Power Rankings 2010 NFL Playoffs (Update)

Updated 1/21/2010

This is an update from our article on NFL Playoff Power Ratings, published when the playoffs started.  The Power Rating have performed well this playoff season, going 5-3 (62.5%).  The ratings have been updated as of 1/21/2010, in time for the NFL Conference Championships.


Over the years, SportsInsights.com’s researchers and analysts have studied various indicators and stats specifically for the NFL Playoffs.  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 2009-10 Playoff Team Power Rankings

Below are our Power Rankings for the 2009-10 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 are highlighted with asterisks (*) because their placement within the power rankings might be a bit surprising to some.  Please see our notes below the chart for more information.

Ranking Team
1 New Orleans
2 Minnesota
3 New York Jets
4 Indianapolis

* Notes:

  • New Orleans has convincingly won almost every game they have played this season — until some fairly meaningless games near the end of the season.
  • The New York Jets were the last team to make the playoffs, but they are a team to be reckoned with.  They are surprisingly high on our power rankings due to their #1 defense (points against) and #1 rushing game.  They are led by a mistake-prone rookie QB — but if Mark Sanchez can can contribute enough mistake-free play (as in few interceptions) — to keep opposing defenses off-balance, the Jets could make some noise.
  • The Indianapolis Colts and their near-perfect regular season are lower than expected because of their reliance on the pass.  Peyton Manning had a great season, but his 16 regular-season INTs are the most he’s had since 2002.

Betting Against the Public & Smart Money Techniques

As the playoffs begin and the NFL’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 — and our research has shown — 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 NFL Playoffs!).

Summary and Other Research

SportsInsights is pleased to present 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 NFLWe particularly love home dogs — if you can find them in the playoffs.

Good luck — and enjoy the games!

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.