1: St. Louis Rams – Of all the teams to go 7-1 ATS on the road… The Rams? St. Louis had a great year under Head Coach Jeff Fisher, and though it only went 7-8-1 SU, it proved that it can stick around in games against the best teams in the league. Playing in the NFC West is tough, but that tie that was mustered at San Francisco was probably the signature moment of the season for QB Sam Bradford and company. The best part about going 7-8-1, though? The oddsmakers are going to be stacking the line against the Rams all season long this year as well, especially in this division where everyone is tripping over each other just to try to get a piece of the action on the Seahawks or the 49ers.
2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – When Head Coach Greg Schiano came to Tampa Bay, he promised that his Buccaneers were going to be playing some tough, hardnosed football. The Bucs did just that. They went on the road last season and went 6-2 ATS on the road, sticking around in some games in which they seemingly had no business doing that. The defense is what let the team down at times, and when games weren’t covered, you can point to the secondary for the reason why. With DB Darrelle Revis in town now though, that shouldn’t be an issue as long as he is healthy and over his ACL tear. Tampa Bay could be a dynamite away team once again this year, especially knowing that the only real potential cold weather game is going to be on November 3rd against the Seahawks.
3: Carolina Panthers – QB Cam Newton played a heck of a lot better football on the road than you probably think that he did. Over the course of road games from Week 9 through Week 15, Newton threw for an average of 242.5 yards per game and tossed eight TDs against not a single interception. Throw into the mix the fact that he was dynamic with his legs in those games as well, and it’s not tough to see why Carolina averaged 25.8 points per game and went 3-1 SU and ATS in those outings. Save for a Week 1 bumble against Tampa Bay on the road, Carolina scored at least 21 points in all of its road games last season, and doing that again this year will clearly net a ton of wins.
4: Washington Redskins – One of the few teams that is going to show up both in our Top 10 home teams and Top 10 road teams… Washington was great wherever it went last year, and it started right at the top of the season when QB Robert Griffin III carved up the New Orleans secondary in the Bayou. There are going to be questions this year about the Redskins for sure, the first of which is obviously whether RGIII is going to be healthy or not. If not, there is a real chance that this team could fall apart in a hurry. For now though, ride the wave while you can on a team that has a quarterback that is clearly working towards a remarkable career if he can stay healthy.
5: Cincinnati Bengals – For years and years, the Bengals could really only win games at Paul Brown Stadium. Last season though, they took a step in the right direction and went a whopping 6-2 ATS on the road. Cincinnati though, lost a game on the road in the playoffs for the second straight year against Houston. It was nice to see the squad really hang tough in the AFC North, both Pittsburgh and Baltimore went just 6-9-1 ATS for the campaign, but the Bengals are going to have to figure out how to win the biggest games of the year on the road if they are going to get anywhere towards the Super Bowl.
6: Atlanta Falcons – You think of the Falcons as a team that plays well at home, but at least in 2012, it was much to the contrary. Atlanta went 5-2-1 ATS away from the Georgia Dome, and that was largely due to the fact that QB Matt Ryan and his receivers really took a massive step in the right direction over the course of the year. Of course, part of the benefit that the Falcons had last season was that they had a pair of dome games on the road late in the season, and there really wasn’t a cold weather game. That won’t be the case next season, as the last three road games of the year are at Buffalo, at Green Bay, and at San Francisco.
7: New England Patriots – The Patriots run an up tempo style, and they do it in some of the worst weather conditions you could possibly imagine in Massachusetts with regularity. There’s a reason that QB Tom Brady doesn’t care whether he is at home or on the road. Every year, one of those games sneaks up on New England, and it gets beaten, but for the most part, it tends to play quite well on the road. Last season was no exception, as the Pats went 5-2-1 ATS playing outside of Foxboro. There isn’t a guarantee that will happen again this year with TE Aaron Hernandez and WR Wes Welker no longer with the team, but Brady finds a way every season to make it work regardless of what he has around him.
8: San Francisco 49ers – Last season, QB Colin Kaepernick went on the road and slugged it out with the Saints in the Bayou in a ridiculously high scoring game. That’s the game that we’re all going to remember as the one that defined the season for the second year man from Nevada. From that point forward, there was no doubt that this was Kaepernick’s team, and QB Alex Smith wasn’t getting his job back. The Niners were in good shape both at home and on the road, and last year, they even went on the road for the NFC Championship Game, where they were able to fight back from down 17-0 to take down the Falcons.
9: Denver Broncos – The thin air at Mile High Stadium is always a terror to try to play in, but sometimes when the Broncos go on the road, they have the opposite problem, especially in warm weather games. No problem now! QB Peyton Manning always seems to win regardless of where he goes, especially when it is warm outside. With his experience with the Colts in tow, Manning is starting to really develop a complete package. Denver has road games against San Diego, Oakland, and Kansas City every year as well, and that surely helped en route to a 5-3 ATS record on the road last season.
10: Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jaguars only went 2-14 last season, and they ended up with the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft. They were bad for sure, but they did stick around in some games on the road, and they did so against some darn good teams as well. The Jags had the Texans on the ropes at Reliant Stadium before losing in overtime, and they took the Packers down to the wire as well in a game that ended up being a lot closer than 24-15 suggests. One of its wins came on the road as well against the Colts, and that victory ended up being the only time all season long that Indy didn’t cover a game at home. These Jaguars at least fought hard all year, and they are going to be getting a ton of points on the road all season long once again this year, too.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.