The Power Rating Differential (PRD) for an NFL game is calculated from team performance levels. Consider it a short, middle and long term analysis for each opponent to compute each team’s numerical power rating. Taking the difference between the two opponent ratings yields the differential or PRD.
Performance factors in the NFL include actual straight up (SU) winning percentage, winning & losing streaks, offensive & defensive points, offensive and defensive yards, turnover differential and strength of schedule. Successful handicapping by POINTSPREADWINNERS.COM is predicated on weighing a team’s penchant for winning and losing games just as much as the actual scoring and statistical categories that define an NFL team’s performance level.
The short term consists of an NFL team’s last 1-2 games performance, the middle term is an NFL team’s showing in its last 3-4 games and the long term is season-to-date overall performance. An effective analysis identifies break points in performance that are used to establish the actual number of games applied to the short and middle term evaluation. If a team has played at a fairly consistent performance level over its last 3 games as opposed to a very different level of play 4 games ago, 3 games would be used for the middle term.
In addition, POINTSPREADWINNERS.COM applies a momentum factor when comparing the short, mid and long term analysis. In simple terms, a team playing better in the short term than in the mid term would be in a positive momentum mode. Please refer to the next article for more about the momentum factor.
An algorithm that combines the performance factors and momentum of the three time periods is developed to produce the team power rating. Taking the difference between the two opponents’ ratings yields the differential or PRD.