2008 NFL Preseason Power Rankings July 27th , 2008
By: NFL Handicapping Staff
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2008/09 NFL Pre – Season Team By Team Betting Outlook
The Patriots came within a whisker of making history with the first 19-0 season in NFL history last year. With an entire offseason to ruminate about how things soured in their final game. New England is the obvious choice to top our 2008 NFL Preason Power Rankings of all 32 NFL teams.
1. New England Patriots (16-0, 10-6 ATS)
Patriots backers won’t want to admit it, but New England’s shocking loss to New York in Super Bowl XLII was the best thing for them. The still-stacked Pats will see more value at the window early this season because of it.
2. San Diego Chargers (11-5, 11-5 ATS)
To the extent that a team like the Chargers can be a sleeper pick to win it all, flying under the radar they are. With the injuries to Rivers and LT a distant memory, San Diego will be one of the safest bests in the league this season.
3. Indianapolis Colts (13-3, 9-7 ATS)
The Colts should improve on last season’s mark against the number, because Marvin Harrison is healthy and because Joseph Addai is poised to become an elite running back.
4. New York Giants ( 10-6, 10-6 ATS)
The Giants will be overvalued because they’re a public team that just pulled off perhaps the biggest upset in Super Bowl history. It’ll be interesting to see if New York is just hitting its stride or if the big win was a one-hit wonder.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5, 11-5 ATS)
Could very well be the second-best team in the AFC, which is saying something considering the depth of the Conference. A repeat performance of last season’s strong campaign is in the cards.
6. Dallas Cowboys (13-3, 9-7 ATS)
Jerry Jones’ boys are in dire need of a wide receiver to complement TO. Don’t be surprised to see Pacma Jones get a shot at the gig. If Patrick Crayton can’t get it going.
7. Cleveland Browns (10-6, 12-4 ATS)
The additions of Stallworth, Rogers, Williams make the Browns a better team, which in turn sucks the value out of Cleveland. Their tough schedule won’t help either.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6, 8-8 ATS)
The Steelers are probably a better all-around team now than when they cashed at SB XL. Problem is, so are New England, San Diego, and even Indianapolis.
9. Green Bay Packers (13-3, 12-3-1 ATS)
It might be wise to make a wait-and-see approach with last season’s best bet, because some guy named Favre isn’t around anymore. If the Pack are as talented as it seems, they could turn the trick again.
10. Seattle Seahawk (10-6, 9-7 ATS)
For a franchise at a crossroads, the Seahawks are still in pretty good shape. The recruitment of new offensive line coach Mike Solari will help improve a running game that now features Julius Jones, Maurice Morris, Leonard Weaver (FB) and TJ Duckett. (Reminds me of the Packers RB’s in their Super Bowl year under Holmgren)
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7, 9-7 ATS)
After a slow start in 2007, the Bucs went 8-4 ATS to end the season. Bolstered by the best pass defense in the NFL, Tampa Bay should be a solid play for bettors once again.
12. Tennessee Titans (10-6, 8-8 ATS)
Bettors have to pay too high a price for the Titans due to the public’s love affair with Vince Young. Maybe they should consider Young’s 69.0 passer rating next time they’re tempted to take Tennessee.
13. Minnesota Vikings (8-8, 7-7-2 ATS)
Tavaris Jackson has his hands on the starting job, but John David Booty is waiting in the wings. Not that it matters who hands the ball of to Adrian Peterson anyways.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (8-8, 8-8 ATS)
Mediocre bordering on excellent, the Eagles are a profitable play when McNabb is in the lineup. Problem is, the QB seems to get hurt almost every season.
15. Carolina Panthers (7-9, 8-8 ATS)
A cupcake schedule and a healthy Jake Delhomme could see the Panthers climb up the NFL money list in a hurry, especially if you consider Carolina scored 25 points per game with Delhomme under center last season.
16. Arizona Cardinals (8-8, 9-7 ATS)
Depth on the defensive side of the football, and a pair of unfortunate losses to San Francisco cost the CArds a playoff berth last season. They have all the pieces to push Seattle for NFC West supremacy.
17. Washington Redskins (9-7, 7-7-2 ATS)
The Redskins could be the best be in the NFC, or a betting bust.That’s why they’re listed in the middle of the pack, although if Jason Campbell lives up to his potential, that will quickly change.
18. Detroit Lions (7-9, 6-9-1 ATS)
The Lions dropped 7 of their last 8 games last season – straight up and agaist the number. While Detroit won’t be much of a money pit in 2008, it won’t be the darling it was at the beginning of 07 either.
19. Buffalo Bills (7-9, 9-6-1 ATS)
Talk about a team that cahsed in for bettors against the odds. The Bills were 30th in offence & 31st in defense last season, but still managed to be a solid play in the competitive AFC.
20. New Orleans Saints (7-9, 6-10 ATS)
Sharp bettors are saying the Saints are poised to bounce back this season. What role Reggie Bush will play in the predited success remains to be seen.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (7-9, 7-9 ATS)
Chad Johnson is holding out TJ Houshmandzadeh is talking trash, and Carson Palmer is frustrated with both of them. It’s pretty bad when the Bengals were more bankable with Chris Henry in the mix.
22. Chicago Bears (7-9, 7-9 ATS)
The Bears aren’t who we thought they were. It’s a miracle Chicago won 7 games last season, considering Grossman was at the helm. Guess who’s back calling plays in the Windy City?
23. Houston Texans (8-8, 8-8 ATS)
Matt Schaub and the Texans should be consistently average, which at the very least make Houston an easy team to handicap when September rolls around.
24. Denver Broncos (7-9, 5-11 ATS)
The Broncos have a ton of holes, but so do Kansas City and Oakland. They could get back in the playoffs but will do so without the unmotivated Travis Henry.
25. St. Louis Rams (3-13, 5-11 ATS)
If real football were like Madden ’08, the Rams would win in cover every time. Second overall pick Chris Long will help the defensive line immediately, although a brutal schedule in the early going won’t.
26. San Francisco 49ers (5-11, 5-11 ATS)
It’s the 4th season for Alex Smith, and his 4th offensive coordinator in passing guru Mike Martz. If that’s not enough of a challenge, Smith still has to win the starting job over Shaun Hill.
27. Baltimore Ravens (5-11, 3-13 ATS)
From Super Bowl contender to the leagues worst bet, there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered in Baltimore. Most noteably, who’s going to play QB?
28. Kansas City Chiefs (4-12, 7-8-1 ATS)
We all know that Herm Edwards’ Chiefs “play to win the game.” Too bad it doesn’t pay to play the Chiefs, who a rebuilding project away to getting back to respectability.
29. Okland Raiders (4-12, 6-10 ATS)
An unsure wager, the Raiders are loaded with talent in JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden, LaMont Jordan, Javon Walker, and DeAngelo Hall. That and a weak schedule could save Lane Kiffin from Al Davis’ rath.
30. New York Jets (4-12, 6-9-1 ATS)
Eric Mangini is an excellent head coach, but that alone doesn’t guarantee any paydays for bettors. That’s not to mention that it will be either Kellen Clemens or Chad Pennington at QB for New York.
31. Atlanta Falcons (4-12, 8-8 ATS)
Handicap the Falcons to be getting plenty of points from odds makers this season. Let’s hope for the rookies sake that Mike Smith bring Matt Ryan along slowly.
32. Miami Dolphins (1-15, 5-8-3 ATS)
As bad and unprofitable as the fish were in 07, they will head into the season without Jason Taylor, arguably the best defensive player in the league. Welcome to the side lines Tony Sparano.
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