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Thread: Best Bets On Week 10 NFL Games

  1. #1 Best Bets On Week 10 NFL Games 
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    Best bets on Week 10 NFL games

    Warren Sharp & Preston Johnson

    It's Week 10 of the NFL season, and handicappers Warren Sharp and Preston Johnson have you covered with comprehensive betting previews for all of Sunday's games (except the late game, which will be featured in a separate file).

    Note: All odds courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Friday morning.

    Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (-7)

    Total: 36.5
    PickCenter public consensus pick: 59 percent picked New York

    Johnson: The Bills are what is so great about a betting market, as no matter how obvious the team's dire situation, we are still digging into the data to decide if they're worth a bet. Well, I have come to the conclusion the Bills are not -- with Nathan Peterman under center. I think Peterman is three points worse than any other quarterback the Bills could put under center.

    That's a pretty bold statement when you're talking rookie Josh Allen and 35 year-old Derek Anderson as the replacement quarterbacks. I've talked about it for a few weeks now, but Peterman may be even worse than I had originally diagnosed. As much as "contrarian" or "sharp" money likes backing the Bills every week, I'm going out on a limb and say you shouldn't. Stay away from a Peterman-led football team, at the very least, until Anderson or Allen (practiced a little this week) is back from injury.

    Sam Darnold is also out for the Jets, and Josh McCown will be getting the start. This is an upgrade for New York at least for the time being. If Peterman winds up under center again for Buffalo and this line is -7 or better (some -6.5s in the market right now too), I will be putting some money on the Jets.

    Pick: Pass for now

    Sharp: With the Jets shifting to McCown after Darnold's injury, I believe the offense will be slightly more potent. The trouble is Buffalo is one of many tough defenses the Jets have faced since Week 3. The Bills have the No. 2 overall defense,<offer style="box-sizing: border-box;"> but the offense is so terrible that the Jets' own offense should have more opportunities and better field position than it have seen in the past. As bad as the New York offense looked in Miami, I think they look capable of protecting McCown slightly better at home and should be able to pull out this win.


    The Bills offense still is in flux, and at this time we don't know whether Allen or Peterman will be under center. If it is Allen, the offense should do slightly better, but while the Jets defense ranks No. 7 on the season, they really haven't locked anyone down. In what could easily be the ugliest games of the day, this is an easy pass for me.

    Pick: Pass

    Atlanta Falcons (-6) at Cleveland Browns

    Total: 50.5
    PickCenter public consensus pick: 81 percent picked Atlanta

    Johnson: I have been fairly pro-Atlanta for the past month or so, but this is the first game since that for which I would consider making a play against them. My raw number is Falcons -4.3, so when it was -4 I thought it was a fair line. At -5.5 -- or even -6 at some spots in the current market -- it's Browns or nothing. I would ultimately need a +6.5 for it to be a big enough edge to place a bet on Cleveland, but I don't see the market getting there. If you like the Browns this week I would recommend grabbing the +6s now, and if you were thinking of betting Atlanta and I haven't talked you out of it, I think you may wind up getting a better price come Sunday.

    Cleveland's defense is stingy and has generated an inordinate amount of turnovers this season (2.6 per game, tied for No. 1 with Chicago). What makes me hesitant, however, is that its actual defensive efficiency has plummeted over the past few games and now ranks 23rd in the league in opponent yards per play. Kansas City gaining 8.6 yards per play in Week 9 certainly didn't help matters, but the Falcons offense ranks fourth in the NFL (and is trending upwards in their past three games). If all else fails, remember: They are still the Browns.

    Pick: Pass

    Sharp: Cleveland can't feel too bad about its defensive performance last week considering the number of in-game injuries to starters it sustained. The problem is the Browns lost multiple players for the season and now are facing the Falcons, who are coming off of a dominant 38-14 road victory over the Redskins. The Browns defense has faced the second-most difficult schedule of pass offenses this year and yet ranks second defending the pass. However, they've struggled immensely defending the run (30th) and the Falcons impressively gained 6.4 yards per carry on the ground with a 63 percent success rate last week.

