NFL Power Rankings Week 11
NFL Power Rankings Week 111. New Orleans Saints (9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS) The way the season's gone lately, it's like the Week 1 loss to Tampa never really happened. New Orleans is on a blitzkrieg right now with a 9-0 SU and 8-1 ATS run in hand. They are unequivocally the best betting team in the league, look absolutely unstoppable, and are carrying themselves like nobody can trip them up. Destroying Minnesota in Week 8, outlasting the Rams, decimating the Bengals and then crushing the defending world champions is a nice month of football to be proud of. The Saints are so dominant that they opened as a 10-point favorite and then jumped to a 12-point favorite almost immediately. And admit it to yourself - you're thinking of laying those points, aren't you?
Next Game: Atlanta at New Orleans -12.0 (Thursday Night)
2. Los Angeles Rams (10-1 SU and 4-5-2 ATS) 3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2 SU and 8-2-1 ATS) All that for a push?! We're just kidding. Thank you, boys. Enjoy the bye week.
(The game was amazing. What more do you want us to say?)
Next Game: BYE
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2-1 SU and 6-3-1 ATS) The Steelers are developing this weird reputation as a slow starting team where we always find reasons to worry about them. It's either their running game, or their defense, or a story about Ben Roethlisberger's retirement. And then they sort of drunkenly stumble out to a sublime, winning season. They have pounded their last four opponents by +14.0 points and now get a nice litmus test against Denver and then the Chargers. This is pointing to two crucial, playoff seed defining games against the Patriots and Saints in back-to-back efforts to close out the season.
Next Game: Pittsburgh -3.0 at Denver
5. Chicago Bears (7-3 SU and ATS) This week's power rankings are a lot about looking ahead, and the Bears have a date with the Rams in Week 14 that could definitively prove how good they are overall. They're the top-ranked rush defense, the 4th best scoring defense, the third best defense against total yards and are scoring the 6th most points in the league. They've been so hot that "Mitchell Trubisky's nickname" is an actual debate. For what it's worth, we like Truth Biscuit.
Next Game: Chicago -3.5 at Detroit (Thursday) 6. Los Angeles Chargers (6-3 SU and 4-5 ATS) We've mentioned it multiple times, but the fact that the Chargers are so listless in the second half finally nipped them from behind as the Broncos rallied to outscore them 6-16 in the final two quarters of the game. They're still a top team in the NFL but that says as much about the rest of the league as it does about the Chargers.
Next Game: Arizona at LAC -12.0 7. New England Patriots (7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS) It's time to emotionally prepare for the final season of Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots don't want to admit it. He probably doesn't want to either. We certainly don't want him to leave our football lives. But if Gronk can't come back and be the guy we've known him as for the last nine seasons, then it's time to say goodbye. He's been their biggest x-factor during the last decade outside of Tom Brady. If he's not healthy, the Patriots are an unusually mortal team.
Next Game: New England -8.0 at NYJ 8. Houston Texans (7-3 SU and 4-6 ATS) The Texans are doing something they've never really been able to do in the past: win close games. They have gone a blissful 7-0 SU and 4-3 ATS in their last 7 games, averaging a +7.0 point differential during that run. If you factor out the Miami game they won 42-23, that average drops to +5.0 points over 6 games. We're not saying they're great - because they have definitive flaws - but they're doing just enough to get victories. Will Fuller's speed can never be replaced, especially by Demaryius Thomas at his current age. Just look at their spread record. The oddsmakers have this team perfectly focused in their crosshairs. Be careful.
Next Game: Tennessee at Houston -5.5 (Monday Night)
9. Minnesota Vikings (5-4-1 SU and ATS) The 20-25 loss to Chicago doesn't really reflect how out of hand that game actually was. Minnesota was unusually lifeless in a night game after a bye week and nothing about the way they've played overall suggests that they're better at home or on the road. What their overall portfolio does color them as is a bubble team. A tie to Green Bay, losses to the Rams, Saints and Bears and a narrow road win over Philadelphia? These are not the makings of a world beater. The next three games are against Green Bay, New England and Seattle and will prove whether or not Minnesota is worthy of a playoff spot. They might get there by default anyhow, but as of this minute, there's no definitive read on the Vikings other than "better than most other teams".
Next Game: Green Bay at Minnesota -3.5 (Sunday Night) 10. Indianapolis Colts (5-5 SU and 5-4-1 ATS) Remember how we've been carefully and cautiously pumping the tires of the Colts? Well, in the last month they've averaged 36.5 points per game, allowed just 17.3 against and THAT is a point differential we can get behind. Sure, the teams they smacked down are the Bills, Jaguars, Titans and Raiders...but the rest of the schedule is like cookie dough. Up next is Miami, then Jacksonville, Houston, Dallas, NYG and Tennessee. Is now a good time to mention that the Colts are +400 to win the AFC South?
Next Game: Miami at Indianapolis -10.0 11. Carolina Panthers (6-4 SU and 5-5 ATS) Yeah, it took a while for us to notice, but the Panthers are just that "great at home, bad when traveling" team of the 2018 season. They're 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS when hosting, and 1-4 SU and ATS away from home. The problem is that they're also the "play down to the level of their opponents" team of the 2018 season, which makes hosting the Seahawks a sports betting nightmare.
