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With NFL Week 15 officially in the books, we adjust our power ratings and look forward to a new slate of games for NFL Week 16. As with every week, to determine a power-rated line, take the difference between the teams' power rating and factor in home field advantage. Remember, power ratings are the start of the handicap and should be a foundation to build upon. These values represent what a team is on any given week. It will certainly fluctuate as the year progresses.
BIGGEST UPGRADE: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Three weeks ago the Jaguars were blown out by the Lions. All the good vibes coming from Jacksonville were suddenly questioned. Since then, they have dominated the Titans and beat Dallas in a thriller. They are winners of three of their last four, all three of wins against playoff bound teams. They play a very difficult Jets defense this week, but with Zach Wilson most likely quarterbacking for New York, the Jags are live dogs to make the playoffs and steal the division. This team deserves some respect in my power ratings and the market agrees with the move.
BIGGEST DOWNGRADE: ARIZONA CARDINALS
For the second week in a row, the Arizona Cardinals are the biggest downgrade in my power ratings. Kliff Kingsbury and company historically have fallen off as the season progresses, but what is happening this year is even more appalling. With Kyler Murray out for the year and Colt McCoy hurt, the Cards are playing Trace McSorley, a player even the Penn State fans weren’t a huge fan of. The Cards have lost four in a row, the players are just waiting for the season to be mercifully over, and the coach probably is a dead man walking. There is nothing left for Arizona to play for and there are no leaders on that team that are stepping up to galvanize them. It would take a lot for me to play Arizona moving forward.
SOMETHING OF NOTE:
We are at the point of the season where the wind and weather have significant impact on the lines and the game itself. These lines adjust quickly and if you don’t catch or get in front of the steam, you could feel like you are on the outside looking in. For instance, this week, the Browns and Saints game opened at 36 and was immediately hit. When spreads and totals move multiple points, I usually play back or avoid the game altogether. However, I still played under 33.5 because of how impactful the conditions should be. Even if you have no action on the game, there are still going to be bettable opportunities. If the forecast calls for a cross wind, I’ll be slamming the under on all field goal props. I may just bet every receiving and passing prop under based on these extreme playing conditions. It is important to note that the weather can change and be less disruptive. The closer to game time, the more reliable the forecast. Bet accordingly.
Week 16 Power Ratings
Week 16 Power Ratings vs. Lines
By Steve Rieder
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