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 14 NFL power rankings and the top remains similar with the Texans and Falcons in control, and the Broncos and Patriots continuing to climb. Power rankings seem to be coming to a consensus on those teams for now. Beyond that, there seems to be a consensus that the Eagles are becoming the worst team in the NFL.
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. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 9-3 (+48)
2. Houston Texans: 8-4 (+130)
3. Seattle Seahawks: 8-4 (+40)
4. Indianapolis Colts: 8-4 (-41)
5. St. Louis Rams: 8-4 (-46)
6. New England Patriots: 7-5 (+170)
7. San Francisco 49ers: 7-5 (+118)
8. Denver Broncos: 7-5 (+105)
9. Atlanta Falcons: 7-5 (+88)
10. Washington Redskins: 7-5 (+11)
11. Cincinnati Bengals: 6-5-1 (+42)
12. Miami Dolphins: 6-5-1 (-22)
13. Cleveland Browns: 6-5-1 (-36)
14. Chicago Bears: 6-6 (+96)
15. Baltimore Ravens: 6-6 (+61)
16. Pittsburgh Steelers: 6-6 (+24)
17. New Orleans Saints: 6-6 (-6)
18. Buffalo Bills: 6-6 (-60)
19. New York Jets: 6-6 (-68)
20. New York Giants: 5-6-1 (+78)
21. Green Bay Packers: 5-6-1 (+37)
22. Detroit Lions: 5-6-1 (-15)
23. Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-6-1 (-136)
24. San Diego Chargers: 5-7 (+1)
25. Minnesota Vikings: 5-7 (-10)
26. Arizona Cardinals: 5-7 (-48)
27. Carolina Panthers: 5-7 (-57)
28. Kansas City Chiefs: 5-7 (-134)
29. Dallas Cowboys: 4-8 (-15)
30. Tennessee Titans: 4-8 (-111)
31. Oakland Raiders: 3-9 (-141)
32. Philadelphia Eagles: 2-9-1 (-103)
The rankings saw teams bouncing around this week, with the No. 2 Patriots and No. 3 49ers both failing to cover, and the 49ers losing outright. The Buccaneers' streak finally ended, but they remain up top at 9-3 against the spread. Prior to Sunday they had only covered nine of their last 32 home games, so I suppose it is not quite as surprising. The Eagles' own streak came to an end as they covered a 10-point spread against the Cowboys, but they remain in the cellar, one tie back of the Oakland Raiders.
Bad Beat of the Week: Green Bay Packers (-8) 23 over Minnesota 14
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.
We didn't have any last-second backdoor covers this week, but the Packers did get a fairly late field goal to secure their victory and cost some folks some money. And it was another tough week for favorites, as underdogs were 10-6 against the spread. It has been a recurring storyline all season as underdogs have handled their business quite well. Favorites have had their moments here and there, but overall, it's been a season for upsets.
Week 14 Sure Thing**
Indianapolis Colts (-6) over Tennessee Titans
The Indianapolis Colts continue to surprise and amaze as they sprung a last-minute road victory over the Detroit Lions in Week 13. They head home to face the Tennessee Titans as six-point favorites, and I would be happy to jump all over that one. Andrew Luck is having a great rookie year, and his numbers are noticeably better at home. Take your chances with Luck and company at home this weekend.
**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.