Next Game: Seattle at Carolina -3.5
12. Seattle Seahawks (5-5 SU and 5-3-2 ATS) This was mentioned in the Monday piece we posted prior to the Rams-Chiefs game, but Russell Wilson is having a legitimate MVP season. He's not top-rated in any sort of quarterback metric, but can you imagine how bad Seattle would be with anyone else under center? It's less that Wilson is doing a lot with a little, but that he's doing anything with almost nothing around him. He has a bad offensive line, a defense that is barely holding it together, and his only offensive threat (Doug Baldwin) aged in dog years this season. We sort of have to give the nod to Carolina in terms of the power rankings, but who do you trust more in a big game between the Seahawks and Panthers? Yeah, we chose Seattle too.
Next Game: Seattle at Carolina -3.5
13. Green Bay Packers (4-5-1 SU and 4-5-1 ATS) This is what happens when you inexplicably trade your starting safety halfway through the season, and also do nothing to ensure that your legendary quarterback has the help he needs. You can scream all you want about Davante Adams, but he's a second round pick from a loaded wide-receiver draft class that has taken FOREVER to pan out. Aaron Jones is pure draft luck as a fifth rounder, and still has a long way to go before he cements his place as the feature back in Green Bay. The worst part? It might be too late. Aaron Rodgers is 34 years old for goodness sakes. This should not be happening, and probably wouldn't be if Mike McCarthy hadn't ridden Rodgers' coattails to Job Security Ville.
Next Game: Green Bay at Minnesota -3.5 (Sunday Night) 14. Washington Redskins (6-4 SU and 7-3 ATS) It's almost impossible to imagine Alex Smith coming back from this injury, but we are all rooting for him. He's made a lot of money in his career, but he also put up with nearly a decade of futility in San Francisco only to get benched-then-traded when Colin Kaepernick broke out, found a mountain of success in Kansas City but never got to the AFC Championship and now faces an uphill climb with a broken leg. Get back soon, Alex. Unlike San Fran and Kansas City, Washington very stupidly did not have a backup plan. The Redskins get to be the 14th ranked team based on spread record, but the combination of Colt McCoy and Mark Sanchez has us definitively sprinting in the other direction.
Next Game: Washington at Dallas -7.5 15. Baltimore Ravens (5-5 SU and 4-6 ATS) Lamar Jackson won the game. That's what matters. He has plenty of time to learn the position, and anyone not willing to show him patience is an idiot. Baker Mayfield is struggling, Sam Darnold is leading the league in interceptions, the jury is out on the oft-injured Josh Allen, Josh Rosen stinks and nobody else from the 2018 rookie quarterback class matters. Here's the other thing - Lamar Jackson running the football and winning the game was 100x times more exciting than anything Joe Flacco has done in five years.
Next Game: Oakland at Baltimore -10.5
16. Tennessee Titans (5-5 SU and 6-4 ATS) The impossible-t0-rank Tennessee Titans continue to be impossible to rank. How you go from decimating the Cowboys and Patriots to getting crushed out of the bye week is incomprehensible. It couldn't simply have been a matter of the Colts pinning Dion Lewis to the mat and the Titans tapping out? We're not sure if we can endure six more weeks of trying to figure out the Titans.
Next Game: Tennessee at Houston -5.5 (Monday Night) 17. Dallas Cowboys (5-5 SU and ATS) Amari Cooper in Oakland: 56.0 yards per game, 1 touchdown (5 games) Amari Cooper in Dallas: 56.3 yards per game, 1 touchdown (3 games)
We still can't tell if Jerry Jones is stupid or if we're stupid. Maybe both?
Next Game: Washington at Dallas -7.5
18. New York Giants (3-7 SU and 4-5 ATS) Yup. Way too high. We know. This isn't an overreaction to the two wins they pieced together against the 49ers and the Bucs. But the Giants are also undeniably hitting some sort of stride, and they are still brimming with offensive talent that presents them as the second-half, backdoor cover team of the 2018 season. Listen, we just want reasons to root for Saquon and ODB, ok? The Giants are bad, but you know that you're looking at those points they're getting against Philly and thinking about it.
Next Game: NYG at Philadelphia -6.0 19. Atlanta Falcons (3-6 and 2-7 ATS) Just when we presumed that Atlanta was on the verge of making a go for the division, they lose to Cleveland and then give away a game to the Cowboys. The public, the oddsmakers and your grandmother are all tossing this baby out with the bathwater. The routinely over valued Falcons are finally being treated like the three-win team they are.
Next Game: Atlanta at New Orleans -12.0 (Thursday Night) 20. Miami Dolphins (5-5 SU and ATS) Tannehill might be coming back! Wait...nobody cares? Oh right. Usually when the status of a quarterback is up in the air, the lines for the game are temporarily unavailable. Not with the Dolphins! Doesn't matter if it's Brock Osweiler or Ryan Tannehill. The Fins are still getting a ten-spot from the oddsmakers.
