Beating the Spread: Week 10 Picks

Our Week 10 Beat the Spread column is ready to go for your consideration as you put in your weekly bets!

We’re back at full strength!  After a two-week hiatus, Justin is back with another slate of picks, so WELCOME BACK!  I managed to close the gap between myself and the others with a 4-1 record last week while Erik and Brennan both finished at 2-3.

This week, Brennan is banking on five favorites to cover while Erik likes a couple of small underdogs.  In his return, Justin has a bit of everything with favorites, underdogs, and a bet against a total.  I like a couple of big favorites and am betting against a team that simply doesn’t look right.

Gamblers know that 60% is the magic number to come out ahead, so that’s the goal again this season.  We didn’t make it last year, which just motivates us, even more, this season.  Every week the four of us will pick five games against the spread or on the over/under.  We’ll track the picks every week and see where we end up.  Feel free to play along in the comments or find us on Twitter!

Let’s get to the lines and picks for Week 10!

The following lines were captured on Tuesday. Betting lines can vary by site and move throughout the week so check yours to make sure that you have similar information.

 

Week 10 Betting Lines
Away Home Line O/U
Falcons Cowboys Cowboys -9 54.5
Saints Titans Titans -3 44.5
Bills Jets Bills -13 47.5
Buccaneers Football Team Buccaneers -10 51.5
Jaguars Colts Colts -10.5 47.5
Lions Steelers Steelers -9 43
Browns Patriots Patriots -1 45.5
Vikings Chargers Chargers -2.5 51.5
Panthers Cardinals Cardinals -10 44.5
Eagles Broncos Broncos -2.5 45
Seahawks Packers Packers -3.5 50.5
Chiefs Raiders Chiefs -2.5 51.5
Rams 49ers Rams -4 49
Staff Picks

 

Analysis

 

Justin Dunbar: Justin puts together an article analyzing some of his picks in more detail.  Check out his Week 10 Betting Preview for more! Here are some snippets from his first three picks for this week.

This is a well-rounded team that is failing to get the respect they deserve here, or the Patriots are getting just too much respect. I think the Browns win this game outright, so I’ll gladly back them as a slight underdog here. CLE +1

This is crossing several key numbers, and all you have to bank on is a garbage-time touchdown for a ten-point less by Jacksonville. That’s the beauty of backing such a large underdog here. Take the points, and don’t look back! JAX +10.5

Whereas the Raiders haven’t faced much in the way of tough competition, the Chiefs have faced a team with a winning record in 66.7% of their games this year. Simply put, they’re the better team by a decent margin, and I expect that to be on full display on Sunday Night Football. KC -2.5

Simply based on point differential, the Vikings have been better than the Chargers this season. Don’t be fooled, though; Los Angeles should be expected to take care of business here. Believe it or not, but EVERY team the Chargers faced between Weeks 2 and 8 currently has a winning record. That, my folks, is quite the gauntlet of a schedule. Despite this, they still rank 10th in yards/play, while Justin Herbert is shining with an 89 PFF grade this year. All three of the Vikings cornerbacks have a PFF grade under 62, which is problematic with a matchup against Keenan Allen and Mike Williams up next. Meanwhile, we also have a coaching mismatch here, as we can expect Chargers head coach Brandon Staley to be much more progressive in his decision-making than Mike Zimmer. This number doesn’t cross three points, so, like the Chiefs, you’re banking on Los Angeles being able to just win this game by a field goal. That seems rather doable given the significant advantage they have on the perimeter. LAC -2.5

Let me start off by saying that none of this has to do with the Bucs, who, in my opinion, have the best offense in the NFL. However, with this game (9.5-point spread) likely to be a blowout and them without receiver Antonio Brown and potentially also without receiver Chris Godwin, it’s likely they may slow down the brakes here. Thus, this places pressure on the Washington offense, and I’m not confident in them here. Washington has been held to under 13 points in three straight games, while Taylor Heinicke has been ineffective with a 57.9 PFF grade and more turnover-worthy plays (3.9%) than big-time throws (2.7%), per PFF. Since offenses don’t challenge Tampa Bay’s run defense, a lot of pressure is going to be placed on his shoulders to produce this week, and I don’t think that’s going to work out very well. With that in mind, I don’t think they match the 21 implied points the betting markets have them scoring this week, and the nature of this expected to be a blowout could also make the Bucs go under their total here. Picking an under in any game with Tom Brady is scary, but, hey, we’re fading Heinicke here! TB/WFT Under 51.5

