The NFL Hall of Fame Game featuring the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos kicks off Thursday night at 7 p.m. on NBC. That makes this the ideal time for VSiN to set the stage for the 2019 pro football season with an early look at estimated “market” Power Ratings.
If you were with us last year, you know that Jonathan Von Tobel of VSiN’s “The Edge” (weekdays from 2-5 p.m. on our livestream or on Sirius Channel 204) and I put our heads to together to deduce how the composite sum of market influences has rated all 32 NFL teams on a neutral field scale. We do this using point spreads, adjusting a standard three points for home field advantage. If the home team in a regular season game is favored by a field goal, then we consider those teams dead even.
We don’t use preseason point spreads because starters don’t see much action in August. Numbers for Week One of the regular season have been on the board for weeks already. Settled lines suggest the following for the NFC…
▪ LA Rams 86, New Orleans 86, Philadelphia 83, Chicago 83, Seattle 82, Dallas 82, Minnesota 82, Green Bay 82, Atlanta 81, Carolina 80, San Francisco 80, Tampa Bay 77, Washington 77, NY Giants 77, Detroit 77, Arizona 72.
The Rams are three-point favorites on the road at Carolina. That means “the market” sees them as six points better on a neutral field. Jonathan and I must put them six rungs apart on our ladder. A look at futures prices and projected win totals suggests Rams 86, Panthers 80 makes the most sense. Maybe it will turn out that 87 and 81 better captured market impressions. But, 85 and 79 would definitely be too low in regards to everyone else. Our good faith effort settled on 86 and 80.
Other examples: Minnesota is currently -4 at home over Atlanta in Week One. That put the Vikings one rung higher on our scale. San Francisco is pick-em at Tampa Bay. That meant the Niners should sit three rungs higher than the Bucs.
You get the gist.
▪ Kansas City 86, New England 86, LA Chargers 83, Cleveland 83, Indianapolis 83. Pittsburgh 83, Houston 82, Baltimore 82, Tennessee 81, Jacksonville 79, Denver 77, Cincinnati 76, NY Jets 76, Oakland 76, Buffalo 75, Miami 75.
Though the Chiefs and Patriots are again projected to meet in the conference finals come January, there’s a loaded field of contenders about a field goal behind them. Any could improve enough through the season to surge into the 84-85 range. And, the Chiefs and Patriots are just a key injury away from falling back to the pack.
VSiN will update these throughout the season. And, if preseason injuries knock stars out of the September mix, we’ll update even sooner.
We strongly encourage you to use these ratings to project schedule strengths. Many of last season’s won-lost records were polluted by injuries or luck. Don’t use those! Because VSiN’s Power Ratings are based on current “informed” market assessments, they’re much more likely to a more accurate picture of the challenges ahead.