Week 5 of the NFL Season is almost in the books and all of the Spreads & Totals are coming out for Week 6, let’s take a look at the fresh NFL Power Rankings & some early NFL picks.
The three teams from the Sunshine State—the AFC’s Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins and the NFC’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers—have all been playing each other and beating up on each other, and on Sunday, it was the Buccaneers bopping the Jaguars who bopped the Dolphins earlier this season. So after Tampa Bay exposed Jacksonville on Sunday, the sediment floats to the bottom...or whatever the opposite of the cream rises to the top is. The Dolphins fired Head Coach Joe Philbin after returning from London and a loss to AFC East rivals the Jets, plugging in Dan Campbell to try to patch the Fish through the rest of the season for a team which may have the worst second-half schedule in the NFL. Also falling big this week, from #9 to #21, are the Baltimore Ravens (1-4 SU, 0-4-1 ATS), the only team in the league yet to reward its backers with an ATS win (cover). The combination of playing in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL (AFC North), losing so many quality players to Free Agency this spring (TE Owen Daniels, WR Torrey Smith, NT Haloti Ngata) and starting off with a brutal schedule in these first 5 weeks, including a couple of trips out West (Denver, Oakland) has already really wrecked the Ravens, and even having one of the best Head Coaches (John Harbaugh) and clutch QBs (Joe Flacco) doesn’t mean that Gravity and reality still can’t bang you to the ground.
And proving, maybe if just for now, that even of the Wiseguys prefer to back underdogs that great teams make money is the stellar cumulative record of the top 8 teams—6 of whom still remain undefeated—in this latest Power Rankings. The #1 New England Patriots (3-0-1 ATS), #2 Green Bay Packers (5-0 ATS), #3 Seattle Seahawks (1-3-1 ATS), #4 Cincinnati Bengals (3-0-1 ATS), #5 Denver Broncos (4-1-0 ATS), #6 (Tie) Arizona Cardinals (4-1-0 ATS), #6 (Tie) Atlanta Falcons (4-1-0 ATS) and #8 Carolina Panthers (3-1-0 ATS) are a combined 27-7-3 ATS (79.4%) while if we toss out the Seahawks miserable 1-3-1 ATS record, the other six top teams here are a mind-boggling 26-4-2 ATS (86.7%) as of right now. So if the sediment floats to the bottom, then the cream rises to the top, but from this point forward, we can expect almost all of these lopsided statistics to revert to a statistical mean. As always.
The time to really profit from these heavyweights may have passed, and you know if we know it, sportsbooks and Oddsmakers know it so expect some small adjustments in the some of these elite teams’ Point Spreads, like the bulky 9½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) hanging on the Betting Board right now for the Packers (favored) and Chargers game in Green Bay this weekend. The Sportsbooks know the Packers are covering, are a popular team and receive an imbalance of action at Home at Lambeau Field, so making the number even a bit little higher now—even against a decent team like San Diego—is just a part of doing business, and actually good business if you think about it. Now do you want a piece of the Chargers knowing all of this? The potential (wise) San Diego backer knows that much Packers money will trickle in early and late and that a 10+ will likely pop up at some point, so he/she will wait. And the dance goes on.
NFL Rankings (October 11, 2015)
1- New England Patriots (4-0 SU, 3-0-1 ATS; +350 win Super Bowl, Paddy Power)
Why? The Patriots came off their Open Date and proceeded to spank the Tono Romo-less Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, 30-6, as QB Tom Brady (20/27, 275 yards 2 TDs), RB LeGarrette Blount (13 rushes, 74 yards) and WR Julian Edelman (4 receptions, 120 yards, 4 TDs) all had productive offensive days in Big D in an easy romp. Also impressive here was the New England Defense, which allowed just two Cowboys FGs, although beating Dallas backup Brandon Weeden—who lost his 11th straight game as a starting QB—isn’t saying much. Next up for the defending Super Bowl champions, a date with the Colts in Indianapolis on Sunday and yet another team with a hobbled starting QB (Andrew Luck) in game which has lost much of its luster and one in which the Patriots will (again) show Indianapolis who’s boss in the AFC. The Patriots have opened up 7-point favorites (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) on Sunday night after being 2½-point underdogs in the renowned NFL Games of the Year, out earlier in the Summer at the world’s largest sportsbook here in Sin City.
