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 16 NFL power rankings and we actually have some shakeup for the first time in a few weeks. The previously top-ranked Patriots lost a tough one to the 49ers, while the Texans were not entirely impressive in their win over the Colts. There was not much shakeup on the bottom, however, with the Jaguars and Chiefs continuing their season-long struggles.
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: 10-4 (+131)
2. San Francisco 49ers: 9-5 (+139)
3. Denver Broncos: 9-5 (+135)
4. Houston Texans: 9-5 (+114)
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 9-5 (+5)
6. St. Louis Rams: 9-5 (-57)
7. Washington Redskins: 8-5-1 (+31)
8. New England Patriots: 8-6 (+191)
9. Atlanta Falcons: 8-6 (+112)
10. Indianapolis Colts: 8-6 (-49)
11. Cincinnati Bengals: 7-6-1 (+62)
12. Cleveland Browns: 7-6-1 (-30)
13. Miami Dolphins: 7-6-1 (-15)
14. New York Jets: 7-7 (-65)
15. Minnesota Vikings: 7-7 (+11)
16. New Orleans Saints: 7-7 (+10)
17. Carolina Panthers: 7-7 (-23)
18. Green Bay Packers: 6-6-2 (+52)
19. New York Giants: 6-7-1 (+69)
20. Baltimore Ravens: 6-7-1 (+41)
21. Chicago Bears: 6-8 (+81)
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: 6-8 (+11)
23. San Diego Chargers: 6-8 (-13)
24. Buffalo Bills: 6-8 (-96)
25. Detroit Lions: 5-7-2 (-50)
26. Dallas Cowboys: 6-8 (-11)
27. Arizona Cardinals: 6-8 (-78)
28. Tennessee Titans: 6-8 (-111)
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-8-1 (-164)
30. Kansas City Chiefs: 5-9 (-172)
31. Oakland Raiders: 4-10 (-139)
32. Philadelphia Eagles: 3-10-1 (-122)
The only real bad beat in Week 15 saw the Houston Texans kick a field goal with 1:05 left in the game to take a 12-point lead and avoid the push at nine. It has been a quiet few weeks without very many backdoor covers to annoy people any more than usual. And yet, there is still some intrigue in pro football gambling.
Week 16 features just such a matchup as the Seattle Seahawks host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football. This game was flexed into SNF because there was a chance the division title would be on the line. While the 49ers maintained their 1 1/2-game lead on the Seahawks with a win over the Patriots, this game does feature the top two teams in our gambling power rankings. The Seahawks are 10-4 against the spread, while the 49ers are 9-5, and have the best point differential among teams with that record.
The 49ers are a one-point favorite after the game opened with the Seahawks a one-point favorite in some sports books, and a pick 'em in other sports books. The game features a low over/under (39 1/2) and, given the cold weather and potential for rain, this could turn into a tight, defensive battle.
Week 16 Sure Thing**
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) over St. Louis Rams
The Bucs are coming off a thorough drubbing at the hands of the New Orleans Saints but, given the Rams' inconsistent play on the road, I am inclined to think the Bucs bounce back for the cover. I simply do not trust the Rams on the road.
**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.