NFL in point differential (+107), is the betting favorite to win the Super Bowl (+305 at 5Dimes) and the No. 1 team in The Action Network’s NFL Power Rankings.

The Rams have a power rating of 7.1 – meaning they would be favored by 7.1 points against an average team on a neutral field. This is the highest rating any team has enjoyed during the 2018 season.

Sean McVay, Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and the rest of the Rams are good, but you didn’t need us to tell you that. As NFL fans, we often focus on the best teams in the league while overlooking those at the bottom of the standings.

The Buffalo Bills are worse than the Rams are good. The Bills have a rating of -8.3 and are 31st in our power ratings.

Josh Allen, Derek Anderson and Nathan Peterman have all thrown passes for the Bills this season, which pretty much sums up Buffalo’s struggles.

Despite one of the worst quarterback situations and power ratings in the league, should the Bills really be 14-point home underdogs against the New England Patriots on Monday night?

According to our power ratings, the Pats should be favored, but by only 12.4 points.

A 1.6-point difference between projected and actual spread might not sound like much, but it’s tied for the largest differential in Week 8, making the Bills one of the most underrated teams.

Which other teams are public bettors overrating and underrating? We compared the projected point spread created using The Action Network’s NFL Power Ratings to the consensus spread number to find out:

Overrated Week 8 Teams

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings

  • NFL Power Rating spread: +1.6
  • Current Spread: Pick’em
  • Time: Oct. 28, 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC

This line opened Vikings -1.5, right in line with our projections, but it has moved to a pick’em at most books and even Saints -1 at Pinnacle. Why have the odds shifted? It is hard to say.

Recency bias often explains big line moves, but in this case, the Vikings thumped the Jets last Sunday and the Saints needed a missed extra point by Justin Tucker, the most accurate kicker in NFL history, to beat the Ravens.

Considering the results from Week 7, you’d expect the line to move in Minnesota’s favor. As it stands now, bettors are getting value on the home underdog.

Washington Redskins at New York Giants

  • NFL Power Rating spread: +0.3
  • Current Spread: -1
  • Time: Oct. 28, 1 p.m. ET on FOX

The Redskins are 4-2 and in first place in the NFC East but they are only small favorites against a Giants team with one win. What gives? For starters, our power ratings make the G-Men slight favorites at home over their division rivals.

Plus, are we sure Washington is good? Teams such as the Skins that didn’t make the playoffs the previous season, have a winning record and are favored in the first half of the season tend to let bettors down.

According to Bet Labs, these teams have gone 198-258-16 (43%) against the spread (ATS) since 2003.

Underrated Week 8 Teams

Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots

  • NFL Power Rating spread: +12.4
  • Current Spread: +14
  • Time: Oct. 29, 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN

As mentioned above, this line is inflated. The power ratings say there is value on Buffalo as does a historical trend from Bet Labs.

In prime-time games (typically the most heavily bet matchups), double-digit underdogs have gone 46-26-2 (64%) ATS since 2003, including 8-3 ATS when facing Tom Brady.

To the more than 70% of spread bettors (see live odds) laying the points with the Patriots … you’ve been warned.

Carolina Panthers vs. Baltimore Ravens

  • NFL Power Rating spread: +0.5
  • Current Spread: +2
  • Time: Oct. 28, 1 p.m. ET on CBS

Since entering the league in 2011, Cam Newton is 30-19 ATS — the second-most profitable quarterback when getting points during the regular season over that span.

This game opened Carolina -1 and has moved to Baltimore -2. If the line gets to 3, you’ll see buy back on the Panthers at the key number.

Credit:

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Buffalo Bills quarterback Derek Anderson

Follow John Ewing on Twitter
@johnewing

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SCHEDULE
OPEN
CURR
# BETS
HOU
WAS
43
+3
42
+3
CIN
BAL
43.5
-4.5
44
-5.5
PIT
JAC
47.5
+6
46.5
+5
CAR
DET
50.5
+3
49.5
+4.5
DAL
ATL
47.5
-4.5
50
-3
TEN
IND
48
-3
51
-1
TB
NYG
52
PK
53
-3
OAK
ARI
41
-4
41
-5
DEN
LAC
47
-7.5
46.5
-7
PHI
NO
54.5
-9
56
-7.5
MIN
CHI
45.5
-2.5
44
-2.5
KC
LA
63.5
-1
63
-3.5