    The Atlanta defense has looked terrible for much of the season, but that was in part a result of playing five straight top-15 offenses. Against offenses ranking 20th or worse on the season, they held the Eagles to 18 points, the Giants to 20 points and the Redskins to 14 points. Now they face the 29th-ranked Browns offense, which has shown some life but still hasn't eclipsed 23 points in five weeks.

    Pick: Pass

    New Orleans Saints (-5.5) at Cincinnati Bengals

    Total: 54
    PickCenter public consensus pick: 77 percent picked New Orleans

    Johnson: The Bengals have been dealing with injuries in the passing game to two of their three most valuable weapons, as Tyler Eifert and Gio Bernard have been out for the past month and the offense has suffered. Utilizing running backs out of the backfield has been as valuable as ever in today's game, and Bernard's absence I think hurts Cincinnati the most after Eifert (or if AJ Green were to get injured). Oh that's right: Green is injured. He is going to be out in this Week 10 game as well. Bernard did practice for the first time in more than a month on Monday, but no word is public yet on if he will be giving it a go against the Saints. My projection for this game is Cincinnati +2.5.

    The cluster of injuries to Andy Dalton's three best weapons is pretty significant. Player-to-player evaluation outside of the quarterback position is difficult to quantify. I'm not sure that these three injuries are worth three points to the spread individually speaking, but I certainly can see a domino effect that constitutes a three-point adjustment since all three could potentially miss the game at the same time.

    Remember, the Saints' weakness defensively is through the air. New Orleans still ranks first in the NFL against the rush despite seeing Todd Gurley this past week. My number for the total is 52.0 with a healthy Bengals offense. With the injuries in the passing game, it's safe to project even lower. The Saints don't even rank in the top 10 in pace despite their offensive numbers (which I think would surprise most people), and the Bengals rank 27th. I made a bet on the under 54 and feel strongly about it.

    Pick: Under 54

    Sharp: The problem for the Bengals this year has been their defense, which has played the league's toughest difficult schedule of offenses, but is hemorrhaging yards and efficiency. Against top-10 offenses this year, they have allowed 45, 36, 31 and 28 points -- and now face the Saints' No. 4 overall offense. The biggest mismatch is on the ground, with New Orleans' No. 10 rushing offense against the Bengals' No. 27 run defense.

    Cincinnati's offense has been strong (No. 12), but that has come against the fourth-easiest schedule of opponents. The way to beat the Saints is through the air, as New Orleans has the No. 3 run defense. The problem is the Bengals will be without A.J. Green.

    Pick: Pass

    Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)

    Total: 51
    PickCenter public consensus pick: 53 percent picked Tampa Bay

    Johnson: This matchup is another where identifying cluster injuries is important. The Redskins have multiple offensive linemen out and while the Buccaneers pass defense has been one of the worst in the NFL all season long, if Washington isn't able to block for Alex Smith, even the Tampa Bay defense could thrive in this spot.

    My projection otherwise in this game would be Buccaneers -0.9 and 51.2 for the total, but I am not surprised to see the inflation to -3 in the current market given the offensive line situation for the Redskins. This is a complete stay-away for me whether Ryan Fitzpatrick or Jameis Winston starts at quarterback.

    Pick: Pass

    Sharp: Tampa Bay's defense is bad, but has played the second-toughest schedule while the Redskins offense has played the fifth easiest. With Washington beat up all along the offensive line, potentially playing with four backups, Tampa Bay's defense could look better. We know the Redskins will likely run early and often because they don't want too many dropbacks for Alex Smith behind this line. Additionally, Washington has played the NFL's easiest schedule of pass defenses this year and has done absolutely nothing through the air.

    The Redskins pass defense was exposed against the Falcons last week, and after playing two extremely bad pass offenses (Giants and Cowboys) the previous two weeks, this is another spot for the Buccaneers passing offense to bounce back at home after dropping the game in Carolina last week.

