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For The Win: Week 10 - Footballguys

NFL Picks Against the Las Vegas Lines

There is no other way to say it – these picks have been on FIRE for over a month now. Last week the Picks of the Week were a perfect 5-0 and the Weekly Plays were over 80% yet again (35.1-6) even with my glaring omission of my usual five-team teaser. As an aside – if there is a 6-team teaser and no 5-team teaser, the 5-team teaser is the same set of picks minus the sixth pick of that 6-team teaser. So while the picks missed out on an extra 4.1 units, 35.1-6 is not too shabby at all. This six-week hot streak has resulted in +212.3 units over that span, which would have translated to over $21,000 on $100 unit plays. Now, of course, that is not everyone’s budget, but wins are wins and profits are profits.

Here is the sobering news – at some point, this hot streak is going to taper off and possibly end. It could be next week or next month, but it will happen. The only thing to do is to keep the same process and hope for the best, same as each and every week. Week 10 looks a little tricky and Las Vegas has not really helped much with lines. Throw in that we have four more teams on a bye and the level of difficulty never seems to go down. Fourteen games to discuss, so let’s get started. Here we go:

Note that the lines and Over/Unders are taken from VegasInsider.com.

BYE WEEKS: Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Minnesota

TEAMS RETURNING FROM A BYE: Arizona, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Philadelphia

(Thursday) PITTSBURGH (-3.5 to 4) vs. CAROLINA (Over/Under 51.5 to 52)
Here is one of the trickiest games of the week, with the 6-2 and underrated Carolina Panthers heading to Pittsburgh on a short week. Both teams are on winning streaks and scoring almost at will, so looking at the defenses may shine a light on the right team to choose. Pittsburgh has kept the opposition at 21 points or less the past four weeks, while the Panthers just gave up 28 points to Tampa Bay. On a short week with a lack of familiarity with each other, matchups could dictate. The Steelers have done very well against the run game all season long with no running back topping 80 yards on the ground and no more than five receptions per contest. Given that Carolina runs the offense through Christian McCaffrey and TE Greg Olsen, if Pittsburgh can maintain a solid rush defense and limit these two players, the Steelers should win this close, exciting game by about a touchdown. Take the home team on Thursdays is a generally good idea, so that is the lean in a tough matchup to call. Steelers 30, Panthers 23. PICK: Steelers

KANSAS CITY (-16 to 16.5) vs. ARIZONA (Over/Under 49.5 to 50)
This game all comes down to the point spread. Even Las Vegas is giving the Cardinals zero chance to win, as Arizona is +1000 or higher on the Money Line, putting the Chiefs at about a 90% chance of winning or higher. That might be low. The other “tell” here is the Over/Under. If Kansas City is supposed to win by 16 and the total points are pointing towards 50, that means the expected final score is 33-17 Chiefs. Arizona has scored 17 points or fewer in every game but two – both wins (28-18 over the 49ers in Week 5, and again last week against San Francisco again, 18-15). The Chiefs are just a smidge better than the 49ers. Even with Byron Leftwich calling the plays, Arizona will be lucky to get two touchdowns. Kansas City 34, Cardinals 13. PICK: Chiefs

TAMPA BAY (-2.5 to 3) vs. WASHINGTON (Over/Under 51.5 to 52)
This line came as a surprise, as Washington is 5-3 and leading the NFC East, while Tampa Bay is 3-5. Granted the game is in Florida, but why would a Washington team be an underdog? Perhaps it was the 38-14 drubbing in D.C. by the Atlanta Falcons, and now with the Redskins losing three players for the year including both starting offensive guards (RG Brandon Scherff and LG Shawn Lauvao) and WR Paul Richardson Jr. Washington is teetering on the edge of the season spiraling out of control with an injured and old roster, while Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to put up points on offense. Even with the Buccaneers near the bottom of the NFL in every defensive category (along with Oakland), Washington likely lacks the firepower to take advantage. Tampa Bay has to win this game and next week (at the Giants) to get to 5-5 and to have any shot the rest of the way. PICK: Buccaneers

