Steelers rise in Vegas Power Ranks

The Denver Broncos are back over .500 at 5-4 ATS. Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS -- The Denver Broncos not only watched their power rating increase in the NFL Vegas Rankings, but they also widened their lead over the field as most other top teams took a step back.

Denver's 35-21 win over San Diego last Thursday as a 9-point favorite was enough to bump the Broncos to 28.5 in the composite power ratings of our ESPN Insider panel of handicappers -- Sal Selvaggio of madduxsports.com, Erin Rynning of sportsmemo.com and yours truly, Dave Tuley -- but then five of the top 10 teams (Green Bay, Indianapolis, San Diego, Dallas and Baltimore) lost while Seattle was downgraded after its non-cover against Carolina. In fact, New England was the only other top-10 team besides Denver to have its power rating increase off its 51-23 rout of Chicago as a 6-point home favorite.

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The NFL Vegas Rankings are used to compare two teams to the current point spread as if they were meeting on a neutral field, and then factoring in home-field advantage. The industry standard is 2.5 points for home field, but teams such as Green Bay, New England and San Francisco are typically given a full field goal, while Denver and New Orleans are closer to 3.5. Seattle is given the biggest home-field advantage in the league (about four to 4.5 points).

Below is a look at the power ratings for all 32 NFL teams, along with Week 9 games where there appears to be value in the current lines. These plays went 2-1 ATS last week with Buffalo beating the New York Jets outright as a 3-point road 'dog and Arizona (minus-2.5) covering against Philadelphia in a 24-20 victory, while the loss was on Oakland versus Cleveland.

As always, these are not my personal plays (and I made the mistake of going against Arizona with Philly) or those of any of the other handicappers, but rather the collective group as a whole. I'll post my thoughts in the Tuley's Take column on Friday.

NFL Vegas Rankings

1. Denver Broncos (power rating: 28.5)
The Broncos continued to take care of business in their 35-21 win over San Diego for their fourth straight point-spread cover after starting the season 0-3 ATS.
Previous rating: 28