    Lean: Buccaneers -3

    New England Patriots (-6.5) at Tennessee Titans

    Total: 46.5
    PickCenter public consensus pick: 84 percent picked New England

    Johnson: My projection for this game is Patriots -4.8 with a total of 46.2. The Titans opened +7 Tuesday morning after their win Monday night in Dallas but were immediately bet down to +6.5. At +7 it warrants a bet if we see it pop again. I wrote last Sunday night about the surprising home value backing New England against the Packers. The Patriots covered and won the game 31-17, but it was quite a bit closer than the final score indicates. Green Bay was actually marching the field to take a lead in the fourth quarter tied 17-17 and fumbled the football. After a couple of fluky defensive mishaps, the deficit was suddenly 14 points and the game ended shortly after.

    I'm not sure if that one result is giving us some value here, or if the return of Rob Gronkowski and Sony Michel to practice this week is keeping this higher, but the Titans just won a game in Dallas as an underdog -- a game in which they dominated. This line is too high.

    Pick: Lean +6.5, buy at +7

    Sharp: This game likely comes down to the pass rush. If the Titans hope to have any chance for the upset, they will need to get pressure on Tom Brady. This year when Brady has been blitzed, he has a passer rating of just 63.3 (tied for the worst in the NFL). However, teams blitz Brady on just 15 percent of his dropbacks, the least in the NFL. The Titans are the eighth-most blitz-heavy defense in the NFL this year, which could bode well for them against Brady.

    The problem is that their blitz efficiency is terrible and they rank 25th in pass rush efficiency. The past four weeks, the Patriots have played four defenses that rank 12th or better in pass rush efficiency, so the step down to the Titans' bad pass rush is massive. It will be of paramount importance for those blitzes to cause a problem for Brady.

    Tennessee's offense has faced the toughest schedule of defenses this year, and that in part accounts for some of its offensive struggles. The Titans haven't faced a single defense that ranks in the bottom half of the league since Week 1. They have also faced the NFL's most difficult schedule of run defenses. The Patriots run defense is eighth best in the league, but their pass defense ranks just 18th despite facing the sixth-easiest schedule of pass offenses.

    Pick: Pass

    Miami Dolphins at Green Bay Packers (-9.5)

    Total: 47.5
    PickCenter public consensus pick: 79 percent picked Green Bay

    Johnson: Here is an excerpt from the "behind the box score" piece of my Tuesday column this week:

    "The New York Jets outgained the Miami Dolphins 282 yards to 168, and 15 first downs to seven. Miami was laying three points to the Jets in Week 9. The Dolphins won the game by seven and got the cover, but not without a salty Jets backer pointing out how fluky it was (that's me).

    For starters, Sam Darnold turned it over four times. In fact, a pick-six is what gave the Dolphins their only touchdown of the game. On top of the minus-four turnover margin, the Jets were 2-for-13 on third down, and 0-for-2 on fourth down.

    Make sure you understand just how bad Miami played against the Jets this past week. I won't be bothering with the Dolphins game in Week 10. Sometimes the most profitable angle is taking the wait-and-see approach. I need to see more out of Miami with Osweiler at quarterback before I make decisions to bet their games."

    My thoughts haven't changed. My numbers for this matchup are Packers -9.6 with a total of 48.0. I won't be getting involved.

    Pick: Pass

    Sharp: The Dolphins have played two strong run defenses the past two weeks, and with Brock Osweiler at the helm, it will be very beneficial to face the Packers' No. 26 run defense. Green Bay has been bad on the road and much better at home, and has played just two home games since Week 2. Off the bye and back-to-back road games, the Packers are truly in a must-win position at home to save their season.

    The Dolphins defense has played the fourth-easiest schedule of opposing pass offenses and still ranks 23rd. They have the fourth worst pass rush in the league. This should provide ample opportunity for Rodgers at home to exploit this secondary, which has faced Andy Dalton, Mitchell Trubisky, Matthew Stafford and Sam Darnold in four of its past five games. With Miami playing at home in three of their past four games, I'd look to tease the Packers but would pass on the game spread.

    Pick: Pass

    Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5)

    Total: 46.5
    PickCenter public consensus pick: 53 percent picked Jacksonville

    Johnson: The Jaguars are a mess. Those were my words each of the past two weeks as we have been trying to figure out if they were going to show any signs of life again this year.

