- Dave Tuley, ESPN Insider
LAS VEGAS -- The New England Patriots are back atop the Vegas NFL Bettors' Poll after a week in which the top 5 teams all won.
However, with just a point and a half separating the top 5, it doesn't take much to have teams trade positions in the composite power ratings of Teddy "Covers" Sevransky of sportsmemo.com, Sal Selvaggio of madduxsports.com and yours truly, Dave Tuley. The Patriots' 59-24 dismantling of the Indianapolis Colts was the most impressive win of the weekend (though some argument could come from the San Francisco area with the 49ers' 32-7 rout of the Chicago Bears, with both teams playing backup quarterbacks). But what also helped them rise to the top was the Houston Texans' struggle to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars as a 15.5-point favorite before finally prevailing 43-37 in overtime.
We fell short of calling our No. 1 ranking a jinx last week, but if the Patriots don't come through as a 6-point favorite at the New York Jets on Thanksgiving night, we might have to wear the scarlet letter "J."
The Vegas Bettors' Poll is a power rating of all 32 NFL teams by handicappers. In the Week 12 poll, the San Francisco 49ers are the NFL's top team.