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NFL Betting Power Rankings – Week 5

Posted by Matthew Forrester on 10/9/2015 3:16:20 PM

We’re back with another edition of the NFL Betting Power Rankings because my editor didn’t fire me for writing the last one. So we’re off to a decent start, which is more than I can say about this season. It seems like a wasteland, right?

Try not to get too bent out of shape about where I’ve slotted teams. Again, this is a list that tries to balance out where a team fits in the context of the season, and how they’re performing from a betting standpoint. And really, if you’re mad that teams like Atlanta and Cincinnati are in the top-5, then look at the teams below them and tell me which ones you like better.

As we march forward, these betting power rankings will start to take a more definitive shape. If it’s anything like the actual NFL season, it might resemble a heaping pile of garbage.

1. Green Bay Packers (4-0 SU and ATS)

You know we’re approaching the zenith of the infinite sports news cycle when a nobody like Scott Tolzien compares Aaron Rodgers to Michael Jordan and it creates a tsunami of reports with analysts taking time out of their professional day to break down the comparison. The best part about this is that the whole thing started because Scott Tolzien SAID WORDS. I think we’re all underestimating the power of proclamations coming from Tolzien’s trapper. Be afraid. This is what the world is like now.

Next Game: St. Louis at Green Bay -9

2. New England Patriots (3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS)

The line for the Pats-Cowboys game this weekend opened at a paltry NE-7.5 and is already climbing pretty fast. Lines don’t tend to move more than +/- 3.0 points. But this one should probably be doubled.

Next Game: New England -8.5 at Dallas

3. Atlanta Falcons (4-0 SU and ATS)

Listen, I’m not buying that the Falcons are contenders but wouldn’t it be amazing for Seattle to bumble their way in to the playoffs only to face Atlanta? Dan Quinn against the very defense he created with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones? That would be epic right? Especially since these two teams faced off in one of the best games of the 2012 season when Julio actually intercepted Russell Wilson. It’d be like Raiders-Bucs but flipped around and upside down!

I love it when seasons don’t make a lot of sense. The list of dumb possibilities are endless. I’ll be here all season to bring them to you.

Next Game: Washington at Atlanta -7

4. Cincinnati Bengals (4-0 SU and ATS)

Keep betting on red! I said it last week and I’ll say it again: stop over analyzing how good Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton are. Results are results. As long as red keeps coming up on this ginger roulette wheel, I’m standing behind them.

Next Game: Seattle at Cincinnati -3

5. Arizona Cardinals (3-1 SU and ATS)

Relax, Cardinals backers. Nobody was ready for Todd Gurley. Games like that will happen for Arizona, but for the most part they’ll shake down their opposition. You can forgive them having a misstep against a division rival that goes occasionally goes toe-to-toe with the best teams in the league. If Arizona loses to Detroit, however, they’re not making the top-10 next week.

Next Game: Arizona -3 at Detroit

6. Denver Broncos (4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS)

It’s ugly in Denver, but it’s ugly around the league as well. They’re pretty much the fifth-best team in my books by sheer happenstance. I mean look at the rest of this top-10. What a catastrophe of a season this is.

Next Game: Denver -4.5 at Oakland

7. Carolina Panthers (4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS)

The Panthers have beaten up four awful teams (Jax, Houston, New Orleans and Tampa). But guess what? The only two teams that can give them serious trouble outside the division are Seattle (a team that Carolina always plays hard) and Green Bay (who will destroy them). We don’t actually know how good Atlanta is, and they play them twice at the end of the year.

I’m just reminding you of what I’ve been saying about Arizona and Cincinnati. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Instead, reach in to your pockets and shove money in to that gift horse’s mouth. That’s what gift horse’s actually prefer.

Next Game: BYE WEEK

8. New York Jets (3-1 SU and ATS)

The Jets get Sheldon Richardson back after their bye week and are already one of the better defensive teams in the league. Todd Bowles might be the coach of the freaking year if he can drag Ryan Fitzpatrick to the playoffs.

Next Game: BYE WEEK

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1 SU and 3-0-1 ATS)

Everyone will remember Josh Scobee’s brutal Thursday night performance and nothing else in his career. That’s too bad because there was another highlight in Josh Scobee’s tenure in the NFL: when he kicked off to Josh Scobey, a return specialist. These are the things stuck in my brain.

