Weekly NFL Point Spread Projections: Lions Continue Dominant Stretch

Jason Logan's Week 6 NFL power ratings are in, and the Detroit Lions have once again pounced on the competition to enter the Top 5. Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos keep stinking up the entire league. See where your team lines up!

Jason Logan: Senior Betting Analyst at Covers
Jason Logan • Senior Betting Analyst
Oct 13, 2023 • 11:29 ET • 4 min read

Our NFL power ratings are humming with five scheduled slates of results, helping us conjure projected point spreads for Week 6. 

Many top-tier teams boosted their rating with one-sided wins this past weekend. The San Francisco 49ers upped their No. 1 rating by dominating Dallas while the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles kept pace with victories of both the straight-up and against-the-spread varieties.

The Detroit Lions break into the Top 5 and the Jacksonville Jaguars make gains with their win over the Buffalo Bills in London shaking up the top half of the ratings.

At the bottom, the Washington Commanders, New England Patriots, and Carolina Panthers sink in the Week 6 power ratings after ugly losses.

As a reminder, these point spread projections are just a starting point for handicapping the NFL Week 6 odds — like flour when baking a cake. You’ll need to add other ingredients to the mixture — injuries, situational angles, weather, matchups — in order to bake the bet you should make.

That said, the raw ratings (without any adjustments) continue to prove profitable when graded against the closing spreads, going 10-4 ATS in Week 5. That brings the raw ratings to 61.8% on the season.

Here’s a quick rundown on how they all work:

Rating This number is ranked out of 100. It's pulled from the team’s season win totals, look-ahead lines, and strength of schedule. This will adjust each week depending on the results.

Spread Value  Rating/100 x biggest historic spread margin in the NFL, which is 27 points.

Home Field Value Estimated spread value of each team’s home field advantage.

Divisional Value  Estimated worth of divisional rivalry, given teams’ recent success in divisional games (divisional foes know each other better and tend to play more competitive games).

NFL point spread projections: Week 5

Team Rating Spread value Home field value Division value
49ers 49ers  93.2 25.16 2.5 2.5
Chiefs Chiefs 90.4 24.41 2.25 2.5
Eagles Eagles 85.9 23.19 2.25 1.5
Bills Bills 80.3 21.99 2.5 2.5
Lions Lions 76 20.52 2.0 2.0
Dolphins Dolphins 74.9 20.22 2.5 2.5
Jaguars Jaguars 68.9 18.6 1.0 1.0
Cowboys Cowboys
68.4 18.47 2.0 2.0
Ravens Ravens  67.1 18.12 1.5 1.5
Bengals Bengals 66.5 17.96 1.5 1.5
Chargers Chargers  66.2 17.87 1.5 1.5
Seahawks Seahawks 62.3 16.82 2.25 1.5
Browns Browns 57.4 15.5 1.5 1.25
Saints Saints 53.8 14.53 1.25 2.0
Falcons Falcons  49.8 13.45 1.25 1.0
Steelers Steelers 48.8 13.18 2.0 2.5
Colts Colts 42.5 11.48 1.0 1.0
Vikings Vikings  41.0 11.07 1.25 1.5
Titans Titans  38.5 10.4 2.0 2.0
Packers Packers  36.3 9.8 2.5 2.0
Jets Jets 35.2 9.5 2.0 1.0
Buccaneers Buccaneers  30.1 8.13 1.5 1.5
Texans Texans  30.0 8.1 1.5 1.5
Broncos Broncos 29.9 8.07 1.5 1.0
Rams Rams 29.6 7.99 1.5 1.75
Bears Bears 28.7 7.75 1.25 1.0
Commanders Commanders  28.1 7.59 1.25 1.5
Patriots Patriots 
25.6 6.91 1.25 1.5
Raiders Raiders 25.4 6.86 1.75 2.0
Panthers Panthers 23.8 6.43 1.75 1.5
Giants Giants
22.3 6.02 1.25 1.5
Cardinals Cardinals 20.4 5.51 1.5 1.0

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Biggest Climb

The Detroit Lions are once again the biggest climber after blowing up the Panthers and cracking the Top 5 in the Week 6 power ratings. 

The Lions have roughed up some weaker foes in recent weeks, but they’re keeping Motown bettors sweat-free with one-sided wins. Detroit sits Top 10 in EPA for and against, boasting +1.1 net yards per play, panning out to a 4-1 ATS start.

Dan Campbell takes this show on the road in Week 6, visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are 3-1 SU and coming off a bye, but I’m not convinced this team is a contender. Hence, the hefty difference in the projected spread versus the actual line.

Week 6 projection: -10.6 at Tampa Bay

Biggest Fall

The Denver Broncos aren’t just the largest drop in the week-to-week ratings. If we look at my opening Week 1 ratings, which were based on the Broncos’ offseason forecasts, Denver has dropped further than any other club (51.47 to 29.9/100).

The Broncos moved from 38.5/100 to 29.9/100 following the home loss to the Jets this weekend. Denver’s defense is on a historically awful path, ranking off the charts horribly in many advanced metrics.

To make matters worse, Denver has a short Week 6 turnaround, traveling to Kansas City for Thursday Night Football. This is the team’s third road game in four weeks jammed into an 18-day window. Books say the Broncos are 10.5-point road underdogs. I say that's kind.

Week 6 projection: +17.59 at Kansas City

Team to Watch

The Atlanta Falcons were a hot commodity this offseason, with a ton of money targeting the Over on their win total, odds to win the NFC South, and “Yes” playoff prop. That action cooled after a bumpy start.

However, Atlanta improved to 3-2 SU (1-4 ATS) with a Week 5 win over Houston at home and stays in the ATL for a very winnable meeting with Washington in Week 6. 

The Falcons defense is "bend but don’t break," owning the sixth-best success rate allowed, and the offense showed signs of life through the air, with QB Desmond Ridder coming off his best passing day as a pro.

The Commanders may have a mini-bye but are wretched against the pass as well as the run… come to think of it, Washington’s defense is just bad all around. My Week 6 ratings are very bullish on Atlanta when compared to the live odds..

Week 6 projection: -7.11 vs Washington

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How to use NFL point spread projections

Here’s how you jam them together for an estimated spread:

1. Take the “spread value” for the home team and add its “home field value.”

2. Subtract the “spread value” for the away team.

3. If it’s a divisional game, whatever team ends up as the underdog, subtract its divisional value from the favorite.

Let’s use the Week 1 AFC South showdown between Jacksonville and Indianapolis as an example. 

Indianapolis 8.22 + home value 1.5 (9.72) — Jacksonville 18.26 (8.54) - divisional value 1.0 = Indianapolis +7.54

Now that we have a projected spread (Colts +7.54), we can measure that against the markets. With this particular game, we see Indianapolis is out there between +4.5 and +5 at sportsbooks. 

Given the near field goal difference in our projection compared to the consensus spread, we can lean toward Jacksonville -4.5. But, as mentioned, this is only step one. Take a deeper dive into any reason why the market would be lower on Jacksonville than our ratings before betting blindly.

These are the live NFL odds for Week 6, highlighting the best odds available from regulated sportsbooks within your area.

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