Week ten in the NFL has arrived and teams are getting ready for the stretch run. One contender has signed two former pro bowlers, while another team has signed their former star QB. Things are sure to get interesting in the 2nd half of the NFL season. So enjoy my previews and predictions for all the week ten action in the NFL.
Baltimore (6-2) at Miami (2-7): The only thing that is making this game intriguing to me is the Dolphins’ win over Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills last week. With Allen being a better QB than the Raven’s Lamar Jackson, the Miami defense knows how to be mobile quarterbacks; and with Jackson not nearly as good of a passer from the pocket as Allen, in theory, holding down the Baltimore offense could be easier. Since I think the Dolphins played their best game of the year and won’t be able to match their effort or output against the Ravens, seeing Baltimore as a 7.5-point favorite doesn’t surprise me. What scares me is how many close games Jackson has forced upon his team’s defense with his run-first attack, which helps keeps other teams in games by limiting the number of possessions. Nevertheless, Baltimore is the better team, and the Ravens are the play here, so I am giving up the 7.5 points and taking the road favorite to win and cover.
Atlanta (4-4) at Dallas (6-2): The Cowboys laid a huge egg against the Denver Broncos last week, falling behind 30-0 in the first three quarters. All that while the Falcons ended the Saints’ three game wining streak and put themselves back into the NFC South race, albeit still as a longshot. Despite their poor performance last week, Dallas enters this game as a 9.0-point favorite, with early bettors taking the points rather than the ‘Boys. Dallas is a much better teams and Atlanta has done all they could to reach 4-4 at the midway point of the season, so I doubt they have too many tricks left this season. As shaky as I think the Cowboys will be as a postseason team, with the NFC East still weak and teams like the Falcons still on their schedule, a win here will just help them reach their first goal of making the playoffs. Taking Dallas -9.0 to win and cover.
Buffalo (5-3) at NY Jets (2-6): The New York Jets have already defeated two AFC division leaders when they defeated the Titans in September and Bengals in October. This week they will host the AFC East leaders from Buffalo in the hopes of pulling off the trifecta. The Bills head to the metropolitan area just a half-game ahead over New England in the division thanks to their poor performance against Miami last week and the Patriots’ win over the Panthers. Oddsmakers are not giving the Jets much of a chance in this game, making them a 13-point underdog on their home field, something even Bills fans might want to protest to give this up and down team less motivation this week. If Buffalo has beaten Miami last week, this might be a trap game for the Bills; but after last week’s letdown, the coaching staff undoubtedly has the team’s attention for this game. That’s why the smart play here is the lay the 13-points and take Buffalo to win/cover.
Cleveland (5-4) at New England (5-4): This AFC matchup become very important last week after a series of games left these two teams in the thick of their divisional title chases as well as the Wild-Card hunt. It started when Browns took down the Bengals last week and the Patriots went west and defeated the Chargers, leaving both of these teams in that “I don’t think I want to play them in the postseason” category and having many feeling they are both ready for a second half run. Be prepared to see clips of Bill Belichick as the Browns’ head coach during the game since the networks love picking low hanging fruit, even if it is 30 years old when “The Hoodie” was in Cleveland. As for this game, New England is a slight (1.5-point) favorite at home, which means the oddsmakers like the Browns except they are on the road. That’s also why that by a slight 5-to-4 margin, the bettors are on Cleveland in this game even when the computers are all in on New England. I believe the releasing of Odell Beckham, Jr. has removed a dark cloud from over the Browns’ and they are, indeed ready to make a second half playoff push. While that might clash with New England, where Belichick has often been a second half of the season coach, this week I think the Browns have more mental and physical momentum. Taking Cleveland +1.5 to win.
Detroit (0-8) at Pittsburgh (5-3): The Steelers almost lost their first home game after taking a 14 or more-point lead in the fourth quarter when the Bears almost came back and beat them Monday night. Pittsburgh’s tour through the NFC North continues this week when the host the winless Lions in a game that should help them build some momentum after last week’s nail biter. Yes, Detroit football fans are starting down the possibility of hosting another Thanksgiving Day game without a win, and a trip to Pittsburgh is not going to help their cause this week. The Steelers are a 9-point home favorite with bettors more interested in value than the name on the uniform, which is why there’s an even split between those who are taking each of these two teams. The computers are predicting a three-score win for the Black and Gold at home, and, for once, I think the computers are probably closer to being right. Taking Pittsburgh -9 to win and cover.
