NFL Picks Week 10
Kansas City Chiefs (-3) at Tennessee Titans
The Chiefs enters with a 6-3 record and 4-0 on the road. Tennessee is coming off a loss and it 4-5 on the season and 2-2 at home. Kansas City has improved defensively since last season and are still averaging 28 points per game. They put up an impressive 26 points against a tough Minnesota defense last week without Patrick Mahomes in the lineup. Mahomes is questionable for the game, but it won’t matter. The Titans are putting up just 18.7 points per game and don’t have the firepower to hang with the Chiefs. Go with Kansas City to win and cover.
Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns (-3)
Buffalo rebounded from a 31-13 loss to the Eagles to defeat the lowly Redskins to improve to 6-2. They take a 3-0 road record to Cleveland to face a 2-6 Browns team that has lost four in a row. Despite an 0-3 home record, the Browns are three-point favorites in this one. Offensively, the two teams are similar in production, both averaging just under 20 points per game. The Bills have a decided edge on the defensive side of the ball, allowing just 16.4 points to the Browns 25.6 per contest. Buffalo hasn’t defeated a good team all season and that will continue in this one. Cleveland is not a good team at this point and Buffalo will win as a road dog and cover.
Arizona Cardinals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4 ½)
Two sub-.500 teams take the field in Tampa Bay for this one. The 3-5-1 Cardinals are 2-2 at home and have dropped their last two. The Buccaneers have lost four straight and are 2-6 on the season and winless at home. The defenses have struggled for both teams, giving up a combined 59 points per game. The difference in this is that Tampa Bay is among the highest scoring teams at 28.8 compared to 21.7 for the Cardinals. Although both teams are going nowhere, this could actually be one of the more exciting high scoring games of the week. Call it Tampa Bay with the win and a cover.
New York Giants (-2 ½) at New York Jets
The “New York Bowl” is taking place this weekend, but it’s more like the “Toilet Bowl” with the teams a combined 3-14 for the season. The Giants are 1-3 at home and the Jets have the same record at home. The teams have lost eight consecutive games combined, so something has to give. This could be a higher scoring affair since the teams are giving up a combined 55 per game, however the Jets are putrid on offense, scoring just 12 per game. Because of that, go with the Giants to win by a field goal.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-13)
Atlanta has lost six straight after their lone win at home against the Eagles. They are 0-4 on the road and face a Saints team that is 7-1 and has won six-straight. Below the middle of the pack on offense, the Falcons have managed 20.6 points per game. They will be hard-pressed to match that total against a solid New Orleans defense in their home stadium. With Drew Brees back at the helm facing a porous defense that has given up over 31 points per game, this looks like a blowout. A 13-point spread is huge, but the Saints will cover it.
Baltimore Ravens (-10) at Cincinnati Bengals
After the Dolphins won last week, the Bengals remain the only winless team in the NFL this season. They are being outscored by an average of nearly 11 points per game and have the nearly impossible task of taking down the Ravens, coming off a huge win against the Patriots. Baltimore is 6-2 on the season and 3-1 at home, averaging 31 points per game, while allowing 22. There is little indication that the Bengals can keep this close, and they won’t. This game should be the rout of the day. Baltimore will win and should easily cover.
Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (-7)
With Cam Newton officially out for the season, the Panthers are in the hands of Kyle Allen. Carolina is 5-3 and coming off a win against the Titans. They take a 3-1 road record into Green Bay where the Packers are 4-1 for the season. It’s bad timing for the Panthers, considering the Packers will likely bounce back from a lackluster performance against the Chargers last week. Carolina is averaging a bit more on offense, 26.1 points to 25.1 per game, but considerably worse on the defensive side of the ball, allowing 25.5 per game. The Packers weakness against the run will keep Carolina in it with Christian McCaffrey likely having a big day. Green Bay will get back on track with a win, but Carolina will cover.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (-2 ½)
There’s all kinds of trouble in Chicago as the Bears have lost four straight. They are 1-3 at home and face the Lions, who are 1-2-1 on the road and 3-4-1 overall. The Lions have given up 27.1 per game and could be what the Bears need to get back on track. Chicago still have one of the better defensive units in the league and should be able to hold the Lions under their season average of 25.5 points per game. The road doesn’t get any easier for either team. Detroit will face Dallas next week and the Bears head to the road to take on the Rams. Going with just a hunch on this one and taking the Bears to earn a hard fought win at home by a field goal.
Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts (-10 ½)
Major headlines last week in Miami as the Dolphins finally won a game, never mind it was against the lowly Jets. They take their 1-7 mark to Indianapolis to face a 5-3 Colts team that is 3-1 at home. The Dolphins are being outscored by nearly 20 points per game and score less than two touchdowns per game. A miracle of epic proportions would need to occur for the Dolphins and their 32 points per game allowed defense to hold down the Colts. It won’t happen. The Colts will win this by at least two touchdowns.
Los Angeles Rams (-3 ½) at Pittsburgh Steelers
Normally a team would be in decent shape at the half way point with a 5-3 record, but the Rams are looking up at both Seattle and San Francisco. Los Angeles is 3-1 on the road and head to Pittsburgh to take on the surging Steelers, who have won three straight to get to 4-4 on the season. The teams are nearly identical in scoring defense. The edge goes to the Rams on the offensive side of the ball, averaging nearly 27 points per game. Generally very tough at home, the Steelers are just 3-2 at home this season. Although just week 10, the Rams need a win to realistically stay alive in the division and likely the NFC Playoff picture. The Rams will pull off the upset and cover.
Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys (-3)
The Vikings are coming off a tough road loss against the Chiefs. They are 6-3 on the season, but just 2-3 on the road. They face a Cowboys team that has been inconsistent. One week they lose to the Jets, then blowout a solid Eagles team and then struggle for much of the game against the Giants before pulling away late. Both teams are giving up just under 18 points per game and the Cowboys average 28.4 points compared to the Vikings 26 per game. I think we will see more of the inconsistent Dallas team this week, which swings the pick to the Vikings to win and cover as a road underdog.
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-6)
This would could be the game of the week as the top two teams in the NFC West and perhaps the conference battle it out. Seattle is 7-2 on the season and 4-0 on the road. The 49ers are off to their best start ever at 8-0 and 3-0 at home. The 49ers are averaging 29.4 points per game, while allowing a stingy 12.8 per contest. Seattle can hang with them offensively due to the heroics of Russell Wilson. However, the Seahawks defense is not nearly what it was during its prime and are giving up nearly 26 points per game. That won’t cut it in San Francisco. The 49ers won’t go undefeated but likely walk away with a win here. Pick Seattle to cover and the 49ers to win by three.