2022 NFL Power Rankings

With only 17 games in an NFL season, every week and every matchup is of huge importance.

Of the 32 teams league-wide, only 12 will find themselves in a playoff spot when the regular season ends.

The NFL is different from most professional leagues because of how few games are played.

The NBA and NHL play just over 80 games in a regular season. Baseball is twice that many games.

Teams can afford stretches of bad games in most other professional leagues and still have time to recover for a playoff push.

A stretch of bad games in the NFL can easily mean a lost season.

What Are NFL Power Rankings

Many NFL bettors develop a system to rank all 32 NFL teams. These rankings are referred to as NFL Power Rankings.

Power Rankings can help bettors see teams from a bigger perspective, reduce recency bias and identify media-hyped teams. Rankings are not just made to help us list out good teams and bad.

Sports bettors and oddsmakers will use their own Power Rankings to handicap games and set point spreads.

Read on if you aren’t developing your own NFL Power Rankings.

We will help explain some of the nuances of creating these rankings and the benefit they can provide when done correctly.

Weekly Rankings

Each week, NFL Power Rankings are created and tweaked. As results are achieved, rankings get adjusted, and teams are shuffled accordingly.

As the season progresses, the rankings can become more precise. The NFL season is used to produce one Super Bowl Champion.

NFL Power Rankings can identify who that Super Bowl champion could be.

Preseason power rankings can be created using various information and data. We like to keep it simple and rank teams to start according to their Super Bowl odds.

Top-Ranked Teams

Buffalo Bills – The Bills are coming off an impressive 2021 season which saw them finish 11-6 and win the AFC East.

After embarrassing New England 47-17 in the first round of the playoffs, Buffalo lost an OT heartbreaker to the KC Chiefs in the second round.

Buffalo opens the season with road games against the Rams, Dolphins, Ravens, and Chiefs within the first six weeks. Tough start for any team, including Buffalo.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Bucs opened the preseason with odds of +2200 to win the Super Bowl, mainly because the G.O.A.T., Tom Brady, was in the middle of his six-week retirement.

Once Brady announced he was coming back, the odds on Tampa Bay corrected in a hurry.

Brady and company open with a primetime game in Dallas to start this season, and we should learn a lot about them in Week 1.

Kansas City Chiefs – Kansas City opened as low as +750 when Super Bowl odds were released earlier this year but have seen their odds slowly climb closer to +1000.

The AFC West is loaded with talented teams and QBs. Russell Wilson, Justin Herbert, and Derek Carr will make things challenging for Patrick Mahomes, but the Chiefs are still the team to beat in the West.

The Contenders

Green Bay Packers – Green Bay still has their four-time MVP winner Aaron Rodgers under center, which will always make them a threat.

The Packers opened at +1600 odds and then lost Davante Adams, who was by far Rodger’s favorite target.

Despite that, the Packers’ odds have dipped to +1000, and most expect the Bears, Vikings, and Lions won’t be much of a divisional threat to them.

Los Angeles Rams – While the Rams were the last team standing after last year’s Super Bowl, they aren’t the favorite to open this season.

Aaron Donald is locked into a new contract, and offensively they still have a lot of weapons. LA opened at +1100 and has seen its odds drop slightly since then.

A Week 1 matchup with Buffalo will tell us a lot early.

San Francisco 49ers – 49ers fans must have had trouble watching the Rams win last year’s Super Bowl, knowing that San Francisco had them on the ropes in a playoff game they ultimately let slip away.

San Francisco will have to make a QB decision with Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance believing they are capable.

In Week 3 and Week 4, the Niners play at Denver and return home to face the Rams. We should learn a lot about them after those two games.

The Value Bets

Los Angeles Chargers – The Chargers are quickly becoming the offseason darling of NFL futures bettors. Oddsmakers opened LA around +2500, but their odds continue to drop and can be found closer to +1500 now.

There is no doubt Justin Herbert is one of the elite passers in the game today. Is he good enough to overcome a division loaded with elite passers?

Week 1 is against the Raiders. Week 2 is against the Chiefs. That’s a tough start for any team.

Denver Broncos – It has been an exciting offseason for the Denver Broncos, one that looks to see the team being sold and landed them their first franchise QB since Peyton Manning retired.

The arrival of Russell Wilson allows the Broncos to compete in the AFC’s wild-west division.

