NFL Betting: NFL Power Rankings for 2024

NFL Betting: NFL Power Rankings for 2024

This article is part of our NFL Picks series.

NFL Early Implied Power Rankings for 2024 NFL Season

The NFL never really has an offseason. OK sure, they do not play games year-round, but the Super Bowl bleeds right into the Scouting Combine, followed by the mad dash of free agency, and the draft. But as far as wagering goes, the truly Big Moment has arrived. The 2024 NFL schedule is here! And within minutes, we got betting markets on virtually every game as well as Over/Under win totals for each team. 

I do an exercise each season where I load the schedule into a spreadsheet and use the win totals to come up with an implied Power Rating for each team, and then use those Power Ratings and compare them to the listed point spreads to see if I can find any bets I like right now. Please allow myself to quote…….myself and further explain.

"As for my methodology, I take a mean of the posted win totals markets at the major online sportsbooks, factoring in the juice on either side of the posted number, and use that to ultimately calculate an implied power ranking for each team. This involves using the implied power ranking to derive a fair point spread on each game, then taking those point spreads and converting them to the probability of each team winning. For example, say the implied power rankings suggest the Bengals should be a two-point favorite at Cleveland. A two-point favorite is expected to win 53.49 percent of the time. Thus the Bengals would get .5349 "wins" for that game, and the Browns get .4651 wins. Do this exercise for each game and add them up and you get a season win total. The implied power ranking is ultimately the "best fit" number that gets as close as possible to the win total listed at the sportsbooks."

I default to a 2-point home-field advantage which is roughly the level of recent seasons, all other things being equal. It is the NFL and of course, things are often not equal, often because of a "rest" advantage. I award a half point per extra half week of rest. Further, I dock teams a ½ point if they have a 3rd consecutive road game, which happens 4 times this season. For now, I am not penalizing road Thursday teams or the "home" Chargers despite their fans always getting outnumbered at SoFi.

Anyways, here is my best stab at implied Power Ratings.

Just a quick note on NFL scheduling. I get that now seven networks/streamers pay billions to televise games and they all want the same premium teams in their high-value windows. And of course, there is the  Taylor Swift Eras Tour to schedule around. Still, they should try to mitigate rest disadvantages as best they can, yet the Niners face teams off a bye four times this year, and two more teams off Thursdays. The Cowboys, Eagles and now Lions are all fellow premium teams and the Cowboys and Lions face one bye team and one Thursday team each, while the Eagles face none of either.

Anyways, back to our regularly scheduled programming. I look for games with at least a 2-point edge on lower spreads, preferably touching on going through the key 3, 6 and 7 numbers. For spreads over a touchdown, I look for at least three points of line edge, especially for favorites as the bigger spreads tend to collapse toward the underdog.

Yada yada yada, I have a handful of plays in the first half of the season.

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Early Look: Lookahead Bets To Target Now

Week 1, Lions -3 over Rams

Jared Goff Revenge Game over Matthew Stafford Revenge Game on Sunday Night Football. Has a trade ever worked better for both teams? Stafford got a ring, Goff got close, and earned quite the haul. My implied power has it Lions -5.5. 

Week 2, Ravens -7 vs Raiders:

I know I said I do not love the big spreads for this exercise. I do like this one. The Ravens open the season on a Thursday in Kansas City and will have a 3-day rest advantage. The game is at 1 p.m. ET, or 10 a.m. Vegas time. I show it valued at Ravens -10.

Week 4, Jets -6 vs Broncos

The NFL has loaded up the Jets early season schedule with prime time slots because nothing ever goes wrong with this franchise. Also ostensibly the world demands more and more Aaron Rodgers and who knows how long he will remain upright. This game, however, takes place on a Sunday at 1 pm because no one actually wants to watch the current iteration of the Broncos. I value the Jets as 8.5-point favorites off a Thursday game vs the Patriots in Week 3 and ahead of a trip to London to face the Vikings. The market probably considers this a donut game for the Jets on account of the Patriots game.

Week 6 Eagles -5 over Browns

I show Philly -5 off their bye week vs a Browns team that played great down the stretch in 2023 thanks to some Elite Joe Flacco Magic. Unfortunately for the Browns, the ageless, bearded one has now taken his talents to Indianapolis. The Eagles of course ended the season in an incredible funk. Both teams face division foes the following week, so no real look-ahead advantage either way.

Week 8 Cowboys +5.5 at Niners

It feels like these teams play 6 times every season, and always in Santa Clara. This go around finds the Cowboys off bye at the Niners on a Sunday Night. I show the Niners as 3 point favorites. Yes, they drilled the Cowboys in almost this exact spot last season.

Week 9 Texans +3 at Jets

This Thursday night tilt finds the Jets again off a Patriots game. This time, however, they look like a fade to me as I value them as only ½ point favorites. Will Rodgers show up for this game? We shall see.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Warner
Adam Warner is a freelance writer for Gambling.com. He is the author of "Options Volatility Trading: Strategies for Profiting from Market Swings" and former financial writer for Schaeffers Research, Minyanville.com and StreetInsight.com.
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