NFL Week 10 Picks: Underdogs That Will Cover Big Spreads

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 04:  Carson Palmer #3 of the Oakland Raiders drops back to pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter of their NFL football game at Coliseum on November 4, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The oddsmakers are expecting a lot of blowouts in Week 10, as illustrated by the number of games on the board with large spreads. There are a total of six games with lines of at least one touchdown, representing nearly half the schedule.

Not all of the big favorites are going to cover, though. With that in mind, let's take a look at a trio of underdogs that will be able to keep their respective games closer than anticipated. All odds used are courtesy of


Kansas City Chiefs (+13)

Few teams have been more disappointing than the Chiefs. They were a popular sleeper pick for the playoffs before the season began, but are 1-7 after five straight losses. So it's no surprise they are nearly two-touchdown underdogs against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

That said, the Chiefs are not as bad as their record would suggest. They have three playmakers on offense in Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe and Dexter McCluster that will cause some problems for Pittsburgh's vaunted defense.

The main reason this game will remain closer than 13 points is the Steelers rushing attack, which has been an absolute mess due to injuries. They are at their most effective when they can run the ball with authority, and that just isn't happening right now.


Oakland Raiders (+9)

This is a trap game for the Baltimore Ravens. It's the team's only home game during a four-game stretch and comes against a Raiders squad that's more dangerous than their 3-5 record would suggest, especially on offense.

Whether Darren McFadden makes a remarkable recovery prior to Sunday or explosive backup Taiwan Jones gets the nod, Oakland should be able to expose Baltimore's weak run defense, which is giving up nearly 140 yards per game.

Add in the fact Carson Palmer is coming off a four-touchdown, 400-yard performance last week, and the Raiders should be able to keep pace with the Ravens. They have a reasonable shot at pulling off the upset and should certainly cover.


New York Jets (+7)

The Jets will take on the Seattle Seahawks in a game that screams for a late game-winning field goal. Both teams have been wildly inconsistent throughout the season and rank inside the bottom six in offensive yards per game.

One thing working in New York's favor is last week's bye. Rex Ryan had a chance to regroup the troops after a disappointing first half, which should help the Jets. The Seahawks have their bye next week, making it easy for them to get caught looking ahead.

Any time a game is shaping up to be as low scoring as this one, getting seven points is actually a pretty big deal. It's truly a toss-up game, and it's hard to imagine the Seahawks turning it into a blowout to cover the line.