 

Brennan Rampe: The Titans just beat up the Rams in LA, preventing them from scoring a touchdown until the final minute. It was a very convincing victory, and they look like one of the best teams in the AFC despite the loss of Derrick Henry. The Saints fell short in a loss to their divisional rival Falcons, but they performed admirably. Backup quarterback Trevor Siemian started off slow but improved as the game went on. Battling the Titans on the road will be a very tough challenge for Siemian and the offense. The Saints have one of the thinnest wide receiver rooms in the league, and the Titans have one of the league’s best defenses. The Titans have the better quarterback and wide receivers, and though it might be close, I think they’ll win by more than a field goal and cover. Inside the Numbers: The Titans are 9-6 against the spread under Mike Vrabel in non-conference games. TEN -3

The Steelers just had a thrilling victory over the Bears, but it was a lot closer than it should’ve been. They’re 5-3 and have a shot at the playoffs. Their next game should be an easy one, as the winless Lions are their next opponent. The Lions were on their bye week, so they could be rusty. Additionally, their talent level is very low, especially in comparison to their divisional rival Bears, who nearly pulled off the upset. The offense should roll, while the defense should completely shut down the Lions’ offense. The Steelers will win big and send the Lions to 0-9, making them the first team to secure a losing record for the 2021 season. Inside the Numbers: Pittsburgh is 66-57-3 against the spread as the home team under Mike Tomlin. PIT -9

The Colts had a blowout win over the Jets, scoring 45 points and over 500 yards of offense. The Jaguars defeated the Bills in one of the biggest upsets of the year. It was a very low-scoring game, but the Jaguars won 9-6. They’ll have to score a lot more than nine points if they want to beat their divisional rival on the road. The Colts have started to play well after starting 0-3, and the Jaguars offer a good opportunity to improve to 5-5. The offense should have another impressive performance, while the defense, led by Darius Leonard and DeForest Buckner, should prevent the Jaguars from scoring. The Colts should beat up their divisional rival and cover. Inside the Numbers: The Colts are 13-9 against the spread under Frank Reich in division games. IND -10.5

Like the Jaguars, the Broncos pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the year, blowing out the Cowboys 30-16 in Dallas. The offense scored on a talented Cowboys defense, while the young defense shut down a Cowboys offense that has regularly scored 30 points a game. The Eagles fell short at home to the Chargers, losing by three points. They will now travel a considerable distance to Denver, and I think the Eagles are in for a rough game. The Broncos should have success scoring on a struggling Eagles defense, while the defense should make Jalen Hurts and the offense struggle despite the absence of Patrick Surtain II. The Broncos should win by a field goal at home and cover. Inside the Numbers: The Broncos are 5-3 against the spread as home favorites under Vic Fangio. DEN -2.5

The Rams just had a surprising loss to the Titans, where the offense didn’t show up at all, and the defense didn’t perform very well either. Perhaps because of this, the Rams went out and signed free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. While this late addition to the roster may keep him from seeing extended action, Sean McVay will probably design a few plays to get the ball into his hands. On the other side, the 49ers got blown out at home by a Cardinals team that was without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. They have been really disappointing, as I expected them to be a playoff team. Many people are wondering when third overall pick Trey Lance will be named the starter, as the team is struggling on offense. The defense isn’t what it used to be after defensive coordinator Robert Saleh left to be the head coach of the Jets. The Rams didn’t play well last week, but I don’t think they lose two games in a row. The offense should score on this disappointing defense, while the Rams defense, which will feature Von Miller for the first time, should hold the 49ers’ offense in check. The Rams will win and cover on the road. Inside the Numbers: The Rams are 21-6 against the spread as road favorites under Sean McVay. LAR -4

 

Erik Smith: The last time we saw the Buccaneers they lost to the Saints on the road with Trevor Siemian at quarterback and then had to sit around and think about it for two weeks while on their bye week. Something tells me Tom Brady didn’t enjoy that, and we’ve got enough of a track record with an angry Tom Brady that I’m willing to drop a few dollars on him here. A ten-point spread feels reasonable, and even with a banged-up receiving corps, I expect Brady to light up this struggling defense. Washington’s offensive weapons are depleted at this point, and I expect them to struggle to match points here. Give me the Bucs in a blowout. TB -10

