Welcome to my weekly NFL Predictions against the spread and straight picks column. This has been a difficult season to figure out, but I feel like I am getting the feel for more teams and my present success proves it (Well, and luck too).
I am 9-3 in my Week 9 straight-up picks entering Monday Night Football. I am also 20-5 over the past two weeks. Currently, I am leading the Associated Content NFL Pick ‘Em competition amongst straight-pick writers who have participated since Week 1. This can be viewed HERE.
I’ve updated everything as of Tuesday afternoon and these are my final picks for Week 10. Good luck to everyone!
All stats are from NFL.com
Week 10 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Baltimore Ravens at Atlanta Falcons (-1)
I believe the Ravens are a better team. However, Atlanta has become one of the NFL’s biggest home field advantages under Mike Smith and Matt Ryan. This game is also more important for the Falcons as they’re trying to stay ahead of the Saints and Buccaneers in the NFC South.
Joe Flacco is maturing into a solid quarterback. He has eight touchdowns and no interceptions in his past three games. If Flacco plays like this, the Ravens win. Against the 26th ranked passing defense, there’s a good chance that Flacco’s strong play continues.
This game can go either way. The Ravens are probably more rested having had a bye just recently and that defense is normally amp’ed up for big games. I’m not sure the Falcons are used to such a meaningful game against such a strong opponent. Toss in an extra spread point for the Ravens, and I’m going with a minor upset on Thursday night.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Baltimore Ravens (+1)
Week 10 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Tennessee Titans (-1.5) at Miami Dolphins
On one hand, I want to take Miami because the odds of them being winless at home as an 8-8ish team are unlikely to continue. On the other hand, the Titans have had two weeks to prepare… big deal with their coaching staff. Randy Moss might be looking to hush his critics up, also.
Could go either way, but the odds are leaning slightly toward the Titans, here. Since they’re my favorite AFC team, I’m going with them.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Tennessee Titans (-1.5)
Week 10 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Detroit Lions () at Buffalo Bills (-3)
This is the game that should have been featured in Toronto as both teams have some of the NFL’s biggest Canadian fan bases (along with the Seahawks). Something must break, here: Will it be the Lions road losing skid that began in 2007, or will the Buffalo Bills win their first game?
The Lions played within eight of the Giants a couple weeks ago, and that was with Mike Stanton playing a large portion of the game. Yet again, he might be playing against the Bills as Stafford is wounded.
With these two teams, it’ll be who plays the “least worst.” Here is why I’m going with the Bills, however: First, they’ve been close. Second, the Lions don’t win road games, especially if Stanton plays. Third, the Bills are surprisingly one of the least penalized teams throughout the NFL (4th least). The Lions have the second most penalties at 77.
Unless the Lions can force some Bills turnovers, I will now take the Bills to win their first game this season. Not only will the Lions suffer another loss, but their 2008 team will continue to live as a hermit in infamy.
Against the Spread: – Detroit Lions (+3)
Straight: – Buffalo Bills
Week 10 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6.5)
I don’t really need to tell you why the Buccaneers will defeat the Panthers, but here you go: Buccaneers (+6) in turnover ratio versus the Panthers (-11). The Buccaneers live off the turnover, and the Panthers die by it. Buccaneers won’t need a miracle drive as they’ll win by 10-14.
Straight & Against the Spread: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6.5)
Week 10 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Minnesota Vikings (-1) at Chicago Bears
What a great week for Packer fans. Leading the division at 6-3 and one of our rivals must lose this week. Unless both is a viable option, which one will lose?
The Bears offensive line will have difficulty against a Vikings defensive line that appeared to play better against the Cardinals (of course, most of that was toward the end). On the other hand, the Bears opportunistic defense presents nightmares for the Interception King. The Vikings turnover ratio (-9) is tied for second worst in the NFL. Not a good statistic when you’re playing the Bears.
The Bears rushing defense (3rd) could force Favre into more passing. Then again, Adrian Peterson has had some of his biggest games against the Bears.
The Vikings have the better talent. The Bears have better coaching and home field advantage. Not only am I uncertain of how this game will fare, but I’m uncertain of who I’d want to win. Overall, I guess I feel that the Vikings aren’t ready to give in this season and will want the opportunity to return to .500 when they play the Packers the following week. They probably recall the Bears winning the last meeting at Soldier field.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Minnesota Vikings (-1)
Week 10 NFL Predictions against the Spread: New York Jets (-3) at Cleveland Browns
Remember when the Browns were losing all their games by close margins? Well, Colt McCoy has eliminated the costly turnovers that other teams would capitalize off of. Now, those close losses are turning into victories.
