Knowing is Half the Battle

The Gambler’s NFL Power Rankings – Week 9

Who remembers G.I. Joe? And no, not that terrible Channing Tatum movie from 2009, but the real G.I. Joe? The 80’s/90’s, cartoon, action figure, and American hero G.I. Joe, who defended our freedoms against Cobra – a terrorist organization trying to take over the world? (Foreshadowing at it’s finest).

Well, at the end of every episode, there’d be this little public service announcement intended to keep us children from being abducted by strangers, make sure we listened to our parents, followed proper hygiene, and all kind of bs like that… It didn’t work.

Anyway, the P.S.A would always feature some kid who would do something remedial, then one of the G.I. Joe guys would show up and say, you should never do that because this and that, the kid would then say “well, now I know” and the G.I. Joe guy would say “and knowing is half the battle”.

I still don’t know what the other half is, but knowing that knowing is one half, is greatly beneficial to life.

Take sports for example (smooth transition), for the first few weeks of the season, nobody really knows what to expect. Between player movement, coaching changes, player improvement, player regression, etc. the teams we saw last season, often times are drastically different.

However, give it a few weeks, and we have a much clearer picture of a team’s strengths, weaknesses, and what they’re really about… It’s kind of like dating.

Now that there’s 8 weeks in the books, we have more than enough data to separate the real from the fake, and so here you have it; the Week 9 Gambler’s NFL Power Rankings…

*The Gambler’s Power Rankings focuses on a team’s record against the spread, but also factors win-loss records, statistical performance, and schedule strength (amongst other factors) to determine where all 32 NFL teams stand.

1. New England Patriots (Last Week: 1)

Record: 7-1

Record ATS: 7-1

Tom Brady has thrown 12 TDs. Tom Brady has thrown 0 INTs… Tom Brady is 39 years old. Since the 12 TD, 0 INT, 39 year old Tom Brady has returned from suspension, the Pats winning margin is 16.25 points per game.

2. Denver Broncos (Last Week: 4)

Record: 6-2

Record ATS: 6-2

After losing two straight, the Broncos have cruised past AFC contenders – Houston and San Diego – by a combined 26 points. Ok, so the Chargers technically aren’t contenders, but they’ve lost their 5 games by an average of 4 points (vs. good teams too – KC, IND, NO, OAK, DEN), so you be the judge. In any case, injuries are starting to pile up for the Broncos (and to key guys), but they have enough depth to stay above water.

3. Dallas Cowboys (Last Week: 2)

Record: 6-1

Record ATS: 6-1

A fake punt (and conservative Eagles play calling) is the difference between 6-1 and 5-2, they’ve played a fairly weak schedule, and Dak is starting to show he’s human. But, 6-1 is 6-1. Losing Barry Church, and Morris Claiborne will be a major blow to this defense which has exceeded expectations, but luckily for the Boys, the only scary opponent left on their schedule is Pittsburgh (maybe Minnesota, but the only thing scary about them has been their offense the past two weeks).

4. Atlanta Falcons (Last Week: 8)

Record: 6-3

Record ATS: 6-3

With wins at Oakland, at New Orleans, at Denver, and home against Green Bay, the Falcons haven’t been beating up on cupcakes. They’re for real. Their pass rush is much improved, which has contributed to a much better all-around defensive unit (even though it doesn’t show when looking at their points allowed per game – 29), but when you have Matt Ryan throwing to Julio Jones and handing off to Devonta Freeman, how much defense do you need?

5. Oakland Raiders (Last Week: 10)

Record: 6-2

Record ATS: 5-3

I’ve been hesitant to fully buy in on Oakland, and evidently, the odds makers are too. The Raiders were underdogs in each of their last three games – home vs. KC, at Jacksonville, and at Tampa Bay (they went 2-1 ATS) – and opened this week as 2.5 point underdogs at Denver… I’m buying in now though.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: 11)

Record: 4-3

Record ATS: 4-3

Yes, the Steelers moved up 5 spots off a bye week. Now that that’s out of the way, word on the street is they might have some guy named Ben back this week (I’ve heard he’s pretty good), and they’re also getting healthy on the defensive side of the ball. Their schedule strength has been meh, yet they’re only 4-3. But, given the injuries/suspensions, that’s an accomplishment.

