The 2012 identity of NFL teams gets clearer through each week.
That's important when laying down the dough because it makes deciphering which underdog is capable of the upset—with of course, a little help from the spread.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are a prime example, after having collected victories over the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. By no means are those stellar wins like what the New York Giants did to the San Francisco 49ers, but it proves NOLA's capabilities.
With an explosive offense and record-setting quarterback, let's check out Brees' Saints and the rest of Week 10 in pro football.
Note: All lines are courtesy of FootballLocks.com. Spreads may change before each game's kickoff so be sure to check back throughout the week for just in case purposes.
These two teams are heading in completely different directions.
The Indianapolis Colts have found a stride in rolling off three straight wins and Andrew Luck continues to impress. Although the Jacksonville Jaguars upset the Colts in Indy earlier, much has since changed.
Jacksonville failed to follow up with a response win, and Indy's pass defense has significantly improved. Here, the Colts take control from kickoff and don't let up.
Colts against the spread
The Carolina Panthers are coming off a nice win over the Washington Redskins in our nation's capital. Unfortunately, the Denver Broncos are a different kind of monster.
Peyton Manning will dice up the Cats' coverage and Von Miller's defense will isolate Cam Newton. Carolina doesn't have the consistency to be confident here because the Broncos ride a three-game win streak while winning ugly.
Broncos against the spread
Two teams coming off tough losses, the New York Giants hit the road to play the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals are on a four-game losing streak and only the passing offense has been consistently reliable. The pass rush has shown signs of dominance at times. Big Blue's receiving corps, though, will get open quick enough against the suspect coverage to limit the pressure on Eli Manning.
Cincinnati struggles on the ground as well, which has affected any chance of fielding a balanced attack.
Giants against the spread
The Miami Dolphins are coming off a heart-wrenching loss to the Colts. On the contrary, the Tennessee Titans were suplexed by the Bears.
With Miami allowing so many passing yards, it's reasonable to expect Tennessee to air it out. The downside is the Titans don't present as reliable a receiving corps. The Dolphins are also better at stuffing the run and getting quarterback pressure.
Tennessee's defense remains inconsistent as well.
Dolphins against the spread
The Minnesota Vikings got a win over the Detroit Lions earlier in the year because of special teams.
Although the Lions have gained much confidence since and the Vikings have dropped, Week 10's matchup won't display those indications. Detroit saw ground game success against the Jaguars, which at this stage doesn't hold much weight.
Minnesota is also desperate for a win in losing two straight. Plus the Lions are still vulnerable to an established rushing attack and play-action pass.
Vikings and the points
Three reasons why the New England Patriots will cover the spread:
1. Coming off a bye week
2. Slammed the Buffalo Bills on the road in Week 4
3. Buffalo has lost four of its last five games
There's simply a major difference in confidence despite this being a divisional game.
Patriots against the spread
The Louisiana Superdome is not as easy place to win. Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons know that all too well, and the Chargers found that out when visiting this season as well.
Drew Brees and Co. will be anxious to attack the Falcons' well-disciplined secondary, and vice versa from Ryan—except the Saints are vehemently weak versus anything defensively. It will be a high-scoring affair and although Atlanta can be anticipated to win, it won't be enough to cover.
Saints and the points
Doug Martin put on one exciting performance against the Raiders on Sunday.
Now, the San Diego Chargers are certainly better against the run than Oakland, but it won't be enough. Tampa's offense is well-balanced and Vincent Jackson has extra motivation to dominate his old team.
The Bolts aren't as consistent offensively and despite the Bucs' No. 32 pass defense, Ronde Barber can still make plays.
Buccaneers against the spread
The Baltimore Ravens got somewhat back on track against the Cleveland Browns. Still, the Ravens are vulnerable to a balanced attack and Carson Palmer has caught fire, NBA Jam style this season.
The Oakland Raiders, though, were steamrolled by Tampa Bay and Ray Rice can be expected to be Doug Martin's encore. Factor in Joe Flacco's passing attack and the Raiders will be off guard all game.
Ravens against the spread
The story of this cross-conference matchup will be Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Seahawks' front seven.
The New York Jets can't run the ball or stop the run consistently, as has been the case all year. Interestingly enough, those are Seattle's top strengths and the Jets don't present a solid aerial assault either—and the Seahawks' coverage is quite impressive.
Seahawks against the spread
A battle of two solid defenses within the NFC West, the San Francisco 49ers still have the upper-hand.
The St. Louis Rams don't field a balanced or explosive offense capable of keeping the 'Niners honest. In turn, San Francisco's array of receiving targets for Alex Smith works well after Frank Gore slams between the tackles.
These are two teams of similar identity, but one is just much better than the other.
49ers against the spread
On the flip side, each defense is capable of applying great quarterback pressure and locking down in coverage. So, the deciding factor of the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles will be the rushing offense.
In short, LeSean McCoy becomes the difference.
Eagles and the points
Folks, welcome to the game of the week. The Houston Texans and Chicago Bears will be one of the best games we see all season long.
Fielding two unbelievable defenses, each offense will struggle immensely at moving the rock. As a result, field position and turnovers will determine the victor. Here, Houston has a slight edge at running back with Arian Foster and Matt Schaub—they just don't turn it over as much as Jay Cutler.
In addition, the Texans also possess better pass protection to minimize Chicago's rush.
Texans and the points
The only people watching this game will be those with fantasy football implications. The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to smash the Kansas City Chiefs, and it may be the widest margin of the season.
K.C. simply turns the ball over way too much, whereas the Steelers rarely cough up the rock or throw a pick. Ben Roethlisberger is obviously better than anyone under center in K.C., and the defense continues to get better each week.
Unless the Chiefs end up getting spotted something ridiculous such as 28 points before kickoff, Pittsburgh will cover.
Steelers against the spread
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