    Don't bother betting on Jacksonville until we have some sort of evidence and data that can explain expected improvement in the near future. Those were also my words.

    Well the Jaguars opened at +3.5 against the Colts. There is always a price that makes backing a complete stay-away like the Jaguars worthwhile, and +3.5 was that price for me. It has since moved down to +3 and even +2.5 at a few shops. This is absolutely the right move. I jumped in and grabbed it Sunday evening because I was fairly confident it wasn't going to last very long. I have the Jaguars at -1.1. If you still have access to +3, that's a bet worth making before it's too late.

    Pick: Jaguars +3

    Sharp: The Colts are in a must-win spot at home, with five of their six divisional games still left to play. Both teams are off of the bye, and the Colts offense, led by a strong performance from its offensive line, should be in good shape to handle the Jacksonville's front. The problem for the Jaguars has been their pass rush -- it ranks just 24th in 2018. To date the Colts have played a top-10 schedule of pass defenses, but haven't faced very good pass rushes. If the Jaguars can manufacture a better pass rush for this game, it could make a big difference.

    Jacksonville has faced the fifth-toughest schedule of run defenses this year, and better production on the ground would benefit Blake Bortles. Leonard Fournette's return could certainly help. The Colts pass defense ranks 25th on the year and isn't trending much better despite playing the Raiders, Bills and Jets the past three weeks. The Jaguars should have better success on the ground and through the air.

    Lean: Jaguars +3

    Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears(-6.5)

    Total: 44
    PickCenter public consensus pick: 60 percent picked Chicago

    Johnson: I have written about Detroit's strengths the past two weeks, so I won't bore everyone with the same numbers again. The two losses to the Seahawks and Vikings aren't the worst in the world. The Lions are still an average team (slightly below), and the Bears are also an average team (slightly above).

    My projection is Chicago -4.4, so at +7 the we are getting a fairly sizable edge. I imagine the two losses for Detroit compounded with the Bears feasting on the Bills this past Sunday is why we are getting some extra value here. Our goal is to take advantage of these opportunities.

    Pick: Lions +7

    Sharp: The Lions pass offense has been very predictable this season. They have played three above-average pass defenses and in those games they are 0-3, losing to the Jets (48-17), Seahawks (28-14) and Vikings (24-9). Against subpar pass defenses, they are 3-2, and have scored 24-plus points in all five games. The Bears defense ranks fourth, despite trending downward the past three weeks.

    Detroit's defense has stepped up against good offenses, beating both of the top-10 offenses they played this year (the Patriots and the Packers), but both games were in Detroit, and this is just the third outdoor game for them. The problem for the Lions could come down to their defense. The Bears have played progressively more difficult defenses over the past four weeks and now they face the 29th-ranked Lions defense. Chicago's offense should look much better here.

    Lean: Bears -6.5

    Arizona Cardinals at Kansas City Chiefs (-16.5)

    Total: 49.5
    PickCenter public consensus pick: 65 percent picked Kansas City

    Johnson: There isn't a marquee matchup this week between contenders, so this is the most intriguing game on the slate to me. We have a darling Chiefs team that sits at 8-1 against the spread this season laying 16.5 points. The last time we saw a number this high was when the Vikings hosted the Buffalo Bills and lost the game outright in Week 3.

    My projection for the game is Kansas City -13.9, so at +17 I would definitely be taking a position on the Cardinals. This accounts for the bye week Arizona had in Week 9, which is worth about 1.5 points. Arizona fields the seventh-most efficient defense in the NFL, giving up just 5.3 yards per play on the season. With two weeks of preparation and a shot at finally slowing down the unstoppable Patrick Mahomes offense, I anticipate we see a well-prepared defense that keeps the game within 17 points.

    The Cardinals offense is the worst unit the 27th-ranked Chiefs defense has faced to this point. I have a small edge showing on under 50, with my true line coming in at 48.7, but I would likely need to see a 51 before I considered getting involved with the total.