Last Week: #1
2- Green Bay Packers (5-0 SU, 5-0 ATS; +350 to win Super Bowl, Paddy Power)
Why? Green Bay defeated an upstart Kansas City Chiefs team at Lambeau Field on Sunday, 24-10, holding off a late attempt at a backdoor cover by the visitors with a late Pick. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (19/30, 241 yards, 2 TDs) had his lengthy Home non-Interception streak come to an end, so with the Win and the ATS cover, the Cheeseheads again stay put in the #2 spot here. WR James Jones (2 receptions, 77 yards, TD) again was pivotal in the win, but like New England, maybe the surprising story of late has been the play of the Packers Defense. Green Bay and Head Coach Mike McCarthy (94-63-4 ATS) are now hitting the end of a pretty easy stretch of games on its schedule from Week 3-7, and the Packers face the San Diego Chargers (Packers -9½, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) next on Sunday followed by an Open Date, so look for Green Bay to be 6-0 heading into that rest of its Regular Season schedule. With its Home win in Week 2 over the Seattle Seahawks, the Packers have the inside track for the Home-field in the NFC although the NFC South’s Atlanta Falcons (5-0) and Carolina Panthers (4-0) are still both unbeaten too as we march forth into Week 6.
Last Week: #2
3- Seattle Seahawks (2-3 SU, 1-3-1 ATS; +800 to win Super Bowl, Paddy Power)
Why? I know, I know. And I don’t care. The defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks did end up losing, 27-24 to the Bengals in OT in Cincinnati on Sunday, but the way Seattle rolled out to a 24-7 lead on the Road in a place where nobody has fared well—Paul Brown Stadium in the Queen City—speaks volumes about this gritty club. The OL did a much better job protecting QB Russell Wilson (15/23, 213 yards, TD, Interception) and Rookie (Central Michigan) RB Thomas Rawls (23 rushes, 1569 yards, TD) had another outstanding game in his stead for the injured Marshawn Lynch (Hamstring). Next up for Seattle and Head Coach Pete Carroll (55-36-2 ATS), a date with the unbeaten Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Sunday afternoon (Seahawks -7, 42, Pinnacle) in what promises to be an excellent game.
Last Week: #3
4- Cincinnati Bengals (5-0 SU, 4-0-1 ATS; 14/1 to win Super Bowl, BetBright)
Why? Even though the Bengals found a way to win at Home against Seattle on Sunday, they stay put at #4 because of the strength of Seattle’s Defense and the reputation the Seahawks have earned over the past three NFL seasons. Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton (30/44, 331 yards, 2 TDs, Interception) and the Who Deys did show a great deal of moxie in rallying from that aforementioned 24-7 deficit in the 4th Quarter, and the Bengals talented Skill Position players on Offense continued to shine, making a case for the second-best Offense in the NFL behind the Patriots. TE Tyler Eifert (8 receptions, 90 yards, 2 TDs, 11.2 ypc), superstar WR AJ Green (6 receptions, 78 yards, 11.2 ypc) and WR Mohamed Sanu (5 receptions, 69 yards, 13.8 ypc) were all frequent targets for the steadily improving Dalton and RB Giovani Bernard (15 rushes, 80 yards, 5.3 ypc) again proved how balanced this team really is. This weekend for Cincinnati and 13-year Head Coach Marvin Lewis (98-95-10 ATS) is an intriguing trip up to Buffalo and Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday to face the Bills (PK, 45, Pinnacle) in what seems like a must-win spot on the schedule for the hosts. It should be interesting.