BUFFALO (+6.5 to 7) at NEW YORK JETS (Over/Under 36 to 37)
What a painful game to pick, as both teams just look terrible of late. The Bills have lost four in a row while the Jets barely managed to score in a 13-6 loss at Miami last week. This game comes down to two things – defense and quarterbacks. Both defenses are very good and can play outstanding, while the quarterbacks can be a complete train wreck. The Bills are going to start Josh Allen (if healthy), then Derek Anderson (if healthy), then maybe Jim Kelly over Nate Peterman. The Jets have their own woes at quarterback as Sam Darnold threw four interceptions to the Dolphins including a Pick-6 for the only touchdown last week. Allen is the best quarterback in this contest right now, but that is not saying much. What is saying a lot is the Bills getting more than a touchdown in what could be a very low scoring game, so take the points and hope for the best – and probably watch a different game. PICK: Bills

INDIANAPOLIS (-3) vs. JACKSONVILLE (Over/Under 46.5 to 47)
Once upon a time, this game was the deciding factor for the AFC South, but now both the Jaguars and Colts are reeling at 3-5 and on the verge of playing out the string. The Jaguars still have a solid defense but their offense has been abysmal without Leonard Fournette. Even with adding Carlos Hyde in a trade with Cleveland, Jacksonville only scored 18 points in London against the Eagles after 28 combined points in their three prior contests. As for the Colts, they have quietly become a scoring machine, putting up over 34 points per game in their last five contests. Andrew Luck should get the job done here with T.Y. Hilton and his two strong tight ends. Jacksonville has a good defense, but they cannot stop Jack Doly, Eric Ebron, Hilton and the trio of backs that Indianapolis uses to mix up their ground game and short passing attack. Colts 27, Jaguars 13. PICK: Colts

CHICAGO (-6.5) vs. DETROIT (Over/Under 44.5 to 45)
Ladies and gentlemen – do not sleep on the Bears. They have an emerging offense, a young quarterback and a very good defense, especially against the run. Sounds like a particular team that surprised everyone last February, but let’s take it one week at a time. The Lions had been improving with a stronger run game, but they were decimated for 10 sacks by the Vikings last week in a 24-9 contest that was not even that close. The Bears are yielding just 3.7 yards per carry, while Detroit is giving up 5.1. Look for QB Mitch Trubisky and both Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen to push for 200 yards combined on the ground in Chicago with the Bears pinning their ears back on defense in the second half to rack up the sacks. Bears 30, Lions 13. PICK: Bears

NEW ORLEANS (-4 to 5) at CINCINNATI (Over/Under 54 to 54.5)
The Saints stuck their claim to being one of the top contenders for the Super Bowl this season with their 45-35 win over the Rams last Sunday. The offense continues to rack up points, and now New Orleans added Dez Bryant to improve their wide receiver corps after Michael Thomas. Speaking of receivers, the Bengals will be without A.J. Green for the next two weeks at least, so Andy Dalton will have to rely on Tyler Boyd and TE C.J. Uzomah – neither of which were ever planned to be the top options in the passing game. The Bengals are likely to struggle to slow down the Saints on offense and are just as likely to have a difficult time keeping up on the scoreboard. This one could be a blowout quickly. New Orleans 37, Cincinnati 17. PICK: Saints

NEW ENGLAND (-6.5 to 7) at TENNESSEE (Over/Under 46.5)
Have you ever watched a football team whose best efforts were “good enough to win if everything went as planned”? That was the impression that both Dallas and the Titans gave off on Monday Night Football – especially Tennessee. The Titans can win any game if things go their way – much like Jacksonville used to be when their offense could score. Tennessee can play solid defense, notably against the run game (just three rushing touchdowns against all year), and if they can shut down a team’s rushing attack and put together a few long drives to control the clock, they can win. That is not what to expect against the Patriots this week, however. New England gets the Titans after a short week of rest with the Patriots heading into their bye week. Look for Tom Brady to dial up the passing game against the Titans and put up a double-digit victory. PICK: Patriots

CLEVELAND (+4) vs. ATLANTA (Over/Under 50.5 to 51)
Wait, what? A pick of the Browns? That’s correct – you are reading that right. This game is a trap game for the Falcons. Atlanta just pummeled Washington 38-14 on the road, and now they are 4-4. They are certainly thinking that if everything goes just right, 10-6 is a legitimate possibility even with road games at New Orleans (Week 12 on Thanksgiving) and Carolina (Week 16). Every other game should be winnable – but that only matters if the Falcons can get past Cleveland this week. Atlanta has a big hole on defense against running backs that can not only run well (4.8 yards per carry against) but catch the ball out of the backfield (68-515-2 receiving, including Christian McCaffrey (14-102), Alvin Kamara (15-124), James Conner (4-75) and Saquon Barkley (9-51)). Look for the Browns to feature both Nick Chubbs and Duke Johnson Jr a ton in this matchup and some love for David Njoku as well as Cleveland looks to pull the upset before their Week 11 bye week. PICK: Browns

