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 12 NFL power rankings and at this point he has the Falcons, Texans and 49ers at the top. Power rankings seems to be coming to a consensus on those teams as the top three for now. Other than that however, there is little agreement. Well, aside from the Kansas City Chiefs locked in at the bottom.
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: 7-3 (+113)
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 8-2 (+57)
3. Seattle Seahawks: 7-3 (+37)
4. Denver Broncos: 6-4 (+89)
5. Atlanta Falcons: 6-4 (+77)
6. Indianapolis Colts: 6-4 (-50)
7. St. Louis Rams: 6-4 (-63)
8. Chicago Bears: 5-5 (+84)
9. New England Patriots: 6-4 (+133)
10. San Francisco 49ers: 6-4 (+111)
11. New Orleans Saints: 6-4 +14)
12. New York Jets: 6-4 (-39)
13. Miami Dolphins: 4-5-1 (-18)
14. Cleveland Browns: 5-4-1 (-45)
15. Minnesota Vikings: 5-5 (+17)
16. Baltimore Ravens: 5-5 (+61)
17. Green Bay Packers: 4-5-1 (+56)
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: 4-6 (+27)
19. San Diego Chargers: 5-5 (+11)
20. Detroit Lions: 4-5-1 (-10)
21. Dallas Cowboys: 4-6 (-13)
22. Washington Redskins: 5-5 (+3)
23. Carolina Panthers: 4-6 (-59)
24. Buffalo Bills: 5-5 (-69)
25. New York Giants: 4-5-1 (+51)
26. Cincinnati Bengals: 4-5-1 (+11)
27. Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-5-1 (-125)
28. Tennessee Titans: 4-6 (-92)
29. Arizona Cardinals: 4-6 (-33)
30. Oakland Raiders: 3-7 (-114)
31. Kansas City Chiefs: 3-7 (-132)
32. Philadelphia Eagles: 1-8-1 (-90)
It has been a fairly rough year for favorites, but Week 11 was a bit of an improvement, as favorites finished 8-5-1 on the week. The team that has been on the money most of the season has been the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They stormed back late against the Carolina Panthers, and managed to cover after forcing overtime. They improved to 8-2 against the spread this season, having covered four straight. They face a stiff home test in Week 12 as they host the 9-1 Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are 1.5-point favorites in a game that will surely test the Bucs' ATS dominance in 2012.
Bad Beat of the Week: Broncos (-8) 30 - Chargers 23
A "bad beat" is a term used in poker when a strong hand that has a sizable statistical advantage 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 all the time 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 week, Norv Turner continued to infuriate football fans and many gamblers. While the Chargers are continuing to sputter along, they pulled out the back-door cover in their 30-23 loss to the Denver Broncos. The Broncos seemed set to roll this one up, taking three separate double-digit leads. The Chargers could not get the game quite close enough, but they hung in throughout.
Late in the game, the Broncos kicked a field goal to take a 14-point lead with 4:14 to go. Some gamblers might have preferred the game be called then, but unfortunately (or fortunately, as your betting situation might dictate) that was not to be. The Chargers drove down to the Broncos' 21-yard line, and on 4th-and-1, Philip Rivers connected with Danario Alexander on a 21-yard touchdown pass. The Chargers did not recover the onside kick, but they did secure the backdoor cover.
Week 12 Sure Thing**
Indianapolis Colts (-3) over Buffalo Bills
The Colts took one on the chin in Week 12 at Foxboro against the New England Patriots, as Andrew Luck was brought back to earth a bit. However, these Colts remain a tough team at home. They are 4-1 against the spread in Indianapolis, and Luck seems like a different quarterback at times in Lucas Oil Stadium. Against an iffy Buffalo Bills team, he is worth wagering on.
**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.