By Steve Rieder
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"The difference between sharps and squares is that sharps bet numbers and squares bet teams."
Most successful sports handicappers use a quantitative standard for assessing the game. In order to do that, it is imperative to use power ratings, also known as 'power rankings,' to identify the point differential between opposing teams. By comparing two teams’ power ratings and accounting for home-field advantage, the bettor can objectively determine what the point spread should be and take advantage of any difference in the actual line.
NFL WEEK 6 POWER RATINGS
After going 1-2 on Monday night, we finished the week a disappointing 4-6 (-2.7 units). Thankfully, our player props carried the day, which makes us in the green 4 out of 5 weeks. I am hitting 55% of our bets and 64% of our player props. If you bet $100 on each play, you would be up to $1,427 today. With the NFL being the hardest market to beat, anything above 52.38% is considered a success, but with all of our closing line value and some bad breaks, we should be even better. As we continue this NFL marathon, we take it one bet at a time and let the proverbial chips fall where they may.
The NFL balance of power is beginning to shift. The 3-headed monster of BUF, TB, and KC has fractured with one team sitting on the throne. After a dominant performance in Kansas City, Buffalo has proven they are the most formidable team in the NFL scoring the most points in the NFL and allowing the least. The Chiefs saw their hold on supremacy slip as there are serious questions about their defense, which has allowed the most points in the NFL. Regardless of how good Patrick Mahomes and that offense is, their porous defense leaves them susceptible in each game. The Buccaneers, our second-rated team, is the NFL’s second-best offense. Tom Brady continues to beat father time, but injuries and lack of talent to their secondary could be their downfall.
The battle for the basement has added another team to the fight. The Giants, potentially down their quarterback, top 4 wide receivers, left guard, and left tackle are splintered, if not, entirely broken. They now have a worse Power Rating than the Jets which makes them the worst team in New York (even though they both actually play in New Jersey). Detroit and Jacksonville are still fighting for #32, but the Texans simply refuse to let go of the spot even though they showed some life this past week. For those of you holding a Houston Texans under 4.5 wins ticket, myself included, you have to be feeling pretty good at the moment.
HFA Note: Home Field Advantage (HFA) is not the standard 3 points it was once assumed to be. After analyzing the data, I adjusted my HFA coming into the season. However, early returns suggest I didn’t lower them enough. You will notice an adjustment for most teams from last week to this week. Also of note, I have added a half point HFA for the Thursday night game.
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