This line feels like it’s begging you to take the Broncos, which should always set off some alarm bells. “Denver just beat the Cowboys in Dallas, of course, they can beat the Eagles by three at home!” you might be saying to yourselves. Well, I think we all know that it doesn’t work like that in the NFL, and the Eagles have an element to their offense that Denver just doesn’t have with Jalen Hurts at quarterback. I expect this to be a low-scoring, grind-it-out affair that either team has a chance to win at the end, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see a road upset here with the Eagles pulling it out late. The points are a bonus. PHI +2.5

The Rams are coming off a game against the Titans where a couple of interceptions swung the game on a dime, but I still have faith that this is one of the league’s best all-around teams. The 49ers, on the other hand, have wins over a mediocre group of teams, including the Lions, Eagles, and Bears. Their losses have been by 2, 7, 7, 12, and 14 points, with the 14 point loss coming to Colt McCoy and the Arizona Cardinals. I expect the Rams to get redemption this week, putting on a show on Monday Night Football over their division rivals. LAR -4

This line feels like a trap, but the Vikings are a wounded team with a litany of off-field problems hanging over them. I wish the Chargers had earned our trust a bit more this season, and the fact that we just need them to win by a field goal at home is awfully suspicious. I’ve been burned by the Vikings so far this year, and while they’ve covered some spreads they still are just a 3-5 team playing on the road. Let’s see if the Vikings self-destruct this week in a matchup of scarred fan bases. LAC -2.5

I don’t love picking against Bill Bellichick at home, and I have a lot of respect for the way this Patriots team is playing. But the Browns have a much better roster, even with their deficiencies in the passing game, and their defense looked dominant last week in Cincinnati. Both teams could be playing short-handed at the running back position, so that’s a wash. But I expect the Browns to win the battle in the trenches here, and Myles Garrett is a problem for any offense, let alone one run by a rookie quarterback. The Browns have some momentum and absolutely need this game, while the Pats are laying the groundwork for the future despite being feisty in almost every game. I don’t trust Baker Mayfield to make a run in the playoffs, but he should be able to outplay a rookie game manager like Mac Jones. CLE +1

 

Bryan Sweet: Here we are heading into Week 10 and the Chiefs haven’t been part of a game that has exceeded 50 points since Week 5.  Both offenses are in the top ten in the NFL in passing offense but the Raiders have been stingy in defending the pass, sitting at #5 in yards allowed per game (207).  The Raiders have looked better since the departure of Jon Gruden but struggled last week against the Giants and they were coming out of a BYE.  While I think the Chiefs right the ship before long, I don’t trust these teams to combine for 50+ points.  KC/LV Under 51.5

I backed the Browns last week and explained my conviction by explaining how they are a different, and better, team without OBJ.  Well, Beckham is now a member of the Rams and the Browns have that distraction officially behind them.  New England has been a bit of a surprise story this season with rookie QB Mac Jones leading the team to a 5-4 record and within striking distance of the AFC East lead.  I think the Browns are the better team top-to-bottom and should be able to earn a victory this week in what is essentially a “pick” spread.  CLE +1

Tom Brady has been a starting QB on a team following a BYE week 19 times.  Brady is 14-5 in those games.  Sunday, Brady gets to face the Washington Football Team in a game following Tampa Bay’s BYE.  Oh, did I mention Brady has had to stew over a loss to the Saints for those two weeks?  All signs point to a Buccaneer victory and I think it’s going to be a statement game as well.  I’m giving the points and Tampa might have this covered by halftime.  TB -10

It was all doom and gloom for Titans’ fans after Derrick Henry suffered an injury that will keep him out for the majority of the remaining regular season.  The Titans didn’t get the memo.  Tennessee is on a five-game winning streak and is looking to keep enough distance between themselves and the Colts in the AFC South to weather the Henry injury and still win the division.  New Orleans appears to be trusting Trevor Siemian to captain the offense with a sprinkling of Taysom Hill to keep defenses honest.  There’s an old saying that if you have two QBs, you don’t have any QBs.  I think Tennesse makes it six straight this week.  TEN -3

My only loss last week came as a result of thinking the Cardinals would struggle without Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, and J.J. Watt.  With those four watching, Colt McCoy and his ragtag bunch traveled to San Francisco and boat raced the 49ers 31-17.  Arizona is 9-1 and is in consideration for the best team in the NFL.  Carolina, on the other hand, looks to be turning to P.J. Walker with Sam Darnold out for several weeks with a fractured shoulder.  Carolina is a sinking ship right now and I don’t think Christian McCaffrey can save it.  ARI -10


What are your favorite picks of the week? Put in your comments below to play along. We’ll be updating our records all season!

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

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