Next Game: Pittsburgh at San Diego -3.0

10. New York Giants (2-2 SU and 3-1 ATS)

You want a clear sign that this season is bizarre? The Giants, who have the worst, statistical secondary in the league are the 10th best bet out there. That’s largely because everyone assumes that Eli Manning is going to blow every game. Like Romo last year, you should probably stop thinking that. These Giants can score a ton of points, ranking 9th with 25.5 per game so far.

Next Game: San Francisco at NYG -7

11. Minnesota Vikings (2-2 SU and 3-1 ATS)

Now THAT’S the Vikings that I wanted to see! Don’t believe that their phenomenal performance against the Broncos was for real? Get used to it. There was a big reason that Minnesota was the hottest betting team in the NFL at the tail end of last season, and all we needed to see was Teddy Bridgewater growing a pair on national television. I am back in on the Vikings!

Next Game: BYE WEEK

12. St. Louis Rams (2-2 SU and ATS)

I love how the announcers praised Todd Gurley for staying in bounds and sliding on a would-be touchdown by saying “He knows he’s in the NFL now!” Yup, all those pay checks, rookie bonuses and that entire off-season of rehab and training at an NFL facility weren’t enough of a clue.

Next Game: St. Louis at Green Bay -9

13. San Diego Chargers (2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS)

There has to be some nerd that has graded games where Keenan Allen is sleeveless compared to the games where he has that hilarious, baggy, long-sleeve. Because he hasn’t had that shirt underneath his jersey for the majority of this season, and he’s been lights out. It’s gotta be the shirt!

Next Game: Pittsburgh at San Diego -3.0

14. Buffalo Bills (2-2 SU and ATS)

See? This is why we don’t vote quarterbacks like Tyrod Taylor in to the Hall of Fame after just three weeks. The league has probably figured out how limited this guy is, and that shouldn’t surprise anyone. He’s been in the league for five years. You didn’t know that did you?

Next Game: Buffalo -1.5 at Tennessee

15. Seattle Seahawks (2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS)

I mean, in all honesty, not a lot of people knew about the batted ball rule. The refs didn’t make a call. The in-house TV ref didn’t call in to yell about it. Jon Gruden didn’t mention it, and that guy mentions everything. And the Seahawks could’ve very well just jumped on the ball if they knew. So let’s relax. This wasn’t the Fail Mary.

Next Game: Seattle at Cincinnati -3.0

16. Dallas Cowboys (2-1 SU and 1-3 ATS)

Guess which quarterback in the league has the highest completion percentage. It’s not Aaron Rodgers (4th) or Tom Brady (5th). It’s Brandon Weeden! Actually!

Next Game: New England -8.5 at Dallas

17. Tennessee Titans (1-2 SU and 2-1 ATS)

Credit the Titans for getting in the news for all the wrong reasons as rookie wide-receiver Dorial Green-Beckham broke the No Arrests streak for the league by forgetting to pay for a $92 speeding ticket.

Next Game: Buffalo -1.5 at Tennessee

18. Cleveland Browns (1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS)

The Browns are doing that strange thing they’ve been doing in general for the past three season. They play exceedingly well in some games, and then you think they’re going to build on it and become a legitimate playoff team. And then…they’re the Browns. I’m still way off on them but I have to admit I’m getting sucked in. Tell me you’re not tempted to take them against Baltimore this weekend as +6.5 favorites.

Next Game: Cleveland at Baltimore -7

19. Oakland Raiders (2-2 SU and ATS)

The Raiders broke everyone’s hearts last weekend by losing outright to Jimmy Clausen’s Chicago Bears. They’re a young team, still taking their licks and occasionally they’ll take matchups for granted. Look for Oakland to be that team that plays up and down to the level of their competition this year. If they challenge Denver’s top-ranked defense, I’ll know that to be the case and bet accordingly.

Next Game: Denver -4.5 at Oakland

20. Washington Redskins (2-2 SU and ATS)

The Redskins are up to something. I’m not sure if it’s their standard “we hate ourselves and our fans” act, but you don’t just lead the league in rushing by accident while boasting a top-7 defense (4th in Total Yards, 2nd in Rushing, 10th in points). I’m willing to air on the side of caution here…oh wait, they’re playing Atlanta. Never mind!

