It's time! Week 1 is here and so are my NFL power rankings. These can be helpful tools for bettors when pricing matchups while also keeping everything in check from week to week and avoiding recency bias.
In games on a neutral field, every higher-ranked team would be favored or, at least, a pick 'em on the moneyline in this format. For two teams ranked closely together, the difference in the spread would be a home-field advantage (if any), which varies slightly from team to team.
NFL power rankings for Week 1
|Rank||Team||Record||Super Bowl Odds|
|2||Kansas City Chiefs||0-0||+1000|
|3||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0-0||+700|
|4||Los Angeles Rams||0-0||+1200|
|5||Green Bay Packers||0-0||+1000|
|7||Los Angeles Chargers||0-0||+1400|
|8||San Francisco 49ers||0-0||+1600|
|16||New Orleans Saints||0-0||+4000|
|18||New England Patriots||0-0||+4000|
|19||Las Vegas Raiders||0-0||+4000|
|24||New York Giants||0-0||+13000|
|27||New York Jets||0-0||+13000|
Matty Icecapades: Indianapolis Colts (6th)
This is the Carson Wentz effect. Matt Ryan is a big upgrade and comes in as a much more accurate quarterback than Wentz, who finished in the Bottom 6 in CPOE in back-to-back seasons. There are a lot of checkmarks on this team including great coaching in Frank Reich, an elite running game, a takeaway defense, and now a competent passing game that will compliment Jonathan Taylor. This is a Colts team that beat four playoff teams last year in the Bills, 49ers, Cardinals, and Patriots... and that was with Wentz at the helm. Their strength of schedule is also one of the best in football.
America's mediocre team: Dallas Cowboys (13th)
A lot has changed from last season for Mike McCarthy. The loss of Amari Cooper and the injury to Michael Gallup have turned this into a weak pass-catching group. Jerry Jones' bromance with Ezekiel Elliott could also hurt this club as Tony Pollard could be the more explosive option. Either way, both running backs will be behind a weaker O-line than a season ago with the loss of La'el Collins (free agency), a 15-game starter in Connor Williams (free agency), and the injury to LT Tyron Smith who tore his hamstring off the bone and will be replaced by rookie first-rounder Tyler Smith. If Dak Prescott were to miss time this year playing behind a new O-line, it could be a long winter in Big D.
The waiting game: Cleveland Browns (22nd)
This ranking is based on Jacoby Brissett playing at least the first 11 games before Deshaun Watson comes back for Week 13 vs. the Texans. Of all the teams in this tier, I think the Browns have enough talent to move up the rankings and could have a season much like the Colts did in 2021. The Browns were one of the unluckiest teams in football a season ago in fumble recovery percentage and opponent field goal percentage while Baker Mayfield's Week 2 shoulder injury lingered all season. Now, with an easy schedule out of the gates, one of the best run games in football, and an underrated defense, Kevin Stefanski's club should flirt with a winning record before Watson gets under center. I could see this team as high as No. 16 if Brissett can minimize the mistakes and find success off of that great run game.