Betting takeaways from ESPN’s Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: Are the Packers too low?

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What a week for John Q. Public! Week 14 saw the favorites and overs dominate. Favorites finished Sunday’s action with an 11-2 record ATS (12-1 straight up), and over tickets cashed to the tune of 10-3 (pending Monday night’s Rams-Cardinals matchup).

Normally, those are bets the public likes to take backing the favorite and hoping to see a lot of points scored. Hey, every now and then the books need to take a bath, and Week 14 was that! Hooray!

Now let’s get to the latest Power Rankings.

Now let’s get to the latest Power Rankings.

Green Bay Packers (3)

This is the team that belongs at the top in my estimation. Green Bay is 11-2 ATS this season, which is the best mark in the NFL. Despite his nagging toe injury, I would argue that Aaron Rodgers is playing quarterback better than anyone in the universe, and is even better than 2020 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers. Joe Barry’s defense has been incredible despite missing two of its best players in Jaire Alexander and Za’Darius Smith. In Week 15, the Packers visit the banged up Baltimore Ravens — who might be without their MVP QB Lamar Jackson. I see value in the Packers laying 5 points against a Baltimore team that just can’t catch a break.

Indianapolis Colts (13)

The Colts are slotted way too low in these rankings. Despite being just 7-6 this season, they’ve covered at the fifth-best rate in the league (61.5%). Now, their Week 15 opponent is one of the four teams with a higher cover percentage — the New England Patriots. And the Pats are justifiably ranked No. 5 in the Power Rankings, but the gap between them and Indy is not eight spots. The Colts are the team actually favored by 2 points at home in what is probably the best pure football matchup of the week. Both teams are well-coached. Both can run the football and control the line of scrimmage. To me, Jonathan Taylor is the X-Factor who has me siding with Indy under a field goal. Strap up for this one, though, because it is going to be physical and fun. A potential playoff preview for sure.

New York Jets (29)

I wanted to bring up the Jets because they have become my favorite team to fade. Twenty-ninth in these rankings seems way too high from a betting perspective. Not only are the Jets woefully inept on both sides of the ball (defense especially), but they have the worst ATS record in the NFL at 3-10, which also happens to match their actual record. In Week 15, they travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins, catching 8.5 points. That’s not enough. Although Miami might be dealing with some COVID-19 absences, it still will have a competent enough offense to exploit the Jets’ non-existent defense. Quarterback Zach Wilson trying to efficiently move the ball down the field against Miami’s defense is sure to be a laughable and futile pursuit. The Jets might not have the fewest wins in the NFL this season, but they’ve certainly been the easiest to pick on for bettors.

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