Week 5 Gambler’s NFL Power Rankings

Power Rankings are useful, but they ignore one key piece of information; a team’s record against the spread. Win-Loss records can tell you a lot, but it never fails, there’s always a terrible team which seems to always cover and visa versa. So, I’ve come up with the gambler’s power rankings which combine a team’s win-loss record, statistical performance, schedule strength, and various other factors, in addition to their record against the spread… You’re welcome.

1. Denver Broncos (Last Week: 2)
Record: 4-0
Record ATS: 4-0

The defending Super Bowl Champs undervalued?! Yes. They opened last week at Tampa Bay as 3 point favorites (which I still can’t figure out for the life of me), opened as 3 point dogs Week 3, and have yet to be a TD favorite – although, they own the 2nd highest margin of victory at 11.8 points per game, and are the defending Super Bowl Champs. I think this is largely due to public perception. People are somehow still skeptical… The Broncos are legit.

2. New England Patriots (Last Week: 1)
Record: 3-1
Record ATS: 3-1

The loss to Buffalo was a fluke. Ok, maybe fluke is the wrong word, but they played an injured, 3rd string QB. They get Mr. Brady, and more importantly (in my eyes at least), DE Rob Ninkovich back this week; who will surely boost this already solid defense… And they’ve been able to ease Gronk back into shape.

 3. Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: 3)
Record: 4-0
Record ATS: 4-0

Similar to the Broncos, the Vikings have been strangely undervalued. The losses of Bridgewater and Peterson (and addition of Bradford) being the primary reasons, but this defense is legit. They’ve been in the underdog role twice now, but it seems oddsmakers have finally taken notice. They opened as 6 point favorites this week against Houston, which represents their highest opening line of the season.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: 4)
Record: 3-0
Record ATS: 3-0

The Eagles come off their bye to face a Detroit team who just lost to the injury-riddled Bears. The Lions are pretty banged up themselves, and the only thing they might have going for them in this one, is rust on the Eagles behalf.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: 5)
Record: 3-1
Record ATS: 3-1

The Steelers took the frustrations from their embarrassing loss to Philly, combined them with the return of Le’Veon Bell, and completely destroyed the poor little Chiefs on Sunday night. Bell reminded us why he’s the best all-around back in the league, and the Steelers reminded us why they’ll be in the hunt for a trip to Houston this February.

6. Atlanta Falcons (Last Week: 16)
Record: 3-1
Record ATS: 3-1

If you haven’t heard, their offense is pretty damn good. Now, they haven’t played the toughest schedule, their defense has been inconsistent, and they started last season 5-0 before finishing the year 3-8, but you have to respect what they’ve done so far.

7. Seattle Seahawks (Last Week: 14)
Record: 3-1
Record ATS: 3-1

With the Vikings, and Broncos receiving all the hype, it’s easy to forget how good this Seahawks defense is; they reminded us last week against the Jets (they really held them to 10, that last TD was a joke… Still upset). They’re facing some injuries to several key players, so their bye week comes right on time.

8. Green Bay Packers (Last Week: 10)
Record: 2-1
Record ATS: 2-1

Addition, by subtraction. The Packers bye week saw several teams ahead of them lose, or not impress, so they moved up two spots to #8. Should be in for a high-scoring affair this week against the Giants.

9. Dallas Cowboys (Last Week: 12)
Record: 3-1
Record ATS: 3-1

No, beating the 49ers is not impressive, but the manner in which they did it was. Missing several key starters, and facing an early 14 point deficit, the Cowboys proved they have the ability to play from behind, and got a big W on the road. Prescott was decisive, and accurate, and Elliott showed (again) he’s more than capable of carrying the team on his shoulders.

10. Houston Texans (Last Week: 9)
Record: 3-1
Record ATS: 3-1

In their 1st game without J.J. Watt, the Texans looked susceptible to the run, and that may be an understatement. Add to that, another eh performance from Osweiler, and there’s not much room for optimism… Other than the fact that they play in what very well may be the worst division in football.

11. Los Angeles Rams (Last Week: 19)
Record: 3-1
Record ATS: 3-1

The Rams offense is starting to show signs of life; good news for Todd Gurley. Keenum is starting to look more comfortable, competent, and confident, and with the talent they have on the defensive side of the ball, the Rams early success may just be sustainable.

12. Oakland Raiders (Last Week: 15)
Record: 3-1
Record ATS: 3-1

The Raiders are a young team, so their three road wins speak volumes this early in the season. They’ve showed the ability to play from behind in hostile environments, and keep up with some of the better teams in the league. Not to mention, their best defensive player – Kahlil Mack – has been a non-factor. That won’t last long, and they’ll get healthy… Keep an eye on the Raiders.

13. Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week: 7)
Record: 2-2
Record ATS: 2-2

Something is missing with this team. Their red-zone struggles were on full display last Thursday, but they still possess one of the better offensive units in the league. They’ll get it together, but in the meantime, at least their defense is stout.

14. Buffalo Bills (Last Week: 21)
Record: 2-2
Record ATS: 2-2

The Bills defense has now looked good in 3 of 4 games, and the Week 2 debacle against the Jets, may merely be an outlier. The loss of Sammy Watkins dampens expectations, but they still have more than enough to be an explosive offense. They travel to LA this week, in what may be the most intriguing game on tap… Wild.

15. Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: 11)
Record: 2-3
Record ATS: 2-3

They picked up a much needed win at San Francisco, and the loss of Carson Palmer may have been a blessing in disguise. Yes, their receivers rank amongst the best in the league (not statistically, however), but there’s no reason for David Johnson to not receive 20 carries a game. Hopefully, his 27 carry, 157 yard, 2 TD performance carries over, and will open up the passing game when Palmer returns.

16. Carolina Panthers (Last Week: 8)
Record: 1-3
Record ATS: 1-3

No, I’m not giving up on the Panthers yet. Their 3 losses have come to teams with a combined 11-1 record… they haven’t exactly played slouches. Besides Julio Jones, the Panthers have only allowed one receiver to go over 50 yards (although Julio represented 6 himself), and Jonathan Stewart’s injury may have had more of an impact than expected. But, they’ve now had their wake up call, and their schedule lightens up a bit.

17. Baltimore Ravens (Last Week: 6)
Record: 3-1
Record ATS: 2-2

The Raiders are a decent team; so, the Ravens one point home loss is not cause for concern. What is, however, is their offensive woes. Steve Smith, Sr. is starting to regain form, and Terrance West produced their 1st 100 yard rushing game, but every game has been a struggle.

18. Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: 13)
Record: 2-2
Record ATS: 1-3

The Chiefs have shown signs of their potential at times, at other times, they’ve looked… Potential-less. With Jamaal Charles back, and the bye week to recoup, they should bounce back. Too much talent, but their defense isn’t nearly as good as it’s been the past few years.

19. Washington Redskins (Last Week: 22)
Record: 2-2
Record ATS: 2-2

Washington has won two straight, and Kirk Cousins has only one INT in those two games. That’s a major key. They’re battling some injuries, and the NFC East is surprisingly competitive, but the Skins have all the pieces to play with anyone; especially if Matt Jones can continue to be a threat on the ground.

20. New Orleans Saints (Last Week: 26)
Record: 1-3
Record ATS: 2-2

The Saints defense has shown signs of decency, but still isn’t good enough for this team to be a factor. Brees and co. can score with anyone, but I’ll keep saying it… Give Ingram the ball, and keep that defense on the sideline. Next week, that is.

21. New York Giants (Last Week: 18)
Record: 2-2
Record ATS: 1-3

I guess I should say something about Odell Beckham, Jr…. I won’t. I’ll say the same thing I’ve been saying, the Giants need a run game, and a big, red zone target on the outside. Yes, their defense is vastly improved, but they’re 29th in time of possession. So, that $200M+ defense is on the field… A lot. Even the greatest athletes in the world get tired.

22. New York Jets (Last Week: 17)
Record: 1-3
Record ATS: 1-3

They need to get healthy, and Ryan Fitzpatrick needs to stop throwing the ball to the other team. Their next three? At Pittsburgh, at Arizona, vs. Baltimore… They could easily fall to 1-6. Todd Bowles may be in trouble.

23. San Diego Chargers (Last Week: 20)
Record: 1-3
Record ATS: 2-2

The Chargers always find ways to lose. If the spread is four or more, and they’re the dog, take it. Other than that, no thanks.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week: 27)
Record: 1-3
Record ATS: 2-2

The only “home” games the Jags win are in England. Nonetheless, a big win against the Colts, and their defense hasn’t looked half bad the past two weeks.

25. Indianapolis Colts (Last Week: 23)
Record: 1-3
Record ATS: 1-3

The Colts gave Andrew Luck an $140M contract this offseason. The Colts have allowed the most sacks this season. I’m no GM, but something doesn’t add up.

26. Tennessee Titans (Last Week: 24)
Record: 1-3
Record ATS: 1-3

At least Mariota is no longer last in QBR.  Decent run game, average defense. They’re a couple years away.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Week: 28)
Record: 1-3
Record ATS: 1-3

To the Bucs credit, they’ve played a tough schedule… Much has been made of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s interceptions, but Winston (8) only trails him by two.

28. Chicago Bears (Last Week: 32)
Record: 1-3
Record ATS: 1-3

Hoyer is not better than Cutler, but Cutler may have worn out his welcome in Chicago. The Bears injury report is about 20 deep – which doesn’t do them any favors – but hey, they’re no longer winless!

29. Detroit Lions (Last Week: 25)
Record: 1-3
Record ATS: 1-3

They just lost to the Bears.

30. San Francisco 49ers (Last Week: 31)
Record: 1-4
Record ATS: 1-4

Blaine Gabbert isn’t the problem, and their defense isn’t the problem… Kind of. The problem with their defense is the fact that they’re on the field for 34 minutes a game (and they just lost NaVorro Bowman for the year).

31. Miami Dolphins (Last Week: 29)
Record: 1-3
Record ATS: 1-3

Hopefully their slow start is the result of injuries. Maybe? Hopefully?

32. Cleveland Browns (Last Week: 30)
Record: 0-4
Record ATS: 1-3

The Browns play the Patriots this week, and will be 0-5. At least the Indians lead the Red Sox 2-0, and the Cavs are 1-0 in the pre-season.

 

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 additional free plays, and/or fantasy advice. And, be sure to check back tomorrow for the DraftKings Clearance Rack!

 

 

 

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