7. Green Bay Packers (Last Week: 9)

Record: 4-3

Record ATS: 4-2-1

There are very few things in life I hate more than being told what to do – people who abuse children, and vegetables to name a couple – but, if Aaron Rodgers tells me to relax, you can bet your ass I’ll be over here chillin’. In their 4 games since the Week 4 bye, he has 10 TDs (3 INTs), 1,125 yards, and a 67% completion rate.

8. Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: 19)

Record: 5-2

Record ATS: 3-3-1

Win-loss wise, the Chiefs are tied for the 4th best record in the NFL. Against the spread though? They’re tied for 11th. In this case, trust the win-loss record. Their 3 L’s ATS? A 6 point win (as 6.5 point favorites) in Week 1 vs. San Diego, a 7 point loss at Houston in Week 2, and then whatever the hell that was in Pittsburgh Week 4… It’s Week 9. They’ve covered (or pushed) in 4 straight.

9. Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: 3)

Record: 5-2

Record ATS: 5-2

In back-to-back losses at Philly, and Chicago, the Vikings have rushed for a total of 150 yards (four RBs had more rushing yards in a single game over that same timeframe: Jay Ajayi – 214 Week 7, Jeremy Hill – 168 Week 7, Jacquizz Rodgers – 154 Week 7, Jordan Howard – 153 Week 8), and they’ve allowed 11 sacks. That’s not a good look… Oh, and their Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner resigned/got fired last week.

10. New Orleans Saints (Last Week: 12)

Record: 3-4

Record ATS: 4-2-1

After an 0-3 start, the Saints have won 3 of 4 against some pretty solid squads, and in their 4 losses, their average margin of defeat is 5.75 points. Untimely penalties, and a lack of stops down the stretch, have plagued the Saints; but they always seem to be in position to pick up a W in the 4th quarter. Which is all you can ask for as a bettor.

11. Houston Texans (Last Rank: 17)

Record: 5-3

Record ATS: 4-3-1

The Texans three losses (both actual, and against the spread) came at New England, at Minnesota, and at Denver. New England is 3-1 at home (loss to Buffalo without Brady playing an injured, 3rd string QB), Minnesota is 3-0 at home, and Denver is 4-1 at home. As a “contender”, those are the games you need to win. Their QB play, and run defense, are the only two things keeping them from being mentioned among the top teams in the league.

12. Seattle Seahawks (Last Rank: 5)

Record: 4-2-1

Record ATS: 3-4

Their offensive line has been a concern since the preseason, still is, but now the concern is the entire offense. Over the past three weeks, Russell Wilson has more INTs (1) than he has passing TDs (0), and the Seahawks have not rushed for more than 74 yards in a game. Thing is, outside of the Patriots, their toughest remaining opponents are the Eagles, Panthers, Packers, and Cardinals. All of those games, except Green Bay, are at home.

13. San Diego Chargers (Last Rank: 6)

Record: 3-5

Record ATS: 5-3

See #2 – Denver Broncos

14. Washington Redskins (Last Rank: 16)

Record: 4-3-1

Record ATS: 5-3

After starting 0-2, the Redskins have won 4 of 6, and covered 5 of 6 against the spread. They were embarrassed by the Steelers in Week 1, but since then, they’ve tied, and lost twice – by an average of 3.5 points.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (Last Rank: 7)

Record: 4-3

Record ATS: 4-3

Carson Wentz is a rookie QB, and with that comes a learning curve. There’s also the unknown factor. Now that teams have film to study, the Eagles have gone from 3-0 to 4-3. In those first three games, Wentz had 0 INTs… He now has 3.

