NFL Power Rankings Week 16
by Robert Ferringo - 12/23/2009
Without further ado, here is a look at my Doc's Sports NFL Power Rankings:
1. New Orleans Saints (13-1) - They've been on the ropes for weeks and the Cowboys finally delivered the knockout. The Saints have covered their last three games against Tampa Bay but they are just 2-6 ATS in their last eight games.
2. Indianapolis Colts (14-0) - They don't make mistakes and they simply lie in wait until you do. I think that bodes well for them staying unbeaten this week with a rookie quarterback coming to town. The favorite is 6-3 ATS in their last nine games against the Jets.
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3. Minnesota Vikings (11-3) - I think that the idea that Brett Favre and Brad Childress are somehow "at odds" is ludicrous. However, what is not ludicrous is that I bet Brett had to remind Childress that Minnesota doesn't have a bye guaranteed just yet and that Childress shouldn't be resting players.
4. San Diego Chargers (11-3) - The Chargers actually beat the Tennessee backups last year in Week 17, 17-6, and they have covered three straight meetings. San Diego is a surprise underdog this Christmas, which has been a great spot for them. San Diego is 20-6-3 ATS as a dog and 16-6-2 ATS as a road dog.
5. Philadelphia Eagles (10-4) - The Eagles have alternated 'over' and 'under' in each of the last six weeks, going 'under' last week against the Giants. Philadelphia is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 home games and they are 8-2-1 against the total in the last 11 home games.
6. Green Bay Packers (9-5) - It looks like 27 degrees and snow flurries in Lambeau this weekend. Just vintage Packers weather. Green Bay has covered three of four meetings with Seattle but the Packers are just 6-16 ATS as a double-digit favorite. The Packers should slice through that terrible Seattle secondary this week but after giving up 500 passing yards to the Steelers I wonder if Matt Hasselbeck will have a day as well.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (8-6) - The emotional roller coaster continues. But all I can say is that whatever Marvin Lewis lacks in X's and O's he makes up for by bonding with his players. And there just is no way that this guy isn't the Coach of the Year. I wonder if Lewis will allow Larry Johnson to get his revenge on the Chiefs the same way he turned Cedric Benson loose on the Bears. Cincinnati is 0-6 ATS as a favorite this season.
8. Arizona Cardinals (9-5) - The Cardinals have virtually nothing to play for. And before you break the bank thinking that they are going to hammer the Rams this week, remember how the Cards mailed it in last December. Arizona is 4-1 ATS after an ATS loss and 7-3 ATS at home, but they are just 1-4 ATS as a favorite.
9. Baltimore Ravens (8-6) - After a sluggish start to the year the Baltimore defense has really picked up the pace over the last two months. The team has stayed 'under' in six of the last eight games while the defense has allowed an average of just 12 points per game. Baltimore has dropped three straight ATS against the Steelers after a strong 6-1 ATS run in the series.
10. Dallas Cowboys (9-5) - The favorite in the Washington-Dallas series is a putrid 7-21 ATS in the last 28 meetings. This is obviously no gimme spot. Even though the Redskins are in complete disarray, this Cowboys team has been so pathetic in December that no wins this time of year can be taken for granted.
11. New England Patriots (9-5) - I'm certain that there are plenty of people out there that have a firm grasp on when the Patriots are going to cover the spread and when they won't. I'm not one of them. I still am staying far, far away from this group. I will say that when they win, they win big. Prior to last week their previous five wins had all been by double-digits. And last week they were up 14 late before a garbage TD made the score look more respectable than what it was.
12. Miami Dolphins (7-7) - This is the fourth straight year that Miami and Houston have played. However, the first three were all in Houston and Miami lost each of them. That makes this a huge revenge game, on top of being essentially a playoff game, this weekend. Miami has covered six of eight overall and this is just their third home game since Oct. 25 (six of eight games on the road).
13. Tennessee Titans (7-7) - Keith Bullock had started 127 straight games for Tennessee before a season ending torn ACL sabotaged his season. The guy is the heart and soul of that defense. The Titans also lost starting linebacker David Thornton and Kyle Vanden Bosch, Tony Brown and Nick Harper all missed practice this week.
14. Denver Broncos (7-7) - Brian Dawkins returns to Philadelphia to match wits with his long-time teammate, Donovan McNabb, this week. That should be one of the better game-within-a-game battles of this weekend. Denver has lost three of four road games. And in each of the losses there were topped by double digits so only take those points this week if you think that they can win outright.
15. New York Giants (8-6) - The Giants nearly control their own destiny for the postseason. One loss by either Green Bay or Dallas and the Giants are back in the driver's seat, owning the tiebreaker against both.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7) - I still don't put much stock in the "season saving" win last week. That game was Pittsburgh's Super Bowl, playing against a team in a prime letdown spot, and it still took every single second and every single ounce of resolve that they had to get a win. That doesn't impress me. The home team has won eight of 10 in the Steelers-Ravens series.
