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 15 NFL power rankings and it should surprise nobody that the New England Patriots have control of things. The Patriots and Broncos are among the teams most people have in their top two or three positions
To provide 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. Seattle Seahawks: 9-4 (+98)
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 9-4 (+46)
3. St. Louis Rams: 9-4 (-43)
4. New England Patriots: 8-5 (+198)
5. San Francisco 49ers: 8-5 (+132)
6. Denver Broncos: 8-5 (+118)
7. Houston Texans: 8-5 (+102)
8. Indianapolis Colts: 8-5 (-37)
9. Washington Redskins: 7-5-1 (+14)
10. Cleveland Browns: 7-5-1 (-13)
11. Atlanta Falcons: 7-6 (+78)
12. New York Jets: 7-6 (-61)
13. New York Giants: 6-6-1 (+103)
14. Baltimore Ravens: 6-6-1 (+58)
15. Cincinnati Bengals: 6-6-1 (+41)
16. Miami Dolphins: 6-6-1 (-22)
17. Chicago Bears: 6-7 (+89)
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: 6-7 (+14)
19. San Diego Chargers: 6-7 (+11)
20. Minnesota Vikings: 6-7 (-3)
21. New Orleans Saints: 6-7 (-31)
22. Carolina Panthers: 6-7 (-47)
23. Buffalo Bills: 6-7 (-63)
24. Green Bay Packers: 5-6-2 (+44)
25. Detroit Lions: 5-6-2 (-22)
26. Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-7-1 (-143)
27. Dallas Cowboys: 5-8 (-14)
28. Arizona Cardinals: 5-8 (-106)
29. Tennessee Titans: 5-8 (-115)
30. Kansas City Chiefs: 5-8 (-157)
31. Philadelphia Eagles: 3-9-1 (-101)
32. Oakland Raiders: 3-10 (-154)
For the first time, the Philadelphia Eagles have climbed out of the cellar, replaced by the struggling Oakland Raiders. Neither team is particularly good so none of this is surprising. On the other hand, the top of the rankings feature three teams battling for the Wild Card, with a good chance two of the three do not make the playoffs. The Seahawks, Buccaneers and Rams are all 9-4 against the spread. The Rams would be the outlier in this group thanks to their negative point differential.
We did not have any bad beats this week as no games game down to the wire as far as the spread was concerned. It was a dead split with favorites 7-7-2 against the spread. Three favorites had little trouble covering as the Patriots, Seahawks and Giants defeated the Texans, Cardinals and Saints by a combined score of 152 to 41. The Patriots get the most credit given that the Texans were 8-4 against the spread coming into the game.
Week 15 Sure Thing**
Atlanta Falcons (-1) over New York Giants
The Falcons are not getting a lot of love this year, as their 11-2 record is viewed by some as a bit of a mirage. They are a talented team, but they have not had the toughest of schedules. They face a Giants team that is playing some solid football, and is a team that gets hot right about now. Nonetheless, the Falcons at home are a tough, tough team. If I'm giving one point in the Georgia Dome, I'm taking the Falcons every time.
**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.