Any Given Sunday

Gambler’s NFL Power Rankings – Week 11

While Week 10 only provided a few(ish) upsets, I can’t think of a more fitting description of the NFL than, “Any given Sunday…

In the NBA, you can predict who’s going to win with relative ease. Same with MLB. The NFL, however, is a completely different story. Especially, when you look at it from a fantasy perspective (show me someone who thought David Johnson would rush for 55 yards against the 49ers terrible defense, and I’ll show you a liar).

Point is, any team can win on any given Sunday, and this is what makes the NFL so great. It’s also what makes betting on NFL games so difficult.

For this reason, I decided to come up with the Gambler’s Power Rankings which focuses on a team’s record against the spread, but also factors win-loss records, statistical performance, and schedule strength (amongst other factors) to help identify where the value lies.

1. Dallas Cowboys (Last Week: 3)

Record: 8-1

Record ATS: 8-1

Living in Dallas the past 7 years, I heard a lot of complaining when the Cowboys continued to select offensive lineman. Year. After year. After year… I think we all now see why. Maybe Jerry Jones isn’t as bad as a GM as we thought? Hmmmmm.

2. New England Patriots (Last Week: 1)

Record: 7-2

Record ATS: 7-2

The loss to the Seahawks is big(ish). Even bigger? Gronk’s injury concern 

3. Oakland Raiders (Last Week: 5)

Record: 7-2

Record ATS: 6-3

Don’t let the bye week cause amnesia. They just handled up on the defending Super Bowl champion Broncos… For the second straight time. A huge division win against the team which has owned the AFC west for the past 5 seasons.

4. Seattle Seahawks (Last Week: 8)

Record: 6-2-1

Record ATS: 5-4

Here we go again with another late season resurrection for Russell Wilson and co., and what a difference Kam Chancellor makes for their defense (they’ll be a serious problem once Michael Bennett returns). You can never count them out.

5. Denver Broncos (Last Week: 5)

Record: 7-3

Record ATS: 7-3

Hell of a special teams play by Justin Simmons, and Will Parks, but the Broncos should’ve lost Sunday. Much has been made about former Bronco Brock Osweiler’s play in Houston… Trevor Siemian hasn’t been much better.

6. New Orleans Saints (Last Week: 6)

Record: 4-5

Record ATS: 5-3-1

It’s a toss-up between New Orleans, and San Diego for the worst luck this season. Bill Parcells once said, “You are what your record says you are…” but I don’t think that’s the case here with the Saints. Unless, we’re talking about their record against the spread. Then yes, they’re a pretty good bet.

7. Atlanta Falcons (Last Week: 3)

Record: 6-4

Record ATS: 6-4

The Falcons have played one of the tougher schedules in the league, which makes their 6-4 records look a little better. The Falcons started 4-1 (both overall, and against the spread), which makes their 6-4 records look a little worse. 

8. Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: 10)

Record: 7-2

Record ATS: 4-4-1

The Chiefs stole one at Carolina, but hey, they covered the spread, and got the W. They’ve now won 5 straight games, but have alternated covering the spread, and not covering (or pushing) since Week 3.

9. San Diego Chargers (Last Week: 7)

Record: 4-6

Record ATS: 6-4

See #6: New Orleans Saints

10. Washington Redskins (Last Week: 13)

Record: 5-3-1

Record ATS: 6-3

The Redskins have covered the spread in 6 of their last 7 games, and their defense deserves a lot of the credit. Over that 7 game stretch, they’ve allowed over 20 points just twice, and forced 9 turnovers.

11. Houston Texans (Last Week: 15)

Record: 6-3

Record ATS: 5-3-1

I’m not buying the Texans until they prove they can beat a good team. Their 6 wins have come against teams with a combined 23-29 record, and their 3 losses came to New England, Minnesota, and Denver… By an average of 21 points.

12. New York Giants (Last Week: 14)

Record: 6-3

Record ATS: 5-3-1

Similar to the Redskins, the Giants have an underrated (or under-discussed) defense, which is largely responsible for the team’s success. The Odell Beckham drama is a distant memory, and as I say weekly, if only they could generate a pass rush and/or find a run game… They showed signs of both Monday night.

13. Miami Dolphins (Last Week: 19)

Record: 5-4

Record ATS: 5-4

Quietly, the Dolphins have won (and covered) 4 straight games, and looked good in doing so. They won’t catch the Patriots in the AFC East, but they could definitely flirt with an AFC Wild Card berth.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: 9)

Record: 4-5

Record ATS: 4-5

Pittsburgh has lost 4 straight – overall, and against the spread – but, I’m not worried. The AFC North is lousy. They still play Cleveland (twice), Cincinnati, and Baltimore. They’ll be alright.

