In this weekly feature, we’ll highlight a trio of teams trending up or downward in our NFL power rankings. For reference, TheLines Week 5 power rankings aren’t predicated around futures markets, despite the possibility there might be value available. Instead, they’re evaluating a team’s outlook on a week-by-week basis. The ranks are a composite of eight staff members — in the order of which team they would have favored on a neutral field this week.
Click on any of the odds below to place a bet now. The price listed next to each team represents its Super Bowl odds.
No. 6 San Francisco 49ers ()
Kyle Shanahan’s team outgained the Rams by a stunning 3.2 Yards Per Play (YPP). Their supremacy was heavily assisted by do-it-all wideout Deebo Samuel, who corralled six grabs for 115 yards and a touchdown. That performance was equivalent to an absurd 9.3 Expected Points Added (EPA). On the flip side, the defense is surrendering the lowest EPA across the NFL.
San Francisco was initially a three-point favorite on the look-ahead line at the Panthers. It’s ballooned all the way up to the figure below.
Week 5 Spread: 49ers
- Who’s lowest on the 49ers? Matt Burke (No. 8)
No. 8 Cincinnati Bengals ()
The Bengals’ deficient offensive line play helped manufacture an 0-2 start, but they’ve since righted the ship with two straight wins. They’ve also risen four spots in the process.
However, their Dropback Success Rate (SR) is still below the league average amid their victorious stretch. For context, a play is deemed successful if it accumulates:
- 50 percent of the yards needed to move the chains on first down
- 70 percent of yards to gain on second down
- 100 percent of yards to gain on third or fourth down
Be careful with a tricky Week 5 spot at the Ravens, which are fresh off another game in which they blew a double-digit lead. They lost both games last season against Cincinnati, too. While that may not scream “bet the home favorite,” it’s a great situational spot for Baltimore.
Week 5 Spread: Bengals
- Who’s highest on the Bengals? Nate Weitzer (No. 7)
- Who’s lowest on the Bengals? Eli Hershkovich (No. 11)
No. 14 Dallas Cowboys ()
After losing quarterback Dak Prescott (thumb) in a season-opening loss to the Buccaneers, the Cowboys ripped off three consecutive wins against measly competition. It was good enough for our crew to boost them up eight spots. Don’t blame the messenger.
Keep in mind, Dallas’ 19th-rated offensive SR ranks below the Giants. The Cowboys are allowing the NFL’s fourth-lowest YPP as well — a ranking that’s due for its fair share of regression. It doesn’t sound as if Prescott will return for Sunday’s matchup against the aforementioned Rams, and Mike McCarthy’s exposable secondary could be in for a rude awakening.
Week 5 Spread: Cowboys
- Who’s lowest on the Cowboys? Mo Nuwwarah (No. 19)