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NFL power rankings considering Super Bowl odds and strength of schedule

It’s NFL power rankings time! As Week 1 arrives, we’re trying something a little different than the traditional overly subjective gut rankings.

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford talks with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees following a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 NFL season is upon us! The Kansas City Chiefs open their Super Bowl title defense on Thursday when they host the Houston Texans. That will be followed by a 13-game slate on Sunday and the now annual season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader. Football is back!

The return of football means it is time once again for NFL power rankings. There are plenty of power rankings throughout the offseason, but now that football is back, we can actually start to assess what the offseason really meant for each team. With no preseason games this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this week marks the first competitive football since Super Bowl 54.

Power rankings are almost always inherently subjective. You can drill down on stats and come up with something closer to objective, but for most of these, it’s as much gut instinct as anything. We’re going to open the season by trying to split the difference to a certain degree. Below, we’ve ranked out the 32 teams based on Super Bowl 55 odds, while also providing each team’s win total and strength of schedule based on opponent win totals from DraftKings Sportsbook.

It’s subjective in the stats we’re choosing, but using odds provides insight from people (oddsmakers) who are paid to get this right. Oddsmakers are far from perfect, but they do a pretty good job year over year.

Power rankings offer insight into how we view a team right now, but including strength of schedule gives us a chance to consider who might be overvalued and who might be undervalued in Super Bowl odds. Right off the bat, we see the Saints with the fourth best odds and tied for third highest win total, but also dealing with the ninth most difficult schedule. They’re a quality team, so they could overcome this but the NFC South is going to be a difficult one for them this year. The Bucs added Tom Brady, the Panthers hope to have more stability at quarterback after injuries ravaged them last year, and the Falcons still have an intriguing offensive skill position group.

On the other side of things, consider the Detroit Lions. They ranked 24th in Super Bowl odds, but have the second easiest schedule based on win total. If Matthew Stafford can stay healthy and T.J. Hockenson can get in a full season, this offense is really intriguing. I’m not betting on them to win the Super Bowl, but I’ll take the over on 6.5 wins.

2020 NFL power rankings, Week 1

Rk Team SB odds, Week 1 Win total Win total SOS
Rk Team SB odds, Week 1 Win total Win total SOS
1 Kansas City Chiefs +600 11.5 125.5 (24)
2 Baltimore Ravens +650 11 125.5 (24)
3 San Francisco 49ers +900 10.5 127.5 (18)
4 New Orleans Saints +1100 10.5 130 (9)
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1400 9.5 124.5 (27)
6 Dallas Cowboys +1500 9.5 125.5 (24)
7 New England Patriots +2000 8.5 129.5 (10)
8 Philadelphia Eagles +2000 9 128.5 (12)
9 Seattle Seahawks +2000 9.5 127.5 (18)
10 Indianapolis Colts +2200 9 120.5 (32)
11 Buffalo Bills +2500 8.5 128 (15)
12 Minnesota Vikings +2500 9 126.5 (21)
13 Pittsburgh Steelers +2500 9 126.5 (21)
14 Green Bay Packers +2800 8.5 128 (15)
15 Tennessee Titans +2800 8.5 123.5 (30)
16 Los Angeles Rams +4000 8 131.5 (6)
17 Cleveland Browns +4000 8.5 124.5 (27)
18 Chicago Bears +4000 7.5 124.5 (27)
19 Los Angeles Chargers +4500 7.5 126 (23)
20 Atlanta Falcons +5000 7.5 134.5 (1)
21 Denver Broncos +5000 7.5 132 (5)
22 Houston Texans +5000 7.5 129.5 (10)
23 Arizona Cardinals +5000 7 128.5 (12)
24 Detroit Lions +6000 6.5 123 (31)
25 Las Vegas Raiders +6600 7 132.5 (3)
26 New York Giants +8000 6 133.5 (2)
27 New York Jets +8000 6.5 132.5 (3)
28 Miami Dolphins +8000 6.5 128 (15)
29 Carolina Panthers +12500 5.5 131 (8)
30 Washington +15000 5 131.5 (6)
31 Cincinnati Bengals +15000 5.5 128.5 (12)
32 Jacksonville Jaguars +17500 4.5 127.5 (18)

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