OddsTrader’s NFL Power Rankings Before Week 12: Super Bowl Contenders Shape Up Before Thanksgiving

tony pollard dak prescott dallas cowboys
Tony Pollard #20 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates a touchdown against the Chicago Bears with Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys. Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images/AFP

If New England’s head coach Bill Belichick is right that football season really starts after Thanksgiving, then we are getting to the critical time of the year, with Week 12 on the horizon.

But Week 11 gave the top 10 teams in our power rankings at OddsTrader a chance to flex their muscles with a perfect 9-0 record (the Seattle Seahawks had a bye week).

We have a new No. 1 team this week after Dallas had a dominant 40-3 win over an 8-1 team on the road. But the Bills, Chiefs, and 49ers also had impressive games.

For more information about how our tool works, be sure to check our 2021 Week 1 post.

1. Dallas Cowboys (7-3 SU, 7-3 ATS)

The Cowboys rebounded from their blown lead in Green Bay with a huge statement win, destroying the Vikings 40-3 in Minnesota. Even though Ezekiel Elliott returned and scored two short touchdowns, Tony Pollard’s blazing speed continues to be a new dimension to this offense now that he is getting more touches. Pollard was untouched on two long touchdown catches on his way to 189 yards from scrimmage.

The defense also dominated the Minnesota offensive line with seven sacks and held Justin Jefferson to 33 yards, the second year in a row they held Jefferson under 35 receiving yards.

The Cowboys are 20-8 ATS since 2021, the best spread record in the NFL. They have been dominant in division games in that time, and they can sweep the Giants on Thanksgiving. Dallas could very well be 11-3 before heading into a crucial rematch with the Eagles on Christmas Eve.

2. Buffalo Bills (7-3 SU, 5-4-1 ATS)

The Bills did not have to play at home in a blizzard against the Browns, but after the game was moved to Detroit, the Bills came prepared with a snow game plan that took many by surprise. For an offense that rarely hands the ball off to running backs, the Bills got 86 yards rushing out of both Devin Singletary and rookie James Cook.

Josh Allen did not even have to throw for 200 yards to help the Bills to 31 points, and he finally avoided throwing interceptions after a three-game streak with multiple picks.

Meanwhile, the defense held Nick Chubb to the worst rushing game of his career, with 14 carries for 19 yards. The Bills won 31-23 to cover, but the game was not as close as the final score suggests.

Now the Bills get to return to Detroit for Thanksgiving against a Lions team that has won three in a row and could prove to be a stronger challenge for Buffalo. But look for Allen and the aerial game to get back on track against a pass defense that has struggled for most of the year.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (8-2 SU, 4-6 ATS)

Sunday night was just the latest magic for Patrick Mahomes III and Travis Kelce as they found a way to sweep the Chargers and take full control of the AFC West for what should be a seventh straight division title.

What more can be said about this connection? Even on a night where the Chiefs were missing wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman, and new addition Kadarius Toney left with no catches after a hamstring injury, it was Mahomes finding Kelce for three touchdowns, including the game-winner in the final 40 seconds.

The Chiefs are relying heavily on the greatness of Mahomes, but they could catch a break this week at home with a battered Rams team coming in as a 14.5-point underdog, the largest by far in Sean McVay’s career as he does not have Cooper Kupp (ankle) and possibly won’t have Matthew Stafford (concussion) again.

This rematch of 2018’s 54-51 classic will look nothing like that game, but it is a chance for Mahomes to tighten his grip on the MVP award he is heavily favored to win now.

4. San Francisco 49ers (6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS)

What is it about the Arizona defense for Jimmy Garoppolo? He has four games with four touchdown passes in his career and three of them are against the Cardinals, including a dominant 38-10 win on Monday night in Mexico.

It took almost 100 games, but head coach Kyle Shanahan (49-48) is finally above .500 for the first time in his career after a 38-10 win that moves the 49ers into first place in the NFC West thanks to a head-to-head win over Seattle in Week 2.

You can see how dangerous this team is when all the weapons on offense are clicking and the defense remains one of the best in the league.

Some tougher games are coming up soon, including the key rematch in Seattle in Week 15, but this team has the talent to go on a run all the way to the Super Bowl after coming close to winning it all in 2019 and 2021.

5. Baltimore Ravens (7-3 SU, 4-5-1 ATS)

The bandwagon for the Ravens won’t grow after a 13-3 win over the Panthers as a 13-point favorite, but the final quarter did allow the Ravens to become the sixth team since 1940 to hold a double-digit lead in each of the first 10 games of a season. That hasn’t been done since the 2011 Packers, a team that started 13-0 and finished 15-1.