Jacksonville (2-6) at Indianapolis (4-5): Now that the Jaguars have won a game on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean this year, they can get back to the business of breaking the heart of their head coach Urban Meyer by losing some more games. That will begin in Indianapolis where the Colts are hoping to get back to .500 this week a save whatever hopes they have a getting back into the AFC playoff chase as the conference continues to be wide open for any team that gets on a roll. The Colts are a decided 10.5-point favorite, and it is doubtful they will face as strong of a game as the Jags played last week in upsetting Buffalo, who clearly fell into the trap of a trap game. Indy is the better team and is playing for much more, so they should win and cover the 10.5 points.
New Orleans (5-3) at Tennessee (7-2): A defensive outburst propelled the Titans to a win last Sunday night at the LA Rams, stealing a game most probably would not have thought they could have won without injured running back Derrick Henry. Meanwhile, the Saints fell way behind the Falcons last week, rallied to take a late lead, only to give it up at the end, breaking a three-game winning streak and dropped them further behind the Buccaneers. The loss also showed how much the New Orleans will miss QB Jameis Winston for the rest of this season, making this game much more important if they want to avoid a slide and falling out of the NFC playoff picture. Tennessee is getting the customary 3-point favorite status for being at home, with bettors believing it is safe to lay the field goal by a 4-to-1 margin. New Orleans was always a shaky team for me early in the season, with that inconsistent play only likely to get worse with a backup QB in the lineup. With how the Titans play defense, it is easy for me to take them and give up the 3-points in this game.
Tampa Bay (6-2) at Washington (2-6): This NFC Wild-Card rematch from January doesn’t have the same feel as the playoff game did, and with good reason. Washington isn’t that good this season while the Buccaneers are, believe it or not, staying under the radar while the rest of the NFC vies to see if anyone is better than Tom Brady and company. Anyone who want to take either team and lay or grab the 9.5-points Tampa Bay is giving up in this game can find something to hold on to. The computers are seeing a one-score game, encouraging those who want to take Washington to cover, but the early bucks are coming in the Bucs heavy, by a near 9-to-1 margin, feeling as if Tampa Bay needed their bye week and will be ready to roll thought the second half of the season. If Washington can, as the computers believe, break 20 points, then this might be a game; I just don’t see it, even with them at home, which means this will be a 10+ point margin of victory for the Buccaneers and a comfortable win. Take Tampa Bay -9.5 for the win and cover.
Carolina (4-5) at Arizona (8-1): Cardinals QB Kyler Murray missed last week’s win with a bad ankle, with Colt McCoy stepping in and stepping up for the one-loss NFC pacesetters. This week it is unclear if Murray will be available or how effective he would be even if he does play as the Panthers take a trip to the desert. The Panthers had their head handed to them at home against New England and now face a must more talented team in Arizona on the road with the bloom completely off their 2021 rose. Despite laying 10-points and unsure about who is starting at QB, bettors are flocking to the Cardinals by a near 2-to-1 margin early this week, with the computers are more strongly in favor of Arizona to reach nine wins this Sunday. I am also one of those people, so I am taking the Cardinals -10 to win and cover to stay the NFC’s best team.