15. Detroit Lions (Last Week: 16)

Record: 5-4

Record ATS: 5-4

From the, “I’m surprised they’re this good” perspective, the Lions are one of the finalists. From the, “I really don’t trust this team” perspective, the Lions are one of the finalists. They have won (and covered the spread) in 4 of 5 games, however.

16. Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: 18)

Record: 5-4

Record ATS: 5-4

Like the Lions, the Eagles have Dissociative Identity Disorder. Do you want to be good, or do you want to be bad? Please let me know.

17. Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: 12)

Record: 5-4

Record ATS: 5-4

The Vikings are a mess. They’ve now lost 4 straight, and look about as good offensively as the Browns. Their defense is still doing its job, but they can only do so much. Eventually you have to score points to win consistently in this league.

18. Green Bay Packers (Last Week: 11)

Record: 4-5

Record ATS: 4-4-1

The Packers have played one of the weakest schedules, with 4 of their 9 opponents owning records at/under .500, yet they continue to disappoint. How many weeks can you say, “This is the week…” before you realize, maybe the week just isn’t coming?

19. Baltimore Ravens (Last Week: 20)

Record: 5-4

Record ATS: 4-5

When you break down their 5 wins, the Ravens may have faced an easier schedule than the Packers. Buffalo, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh (with an injured Roethlisberger), and Cleveland again. Yes, they’ve been injured, but that offense…. Man… That offense. Terrible. 

20. Tennessee Titans (Last Week: 26)

Record: 5-5

Record ATS: 4-6

Yet another beneficiary of a weak schedule. Yes, they dominated the Packers, but we just determined that’s not an impressive win. However, I still believe they’ll find a way to win the AFC South. I made the prediction, and I’m riding it ‘til the end damnit!

21. Indianapolis Colts (Last Week: 21)

Record: 4-5

Record ATS: 4-4-1

The Colts have gone over the total in 7 0f their 9 games. That’s the extent of my analysis on this team. I’m getting a headache already.

22. Buffalo Bills (Last Week: 22)

Record: 4-5

Record ATS: 4-5

The Bills lost two straight, then they won four straight, now they’ve lost three straight… What number comes next in this sequence?

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Week: 28)

Record: 4-5

Record ATS: 4-5

The Bucs beat Atlanta, competed with Oakland, and lost to Los Angeles. They’re a young team. Talented, but young. You never know which team you’re going to get from week to week.

24. Carolina Panthers (Last Week: 17)

Record: 3-6

Record ATS: 2-6-1

Just when I thought the Panthers were going to turn their season around, they gave one away – at home – to Kansas City. Their defense has done its job as of late, though.

25. Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: 24)

Record: 4-4-1

Record ATS: 3-6

The Cardinals barely squeaked out a W against San Francisco… Quick, who’s more disappointing? The Panthers, or the Cardinals?

26. Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week: 26)

Record: 3-5-1

Record ATS: 3-6

Random trivia time – Q: When’s the last time the Bengals won a playoff game? A: 1991. Q: How many straight seasons have the Bengals made the playoffs? A: 5. Q: When’s the last time the Bengals missed the playoffs? A: 2016

27. Los Angeles Rams (Last Week: 23)

Record: 4-5

Record ATS: 4-4-1

Like Minnesota, their defense is doing its job, but they can only do so much. Eventually you have to score points to consistently win in this league.

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week: 30)

Record: 2-7

Record ATS: 4-5

The Jags were on a one game win streak against the spread. Now, they’re not. I still can’t figure out why they were favored against the Texans. 

29. Chicago Bears (Last Week: 27)

Record: 2-7

Record ATS: 2-7

Alshon Jeffery is suspended for four games. Jay Cutler just showed us why you don’t trust Jay Cutler. And, the Cubs won the World Series.

30. New York Jets (Last Week: 29)

Record: 3-7

Record ATS: 3-7

The Jets are on a bye this week… Thank God! I can’t think of a team – in the history of ever – I’d rather watch less, than the New York Jets.

31. San Francisco 49ers (Last Week: 32)

Record: 1-8

Record ATS: 2-7

The 49ers haven’t won a game since Week 1, but they didn’t look terrible in Week 10. 

32. Cleveland Browns (Last Week: 31)

Record: 0-10

Record ATS: 2-8

The Browns played the first game of their season on September, 11th. Over a month later, the Cavaliers played the first game of their season October, 25th. The Cavs have played 10 games. The Browns have played 10. The Cavs have 9 wins. The Browns have 0.

Be sure to check me out on Instagram/Facebook: maximizeyourodds, and Twitter @maxingyourodds for additional fantasy advice, and betting picks. Or, shoot me an email: leonard@maximizeyourodds.com

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