Suffice to say, we all pray to the Gods at ESPN every once in a while; if not for the glorious “Sports Center” broadcast or attractive female sports anchors, but for their, umm, assistance in helping us pick a winner each week of NFL football action. Even if ESPN isn’t covering a specific game, they still keep tabs on all the action, with their sports analysts storing stats in a database faster than the speed of light. No doubt, if you’re an ESPN junkie, you’re going to get the news and analysis one way or another: it’s just a matter of time. And, now that ESPN is online (well, for a few years now) sports fans can keep track of each and every play, even which players tap out for a bathroom break .
This brings us to one of ESPN’s hallmark NFL football ranking systems: “The NFL Power Rankings”. Wow, did all the air just leave my lungs? Even though football is not in season yet, ESPN still offers “off-season” power rankings, updated early in the summer. So, based on their god like prowess for analyzing sports and actually backing it up with fact and stats, we’ve put together a short list of teams ESPN believes will hammer the competition during Week 1 Regular season NFL betting.
To see the rankings, click here: ESPN’s NFL Off-Season Power Rankings
ESPN’s Top Teams heading into Week 1 from the off-season:
- Steelers – Record: 12-4-0 – This isn’t much of a surprise. We here at Sportsbetting3.com agree with ESPN on this one, mostly because, well… they did win the Super Bowl. The Steelers look strong heading into this season.
- Patriots – Record: 11-5-0 – The Pats are heavily favored this season, and have some of the best odds of making the next Super Bowl. Without a doubt, they’ll roll over their opponent, the Buffalo Bills during the Monday Night Football season opener.
- Giants – Record: 12-4-0 – Boasting a strong record from last season, the Giants head into the 2009-2010 NFL regular season with high hopes. Eli Manning, the quarterback, still has to do some work with the offense, though.
- Eagles – Record: 9-6-1 – The Birds from Phillie pick up a #4 ranking from EPSN, not bad considering their above average, but not stellar, 2008-09 record.
- Colts – Record: 12-4-0 – Joining the Steelers and Giants with a 12-4-0 record, the Colts are regrouping and getting their game together for this coming season. They should blow out the Jacksonville Jaguars in their opener on Sunday, September 13.
- Chargers – Record: 8-8-0 – Despite the fact that the San Diego Chargers split the difference last season, ESPN feels they are one of the better teams. They open on Monday night against the Raiders. Some sports bettors have already placed the smart money on the Chargers .
- Titans – Record: 13-3-0 – Coming in at #7, the Titans are definitely a respectable force. Their record speaks volumes, but they’ll still need to coordinate their offense with the utmost care this season.
- Falcons – Record: 11-5-0 – This one is a surprise to us here at Sportsbetting3.com, but we’ll bow to ESPN’s expertise on this one. Their opener with the Dolphins could be close, but most believe the Falcons will pull it out.
- Vikings – Record: 10-6-0 – When ESPN published the off season power rankings, they gave the Vikings the #9 spot with an asterisk: on the condition that Brett Farve would be joining the squad. Sadly, Favre will remain in retirement, so maybe the Vikings should be reevaluated.
- Ravens – Record: 11-5-0 – Things start to drop off here…The Ravens have lost some key offensive players, and will probably struggle to get things together. It will be tough to compete with last season’s team, but hey, we can hope, right? The Ravens look like they’ll beat the Chiefs on September 13.
That’s your top 10 NFL Off-season power rankings from ESPN. In the next set of 10, the teams are generally close, and only appeared to attain their respective ranking on a subjective basis. We thought the Dolphins and Cardinals might see daylight a little higher in the list, but they didn’t make the top 10 cut. We all remember the Cardinals’ improbable run to the Super Bowl ( who doesn’t? ) but as for this year, they’re back to the drawing board.
The lowly Lions bring up the rear, having lost every game last year, although to their credit, a couple of them were close. It’s no surprise that the Detroit Lions face the longest odds to make the Super Bowl, and probably even longer odds to fill their stadium. The Saints should hammer them in the season opener, unless lightning strikes between now and then.
Be sure to check out the 2009-10 Week by Week NFL schedule posted at Sportsbetting3.com: NFL 2009-2010 Schedule. Also, we’ve got a live odds page that is continually updated courtesy of SportsBookReview. Simply select the league of your choice (NFL, NCAAF, NBA, NCAAB, etc) and you’ll get a complete rundown of the numbers. NFL Betting Odds – Click Here to View and Signup at a Sportsbook.
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