Minnesota (3-5) at LA Chargers (5-3): Do you still believe in the Chargers this season, or are you like me and feel they are one more, free agent class, draft and season away from being ready to compete with the NFL elite? Both oddsmakers and bettors are leaning towards the latter here since the Chargers are only a 2.5-point favorite in this game with bettors almost evenly split in early action. If you are a Vikings’ fan who wanted to see changes made, then this season has been exactly what you wanted. Minnesota has underperformed and it feels like changes will be made this offseason on the field and the sidelines. If you like points, this will be your game to watch in the middle of the Sunday’s slate, since, at 52.5 points, this game has the second highest over/under on the betting board. Thankfully both the oddsmakers and the computer predict a close game as well, which hopefully means a see-saw game with lots of lead changes and a last-minute win. I think the LA Chargers won’t give up this season even if they are a year away and getting to 6-3 will make the rest of their season meaningful for experience even if they don’t do much in January. But they won’t play postseason games without a win here, which they will get. Chargers -2.5
Philadelphia (3-6) at Denver (5-4): Wonder how many people lost money when Denver blew out the Cowboys last week? This week the Broncos play another NFC East team, one with a lesser record than the division leader. The Eagles lost late at home the Chargers last week and now face another AFC West team, this time on the road in Denver; yet the Broncos are barely favorited by just 2.5-points against a team that is struggling. Then again, when it comes to streaky, the Denver Broncos have been the AFC leaders with a three-game winning and four-game losing streak to their credit, leaving everyone to wonder which team will show up this week against Philly. Bettors are 70% in Denver’s corner, and if the Broncos believe there is a playoff berth with their name on it, a win here is a must. Even after dumping an injured Von Miller onto the Rams, the Broncos are a better team and will show it this week. Denver 2.5-points to win and cover over the Eagles.
Seattle (3-5) at Green Bay (7-2): So, will zero, one or two of these teams have their starting quarterback back for this matchup? Some are saying Russell Wilson could be back for Seattle and the return of Aaron Rodgers may also come this week. Not too soon for Packers’ fans who saw the future with Jordan Love and are begging Rodgers to sign another long-term contract. This is a people vs. machine game since the computers are seeing a big win for the Packers while the bettors are taking the 3.5-points Green Bay is laying by a 3-to-2 margin early in the week. That tells me the bettors have more faith in Wilson than Rodgers to be in this game; just the opposite of what I see if you told me only one of these QBs were on the field Sunday. Even if both strap it up, which I think they will, I still think Green Bay is on a mission and the Seahawks’ #12s are about find out what life is like when the second half of your season is meaningless. Taking the Green Bay Packers -2.5 to win and cover at home with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.
Kansas City (5-4) at Las Vegas (5-3): When you want a good primetime game, turning to these two old AFL rivals is a great play to go, something that NBC did this week, and this game has drama potential written all over it. The drama starts with how inconsistent Kansas City has looked this season as they have had difficulties scoring points for long stretches of the game and the season and getting back to 5-4 was done with smoke and mirrors. For the hosting Raiders, the drama with their head coach and the tragic/deadly actions of one of their players has made this team headlines makers for all the wrong reasons this season. For bettor or worse, however, the season does go on and, in this game, becoming leaders of the AFC West is one the line. KC is a slight (2.5-point) road favorite with the betting public grabbing those points early in the week, feeling Las Vegas has enough left to pull off the mild upset. I admit it is difficult to root for the Raiders with all that is going on, however, in this game, they are probably the better team, or at least have played better more of the year. That’s why I am taking Las Vegas -2.5 to win and cover in this AFC West game.
LA Rams (7-2) at San Francisco (3-5): Were the Rams looking forward to this game when the Titans defense was confusing Matthew Stafford last week? Or did the weaknesses that LA’s QB have finally begin to show themselves this season? This NFC West matchup appears to some to be a mismatch at the 49ers have done little to support what was called the deepest and strongest division in the NFL this season. By contrast, the Rams have done all they can to keep pace with the high-flying Cardinals, with their loss to the Titans their only other defeat, making this game easier for coaches to get them to refocus on. The computer sees a very close game on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, with the mainframes saying take the 4-points LA is laying on the road. Bettors are going the other way in a big way with over 95% of the those who have laid down their cash taking LA to win and cover the spread. I have lost what little faith I have in the 49ers at a franchise, with all my worse fears about head coach Kyle Shanahan being proven true this season. The ‘Niners need a change, and they need it before the start of next season, and that change it at the head coaching position. As for this week, LA is my play here, taking the Rams -4 to win/cover.
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NFL Week Ten Previews And Predictions | TooAthletic.com