NFL power rankings, Week 10: Gambling edition

Kevin C. Cox

While NFL power rankings allow for subjective discussion, our gambling power rankings tell you what really matters: Who has been able to win people some money! That, our bad beats of the week and the Week 10 sure thing.

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 10 NFL power rankings and, as would be expected, aside from ranking the still undefeated Atlanta Falcons No. 1, it is safe to say there will be no agreement on the rest of the rankings. Kansas City and Jacksonville remain abysmal, but they don't really count anymore, do they?

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: 6-2 (+100)
2. Atlanta Falcons: 6-2 (+77)
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 6-2 (+41)
4. Seattle Seahawks: 6-3 (+16)
5. Chicago Bears: 5-3 (+116)
6. New England Patriots: 5-3 (+92)
7. San Francisco 49ers: 5-3 (+86)
8. Denver Broncos: 5-3 (+60)
9. Indianapolis Colts: 5-3 (-32)
10. New York Jets: 5-3 (-32)
11. St. Louis Rams: 5-3 (-49)
12. Miami Dolphins: 4-3 (+21)
13. Jacksonville Jaguars: 4-3 (-102)
14. San Diego Chargers: 4-4 (+28)
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: 4-4 (+27)
16. Detroit Lions: 4-4 (+4)
17. New Orleans Saints: 4-4 (-11)
18. Carolina Panthers: 4-4 (-31)
19. New York Giants: 4-4-1 (+69)
20. Cleveland Browns: 4-4-1 (-42)
21. Minnesota Vikings: 4-5 (+7)
22. Washington Redskins: 4-5 (-22)
23. Green Bay Packers: 3-5 (+52)
24. Baltimore Ravens: 3-5 (+23)
25. Dallas Cowboys: 3-5 (-31)
26. Oakland Raiders: 3-5 (-58)
27. Buffalo Bills: 3-5 (-68)
28. Arizona Cardinals: 3-6 (-29)
29. Tennessee Titans: 3-6 (-126)
30. Cincinnati Bengals: 2-5-1 (-29)
31. Kansas City Chiefs: 2-6 (-107)
32. Philadelphia Eagles: 1-6-1 (-50)

After weeks and weeks of underdogs turning things on their head, Week 9 was one for the favorites. Bettors turned historic profits in Week 9 with favorites going 10-4 against the spread and money coming in heavily for the favorites.

"The first six weeks of the NFL season, it was almost unfair to bettors with the book cleaning up week after week," said Kevin Bradley of Bovada.lv. "Week 9 is one of, if not the, worst NFL weeks for a book that I have witnessed in my 18 years as a bookmaker.
...

"With eight favorites covering on Sunday, it really hit us up hard on parlays and teasers and losing our three biggest decisions on three road favorites in the Broncos, Bears and Lions, was debilitating."

According to the folks at Odds Shark, the result of such a huge weekend is inflated spreads the following week. "Bettors have money, they are on a high and looking to bet those favorites again -- so buyer beware." You've been warned.

Bad Beat of the Week: Falcons (-4) 19 - Cowboys 13

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.

Falcons (-4) 19 - Cowboys 13

For the second straight week, betting on the Cowboys was a late money loser. A late Matt Bryant field goal put the game out of reach for the Cowboys, and nailed the late cover of a four-point spread. The Falcons got the field goal in the closing minute, resulting in the always classic line from Al Michaels, "That kick just made some people very happy, and other people very angry." Truer words have never been spoken.

Week 10 Sure Thing**

San Francisco 49ers (-11) over St. Louis Rams

That line is pretty high, and would seem to follow right in line with what Bovada had to say about larger spreads after a big week. And yet I would still take that line every day. The 49ers have an 11-game win streak against the NFC West, and has done some big things at home against the division. Giving the 49ers coaching staff a bye to plan further, and this is your money pick of the week.

**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.

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