Last Week: #4 (Tie)
5- Denver Broncos (5-0 SU, 4-1-0 ATS; 10/1 to win SB, Paddy Power)
Why? Not nearly enough Offense to get back to the #4 spot, but maybe along with the Seahawks, Denver may have the best Defense in the NFL, as was revealed again on Sunday when that side of the football pretty much won the game for the Broncos when DB Chris Harris returned an interception 74 yards for a Broncos TD to stifle a Raiders 4th Quarter drive in Oakland and turned a 9-7 game into a 16-7 score and eventual 16-10 win (and close cover) for visiting Denver to keep them undefeated. Broncos QB Peyton Manning (103-62-5 ATS off Win) was absolutely horrific though, and his devolution seems to continue as the 39-year-old future Hall of Famer was 22 for 25 for 266 yards, 0 TDs and 2 Interceptions. Manning finished with a 35.4 QBR, and, along with the Colts struggles, makes it seem the Patriots may have an easy ride to the AFC Championship Game this season. And the Broncos Rushing game was also invisible against the Silver and Black with CJ Anderson (11 rushes, 22 yards, 2.0 ypc) and Ronnie Hillman (7 rushes, 21 yards, 3.o ypc) being stymied by the improving Raiders Defense. Luckily, the visitors could find enough yards through the air and usually reliable receivers Emmanuel Sanders (9 receptions, 111 yards) and Demaryius Thomas (5 receptions, 55 yards) provided to be reputable targets although ageless veteran Oakland DB Charles Woodson had 2 Interceptions in the game. Next up, the Broncos are at Cleveland on Sunday to dance with the upstart Browns (Broncos -5½, 42½, Pinnacle).
Last Week: #6
6—(Tie) Arizona Cardinals (4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS; 14/1 to win SB, BetBright) Last Week: #7
6—(Tie) Atlanta Falcons (5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS; 16/1 to win SB, BetBright) Last Week: #4 (Tie)
8—Carolina Panthers (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS; 25/1 to win SB, Paddy Power) Last Week: #8
9—St. Louis Rams (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS; 80/1 to win SB, Paddy Power) Last Week: #12
10—Buffalo Bills (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS; 40/1 to win SB, BetBright) Last Week: #14
11—Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2 SU, 2-1-1 ATS; 33/1 to win SB, Paddy Power) Last Week: #10
12—New York Jets (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS; 40/1 to win SB, Paddy Power) Last Week: #11
13—Indianapolis Colts (3-2 SU, 1-4 ATS; 17/1 to win SB, BetBright) Last Week: #16
14—Minnesota Vikings (2-2 SU, 3-1 ATS; 50/1 to win SB, BetBright) Last Week: #13
15—New York Giants (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS; 25/1 to win SB, Paddy Power) Last Week: #20
16—San Diego Chargers (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS; 50/1 to win SB, Paddy Power) Last Week: #18
17—Oakland Raiders (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS; 100/1, Paddy Power) Last Week: #19
18—Dallas Cowboys (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS; 50/1 to win SB, Paddy Power) Last Week: #17
19—Philadelphia Eagles (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS; 33/1 to win SB, BetBright) Last Week: #21
20—Cleveland Browns (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS; 250/1 to win SB, Coral) Last Week: #30
21—Baltimore Ravens (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS; 80/1 to win SB, Paddy Power) Last Week: #9
22—Washington Redskins (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS; 100/1 win SB, Paddy Power) Last Week: #25
23—Kansas City Chiefs (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS; 100/1 to win SB, Paddy Power) Last Week: #15
24—Houston Texans (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS; 150/1 to win SB, Coral) Last Week: #22
25—San Francisco 49ers (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS; 250/1 to win SB, BetBright) Last Week: #24
26—Chicago Bears (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS; 275/1 to win SB, Paddy Power) Last Week: #27
27—Tennessee Titans (1-3 SU, 3-1 ATS; 150/1 to win SB, Paddy Power) Last Week: #26
28—Detroit Lions (0-4 SU, 0-4 ATS; 200/1 to win SB, Paddy Power) Last Week: #23
29—Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS; 300/1 win SB, BetBright) Last Week: #32
30—New Orleans Saints (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS; 150/1 to win SB, Paddy Power) Last Week: #29
31—Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4 SU, 2-3 ATS; 275/1 win SB, Paddy Power) Last Week: #28
32—Miami Dolphins (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS; 125/1 to win Super Bowl, BetBright) Last Week: #31
NFL WEEK 6 POWER RANKINGS PICKS: Bears +3 over Lions; Patriots -7 over Colts; Giants +3½ over Eagles (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
SUPER BOWL FUTURES CURRENT PERCEIVED VALUE PICK: New England Patriots +400 (BetBright)