NFL Power Rankings Week 10: Latest Outlook and 2018-19 Super Bowl Odds

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 5, 2018

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) makes a call again the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

It only seems right a week that started with someone named Nick Mullens putting on a show on a Thursday night wound up seeing an undefeated team finally lose and an epic battle between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have a big ripple effect on power rankings. 

Those power rankings aren't going to catapult Mullens' San Francisco 49ers up the board by any means, but it is quite clear the top teams in the league are starting to pull away from the rest of the pack. 

The problem is, the pack is huge—a whopping 19 teams have a .500 record or worse right now. In other words, power rankings are a gargantuan undertaking this year, and so is the challenge faced by oddsmakers. 

For those paying close attention, that creates some interesting season-long lines to exploit. 


2018 NFL Power Rankings and Super Bowl Odds

RankTeam (SB odds)
1New Orleans Saints (13-2)
2Kansas City Chiefs (11-2)
3Los Angeles Rams (11-4)
4New England Patriots (11-2)
5Los Angeles Chargers (16-1)
6Houston Texans (22-1)
7Carolina Panthers (22-1)
8Washington Redskins (28-1)
9Chicago Bears (28-1)
10Pittsburgh Steelers (16-1)
11Cincinnati Bengals (40-1)
12Minnesota Vikings (16-1)
13Seattle Seahawks (33-1)
14Philadelphia Eagles (25-1)
15Green Bay Packers (33-1)
16Baltimore Ravens (33-1)
17Dallas Cowboys (45-1)
18Atlanta Falcons (66-1)
19Tennessee Titans (80-1)
20Indianapolis Colts (125-1)
21Detroit Lions (100-1)
22Miami Dolphins (175-1)
23Jacksonville Jaguars (50-1)
24Denver Broncos (150-1)
25Tampa Bay Buccaneers (250-1)
26New York Jets (300-1)
27Cleveland Browns (300-1)
28Arizona Cardinals (400-1)
29San Francisco 49ers (2000-1)
30Buffalo Bills (500-1)
31New York Giants (1000-1)
32Oakland Raiders (1500-1)
author's opinion

Odds courtesy of OddsShark


Throw in the Towel: Baltimore Ravens (33-1)

Nick Wass/Associated Press

It was "do or die" for the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9, and the results aren't pretty. 

Losers of two in a row and sitting at .500 entering the weekend, the Ravens let the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town and escape with a 23-16 victory. To make it worse, the Ravens had already gone to Pittsburgh and won earlier this year. 

The result is not only a 4-5 record, but a head coach openly talking about his possible job status—which is never a good sign: 

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

#Ravens coach John Harbaugh on this morning’s report on his job status following the loss https://t.co/a8TnGlL96g

Baltimore heads into a bye week losers of three in a row against legitimate competition (New Orleans, Carolina, Pittsburgh), has a loss to Cleveland on the record and its last win against a 3-4 Tennessee team. 

Joe Flacco isn't getting it done under center, against Pittsburgh posting a 23-of-37 line for 206 yards against a defense that ranks outside the top 20 against the pass. A once-vaunted defense has now allowed 23 or more points in three consecutive games, two of those at home. 

Painting in broad strokes, the Ravens continue to sit third in the AFC North behind a pair of five-win teams, having lost to both already. They play seven more games, two in the division and two against elite Kansas City and Los Angeles Chargers teams. 

Written another way, the Ravens aren't a pretty underdog pick here based on an interesting payout—they're the team that has won five, eight and nine games without a playoff appearance over the past three years. 


Buy All the Stock: Los Angeles Chargers (16-1)

Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Las Vegas oddsmakers are slow to wake up about these Chargers and would-be bettors will want to take advantage. 

Now 6-2, Philip Rivers and the Chargers don't get national attention for one reason or another, but bettors would be wise to keep in mind the team's only losses this year have come at the hands of Kansas City and the Los Angeles Rams.

Last time out, the Chargers went to Seattle of all places and escaped with a 25-17 win, getting two scores from Philip Rivers and another on the ground from Melvin Gordon while the defense only allowed 356 total yards over more than 35 minutes of Seahawks possession. 

"Balance" would be the keyword: 

Daniel Jeremiah @MoveTheSticks

One final thought from Chargers/Seahawks game: The Chargers offense has tremendous balance. They can pound the ball with Gordon, create big plays down the field with Williams duo & Keenan Allen does all the dirty work in the middle of the field. Rivers makes it all go.

Some teams specialize in certain areas, whereas the Chargers can do it all. To date, Rivers has completed 67.1 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns and just three interceptions. Gordon averages north of five yards per carry with seven touchdowns and also has four or more catches in four games. 

Perhaps most importantly, these Chargers only let up an average of 22.5 points per game and not only boast a pass-rusher like Melvin Ingram, but a do-it-all rookie safety like Derwin James, who has 3.5 sacks, six passes defensed and an interception. 

While the Chargers might not catch the Chiefs in the AFC West, a weak AFC all but assures a playoff berth regardless. From there, the Chargers have already shown they can play with the best teams in the league and lean on a variety of strengths based on the opponent. 


Underdog to Know: Houston Texans (22-1)

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The line here is a result of AFC South tax. 

It has to be, right? Oddsmakers don't trust the division, so it is easy to overlook the fact the Houston Texans are one of only a handful of teams sitting on six or more wins. 

Those Texans have rattled off six wins in a row after opening the season 0-3, a dramatic turnaround littered with smart adjustments and solid play from Deshaun Watson. Back in a groove, Watson is completing 64.9 percent of his passes with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions, adding another 268 yards and a score as a rusher. 

It was always going to come down to Watson, both in how he rebounded from an injury and handled the rest of the league adapting to him as he developed. Lamar Miller has always been a talented running back and DeAndre Hopkins is one of the best in the league, so Watson taking care of the football and making plays has the Texans looking like easy favorites in the division. 

It's the defense that could quietly put the Texans over the top. One number from a 19-17 win on the road over Denver in Week 9 says quite a bit:

James Palmer @JamesPalmerTV

The Texans held the Broncos running backs to 3.8 yards per carry after they had averaged a league-leading 5.2 yards per carry through the first 8 weeks

Said defense has allowed more than 20 points in a game just twice over the six-game tear as the Texans head into a bye. At this point, the season-long outlook is impossible to ignore, as the Texans still get cupcakes against Cleveland, Indianapolis and the New York Jets, not top mention a Jacksonville team they already beat. 

With a quarterback like Watson under center and reinforced by a strong defense, the Texans have the look of a team capable of making some serious noise in the playoffs.