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  • How should we be calculating strength of schedule in the NFL?
  • See how all 32 teams rank in terms of strength of schedule using the proper calculation
  • Looking for the current year’s strength of schedule numbers?¬†

For too long we have wasted our time reading articles that use each team’s record from the previous season to calculate strength of schedule for the upcoming season. Stop this!¬†There are far too many flaws involved in this method.

This is how we should be doing it.

2018 NFL Strength of Scheduled Based on Projected Win Totals

Rank Team Projected Wins of 2018 Opponents 2018 Record
1 Arizona Cardinals 135.5 3-13
2 New York Giants 133 5-11
3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 133 5-11
4 Washington Redskins 132.5 7-9
5 Seattle Seahawks 132 10-6
6 Cleveland Browns 131.5 7-8-1
7 Detroit Lions 131.5 6-10
8 Los Angeles Rams 131.5 13-3
9 New Orleans Saints 131.5 13-3
10 Kansas City Chiefs 131 12-4
11 Buffalo Bills 130 6-10
12 Chicago Bears 130 12-4
13 Dallas Cowboys 130 10-6
14 Minnesota Vikings 130 8-7-1
15 Philadelphia Eagles 129.5 9-7
16 Carolina Panthers 129 7-9
17 Atlanta Falcons 128.5 7-9
18 Denver Broncos 128.5 6-10
19 Miami Dolphins 128 7-9
20 Cincinnati Bengals 127.5 6-10
21 Indianapolis Colts 127.5 10-6
22 Tennessee Titans 127.5 9-7
23 Jacksonville Jaguars 127 5-11
24 Pittsburgh Steelers 127 9-6-1
25 Baltimore Ravens 126.5 10-6
26 San Francisco 49ers 126.5 4-12
27 Green Bay Packers 126 6-9-1
28 New York Jets 126 4-12
29 Oakland Raiders 124.5 4-12
30 Los Angeles Chargers 123.5 12-4
31 New England Patriots 122.5 11-5
32 Houston Texans 121.5 11-5

Note: 1 is the most difficult, while 32 denotes the easiest 2018 schedule.

Using 2018 projected win totals, we came up with our own strength of schedule by adding the projected wins of each team’s 16 opponents this season.

Results

The Texans had it the easiest based on either SOS method, and they easily cleared their own 2018 win total of 8.5. The same goes for the Chargers, whose win total was set at 9.5. New England pushed on their’s.

The three teams with the most difficult schedules based on our method – Arizona, New York (Giants), and Tampa Bay – all went under their own projected win totals.

Author Image

After working in TV, Matt turned his focus towards numbers, specifically odds. He has been with us since 2016 and serves as SBD's Editor-in-Chief, credited with creating our futures trackers, SBD's score predictor, SBD Sharp, and his own model for calculating NFL SOS, among other products.