The second half of the 2011 NFL regular season got underway last week and in the NFC, Green Bay and San Francisco continue to be the front-runners for the top two seeds in the conference, while in the AFC it appears to be a three-team race for the top two spots between New England, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. While these five teams would litter the top of anyone’s NFL power rankings, this week’s betting trends guide will create our own power rankings of the league’s most profitable teams so far against the spread and in relation to the total line.
The Best of the Best
The 49ers clearly belong on the top of this list with an 8-1 record overall, but an extremely profitable 8-0-1 record ATS. The only minor blemish was a 27-24 overtime loss to Dallas in Week 2 as three-point road underdogs in a game that ended in a ‘push’. San Francisco has not been a solid play on the total line one way or the other with a record of 5-4.
The Packers have also been a money machine this season en route to a perfect 9-0 start. They have covered the spread in seven of their nine games having been a favorite in every one. They have been a double-digit favorite in five of the nine games and have covered three times. Green Bay failed to cover as a 10.5-point road favorite in a 30-23 victory over Carolina and could not cover as a 10-point road favorite in a 33-27 win over Minnesota. The Packers do score bonus points on the total line with six of their nine games going ‘over’ the total.
The final team in this category is the Cincinnati Bengals. Their 27-20 loss to Pittsburgh last week as three-point home underdogs was just the second time this season they failed to cover the spread. The Bengals are 6-3 SU and 7-2 ATS. The other game they failed to cover in was a 13-8 loss to San Francisco as 1.5-point home favorites. Cincinnati has been an even better play on the total line than Green Bay with seven of its first nine games going ‘over’.
Solid Money Makers
The Oakland Raiders top this list with an AFC West-leading 5-4 record SU and a 6-3 money-making record ATS. They have fallen off a bit since starting the season with a highly profitable 5-1 record ATS by failing to cover in two of their last three games. Hopefully, last Thursday night’s 24-17 victory over San Diego as a seven-point road underdog has Oakland back on track for the stretch run.
The Houston Texans stay on this list may be short-lived after a season-ending injury to its quarterback Matt Schaub, but for now they belong with a 7-3 record SU and a 6-3-1 record ATS. The loss of Schaub is a shame especially since this team appeared to getting even better with four straight wins and a 3-0-1 record ATS.
The Seattle Seahawks are just 3-6 SU on the year and five games in back of the surging 49ers in the NFC West, but they earned a spot on this list for being a tough out at 5-3-1 ATS. Since opening the season with two straight losses both SU and ATS, the Seahawks have gone a profitable 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games. Last week they stunned the Ravens 22-17 as seven-point home dogs.
Despite Baltimore’s unexplainable meltdown against Seattle last Sunday, it still earned a mention for all-around profitability. The Ravens are 6-3 SU and have covered the spread in five of their nine games. The real attraction of this team is on the total line with seven of their nine games going ‘over’ the total even with a defense that is ranked third in the NFL in points allowed. Just as a word of caution, the play this week against the equally stingy Bengals is the ‘under’.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.