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How To Calculate Power Ratings
by Website Staff

Many sports bettors use basketball and football statistics to calculate power ratings which gives them a convenient and useful ranking system. Power ratings can also be used to create a mock pointspread. A difference between the point spread created by the sports bettor and the odds offered by the sportsbook may indicate value for the bettor.

Basic Power Rating

Margin of victory, points scored minus points scored against is the most common calculation used to formulate power ratings.

Game Points Scored Points Against Margin (M)
1 17 20 -3
2 21 31 -10
3 14 10 4
4 24 13 11

Basic PR = (M1 + M2 + M3 + M4) /No. of Games Played + 100

(-3 + -10 + 4 + 11) /4 + 100 = 100.5

Weighted Power Rating

It is logical to assume that a team's most recent results are the best indicators of how they will perform in their next game. To account for this tendency, it is necessary to give more weight to recent games.

For each team multiply the margin of victory for every game by the numerical order in whch it was played. The margin of victory for game one is multiplied by 1, the margin of victory for game two is multiplied by 2 and so forth.

Therefore game four will have a weight of 4 which is twice as much as game two and four times as much as game one. The weighted margins for each team's games are added and divided by the sum of the multipliers. After four games the multiplier sum is ten. 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10.

Weighted PR = (M1*1 + M2*2 + M3*3 + M4*4) /Multiplier Sum + 100

(-3*1 + -10*2 + 4*3 + 11*4) /10 + 100 = 103.3

Final Power Rating

Unfortunately, basic and weighted power ratings do not consider a team's strength of schedule. A more accurate power rating can be calculated by averaging either a team's Basic PR or Weighted PR with the current power ratings of their previous opponents.

If Team1 Weighted PR equals 103.3 calculate their final power rating after playing four opponents.

Opponent Weighted PR
1 107
2 102.5
3 97.8
4 99.1

Final PR = [Team1 PR + (Opp1 PR + Opp2 PR + Opp3 PR + Opp4 PR) /No. of Opponents] /2

Add the power ratings of Team1 opponents and divide the sum by the total number of opponents.

(107.0 + 102.5 + 97.8 + 99.1) /4 = 101.6

Average this number with the corresponding power rating from Team1.

(103.3 + 101.6) /2 = 102.5

Point Spread

Power ratings can be used to predict the outcome of a game. Subtract the away team power rating from the home team power rating and add 3.0 points for home field advantage.

Team Final PR
Home 102.5
Away 99.5

Point Spread = Home PR - Away PR + 3.0

102.5 – 99.5 + 3.0 = 6.0

It is predicted that the home team will win the game by 6.0 points. A negative result would indicate an away favorite and a home underdog.

As the season progresses and data is collected the power ratings will become more accurate, but It may be necessary to rely on other handicapping techniques early in the schedule.

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