Next Game: Miami at Indianapolis -10.0
21. Cleveland Browns (3-6-1 SU and 6-4 ATS) The last handful of games for the Browns is a minefield, but two of those contests are against the Bengals and their new hire, Hue Jackson.
Next Game: Cleveland at Cincinnati -3.0
22. Philadelphia Eagles (4-6 SU and 3-7 ATS) There were three factors that made Philadelphia special last season: Carson Wentz, their sack rate and their turnover rate. None of this elements are operating at a high level right now. The silver lining is that they've made an impact on playbooks across the NFL as everyone runs the "Philly Special" play that involves the quarterback rolling out to catch a pass off an end-around. Other teams can call it what they want, but it will be forever known for that very awesome name. Unfortunately, that's the only bright side to an otherwise dismal season.
Next Game: NYG at Philadelphia -6.0 23. San Francisco 49ers (2-7 SU and 2-6 ATS) Nick Mullens continues his "hey you! trade for me!" campaign by playing against Tampa this weekend after going off in his games against the Raiders and Giants. There's a little magic to this kid, and perhaps our favorite element is that he loves feeding George Kittle the ball. It's not just astonishing that Mullens has been in the wings for two years and nobody knew his name, but that the 49ers also made us suffer through 13 games starring CJ Beathard.
Next Game: San Francisco at Tampa Bay -3.5 24. Cincinnati Bengals (5-5 SU and ATS) The Bengals literally have an inside man when they play Cleveland this weekend thanks to the strange hiring of Hue Jackson as "a guy on the staff who does nothing in particular". A lot of people will be betting using that angle, but how about the other side of the equation? The Bengals getting blasted by the Browns might show us all how little Hue Jackson actually knows.
Next Game: Cleveland at Cincinnati -3.0 25. Detroit Lions (4-6 SU and 6-4 ATS) All things considered, you'd have to be bonkers to bet on a game the Detroit Lions are involved in. There are zero reliable metrics about this team. Their defense allows a ton of yards, they have a -4.1 point differential overall and the offense isn't explosive even with Kerryon "My Wayward Son" Johnson emerging as a star. Their schedule is also a nightmare. But then again, what's Thanksgiving without betting against the Lions? Favorites are batting .711 on Turkey day.
Next Game: Chicago -3.5 at Detroit (Thursday) 26. Denver Broncos (4-6 SU and 4-5-1 ATS) Phillip Lindsay might be the best story in football that nobody really talks about. The undrafted, 5-foot-8 stud has 857 all-purpose yards and 6 total touchdowns on the season and is literally doing everything for this team. He might be the only reason the Broncos are even worth watching.
Next Game: Pittsburgh -3.0 at Denver
27. Buffalo Bills (3-7 SU and 4-6 ATS) We are also a little sad that the Matt Barkley experiment has come to a screeching halt.
Next Game: Jacksonville -3.0 at Buffalo
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7 SU and 3-6-1 ATS) There are a lot of problems with Jameis Winston, but here's the big one: it doesn't matter if he starts because you can't afford to pay him $20.9 million next year and sick him on another coach. Winston is talented enough to keep flirting with greatness only to let you down over and over and over again. He can do so much to salvage a career in six games because nobody doubts his athletic gifts. But the Bucs are also 14-31 SU in games that Winston has been involved in. We know what he is.
Next Game: San Francisco at Tampa Bay -3.5
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7 SU and 3-5-2 ATS) Jacksonville knew what they were getting in to by re-signing Blake Bortles. It's not like they run a fancy playbook or anything. It's great that he got paid (guaranteed $26.5 million over two years) but it also means that the Jaguars will have to roll with Bortles again in 2019. We shouldn't have to remind you that the incoming draft class is super weak at quarterback too. Wouldn't you rather have taken a shot at Case Keenum, who's essentially got the same contract? Bortles is not the fall guy for this season, but he also just threw for 104 yards with a fully healthy offense. To paraphrase a great man, "He is who we thought he was." Plus he was playing in a contract year last season! How did you think it was going to get any better?
Next Game: Jacksonville -3.0 at Buffalo
30. Oakland Raiders (2-7 SU and 3-6 ATS) Man, just when we thought "Carr vs. Gruden" was about to become a thing, they look like buddies and squeak out a 23-21 win. Did they have to pretend that they were happy about that? Or were they like "oh cool, the Giants won again so we don't actually have to lose this game"?
Next Game: Oakland at Baltimore -10.5
31. Arizona Cardinals (2-8 SU and 5-4-1 ATS) Josh Rosen is going through the rookie blues as badly as any of his colleagues, but he's not the worst. Rosen is lobbing a pick every 22.8 attempts, which is better than Nathan Peterman (1 interception per 11.6 attempts), Jameis Winston (14.9 attempts), Sam Darnold (20.0 attempts), and Ryan Fitzpatrick (20.5 attempts). The 2018 Arizona Cardinals! Not the worst!
Next Game: Arizona at LAC -12.0 32. New York Jets (4-7 SU and 3-7-1 ATS) You try and come up with something interesting to say about the Jets.
Next Game: New England -8.0 at NYJ