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NFL Power Rankings - Few obstacles remain in Saints' and Colts' perfect runs

Posted by Stan Simmons on 12/9/2009 2:16:08 PM

latest NFL linesThe NFL power rankings feature no leapfrog in the top two spots this week as the Saints held their ground with a courageous overtime victory over Washington, shocking the sports betting world. After overcoming Washington’s tough pass defense on the road in the cold, the Saints’ toughest tests may be over. The Colts, on the other hand, have another hill to climb.

1. (1) New Orleans (12-0)
ATS: 8-5; O/U: 7-5

Almost certainly without Matt Ryan again this week, the Falcons will give New Orleans a nice laydown. After that, the Saints get one more true threat to their perfect season from Dallas – but the game is at home. If you’re a sportsbook sharp, perfection suddenly seems like the safest bet.

2. (2) Indianapolis (12-0)
ATS: 8-4; O/U: 5-7

That Indy picked apart the AFC’s hottest team with ease shows just how far ahead of the pack it is. Peyton Manning and company should get a stiff test from the Broncos “D” but the matchup is far more comfortable at home.

3. (4) San Diego (9-3)
ATS: 6-6; O/U: 7-4-1

We have to respect San Diego’s record but, after seeing Brady Quinn throw for three scores against them, I suddenly wonder if the Chargers are still pretenders after all. Remember, five of their wins came against Oakland (twice), Kansas City (twice) and Cleveland. This week at Dallas well tell us a lot.

4. (3) Minnesota (10-2)
ATS: 7-4-1; O/U: 6-6

They were so far ahead of the No. 4 team in the NFL power rankings that one loss drops the Vikings only one spot. They’re a powerhouse but they have something to prove last week after all their strengths – Jared Allen’s pass rush, Brett Favre’s throwing and Adrian Peterson’s running – failed.

5. (7) Cincinnati (9-3)
ATS: 6-6; O/U: 5-7

Cincy has beaten plenty of good teams this season but its recent vacation versus Oakland, Cleveland and Detroit clouds our vision of how strong their NFL odds are right now. Trips to Minnesota and San Diego should tell us what to expect from the Bengals in the playoffs.

6. (8) Philadelphia (8-4)
ATS: 7-5; O/U: 8-4

It was nice to see the frustrating Eagles win a game they were supposed to win last week. Donovan McNabb has the offense humming even without Brian Westbrook and DeSean Jackson looks set to return. I like their chances against the banged-up Giants.

7. (5) Dallas (8-4)
ATS: 6-6; O/U: 6-6

Yuck. Everything about last week pointed to a Cowboy victory but the Giants pulled one out. An encouraging sign, however, was Tony Romo finally playing well in December. He threw for a career-high 392 yards in Week 13.

8. (10) Green Bay (8-4)
ATS: 7-4-1; O/U: 6-6

They’re still a young, undisciplined team that takes far too many penalties, as Monday night showed, but these kids can defend. The Packers’ top-ranked defense smothered Joe Flacco and Ray Rice. They’re also protecting Aaron Rodgers better by the week. The Pack may be ahead of schedule after all.

9. (12) Arizona (8-4)
7-4-1; O/U: 4-8

Their decisive win over Minnesota raises serious eyebrows and vaults them into the top 10 NFL power rankings. Kurt Warner’s five-INT game and concussion are distant memories, as he’s thrown 12 touchdown passes versus no picks in his last four starts.

10. (13) Denver (8-4)
ATS: 8-4; O/U: 3-9

The AFC West remains a race after all and, even though we can’t trust their offense, remaining home games against Oakland and Kansas City could push the Broncos to 10 wins. That may earn a playoff berth this season.

11. (9) New England (7-5)
ATS: 6-6; O/U: 4-7-1

12. (6) Tennessee (5-7)
ATS: 5-6-1; O/U: 6-6

13. (16) Jacksonville (7-5)
ATS: 5-7; O/U: 6-6

14. (17) New York Giants (7-5)
ATS: 6-6; O/U: 7-4-1

15. (11) Pittsburgh (6-6)
ATS: 4-8; O/U: 7-5

16. (19) Miami (6-6)
ATS: 6-6; O/U: 7-5

17. (15) Baltimore (6-6)
ATS: 6-6; O/U: 5-7

18. (20) New York Jets (6-6)
ATS: 6-6; O/U: 5-6-1

19. (14) Atlanta (6-6)
ATS: 7-5; O/U: 7-5

20. (24) Seattle (5-7)
ATS: 5-7; O/U: 6-6

21. (18) San Francisco (5-7)
ATS: 7-3-2; O/U: 5-7

22. (23) Carolina (5-7)
ATS: 5-7; O/U: 5-7

23. (21) Houston (5-7)
ATS: 5-6-1; O/U: 4-8

24. (25) Chicago (5-7)
ATS: 4-8; O/U: 4-8

25. (28) Oakland (4-8)
ATS: 6-6; O/U: 5-7

26. (22) Buffalo (4-8)
ATS: 6-6; O/U: 5-7

27. (27) Washington (3-9)
ATS: 5-7; O/U: 6-6

28. (26) Kansas City (3-9)
ATS: 5-7; O/U: 7-3-2

29. (29) Detroit (2-10)
ATS: 3-8-1; O/U: 5-7

30. (30) Tampa Bay (1-11)
ATS: 4-8; O/U: 6-6

31. (31) St. Louis (1-11)
ATS: 6-6; O/U: 6-6

32. (32) Cleveland (1-11)
ATS: 6-6; O/U: 5-7

Can Denver upset Indianapolis in NFL betting and reach the top five in the BetOnline NFL power rankings next week? Bookmark the Sports Betting Edge to find out.



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