Most Overrated NFL Teams of 2011

Tony Salinas: Most Overrated NFL Teams of 2011

For the past several days, you've been reading all sorts of lists. Best of 2011. Worst of 2011. Most fascinating people of 2011 (like Donald Trump and the Kardashian girls are fascinating...here in Vegas they'd be invisible). Now that 2011 is in the rearview mirror, I want to make a quick list of my own. Who were the most OVERRATED pro football teams in 2011?

As you handicap Sunday's final weekend of the season, and marvel at all the firings of head coaches in the next 48 hours, here's a list to keep in mind.

MOST OVERRATED NFL TEAMS OF 2011

1...St. Louis Rams
Heading into their season finale against San Francisco, St. Louis is 2-12-1 against the spread. You have to be CONSISTENTLY overrated from Week One through the end of the season to post a horrible record like that. And, that's exactly what happened. St. Louis was embarrassed in their season opener by Philadelphia, and was embarrassed last week by Pittsburgh. Oddsmakers never caught on to how bad this team was...how bad quarterback Sam Bradford was...and how overmatched head coach Steve Spagnulo was.

I expect Spagnulo to be fired this week no matter what happens vs. San Francisco. I'm not optimistic about Bradford's longterm career given how little progression he's shown in two years as a starting quarterback. Andy Dalton of Cincinnati was better in his first month than Bradford was in year two. And, it's not like Dalton had a lot to work with on the Bengals offense.

2...Tampa Bay Bucs
This team is 4-11 against the spread as they prepare to face Atlanta Sunday afternoon in what is probably Raheem Morris's final game as head coach. Morris was quoted this week saying that he'd never fire himself...meaning he'd never quit a job. Well, Tampa Bay's players quit on him a month ago...and upper management is going to have to do the same thing very soon. Morris had a nice run last year...but the mistakes started to outnumber the big plays to an extreme degree.

Both St. Louis and Tampa Bay were popular picks as playoff "contenders" this year even if they weren't supposed to win their divisions (though, some people did pick St. Louis to win the NFC West). Those preseason expectations just never went away. Oddsmakers and bettors refused to believe their own eyes when these two teams continued to play poorly week after week. For the Rams, it the biggest problems were on offense. For the Bucs, on defense.

3...San Diego Chargers
What a shock here! Norv Turner did have the BONEHEAD game I was expecting last week at Detroit, which dropped the consistently underachieving Chargers to 5-10 ATS for the season. Once again, San Diego was expected to win the AFC West and be a Super Bowl contender. Once again, they'd play great once a month and stink the rest of the time.

There have been rumors for weeks that Turner would be gone at the end of the season. I expect all three of these coaches to be looking for work by midweek. If that doesn't happen, then management has made some big mistakes.

4...Dallas Cowboys
America's Team! The franchise I've been warning you about for decades in terms of being overpriced by oddsmakers and bettors is 5-9-1 ATS this season heading into Sunday Night's grand finale against the New York Giants. Jerry Jones spent a lot of money building a cathedral for himself. And, he's spent a lot of money on overmatched head coaches going back more than a decade. Hopefully he hasn't wasted more money betting on his team this year in Las Vegas.

Those are the only four true pointspread disasters this year. And, since the pointspread reflects how you're "rated," that makes these the four most overrated teams. If I had to go down to a fifth team, it would be the New York Jets. They have a lot of what you expect from overrated teams:

Major Market
Made the Playoffs Last Year
Quotable Coach
Celebrity Quarterback

The team is 6-9 ATS through 15 games. But, if they win and cover in Miami Sunday afternoon, that would lift them to 7-9 ATS for the season. That's not particularly overrated. Would a loss to the Dolphins be enough to end Rex Ryan's time in New York? I'm thinking he has at least one more year to save his job. Reaching the AFC Championship game two years in a row buys you some time.

Will I be going against these overrated teams in their season finale's on Sunday? Or, have the lines finally moved to where they should have been all along? You'll have to purchase my Sunday plays to find out. The exact same games I bet the biggest myself are always available right here at the website. Or you can call 1-888-536-8880 if you want to talk to a live human.

Be sure you come back Monday for my annual New Year's Bowl Extravaganza. I've been betting and winning bowl games since before many of you were even born. I will be back with another article on Monday, talking about how a man who made his fortune in Texas oil has helped lead Oklahoma State to a BCS bowl.

I'm a Texan who made my fortune as a gambler. I'll show YOU how that's done here these next two days. Stop taking the worst of it by betting your own plays. Start GETTING THE BEST OF IT with TONY SALINAS!

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