    Pick: Pass

    Sharp: While I'm glad Byron Leftwich is the Cardinals offensive coordinator right now, they have a monster test off the bye. They defeated the 49ers at home in his first game, but it's different heading out on the road against a team that piles up 30-plus points every single game.

    The edge here is the Chiefs likely have no motivation to run up the score, since they are playing the Rams in Mexico City the following week. As good as Kansas City has played, in their four home games, they've won by just 11 over the 49ers, 16 over the Jaguars and seven over the Broncos, in addition to blowing out the Bengals by well over this spread.

    Lean: Cardinals +16.5

    Los Angeles Chargers (-10) at Oakland Raiders

    Total: 50
    PickCenter public consensus pick: 81 percent picked Los Angeles

    Johnson: The Raiders' performance against Nick Mullens (future Hall of Famer?) and the 49ers last Thursday night was nothing short of despicable. Jon Gruden should be embarrassed. I hate the narrative, but if there was ever a time to get maximum effort from professionals, you would think this would be it. The Chargers are really good, but this number is way too high.

    I understand how uncomfortable it can be to bet on a team in shambles like Oakland, but the number discrepancy is really severe. I make this line Raiders +5.2 and there are some +10s in the market. Sometimes you just have to hold your nose and take the 'dog.

    Pick: Raiders +10 or better

    Sharp: The only two teams that have tripped up the Chargers this year have been the Chiefs and the Rams -- and the Raiders are far from that class. Oakland looked as if its didn't care one bit in its 34-3 blowout loss to the 49ers last week. The first step to having a chance is to protect Derek Carr. Fortunately, the Chargers defense ranks fifth worst in pass rush efficiency, and the Raiders line could look better than it did against the No. 8 pass rush of the 49ers last week.

    The Raiders just waived their defensive captain Bruce Irvin, and it is hard to envision the Chargers offense having too much difficultly moving the ball on both the ground or through the air. The Raiders are the NFL's worst defense in pass rush, pass defense and explosive pass defense. Oakland's defense currently doesn't have the pieces nor the scheme to limit the production from a good offense like the Chargers, but this number is a little high for me.

    Pick: Pass

    Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams (-9.5)

    Total: 50.5
    PickCenter public consensus pick: 51 percent picked Los Angeles

    Johnson: I'm always intrigued to see how recently classified "elite" teams -- the Rams -- bounce back from a first loss scenario after a great run. From the coaching staff to the players, the Rams are still an extremely young team. They didn't play that poorly against the Saints, either. They punted one time and had the ball in the fourth quarter in a tie game with a chance to take a lead. New Orleans ultimately prevailed, and I can't wait to see what the Rams are able to do here in Week 10 at home against a Seahawks team that almost beat Los Angeles a month ago when they met in Seattle.

    My number for this game is Rams -9.5 and 50.6, so the current market for both the side and the total lines up almost exactly. I think we saw the recipe for beating the Rams this past Sunday though, and it requires an offense that can trade scores with the prolific L.A. offense. The Saints had that, the Seahawks do not. Seattle ranks 22nd in the NFL in offensive efficiency, so it is hard for me to get behind any team that faces the Rams this year and can't keep up on that side of the ball.

    Pick: Pass

    Sharp: Seattle's offense last week made three trips into the Chargers red zone and was highly productive on the ground, recording a 59 percent success rate and averaging 4.8 yards per carry. The Seahawks' problem was they couldn't generate any larger plays. Their pass protection was subpar, allowing four sacks on Russell Wilson, and he only generated one pass play of 20-plus yards. That wasn't enough to offset the big, explosive plays that the Seahawks defense allowed to the Chargers.

    The Saints used an onslaught to jump out to a big lead over the Rams last week, but even in the first half, Jared Goff's passes averaged 12.0 yards per attempt and delivered a 56 percent success rate while Todd Gurley gained 5.1 yards per carry and a 57 percent success rate. This game will likely come down to whether or not the Rams (with Cooper Kupp, who was absent in their first meeting), will be able to generate the big plays on offense and whether the Seahawks will be able to keep pace if they do.

    Lean: Seahawks +10
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    No opinion on this material fellas, posting for others per request...
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