NFL Power Rankings Week 6: Latest Outlook and 2017-18 Super Bowl Odds

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2017

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 08: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is wrapped up for a tackle by Dante Fowler #56 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second half during the game at Heinz Field on October 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Normalcy starts to creep back into the NFL power rankings as the calendar turns to Week 6. 

It's not hard to see why after the events of Week 5. Teams like the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs kept on winning. There were few notable upsets, though surprises like the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars picking up wins yet again turned some heads. 

As has been the case the past few weeks, oddsmakers out of Las Vegas have had a hard time adjusting for the long-term outlook. This could be the last week of such an occurrence, so patient would-be bettors might want to get moving. 

Here is an updated look at power rankings and Super Bowl odds before a deeper dive on odds advice.  


2017 NFL Power Rankings and Super Bowl Odds

1Kansas City Chiefs (9-1)
2Denver Broncos (16-1)
3Green Bay Packers (15-2)
4Carolina Panthers (28-1)
5Philadelphia Eagles (22-1)
6Detroit Lions (22-1)
7Seattle Seahawks (11-1)
8Atlanta Falcons (10-1)
9New England Patriots (4-1)
10Oakland Raiders (20-1)
11Tampa Bay Buccaneers (40-1)
12Los Angeles Rams (40-1)
13Washington Redskins (66-1)
14Cincinnati Bengals (150-1)
15Buffalo Bills (50-1)
16Dallas Cowboys (14-1)
17New York Jets (200-1)
18Houston Texans (28-1)
19Miami Dolphins (200-1)
20Jacksonville Jaguars (100-1)
21Pittsburgh Steelers (9-1)
22Baltimore Ravens (75-1)
23Tennessee Titans (33-1)
24New Orleans Saints (50-1)
25Minnesota Vikings (40-1)
26Arizona Cardinals (75-1)
27Los Angeles Chargers (300-1)
28Chicago Bears (500-1)
29Indianapolis Colts (200-1)
30New York Giants (150-1)
31Cleveland Browns (3000-1)
32San Francisco 49ers (2000-1)
author's opinion, odds via OddsShark


Invest Now: Carolina Panthers (28-1)

Time to hop aboard the train orchestrated by Cam Newton

The Carolina Panthers took care of business to start the year, yet as the odds show, most didn't necessarily believe the team did anything special. 

Now they have. 

Carolina went to Foxborough, Massachusetts, in Week 4 and took down the New England Patriots. Just as impressive was Week 5, when the Panthers hit the road again and took down the Detroit Lions, 27-24. 

Newton threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns Sunday despite his running game averaging a yard per carry. He's thrown six touchdowns against one interception over his past two games, and as ESPN's Field Yates pointed out, touchdowns aren't the only number that stands out: 

Field Yates @FieldYates

Cam Newton completion percentage by game this season: Week 1: 56% Week 2: 62.5% Week 3: 65.4% Week 4: 75.9% Week 5: 78.8%

Don't scoff at folks who want to suggest Newton is in MVP form. Sans Greg Olsen, he's making a 30-year-old blocking tight end like Ed Dickson look good while winning two road games against would-be contenders. 

The performance from Newton, compensating for the defense and zero running game, has the Panthers ahead of even the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC South. Bettors looking for a quality midseason payout on a long-term line can stop looking and roll with the Panthers. 


Abandon Ship: Pittsburgh Steelers (9-1)

Time to hit the panic button on the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

It was easy to brush off hiccups near the start of the season as the Steelers needing to shake off the rust. Hardly escaping the Cleveland Browns in 21-18 fashion could fall under the classification as a tough AFC North encounter. Outright losing to the rebuilding Chicago Bears—a little harder to justify. 

Getting blown away at home by the Jaguars? It's likely over. 

The Steelers are 3-2 and still in the running thanks to a terrible division. But when Ben Roethlisberger is dropping notes like this, recorded by Andrew Gibson of 92.5 FM, it's time to worry: 

Andrew Gibson @1010XLAG

Ben Roethlisberger after #Jaguars loss: "Maybe I don’t have it anymore"

Remember, looking at these odds is all about the long-term outlook. 

And this was supposed to be the easy part. 

Pittsburgh still has to play Cincinnati twice, Kansas City, Detroit, Green Bay and New England. That's not exactly a great outlook for a team that allowed Jacksonville to come to town and rush for 6.2 yards per carry while Blake Bortles attempted only 14 passes. 

It's easy to get lazy and throw out the fact the Steelers are like the Seattle Seahawks in the way they like to turn it on when it matters. But given the strength of the schedule the rest of the way, it mattered right out of the gates in Week 1. 


Remain Calm: New England Patriots (4-1)

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 5:  Wide receiver Chris Hogan #15 of the New England Patriots celebrates with quarterback Tom Brady #12 after hauling in a 5-yard touchdown pass from Brady during the second quarter of an NFL football game Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Octob
Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The difference between the Steelers and Patriots, other than Tom Brady, is actually winning games they should. 

New England hasn't looked pretty so far, and yes, the defense is a miserable mess. But when Tom Brady has 11 touchdowns against one interception while going 3-2, there is still plenty of reason for optimism from a long-term standpoint. 

Most recently, Brady and the Patriots survived a road trip with a 19-14 escape of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In a sloppy game, the New England defense at least remained level while holding a Jameis Winston-Mike Evans-DeSean Jackson attack in check while Brady's offense had an average showing. 

"They kept us in it all night," Brady said, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com). "I wish we could have scored more points offensively, but defense really held their own."

Bettors can see the difference between this outcome and a home loss against a team like the Jaguars before some head-scratching quotes. And at the end of the day, it is 100 percent safe to trust a coaching staff led by Bill Belichick to identify the problem areas and rectify them as the season progresses, even if it means making moves—and the Patriots aren't strangers to in-season trades. 

All that aside, the early outlook in the AFC East has it seeming like the best division in football with two other 3-2 teams in the Bills and Jets, making for one of Brady's tougher tasks to date. But as the odds already suggest, it isn't so outlandish to think he makes it happen. 


Stats courtesy of NFL.com. Odds courtesy of OddsShark


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