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 13 NFL power rankings and the top remains similar with the Texans, Falcons and 49ers. Power rankings seems to be coming to a consensus on those teams as the top three for now. Beyond that, the Eagles and Chiefs remain train wrecks, while the Jaguars are actually showing signs of life with Chad Henne at quarterback.
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.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 9-2 (+56)
9. New England Patriots: 7-4 (+163)
10. San Francisco 49ers: 7-4 (+121)
1. Houston Texans: 7-4 (+116)
3. Seattle Seahawks: 7-4 (+34)
6. Indianapolis Colts: 7-4 (-43)
7. St. Louis Rams: 7-4 (-49)
8. Chicago Bears: 6-5 (+102)
4. Denver Broncos: 6-5 (+97)
5. Atlanta Falcons: 6-5 (+78)
16. Baltimore Ravens: 6-5 (+65)
22. Washington Redskins: 6-5 (+10)
11. New Orleans Saints: 6-5 (+4)
12. New York Jets: 6-5 (-69)
25. New York Giants: 5-5-1 (+79)
26. Cincinnati Bengals: 5-5-1 (+35)
20. Detroit Lions: 5-5-1 (-13)
13. Miami Dolphins: 5-5-1 (-15)
14. Cleveland Browns: 5-5-1 (-39)
27. Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-5-1 (-120)
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: 5-6 (+21)
19. San Diego Chargers: 5-6 (+8)
15. Minnesota Vikings: 5-6 (-1)
23. Carolina Panthers: 5-6 (-51)
24. Buffalo Bills: 5-6 (-76)
17. Green Bay Packers: 4-6-1 (+28)
21. Dallas Cowboys: 4-7 (-20)
29. Arizona Cardinals: 4-7 (-47)
28. Tennessee Titans: 4-7 (-97)
31. Kansas City Chiefs: 4-7 (-140)
30. Oakland Raiders: 3-8 (-138)
32. Philadelphia Eagles: 1-9-1 (-98)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers remain the hot team as they continue to cover. The Bucs covered their fifth straight game, improving to 9-2 against the spread this season. This cover came by half a point in a tough 24-23 loss to the Falcons. The Bucs remain on the outside looking in for the playoff picture, but if they can squeeze into the playoffs, they are one of the more dangerous teams out there.
On the other end, the hapless Philadelphia Eagles continue to struggle along, dropping to 1-9-1 against the spread. Everybody knows the Eagles are awful, and this only helps to further solidify that belief. They travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football in Week 13, and even that 10-point line is hard to ignore.
Bad Beat of the Week: How about those refs?
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 actually ended up with no truly bad beats as the league avoided the always ugly (or glorious, depending on where your money is) back-door cover. Instead, we got to see shoddy officiating potentially cost some teams. The most obvious example came in the Texans-Lions Thanksgiving Day game. Justin Forsett rushed up the middle and after clearly touching the ground, he burst through 81 yards for the touchdown to cut the Lions lead to 24-21. Maybe the Texans score in some other manner that drive, but that officiating miscue was pretty atrocious. And that doesn't even factor in the mess with Jim Schwartz breaking the rules with his throwing the challenge flag.
Week 13 Sure Thing**
Dallas Cowboys (-10) over Philadelphia Eagles
Consider this living by the maxim, "never bet against the streak." Each game is its own entity, so there is a certain lack of logic to that, but these are the Philadelphia Eagles. They are not remotely good and you might as well cash in before they can Andy Reid.
**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.