The Jets escaped Detroit with a victory mainly because of Stafford’s injury. The Jets were 3-0 last season before finding themselves at 4-6. The Jets just play poorly at the midway point of the season and I’d expect this to continue. Mark Sanchez will struggle against a good Browns defense.
Love the points, and I’m going with an upset here in Cleveland.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Cleveland Browns (+3)
Week 10 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts (-7)
I rarely pick against Peyton Manning, especially at Indianapolis. The Colts should have difficulty covering T.O. and this could be a competitive game. However, I don’t expect Manning to lose two consecutive games even with the mass amount of injuries.
Against the Spread: Cincinnati Bengals (+7)
Straight: – Indianapolis Colts
Week 10 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-1.5)
The Jaguars have had two weeks to prepare for this game, but the Texans are in a do-or-die situation. These teams have familiarity as divisional foes. The Jaguars have been dominated on their home field twice this season (Titans and Eagles) but they’ve also beaten the Colts.
The Jaguars are 28th in passing defense. The Texans are 32nd. The Texans have a passing offense that could exploit the Jaguars defense. The Jaguars passing offense is amongst the NFL’s worst.
Which Jaguars team shows up? I don’t know. However, I’d be willing to bet that a desperate Texans team shows up before they find themselves in the AFC South basement. Go with the Texans here.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Houston Texans (+1.5)
Week 10 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Kansas City Chiefs (-1) at Denver Broncos
The Broncos have had two weeks to prepare for this game. However, they’re 31st in rushing defense; the Chiefs are first in rushing offense. Mix in a much better coaching regime in Kansas City and basically lost hope in Denver, and its difficult to think that the Broncos have much of a chance unless Matt Cassel is just horrendous.
Straight & Against the Spread: – Kansas City Chiefs (-1)
Week 10 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (-14)
Cowboys in a blowout here. I mean, the Cowboys to get blown out.
Straight & Against the Spread: – New York Giants (-14)
Week 10 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (-3)
Will the Seahawks stay with Charlie Whitehurst? The Seahawks are the better team, but the Cardinals are desperate at 3-5. The Seahawks have been outscored 33-3 and 41-7 in their past two games. They’re also playing on the road.
The biggest concern with taking the Cardinals is turnovers. If Derek Anderson or Max Hall can eliminate the miscues, they win. If they make moronic decisions, this is another damning loss to the Cardinals. Should have kept Leinart, Wisenhunt (or drafted a good QB before Warner retired).
Against the Spread: – Seattle Seahawks (+3)
Straight: – Arizona Cardinals
Week 10 NFL Predictions against the Spread: St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers (-6)
Both teams have had two weeks of preparation. These teams will rely on their defenses as both offenses are rather anemic.
Think of this: If the 49ers and Cardinals win, then the 49ers are 3-6 while the rest of the division is 4-5. Weren’t people writing them off at 0-5? I know I was. With the Seahawks almost throwing this season away with their quarterbacking decisions and the Rams seeming to be a year away, a win here puts the 49ers in the thick of things. They are 2-1 since that sluggish start and the only team to defeat the Raiders in the past five games..
Against the Spread: St. Louis Rams (+6)
Straight: San Francisco 49ers
Week 10 NFL Predictions against the Spread: New England Patriots () at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5)
The idea of this spread seems to be “If the Patriots lose by 20 to the Browns on the road, then they’ll lose by six or more to the Steelers in prime-time, right?”
The Patriots should be able to hang with the Steelers throughout the night as never team is an offensive juggernaut. The Steelers will be facing a well coached team on a short week. Still, I can’t pick against the Steelers at Heinz.
Against the Spread: – New England Patriots (+5.5)
Straight: – Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 10 NFL Predictions against the Spread: Philadelphia Eagles (-3) at Washington Redskins
The Redskins are coming off a bye and should be very well rested and prepared. At 4-4, controversies surround Donovan McNabb and his stability as the Redskins QB. The Eagles are coming off a huge victory against the Colts.
The Redskins won the first match-up 17-12 in Philadelphia. However, much of that could be accredited to Vick’s rib injury. I do believe that the bye is a big factor when you have a good coach like Mike Shanahan (as long as he hasn’t lost the team, which I don’t think he has… yet).
Both teams have familiarity. I expect a close game and think the Redskins can win it, which leads me to the points. However, Vick’s big play ability could be valuable down the stretch. Along with Shanahan having no confidence in McNabb during close game situations, I like the Eagles to avenge their home loss in Washington.
Against the Spread: Washington Redskins (+3)
Straight : Philadelphia Eagles
More From Associated Content:
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Cooper’s Picks. November 9, 2010.
NFL Stats, November 9, 2010.