Vegas handicappers’ power ratings for teams going into the NFL’s playoffs
Updated: December 31, 2013, 1:02 PM ET
Dave Tuley | ESPN Insider
LAS VEGAS — There’s just no separating the NFL’s top two teams — the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks — and maybe we’ll just have to wait until Super Sunday.
The Vegas NFL Bettors’ Poll has them still tied for the top spot in our power ratings, just as we did before the stretch run of the regular season. Since that poll Dec. 10, both teams have lost at home — the Broncos to the San Diego Chargers 27-20 in Week 15 and the Seahawks to the Arizona Cardinals 17-10 in Week 16 — but have otherwise taken care of business in wrapping up home field in their respective conferences.
These numbers — compiled from the personal power ratings of our panel of handicappers — Teddy “Covers” Sevransky, Sal Selvaggio and yours truly, Dave Tuley — are meant to be a current snapshot of the relative strength of all the teams if they were to meet on a neutral field, and they can be used to compare to the lines being offered on upcoming games (with adjustments made for home-field advantage). So that would mean that we project a potential Broncos-Seahawks Super Bowl as a pick ’em affair.
The LVH SuperBook weighs in by making the Seahawks the 2-1 Super Bowl favorite with the Broncos at 5-2. The San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots are next on their list at 7-1 even though the 49ers have to play in the wild-card round while the other top teams have a first-round bye. That makes sense to our panel as we have them rated as the third-strongest team in the league despite finishing second in their division.
Here’s the complete poll with the 12 remaining playoff teams. You can see that we have a difference of a mere touchdown between the top teams and the bottom team, the Chargers.
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Dave Tuley has covered the Las Vegas race and sports book scene since 1998 and runs his own website, ViewFromVegas.com.