16. New York Giants (Last Rank: 18)

Record: 4-3

Record ATS: 3-3-1

Hopefully they found a pass rush, and/or (I won’t be greedy), a running game during their bye week.

17. Miami Dolphins (Last Rank: 22)

Record: 3-4

Record ATS: 3-4

The Dolphins are a prime example of the impact injuries can have on a NFL team. With a healthy offensive line, they’re 2-0, and one of the top offenses in the league. Prior to that, well, they were the Dolphins.

18. Detroit Lions (Last Rank: 14)

Record: 4-4

Record ATS: 4-4

The Lions have lost a couple of games that they shouldn’t have lost, and won a couple that they probably shouldn’t have won. I think that’s the best way to describe this team; unpredictable.

19. Buffalo Bills (Last Rank: 13)

Record: 4-4

Record ATS: 4-4

The Bills have beaten the 49ers, Rams, Patriots (who had an injured 3rd string QB), and Cardinals. Congratulations. Their numbers on paper are very deceiving.

20. Indianapolis Colts (Last Rank: 23)

Record: 3-5

Record ATS: 3-4-1

The Colts don’t play in the AFC South, they play in the Big 12.

21. Carolina Panthers (Last Rank: 29)

Record: 2-5

Record ATS: 2-5

The Panthers made a statement Sunday, dominating the Cardinals in all phases of the game… It’s one win. They’ve got some tough match-ups on deck, we’ll soon see if that win was an outlier, or a sign that they’ve figured it out. 

22. Los Angeles Rams (Last Rank: 21)

Record: 3-4

Record ATS: 3-4

Pretty sure everyone knows Case Keenum isn’t a starting QB in this league, you drafted Jared Goff #1, and you’re not going to the playoffs either way. I really don’t understand what they’re trying to do here.

23. Arizona Cardinals (Last Rank: 15)

Record: 3-4-1

Record ATS: 3-5

I really don’t know what to say.

24. Tennessee Titans (Last Rank: 27)

Record: 4-4

Record ATS: 3-5

The Titans dominate the line of scrimmage. As a result, they never get blown out. They just don’t seem to have enough playmakers, on either side of the ball, to be anything more than average.

25. Cincinnati Bengals (Last Rank: 20)

Record: 3-4-1

Record ATS: 3-5

See #23 – Arizona Cardinals

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Rank: 25)

Record: 3-5

Record ATS: 3-5

The Bucs lost another RB, and another game. They’re a talented team, but young, and undisciplined.

27. New York Jets (Last Rank: 28)

Record: 3-5

Record ATS: 3-5

The Jets have won (and covered) two straight, but their injury report is a bit concerning.

28. Baltimore Ravens (Last Rank: 26)

Record: 3-4

Record ATS: 2-5

Similar to the Jets, the Ravens injury report is concerning. Unlike the Jets, the Ravens have lost four straight, and 5 straight against the spread.

29. Chicago Bears (Last Rank: 31)

Record: 2-6

Record ATS: 2-6

The Bears may have dug themselves in a hole too deep to climb out of, but they’re getting healthy, and have some winnable games down the stretch. 8-8 isn’t out of the question, but I’ll admit, it’s a stretch.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Rank: 25)

Record: 2-5

Record ATS: 3-4

They’re bad.

31. Cleveland Browns (Last Rank: 30)

Record: 0-8

Record ATS: 2-6

20161105_222904-279x300 Knowing is Half the Battle
@worldstar

32. San Francisco 49ers (Last Rank: 32)

Record: 1-6

Record ATS: 1-6

Since Week 1, every week has been a bye week.

As always, be sure to check me out on Instagram: maximizeyourodds, Facebook: maximizeyourodds, and Twitter: maxingyourodds or shoot me an email: leonard@maximizeyourodds.com for free plays/ additional fantasy advice.

 

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