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NFL Spreads Week 10: Breaking Down Games That Oddsmakers Got Wrong

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 28:  Chris Clemons #91 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates a Rams missed field goal during the 14-9 victory over the the St. Louis Rams at Edward Jones Dome on October 28, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2013

Oddsmakers are good at what they do. That is why the gambling business is so lucrative. With that said, it is impossible for them to be perfect. There is money to be made betting on the NFL each and every week, and Week 10 is no exception.

The Week 10 slate seems fairly unpredictable at first glance, but the oddsmakers were certainly lax in a few instances.

Setting an NFL spread is a scientific process that takes statistics, injuries and trends into account, but none of that is foolproof—especially when there are some question marks that can't necessarily be quantified.

Here are three wayward lines that bettors should have no problem taking advantage of this weekend.

 

*All odds courtesy of Vegas Insider

NFL Week 10 Picks Against the Spread
Away TeamHome TeamSpreadPick ATS
Washington RedskinsMinnesota VikingsWAS (-1.5)WAS
Jacksonville JaguarsTennessee TitansTEN (-13)TEN
Philadelphia EaglesGreen Bay PackersGB (-1)PHI
Buffalo BillsPittsburgh SteelersPIT (-3)BUF
Oakland RaidersNew York GiantsNYG (-7)OAK
St. Louis RamsIndianapolis ColtsIND (-9.5)IND
Seattle SeahawksAtlanta FalconsSEA (-5.5)SEA
Cincinnati BengalsBaltimore RavensCIN (-1.5)CIN
Detroit LionsChicago BearsPKDET
Carolina PanthersSan Francisco 49ersSF (-6)CAR
Houston TexansArizona CardinalsARI (-3)HOU
Denver BroncosSan Diego ChargersDEN (-7)DEN
Dallas CowboysNew Orleans SaintsNO (-6.5)DAL
Miami DolphinsTampa Bay BuccaneersMIA (-2)TB
Spreads courtesy of Vegas Insider

 

Seattle Seahawks (-5.5 at ATL)

As one of the best teams in the league, most figured that the Seattle Seahawks would roll past their two most recent opponents. The Seahawks did come away with a pair of wins, but they were much closer than anyone could have anticipated.

A last-second stand at the goal line was needed to beat the St. Louis Rams a couple of weeks ago, while Seattle came back from a 21-point deficit to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in overtime in Week 9.

There are suddenly plenty of question marks surrounding what many consider to be the NFL's most complete team, and that is likely why it is only a 5.5-point favorite against the two-win Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons have been one of the league's biggest disappointments this season, and while there are several reasons for that, NFL on Fox suggests that the play of star quarterback Matt Ryan has been a huge issue in recent weeks.

Much of that is probably due to the fact that wide receiver Julio Jones is out for the season, and No. 2 receiver Roddy White has missed a number of games as well. The Falcons have traditionally been a great home team during Ryan's tenure, but they are just 2-2 at the Georgia Dome this year.

Also, facing the Seattle defense isn't a recipe for success for the struggling Ryan, as the Seahawks are No. 2 in the league against the pass.

All of those factors point toward a blowout in favor of Seattle on Sunday.

 

Buffalo Bills (+3 at PIT)

This game may not seem overly important to casual fans, as it features two teams that are near the bottom of the AFC this season, but the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers still have a chance to salvage their respective seasons.

Pittsburgh may be the more desperate team on Sunday since it has two wins to Buffalo's three and is playing at home, but the Bills are much better than their record suggests.

That should be evident on Sunday, as ESPN's Mike Rodak reports that promising rookie quarterback EJ Manuel is expected to start after missing several weeks with a knee injury.

The Bills went 1-3 with Thad Lewis and Jeff Tuel holding down the quarterback position while Manuel was on the shelf, but the offense should be much more stable this week.

Even if Manuel doesn't have a monster game in his return, Buffalo figures to move the ball at will. The Bills are averaging nearly 146 rushing yards per game behind C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, while the Steelers are allowing 131 rushing yards per contest and have surrendered 12 rushing touchdowns—both marks are ranked 31st in the league.

Pittsburgh's offense came to life in Week 9 against the New England Patriots, as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns, but he only has two multi-touchdown games all year.

Buffalo's defense is tied for third in the league with 12 interceptions this season, though, and Big Ben tends to be mistake-prone when put under pressure.

Since the Bills are third in the NFL in sacks and the Steelers have allowed the second-most sacks this season, that doesn't bode well for Pittsburgh.

 

Philadelphia Eagles (+1 at GB)

Had the Philadelphia Eagles traveled to Green Bay to take on the Packers at Lambeau Field at any other point this season, the Packers would have deservedly been heavy favorites.

According to Vegas Insider, Green Bay opened as a 10-point favorite this week, but that was before one play significantly altered the course of the Packers' season. Superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a fractured clavicle against the Chicago Bears in Week 9, and Mike Spofford of Packers.com writes that he will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.

The Packers have plenty of talent throughout the roster, but there is no disputing the fact that Rodgers is their single most important player. He is arguably the best signal-caller in the league and there is no way that Green Bay can properly replace him.

Seneca Wallace looked shaky in relief of Rodgers in Week 9, as the Packers lost to the Bears. According to Las Vegas Superbook (h/t ESPN Stats & Info), the drop-off from Rodgers to Wallace is huge from a betting perspective.

That is the one and only reason why the Packers are just one-point favorites.

That may seem fair, but the argument can certainly be made that Philly deserves to be favored. The only thing Green Bay has working in its favor is home-field advantage.

The Eagles are coming off a big win over the Oakland Raiders during which quarterback Nick Foles threw for seven touchdowns. He won't repeat that feat against the Packers, but Green Bay is a team in turmoil and it's hard to imagine the Pack coming away victorious.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

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