17. Atlanta Falcons (7-7) - I'm not so sure I'm buying the line swing on the Falcons. They were touchdown underdogs heading into the Meadowlands last week and now come home and are laying nearly double-digits to Buffalo. The Falcons are just 1-4 ATS after a win, although they are 5-2 ATS at home.
18. New York Jets (7-7) - There is a heavy reverse line movement on this Jets game this week. The Colts are collecting three of every four bets but the line has gone from -7 to -5.5. However, that hasn't been a good sign the last two weeks as the colts covered the spread against similar movements versus Denver and Jacksonville.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-7) - Jacksonville is just 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games overall and they have gotten waxed in their last two trips to New England, losing in the playoffs to the Pats in 2006 and 2008.
20. Houston Texans (7-7) - The last three meetings between Miami and Houston, from the last three Octobers, have been determined by a combined total of just six points. Houston is 6-1 ATS as a road underdog and they are 7-2 ATS as an underdog overall.
21. San Francisco 49ers (6-8) - San Francisco laid an 18-point pasting on the Lions at home last year and now will be looking to repeat the feat. The Niners have alternated wins and losses, both SU and ATS, in each of their last seven games. The run started with a loss (SU and ATS) against the Titans, and after that all of the losses were on the road (at Philly, at Seattle, at Green Bay) and all of the wins were at home (Arizona, Jacksonville, Chicago).
22. Carolina Panthers (6-8) - It appears that DeAngelo Williams' season is over. Carolina is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games overall but did lose in overtime last December in their trip to New York.
23. Chicago Bears (5-9) - I can't say enough bad things about Lovie Smith and this team. Chicago has lost seven - SEVEN - straight games against the spread. That is one of the worst NFL losing streaks against the spread in the last 15 years. Chicago is 1-11 ATS as an underdog and is 3-12-1 ATS in conference play. I won't say, "I told you so" about that Jay Cutler trade. Wait, yes I will: "I TOLD YOU SO!"
24. Seattle Seahawks (5-9) - This team has completely rolled over. This stuff is also just vintage Jim Mora Jr. and he's been showing why he was run out of Atlanta. The guy is simply a terrible motivator and awful in terms of discipline. This is a sloppy football team that isn't even playing for pride. Seattle is 1-7 ATS on the road and 1-8 ATS as an underdog.
25. Buffalo Bills (5-9) - This week could be a vintage Buffalo backdoor cover. This team is 8-2 ATS on the road and they always play their best basketball when their expectations are nil. In the last nine weeks they actually have five wins, with four of them coming as an underdog. Their losses? All to teams at .500 or better. This is kind of a misleading team.
26. Oakland Raiders (5-9) - Well, I guess we can bet against the Raiders this week and collect, eh? They have alternated a loss-win-loss-win every week since the Giants rocked them back on Oct. 11.
27. Washington Redskins (4-10) - Thank you Jim Zorn for proving yet again what I, and so many others, had said about you for the past two years: that you have absolutely no idea what you are doing. The Redskins are 3-10 ATS at home. That said, they have covered five of six overall and seven of nine against their hated rivals, the Cowboys.
28. Cleveland Browns (3-11) - The Browns are 10-4 ATS against a team with a losing record. That said, it's odd to lay the points with a team that was 1-11 just two weeks ago. Brady Quinn's season is over, meaning that Derek Anderson is back at the helm. The Browns have covered five straight games despite being outgained in all but one of them.
29. Detroit Lions (2-12) - Through 14 games the Lions secondary is allowing opponents to complete nearly 69 percent of its passes. That is astounding. Drew Stanton will get the nod under center this week after sparking the Lions to a nice comeback last week.
30. Kansas City Chiefs (3-11) - The Chiefs lost 16-6 in a trip to the Queen City last Dec. 28. They have dumped four straight games, but the really troublesome part is that they are 0-4 ATS after a solid 5-1 ATS rush. Not only have they not been covering but also they haven't even been close to the numbers.
31. Tampa Bay Bucs (2-12) - The question isn't whether or not Tampa Bay can slow down the Saints offense. They can't. Not with that secondary. The question is whether or not the Bucs can score enough points to make this game respectable and stay within the number. But before you assume that they can, remember that before last week's 24-point outburst Tampa Bay had averaged just over eight points per game over its previous four contests. They are 0-5 against the total in their last five games.
32. St. Louis Rams (1-13) - The Rams are just 7-19 ATS in their last 26 divisional games. They played with Arizona a little bit last month when they matched up, and the Rams have gone a stellar 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall. This team continues to battle, continues to benefit from people overlooking them, and continues to take advantage of fat, fat lines from oddsmakers.
Robert Ferringo is a professional handicapper and you can purchase a full season's package of his football selections for just $25 per week! Click here for details.