Next Game: Washington at Atlanta -7

21. Indianapolis Colts (2-2 SU and 0-4 ATS)

By my own standards, the Colts should very well be near the bottom of the pile. But I can’t ignore that Luck has dragged a bunch of morons through the mud to a 34-19-1 ATS record in his first three years. Luck has a partially separated shoulder, so this isn’t going to get any better. They’re living on borrowed time in these rankings.

Next Game: Indianapolis at Houston -5 (Thursday)

22. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS)

Gus Bradley just seems like an awesome dude. His post game comments about this team sound like a guy who understands that he’s on a bad team in a weird city that is still figuring out its identity. “A good hard-fought game, but we’re just not there yet.” I love that. Note – I am not being sarcastic for once. You should be excited, Jacksonville. “The 2015 Jacksonville Jaguars Are Almost There!” Ok, I was being sarcastic at the end there.

Next Game: Jacksonville at Tampa -3

23. Kansas City Chiefs (1-3 SU and ATS)

Let’s stop pretending that the Chiefs are any good. It pains me to say it because I’m an Alex Smith apologist, a Jamaal Charles booster, a budding fan of Travis Kelce and I actually like Andy Reid. But this team’s allowed the most passing touchdowns and don’t seem to have the same, grizzly fight that they’ve had in years past. I’m cashing out.

Aw crap…they play the Bears this weekend?!

Next Game: Chicago at Kansas City -8.5

24. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3 SU and ATS)

Nelson Agholar takes over for Bishop Sankey as the 2015 Most Despised Fantasy Player Drafted Early By Idiots Because He Was Ranked Absurdly High For No Reason Whatsoever. Congrats!

Next Game: New Orleans at Philadelphia -5

25. New Orleans Saints (1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS)

Was anyone else waiting for C.J. Spiller’s hamstring to explode during that 80-yard score? I was kind of surprised that it didn’t.

Next Game: New Orleans at Philadelphia -5

26. Houston Texans (1-3 SU and ATS)

Arian Foster’s return is a big deal. This team has churned out the 7th most total yards in the first month of action. That doesn’t happen if you don’t have a somewhat reliable offensive line. The Texans are about to make a terrible AFC South really interesting…at least for those three weeks before Foster gets hurt again.

Next Game: Indianapolis at Houston -5 (Thursday)

27. Baltimore Ravens (1-3 SU and 0-3-1 ATS)

Yup, they beat the Steelers on the road and I still can’t give them any credit because Vick and Tomlin should’ve probably won that game handedly and the Ravens look abysmal. There’s just nothing trust worthy here. Why they can’t find a deep ball threat for Flacco when that’s his best throw is beyond me.

Next Game: Cleveland at Baltimore -7

28. San Francisco 49ers (1-3 SU and ATS)

Coach Tomsula acts and looks like a failed, biomedical experiment to clone Don Shula.

Next Game: San Francisco at NYG -7

29. Miami Dolphins (1-3 SU and ATS)

Enjoy your practice squad coach, Ryan Tannehill. What a douchebag. My favorite part about Tannehill being “rattled” by the practice team, who frequently picked him off, was that Joe Philbin coddled him by telling them to take it easy on him. So what does Joe do in games? He gets Tannehill to uncork 171 attempts!!! He leads the league by a mile in that category. What a disaster this team is. Why couldn’t they have done Hard Knocks this year instead?

Next Game: BYE WEEK

30. Chicago Bears (1-3 SU and ATS)

Chicago just had to go and ruin my whole fantasy of an 0-16 ATS team. What a bunch of jerks.

Next Game: Chicago at Kansas City -10.0

31. Detroit Lions (0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS)

You can gripe and moan all you want about batted balls and being cursed…but how about your best player doesn’t fumble the ball a half-yard away from scoring a touchdown instead?

Next Game: Arizona -3 at Detroit

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3 SU and ATS)

The Bucs are already losing points as a natural home favorite against the equally horrific Jacksonville Jaguars.

Next Game: Jacksonville at Tampa -3

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