2009 NFL Power Rankings

Guest Article by Researchers at BettingCharts.com

BettingCharts uses a variety of tools to seek out value in the sports marketplace.  Over the past few years, we have studied various indicators and stats specifically for the NFL Playoffs.  Together, with our sister company, SportsInsights.com, we have devised our own proprietary power rankings for the upcoming playoffs.  Please note that although results have been good over the past few years, the sample size is not very meaningful.  Still, the power ratings and rankings are backed by good, fundamental, reasoning — and historical results have been solid.

Multiple Factors

We have studied a wealth of statistics and have keyed in on several indicators that really seem to focus in on the “strength” of each of the twelve playoff teams.  By using the indicators that show the most correlation with game results, we believe that the power rankings can help you to obtain value versus the point spread during the NFL Playoffs.

We believe this multi-factor approach can help to uncover value as we combine factors that give us an edge.  What are some of the factors that we study?  Firstly, we look at the “micro-happenings” behind the wins and losses.  What kind of offense and defense are we talking about?  What are the “Points For” and “Points Against” for this team?  What kind of schedule did the team play?  How was the team’s performance in “quality match-ups?”  We use the results of our research to create a composite rating which can be used to obtain value during the NFL Playoffs. 

NFL 2008-09 Playoff Team Power Rankings

Below are our Power Rankings for the 2008-09 NFL Playoffs.  How can you use these rankings?  One easy-to-use method is to pick the higher-ranked team versus the spread.  Some sports investors might want to make the selection ONLY if the ranking differential is above a certain amount.  In either case, please use these rankings in combination with other sports investing tools that you use — or that we mention below.  Note that we have highlighted and grouped the teams to separate this year’s powerhouses — from the contenders — and pretenders.  Some teams that are highlighted in yellow with asterisks (*) are particularly dangerous this year.  More on them below.

Ranking Team
1 Tennessee
2 Indianapolis
3 New York Giants
4 Philadelphia *
5 Pittsburgh *
6 San Diego *
7 Baltimore
8 Minnesota
9 Atlanta
10 Carolina
11 Miami
12 Arizona
  • The Philadelphia Eagles just barely made the playoffs, but they are a team to be reckoned with.  They are surprisingly high on our power rankings due to their explosive (although inconsistent) offense — and especially due to their performance against quality teams.
  • Pittsburgh is a scary team because they boast the league’s best defense in terms of “points against,” “yards against,” and “passing yards” against.  But how is Big Ben?
  • San Diego had a huge run to get into the playoffs but the other teams better “look out.”  The Chargers scored the most points of the playoff teams this year.  They finished the year just 8-8 but outscored their opponents by a “not-shabby” 100 points (although in a relatively weak division).

Betting Against the Public & Smart Money Techniques

As the playoffs begin and the sport’s top teams vie for the championship, there is increased public interest.  This means increased betting activity by “Joe Public.”  We believe that this presents an opportunity for astute sports investors.  Our members have said that “Betting Against the Public” and “Smart Money” techniques have worked even better in these “big televised games.”  Using these methods, in combination with other good handicapping strategies, can add good investment value — to an already great entertainment value (the Playoffs!).

Summary and Other Research

Together, BettingCharts and SportsInsights have presented Power Rankings for this year’s NFL Playoffs.

  • The Power Rankings have been designed as a way to obtain value during the NFL Playoffs.
  • Betting Against the Public and Smart Money methods should be even more effective during these nationally televised games.
  • In other research, it has been shown that Home Field advantage is magnified during the playoffs.  Please check out SportsInsights’ article on Academic Research in the NFL.  We particularly love home dogs — if you can find them in the playoffs.

Good luck — and enjoy the games!

About BettingCharts.com

BettingCharts (BCs) is a sports research firm that focuses on statistical methods and indicators to obtain value in the sports investment marketplace.

  • BCs’ winning percentage is around 55% in most sports.
  • BCs has posted even stronger results in “Totals.”
  • BCs research and selections are computerized, consistent, and disciplined.

We do not guarantee that the trends and biases we’ve found will continue to exist. It is impossible to predict the future. Any serious academic research in the field of “market efficiencies” recognizes that inefficiencies may disappear over time. Once inefficiencies are discovered, it is only a matter of time before the market corrects itself. We do not guarantee our data is error-free. However, we’ve tried our best to make sure every score and percentage is correct.