With a lot of attention being paid to Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert, maybe Wilson and teammates at +1600 provide some value if they can sneak out of their division.

Dallas Cowboys – Ultimately, the clock struck midnight for Dak Prescott and his Cowboys teammates last year, or at least it ran out of time.

Dallas lost a heartbreaking playoff game at home to San Francisco without getting their final snap-off before time expired. 

Dallas plays in a division generally accepted as being pretty weak.

If Prescott can find a way to stay on the field for all 17 games this year, the Cowboys could find themselves hosting a first-round playoff game.

How To Make Your Own NFL Power Rankings

For those who want to start creating their own NFL Power Rankings, there are many different ways to go about it.

Suppose you are new to sports betting or creating your own rankings.

In that case, we like to simplify the process and make things easier by using the opinions of several experts and oddsmakers.

Sportsbooks are very good at what they do. Each operator licensed in your area will offer odds on all 32 teams to win the Super Bowl.

You will notice that there will be some variation in odds between sportsbooks for individual teams.

We recommend using these odds from multiple sportsbooks to create your own NFL Power Rankings.

Compare at least three to five different sportsbooks to make sure you are getting an accurate reflection of the market.

Once you have compiled a spreadsheet that lists every team and their Super Bowl odds from multiple operators, you can develop a ranking system.

The next step is assigning each team a numerical value that falls between 0 and 100.

Typically, the best team in the league falls between an 85 – 90 range; of course, you will find bad teams at the other end of the spectrum.

Let’s use the Buffalo Bills this year as an example.

They are the number one ranked team during the offseason this year based on odds compiled from five different sportsbooks. We are going to assign Buffalo a rating of 85.

We chose 85 because we believe that Buffalo is currently the best team.

However, we are still a little unsure of how good they are compared to the rest of the teams in the league.

In our opinion, KC, Tampa Bay, and several others are also right there. If we believed Buffalo was the clear-cut Super Bowl favorite and their odds were closer to +300, we would assign them a higher value.

You will want to assign a value or number for all 32 teams in the league.

It is always OK to give teams the same value if you aren’t sure at this point which is the better team.

What Is League Range

If you are interested in using your Power Rankings to do things like handicap and create your own point spreads, then you want to make a league range from which to work.

A league range means you are setting a point spread number for a hypothetical game between the best team in NFL history and the worst team in NFL history, played on a neutral site.

Determining your league range is not an exact science with no great formula yet determined. Typical ranges are between 21-28 points, with 22 – 25 being the most popular range.

Using Power Rankings To Determine Point Spreads

Now that we have ranked and assigned a numerical value for each of the 32 teams and we have also determined our league range, it is possible to use our NFL Power Rankings to help us create point spreads for individual games.

The point spread formula isn’t very complicated, but you should always compare your final number to the line being posted by the sportsbooks.

If you find your spreads are significantly different than what is being offered in the market, it might signal that you have missed something in your analysis.

The point spread formula looks like this:

Buffalo Bills – we want to take their team ranking (as a %) and multiply that by our league range.

In the case of Buffalo, we determined they were an 85 (0.85), and we will use 22 as our league range. 0.85 x 22 = 18.7

For their opponent, let’s use the Houston Texans and pretend we assigned them a team ranking of 18 because Houston is expected to be a very bad team this year.

We want to multiply 0.18 by 22, which equals 3.96.

The last step is subtracting 3.96 from 18.7 to get our point spread total.

18.7 – 3.96 = 14.74. Therefore, in a game where Buffalo is playing Houston on a neutral field, we have determined that our point spread for that game would be 14.74.

Home Field Advantage

Now that we have established our 14.74 point spread for the hypothetical game above, we need to adjust that number for the home-field advantage.

Historically home field has been considered a three-point advantage for the home team.

However, savvy bettors have been adjusting that number based on stadium factors. Seattle is known as one of the loudest, if not the loudest stadium league-wide.

Is it fair to compare that stadium to when Jacksonville hosts a late-season game when they are out of the playoffs and attendance is at 65% capacity?

Probably not.

Determining home field advantage and what that is worth for a specific team is a unique process up to the individual bettor.

The easy method is just to assign it as a three-point edge. However, those who want to get more granular in the process can set a unique advantage for each team.