Every week during the NFL season, pundits from across the Internet compile power rankings to assess the quality of each team in the NFL. Power rankings generally provide a vehicle for discussion, as nobody is going to agree on the exact ranking of 32 NFL teams.
SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber compiled his Week 9 NFL power rankings and, once again, aside from ranking the undefeated Atlanta Falcons No. 1, it is safe to say there will be no agreement on the rest of the rankings. Well, except that the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs belong at the bottom of most power rankings.
In order to provide you with a slightly more objective power ranking, I am back with a weekly ranking of how teams are doing against the spread. While this will not tell you which is the the best team in the NFL, it will tell us which teams would have earned you a little extra scratch to date. And maybe you can take something from these rankings in looking ahead for your future wagering.
The rankings are initially broken down by record against the spread. For teams that are tied, the tiebreaker is point differential.
1. Houston Texans: 5-2 (+88)
2. Atlanta Falcons: 5-2 (+71)
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5-2 (+31)
4. New England Patriots: 5-3 (+92)
5. San Francisco 49ers: 5-3 (+86)
6. Seattle Seahawks: 5-3 (+6)
7. New York Jets: 5-3 (-32)
8. St. Louis Rams: 5-3 (-49)
9. Chicago Bears: 4-3 (+85)
10. Denver Broncos: 4-3 (+52)
11. Miami Dolphins: 4-3 (+24)
12. Indianapolis Colts: 4-3 (-35)
13. Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-3 (-85)
14. New York Giants: 4-3-1 (+73)
15. Cleveland Browns: 4-3-1 (-32)
16. Minnesota Vikings: 4-4 (+17)
17. Washington Redskins: 4-4 (-14)
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: 3-4 (+23)
19. San Diego Chargers: 3-4 (+10)
20. Detroit Lions: 3-4 (-13)
21. Dallas Cowboys: 3-4 (-25)
22. New Orleans Saints: 3-4 (-26)
23. Carolina Panthers: 3-4 (-39)
24. Oakland Raiders: 3-4 (-48)
25. Buffalo Bills: 3-4 (-56)
26. Green Bay Packers: 3-5 (+38)
27. Arizona Cardinals: 3-5 (-15)
28. Tennessee Titans: 3-5 (-95)
29. Cincinnati Bengals: 2-4-1 (-21)
30. Baltimore Ravens: 2-5 (+13)
31. Kansas City Chiefs: 2-5 (-89)
32. Philadelphia Eagles: 1-5-1 (-35)
Week 8 saw underdogs jump out early, covering in eight of the first 10 games through the 1 p.m. ET games. However, the favorites dominated after that. The Oakland Raiders went into Arrowhead Stadium as slim favorites and claimed their sixth straight win. The Giants grabbed a late field goal to cover in their win over the Dallas Cowboys. The Denver Broncos blew out the New Orleans Saints, easily covering the six point spread. Finally, the San Francisco 49ers had their way with the Arizona Cardinals, again easily covering.
According to the folks at Odds Shark, the betting public did fairly well, hitting the Patriots, Giants and 49ers hard this week. The public also reportedly did well in the Atlanta Falcons win as a small underdog over the Philadelphia Eagles. As an undefeated team, it is not surprising to see the public getting behind them thus far. I suspect the public will be on them quite a bit when they host the Cowboys in Week 9.
Bad Beats of the Week: Giants (-2 1/2) 29 - Cowboys 24; Packers (-16) 24 - Jaguars 15
A "bad beat" is a term used in poker when a strong hand that is a sizable statistical favorite loses to a much weaker hand that hits a lucky draw. The term has expanded to cover tough-luck losses, which is something we see almost every week in the NFL. Virtually every week, at least one game has an ending that leaves some folks making a lot of money, and some folks losing a lot of money.
This particular week we did not have anything quite like some of last week's insanity, but there were still a couple games that were worth noting.
Giants (-2 1/2) 29 - Cowboys 24
This was a wild one in the second half as the Dallas Cowboys stormed back from a 23-0 deficit to take a 24-23 lead late in the third quarter. The Giants grabbed a field goal at 10:20 in the fourth quarter to take a two point lead, and then added insurance and the cover with another field at the 3:31 mark. The field goal covered, but was also critical in getting the win. The Cowboys had a couple shots at the end zone but came up just short. Giants bettors breathed a sigh of relief.
Packers (-16) 24 - Jaguars 15
This wasn't a bad beat in the sense of a crazy ending, but the Packers were definitely a heavy statistical favorite. And yet, as has become the case in the NFL, one team played wildly above their heads. The Jaguars came up short, but still managed to cover in an unexpectedly close game.
Week 9 Sure Thing***
I suppose I am a glutton for punishment. The Arizona Cardinals looked absolutely horrific on Monday Night Football, and were thoroughly abused in all facets of the game. The Packers struggled to an ugly win over the Jaguars, but are gaining confidence with three straight wins. Arizona is heading in the wrong direction while Green Bay is moving in the right direction. This is not a good combination for the underdogs.
***As sure a thing as there is in the wild world of the NFL
Have your own "sure thing" pick for the week? Got a brutal story of a bad beat? Hit me up on twitter @davidfucillo to share your wisdom or agony with the world.