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-9.5 to 10) at OAKLAND (Over/Under 49.5 to 50.5)
What analysis is really necessary? Oakland has the worst defense and the Chargers are 6-2 with losses to only the Chiefs and Rams. Oakland was shellacked by the 49ers last Thursday 34-3. This is not a close call at all. PICK: Chargers

LOS ANGELES RAMS (-9.5 to 10) vs. SEATTLE (Over/Under 50.5 to 51.5)
The Rams lost for the first time last Sunday to New Orleans on the road, 45-35. Now Los Angeles heads home to host Seattle, a team that they barely beat back in Week 5, 33-31, but both Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks suffered concussions in the first half. Seattle is never an easy trip, but the Rams survived for a narrow win. Los Angeles has improved on defense with the addition of Dante Fowler from Jacksonville, which will help to keep Seattle from posting a 100-yard rushing game like Chris Carson had in their first matchup. Ten points is a big, big number, but the Rams are highly motivated to get this win and gear up for next week’s clash with Kansas City in Mexico City before both teams take a Week 12 bye. Los Angeles will win this one, and odds are that they will turn up the offense and defense to secure a double-digit victory, something like 37-20. PICK: Rams

GREEN BAY (-9 to 9.5) vs. MIAMI (Over/Under 47.5)
Normally 9 to 9.5 points are a lot to give up in the NFL, but considering that the Dolphins only scored 13 points at home last week with their only touchdown coming from a Pick-6, well, things look good for the Packers. Green Bay will be underrated in this contest after falling short in Foxboro against Tom Brady in an overhyped matchup against New England. Green Bay heads home to Lambeau Field to host a Florida team in November that has trouble scoring when it is warm. PICK: Packers

PHILADELPHIA (-6.5) vs. DALLAS (Over/Under 43 to 43.5)
Dallas was completely unimpressive after their bye week at home against Tennessee. Now the Eagles come off of their bye week to face the Cowboys in Philadelphia with Dallas on a short week. Philadelphia had two weeks to incorporate Golden Tate into the offense and gear up for a second half playoff push that begins with a home victory over Dallas. Look for the Eagles to take care of business on Sunday Night Football. PICK: Eagles

SAN FRANCISCO (-3) vs. NEW YORK GIANTS (Over/Under 43.5 to 44)
The Giants need more than two weeks to fix all of their issues, while the 49ers found what could be a golden nugget in Nick Mullens. The young quarterback led the 49ers last week over Oakland in a 34-3 blowout, and now San Francisco hosts a Giants team already counting the days until 2019. PICK: 49ers

PICK(S) OF THE WEEK: Indianapolis, Chicago, New Orleans, New England, Cleveland, Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia, San Francisco

THIS WEEK'S PLAYS

The intent of this column is to give out not only the Plays for the Week in the NFL but also a rating of each one on a 1-3 Unit scale. The more units, the bigger the emphasis on that side of the game. (More units = More $$$).

The games are tougher here in Week 10, so once again the focus is mostly on teasers and a few one-unit plays.