The Ravens have not allowed any of their last three opponents to rush for 50 yards, something we have only seen from their greatest defenses in 2006 and 2000. The Jaguars may be a tough opponent to do that to this week with Travis Etienne, but the Ravens have the easiest remaining schedule in the league.

But as last week showed with Carolina, that does not guarantee easy wins or covers. This team still has had some injuries to overcome, but as long as Lamar Jackson stays healthy, anything is possible for this team.

It’s A Long Way to the Top

6. New England Patriots (6-4 SU, 6-3-1 ATS)

Bill Belichick just won his 14th game in a row over the Jets, and in the process, he left the Jets thinking they have another failure at quarterback in Zach Wilson. The Jets were swept by the Patriots in the last month, but Sunday’s 3-3 battle for 59 minutes was only decided by a punt return touchdown, the first in the NFL all year, with five seconds to go as the Patriots won 10-3.

The Patriots should have had a few more field goals in the game, but very windy conditions messed with those kicks. Mac Jones and the offense looked far more competent than the Jets, who may be fading after a 5-2 start.

These Patriots still have two games left with Buffalo and a rematch at home with Miami to prove their place in this very competitive AFC East. But we know the defense is still going to be tough to deal with for all opponents. The Patriots have a shot to upset the Vikings on Thanksgiving if this defense shows up like it has.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (9-1 SU, 5-5 ATS)

Props to the Eagles for ending a streak of 43 straight losses since 2010 when entering the fourth quarter with a double-digit deficit. The Eagles were able to come back in Indianapolis with Jalen Hurts leading perhaps the most important game-winning drive of his young career so far. The defense held up and the Eagles escaped with a 17-16 win.

Despite having the league’s only 9-1 record, this may be the week where people are starting to sour on the Eagles for the more attractive options we have seen from the Cowboys and 49ers in the NFC. For as well as the Eagles have played this season, they have only scored 30 points in two games, and they have never scored more than 38 points.

The Eagles will get a chance to shine in prime time again with Aaron Rodgers and the struggling Packers coming to town this Sunday night. But if Taylor Heinicke and the Commanders can win in Philadelphia on a Monday night, what’s stopping Rodgers from pulling one last rabbit out of the hat?

Or did he already use that up against the Cowboys in Week 10? Eagles and Cowboys fans are guaranteed to argue this one out until they meet again in Week 16.

8. Seattle Seahawks (6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS)

The Seahawks had the bye after losing to Tom Brady’s Buccaneers in Germany, but they remain an intriguing team with Geno Smith’s league-leading accuracy metrics. The Seahawks had won four games in a row by double digits before the Tampa Bay loss, the kind of streak they only achieved one other time in the entire Russell Wilson era (2012-2021).

With the upcoming schedule, the Seahawks could be 9-4 before going into a tough stretch with the 49ers and Chiefs. But with head coach Pete Carroll being an experienced winner, Geno’s stats holding strong at 72.8% complete and 7.8 yards per attempt through Week 10, and Kenneth Walker still the odds-on favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year, the Seahawks may have what it takes to be a contender in the playoffs. This conference is still fairly open.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4 SU, 7-3 ATS)

How much have the Bengals turned things around with their rival Steelers?

  • Andy Dalton was 3-13 against Pittsburgh and never led the Bengals to more than 21 points in those 16 games.
  • Joe Burrow is 3-2 against Pittsburgh and would be 4-1 with four straight wins and games with 23-plus points had his special teams made an extra point or 29-yard field goal in Week 1 this year.

Either way, Burrow has already matched Dalton in wins against the Steelers, and he just had one of the best road games of his career, without Ja’Marr Chase too, by throwing for 355 yards and four touchdowns in Pittsburgh in a 37-30 win.

If the Bengals are going to navigate this tough remaining schedule to return to the playoffs, it is going to be driven by Burrow’s play. It would really help if Chase (hip) can come back this week against the Titans, which is a possibility.

10. Tennessee Titans (7-3 SU, 8-2 ATS)

The Titans do not care if you think they are boring to watch. They just keep winning games they are not expected to, and now they are 8-2 ATS, the best spread record in the league this year.

Ryan Tannehill unexpectedly passed for 333 yards in Green Bay in a 27-17 win last week. He was the first quarterback to pass for over 250 yards on the Broncos’ pass defense this year two weeks ago. If Tannehill was available for the Kansas City game, a 20-17 overtime loss with rookie Malik Willis gaining one first down on the last 10 drives, then this team might be in position for another No. 1 seed.

But first, the Titans must get some revenge this Sunday for last January’s one-and-done playoff loss against Cincinnati. Teams who get at least nine sacks and allow fewer than 20 points are 128-2-2 in NFL history, but the Titans had one of the two losses at home to the Bengals last postseason in a game where Tannehill imploded with three interceptions.

Tennessee is a home underdog this time, a role that suits the Titans best.

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