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 Joel Thorman compiled his Week 11 NFL power rankings and he flipped the Falcons and Texans at the top. Given the Texans' win in Chicago, this is not a surprising development. Other than Houston on top and Jacksonville and Kansas City at the bottom, there is no real agreement between 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: 7-2 (+107)
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 7-2 (+51)
3. Seattle Seahawks: 7-3 (+37)
4. Denver Broncos: 6-3 (+82)
5. Atlanta Falcons: 6-3 (+73)
6. Indianapolis Colts: 6-3 (-15)
7. St. Louis Rams: 6-3 (-49)
8. Chicago Bears: 5-4 (+109)
9. New England Patriots: 5-4 (+98)
10. San Francisco 49ers: 5-4 (+86)
11. New Orleans Saints: 5-4 (-7)
12. New York Jets: 5-4 (-53)
13. Miami Dolphins: 4-4-1 (-13)
14. Cleveland Browns: 4-4-1 (-42)
15. Minnesota Vikings: 5-5 (+17)
16. Baltimore Ravens: 4-5 (+58)
17. Green Bay Packers: 4-5 (+52)
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: 4-5 (+30)
19. San Diego Chargers: 4-5 (+18)
20. Detroit Lions: 4-5 (-6)
21. Dallas Cowboys: 4-5 (-16)
22. Washington Redskins: 4-5 (-22)
23. Carolina Panthers: 4-5 (-53)
24. Buffalo Bills: 4-5 (-74)
25. New York Giants: 4-5-1 (+51)
26. Cincinnati Bengals: 3-5-1 (-11)
27. Jacksonville Jaguars: 3-5-1 (-119)
28. Tennessee Titans: 4-6 (-92)
29. Arizona Cardinals: 3-6 (-29)
30. Oakland Raiders: 3-6 (-93)
31. Kansas City Chiefs: 3-6 (-110)
32. Philadelphia Eagles: 1-7-1 (-65)
It was another tough week for favorites, as underdogs were 8-6 against the spread. One team that has come on strong is the New Orleans Saints. They have improved to 4-5, but more importantly for gamblers, they have won five of their last six against the spread. They, along with the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are the hot teams right now. The Broncos have claimed four straight against the spread, while the Bucs have claimed four of five.
On the other side of things, the Eagles can't get out of their own way at this point. They have now lost Michael Vick to a concussion, but oddsmakers don't seem to care. When a big name goes down, the next game sometimes comes off the board. In this case, Vick has struggled enough that I don't think it's much of a concern.
Bad Beat of the Week: What about sure things?
The general Week 10 lines did not feature any crazy back-door covers, but it was a weekend in which games that looked like sure things went south in a hurry. The two best examples of this came in the 49ers' 24-24 tie with the St. Louis Rams ,and the New England Patriots' 37-31 win over the Bills.
The 49ers entered their game with the Rams as 13-point favorites. That is a pretty sizable line, but the Rams have struggled on the road, and the 49ers have had their way with the NFC West so far. When Alex Smith found himself sidelined with a concussion late in the second quarter, fans could see this game going crazy in a hurry. The Rams nailed the cover and sit seventh in our power rankings thanks to some close battles.
The Patriots entered their home game against Buffalo as a 13.5-point favorite. Three times the Patriots took a 14-point lead and looked ready to blow this thing open. And every time, the Bills fought back to get the cover. Given New England's defensive struggles, I suppose none of us should be surprised by this.
Week 11 Sure Thing**
St. Louis Rams (-3.5) over New York Jets
This might strike some as a surprise, but the Rams are a tough, tough team at home. Anything is possible in this one, but I have zero faith in the Jets. And this has nothing to do with being a 49ers fan who is still bitter about last week's tie. This Rams team won't make the playoffs this season, but with Danny Amendola back in the lineup, they will be a tough game anywhere, and most definitely so at home.
**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.