* ONE UNIT PLAYS *

  • INDIANAPOLIS (-3) vs. JACKSONVILLE
  • CHICAGO (-6.5) vs. DETROIT
  • NEW ORLEANS (-4) at CINCINNATI
  • NEW ENGLAND (-6.5) at TENNESSEE
  • CLEVELAND (+4) vs. ATLANTA
  • LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-9.5) at OAKLAND
  • PHILADELPHIA (-6.5) vs. DALLAS
  • SAN FRANCISCO (-3) vs. NEW YORK GIANTS
  • CLEVELAND (“FOR THE WIN” +190) vs. ATLANTA
  • 2-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER: CLEVELAND (+10) vs. ATLANTA (Over 44.5)
  • 2-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER: NEW ORLEANS (+2) at CINCINNATI (Over 48)
  • 5-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (4.1-1 ODDS):
    • NEW ENGLAND (-0.5) at TENNESSEE
    • CHICAGO (-0.5) vs. DETROIT
    • PHILADELPHIA (-0.5) vs. DALLAS
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS vs. SEATTLE (Over 44.5)
    • NEW ORLEANS (+2) at CINCINNATI
  • 6-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (6.1-1 ODDS):
    • NEW ENGLAND (-0.5) at TENNESSEE
    • CHICAGO (-0.5) vs. DETROIT
    • PHILADELPHIA (-0.5) vs. DALLAS
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS vs. SEATTLE (Over 44.5)
    • NEW ORLEANS (+2) at CINCINNATI
    • KANSAS CITY vs. ARIZONA (Under 56)
  • 7-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (8.9-1 ODDS):
    • NEW ENGLAND (-0.5) at TENNESSEE
    • CHICAGO (-0.5) vs. DETROIT
    • PHILADELPHIA (-0.5) vs. DALLAS
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS vs. SEATTLE (Over 44.5)
    • NEW ORLEANS (+2) at CINCINNATI
    • KANSAS CITY vs. ARIZONA (Under 56)
    • INDIANAPOLIS (+3) vs. JACKSONVILLE
  • 8-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (12.75-1 ODDS):
    • NEW ENGLAND (-0.5) at TENNESSEE
    • CHICAGO (-0.5) vs. DETROIT
    • PHILADELPHIA (-0.5) vs. DALLAS
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS vs. SEATTLE (Over 44.5)
    • NEW ORLEANS (+2) at CINCINNATI
    • KANSAS CITY vs. ARIZONA (Under 56)
    • INDIANAPOLIS (+3) vs. JACKSONVILLE
    • CLEVELAND (+10) vs. ATLANTA
  • 9-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (18.25-1 ODDS):
    • NEW ENGLAND (-0.5) at TENNESSEE
    • CHICAGO (-0.5) vs. DETROIT
    • PHILADELPHIA (-0.5) vs. DALLAS
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS vs. SEATTLE (Over 44.5)
    • NEW ORLEANS (+2) at CINCINNATI
    • KANSAS CITY vs. ARIZONA (Under 56)
    • INDIANAPOLIS (+3) vs. JACKSONVILLE
    • CLEVELAND (+10) vs. ATLANTA
    • CLEVELAND vs. ATLANTA (Over 44.5)
  • 10-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (26-1 ODDS):
    • NEW ENGLAND (-0.5) at TENNESSEE
    • CHICAGO (-0.5) vs. DETROIT
    • PHILADELPHIA (-0.5) vs. DALLAS
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS vs. SEATTLE (Over 44.5)
    • NEW ORLEANS (+2) at CINCINNATI
    • KANSAS CITY vs. ARIZONA (Under 56)
    • INDIANAPOLIS (+3) vs. JACKSONVILLE
    • CLEVELAND (+10) vs. ATLANTA
    • CLEVELAND vs. ATLANTA (Over 44.5)
    • NEW ORLEANS at CINCINNATI (Over 48)

** TWO UNIT PLAYS **

  • 4-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (2.65-1 ODDS):
    • NEW ENGLAND (-0.5) at TENNESSEE
    • CHICAGO (-0.5) vs. DETROIT
    • PHILADELPHIA (-0.5) vs. DALLAS
    • LOS ANGELES RAMS vs. SEATTLE (Over 44.5)

*** THREE UNIT PLAYS ***

  • 3-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (9-5 ODDS):
    • NEW ENGLAND (-0.5) at TENNESSEE
    • CHICAGO (-0.5) vs. DETROIT
    • PHILADELPHIA (-0.5) vs. DALLAS

RESULTS

Last Week

  • OVERALL: 9-4 (69.2%)
  • PICK(S) OF WEEK: 5-0 (100%)
  • WEEKLY TOP PLAYS: 35.1-6 (85.6%)

Season

  • OVERALL: 63-65-6 (47.0%)
  • PICK(S) OF WEEK: 29-25-2 (53.7%)
  • WEEKLY TOP PLAYS: 279.1-81-1 (77.5%)

Good luck this weekend!

Questions, suggestions, and comments are always welcome to pasquino@footballguys.com

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