Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen
- Using The Action Network's NFL Power Ratings, we look at the teams the public is overrating and underrating in Week 3.
- Comparing our power ratings to current point spreads reveals the biggest differences in the perception of the betting market to real value.
Two weeks in and there’s a new No. 1 team in The Action Network’s NFL Power Rankings.
The Los Angeles Rams have moved from fifth with a 3.6 rating — meaning they would be favored by 3.6 points against an average team on a neutral field — to first with a 6.3 rating.
The Rams are 2-0 for the first time since 2001, have the best point differential in football and are the favorites to win the Super Bowl. You’d think with all the hype surrounding Jared Goff & Co. that the Rams would be one of the most overrated teams in Week 3. You’d be wrong.
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 in Week 3.
Overrated NFL Teams
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
- NFL Power Rating spread: Buccaneers +1.3
- Current Spread: Pick ’em
- Day/Time: Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing (and dressing) like an MVP through two weeks. FitzMagic leads the NFL in passing yards (819) and passer rating (151.5), and is second in touchdown passes (8). The Bucs are one of the surprise 2-0 teams while the Steelers have stumbled to an 0-1-1 start.
The Steelers opened as 2-point favorites and the game is now a pick ’em. In primetime games — the most-wagered games — it has been profitable to bet against big line movement (2 or more points): 87-61-5 (59%) against the spread (ATS) since 2003.
New England Patriots at Detroit Lions
- NFL Power Rating spread: Patriots -5.4
- Current Spread: Patriots -6.5
- Day/Time: Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
There is extreme lopsided betting action on New England as a road favorite. More than 80% of spread tickets (see live data here) are on the Pats following their Week 2 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
And it is easy to understand why. Since 2003, Tom Brady is 32-10 (76%) ATS after losing the previous week. Still, according to the power ratings, Brady and Belichick are being overvalued.
Underrated NFL Teams
Buffalo Bills at Minnesota Vikings
- NFL Power Rating spread: Vikings -15.4
- Current Spread: Vikings -17
- Day/Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET on CBS
A playoff team a year ago, the Bills have lost their first two games of the 2018 campaign by an average of 27.5 points. Buffalo’s quarterbacks Josh Allen and Nathan Peterman have combined to complete 43.9% of their passes for one touchdown and four interceptions.
Buffalo deserves to be a decided underdog in Minnesota, but this line is inflated. Since 2003, there have only been 14 favorites of 17 or more points. Those teams are 14-0 straight-up but 6-7-1 ATS.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Indianapolis Colts
- NFL Power Rating spread: Eagles -7.1
- Current Spread: Eagles -6
- Day/Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET on FOX
If you believe the oddsmakers, there is no difference between Nick Foles and Carson Wentz. That seems like a stretch, but the lookahead line at the Westgate for Eagles-Colts was Philly -7.
Wentz has been given the green light and will start on Sunday. Yet the line is currently sitting at Eagles -6. Most of this is explained by Philadelphia’s loss and Indianapolis’ win this past Sunday. However, bettors shouldn’t sleep on Wentz’s impact and value to the Eagles.
According to our power ratings, Philly should be at least a touchdown favorite and the Bet Labs NFL simulations lists the Eagles as 10-point favorites at home.