It was another rough and tumble week in the NFL as we continue to separate the contenders from the pretenders. Let’s see how the OddsTrader Power Rankings look after an exciting Week 16!
Don’t forget, you can go over our nifty tool explanation with our Week 1 post, and remember to check back every Tuesday for analysis of the adjustment in the positions. Now, let’s review our Top 10 teams and see if you agree.
1. Buffalo Bills (9-6 SU, 9-6 ATS) Next: vs. Falcons – The earlier loss to the Patriots had to have been eating away at the Bills and they took their revenge last week in a 33-21 win in Foxboro. It was a statement victory for Buffalo and one that sees them take their rightful place atop the AFC East standings. With two cupcakes to end their season in the Falcons and Jets, the Bills are poised to fulfill preseason predictions as the top team in the division.
2. Tampa Bay Bucs (11-4 SU, 8-7 ATS) Next: at Jets – As long as the team the Bucs are facing is not the New Orleans Saints, chances are very good they will come away with a victory, as they did last week when they massacred the Panthers, 32-6. The Bucs have already clinched the NFC South and will be jockeying their way up the conference playoff seedings with slam dunks over the Jets this week followed by a home date with the Panthers.
3. Indianapolis Colts (9-6 SU, 10-5 ATS) Next: vs. Raiders – The Colts have been a gritty team throughout the season but lately, they have become a winning team with consecutive victories over the Patriots, and last week against the Cardinals in the desert. Indianapolis has the most dynamic runner in the game, Jonathan Taylor, but they will have to ramp up their aerial attack if they are to make noise in the postseason.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4 SU, 8-7 ATS) Next: at Bengals – Eventually talent does the talking and that is exactly what we are seeing here as the Chiefs are knocking down opponents with regularity after uncharacteristically struggling earlier in the season. The addition of Melvin Ingram has been a boom to the defense as it allowed Chris Jones to move inside and Patrick Mahomes is unleashing the beast that is the Kansas City offense. The Chiefs will have their hands full this week as they travel to Queen City to visit the high-flying Bengals.
5. Dallas Cowboys (11-4 SU, 12-3 ATS) Next: vs. Cardinals – The Cowboys looked positively frightening against Washington on Sunday night in their 56-14 thrashing of the No-Namers. Dak Prescott was nothing short of immense in eviscerating the WFT secondary with 330 yards through the air and four touchdown strikes.
The only sobering notion in all of this was they did it against one of the weak sisters in the NFL. Nevertheless, Dallas is not only a legitimate threat to win the Super Bowl but is a veritable ATM at the betting windows, cashing in 12-of-15 opportunities.
It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)
6. New England Patriots (9-6 SU, 9-6 ATS) Next: vs. Jaguars – The Patriots are revealing themselves as a team that has overachieved due to a rookie quarterback who is playing better than expected and some free agent signings that have paid off.
However, they are not the Beasts of the East as some propped them up to be after reeling off seven straight wins. What they are is a team devoid of any receiving threats but compensates with an impressive ground game and a decent defense. No more, no less. They should get back on the winning track this week against Jacksonville but an interesting season finale against the Dolphins in Miami awaits.
7. New Orleans Saints (7-8 SU, 7-8 ATS) Next: vs. Panthers – The Saints are still in the playoff hunt even after dropping a 20-3 decision to the surging Miami Dolphins. New Orleans has no problem beating the Bucs but notching against weaker opponents has been an issue all season long. The quarterback-challenged Saints get two golden opportunities to cure what ails them with dates against the Panthers and Falcons.
8. Green Bay Packers (12-3 SU, 11-4 ATS) Next: vs. Vikings – Aaron Rodgers eclipsed Brett Favre as Green Bay’s touchdown king and led the Packers to a 24-22 win over the Browns last week. But the ballhawks and pass rushers on the Green Bay defense proved to be the difference-maker as they picked off Baker Mayfield four times and sacked him on five occasions. If the Packers can beat their archrivals from Minnesota this week, then a first-round bye is theirs for the taking with only the Lions to tame in the season finale.
9. Los Angeles Rams (11-4 SU, 8-7 ATS) Next: at Ravens – After stumbling in consecutive weeks against the Titans, 49ers, and Packers the Rams fell off of everyone’s radar but they have mounted a comeback and are now winners of their last four contests, including last week’s 30-23 victory over the Vikings.
L.A. has a tenuous lead over the Cardinals in the NFC West but a date this week against the Ravens in Baltimore and the following week welcoming the 49ers to SoFi Stadium will tell the tale of where they enter the postseason parade.
10. San Francisco 49ers (8-6 SU, 7-7 ATS) Next: vs. Texans –The 49ers watched a 10-0 halftime lead over the COVID-ravaged Titans dissipate into what ultimately resulted in a 20-17 loss. Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a UCL tear to his thumb and his status is uncertain moving forward. The Niners have no room for error as they welcome the lowly Texans to Levi’s Stadium this week.