Picking NFL games without the spread has been hard enough in 2013. When you throw in the spread, picking a winner feels like calling heads or tails.
After the Minnesota Vikings earned just their second win of the season by beating the Washington Redskins this past Thursday, the outcome announced that Week 10 will continue the trend of unpredictability.
However, looking over the spreads for this weekend's games, three matchups can still be picked with great confidence.
Take a look at all of my picks against the spread for this week, and then I'll highlight the three lines that are the most vulnerable.
|Week 10 Spreads and Predictions|
|Home Team||Away Team||Prediction (ATS)|
|Green Bay Packers (-1)||Philadelphia Eagles||Packers|
|Tennessee Titans (-11.5)||Jacksonville Jaguars||Jaguars|
|Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)||Buffalo Bills||Bills|
|New York Giants (-7)||Oakland Raiders||Raiders|
|Indianapolis Colts (-9.5)||St. Louis Rams||Colts|
|Atlanta Falcons||Seattle Seahawks (-6)||Seahawks|
|Baltimore Ravens||Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5)||Bengals|
|Chicago Bears||Detroit Lions (-2.5)||Lions|
|San Francisco 49ers (-6)||Carolina Panthers||Panthers|
|Arizona Cardinals (-3)||Houston Texans||Texans|
|San Diego Chargers||Denver Broncos (-7)||Chargers|
|New Orleans Saints (-6.5)||Dallas Cowboys||Saints|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Miami Dolphins (-2.5)||Buccaneers|
|Odds via Vegas Insider|
Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle Seahawks
Pick: Seahawks -6
At the start of the season, this matchup looked like it was going to be far more intriguing than it is.
After beginning the year as two of the NFC favorites to reach the Super Bowl, only the Seahawks (8-1) can still hold onto those aspirations. Things have gone so wrong for the 2-6 Falcons this season that getting six points at home is still a bad bet for them.
The Falcons are going to have a hard time finding any offense in this game. Atlanta will enter this matchup ranked fifth in passing but 32nd in rushing. This is not the kind of offense that a team wants to bring against Seattle.
The Seahawks have an outstanding secondary and rank second in the league in pass defense.
Meanwhile, Seattle's offense has been inconsistent. A lot of this is due to an injured and ineffective offensive line. Still, the Seahawks rank sixth in rushing, and Marshawn Lynch had at least 77 yards in four of his last five starts.
That running game will be enough to carry the Seahawks this week. Atlanta ranks just 21st in stopping the run and is 26th in yards allowed per rush with 4.5.
Given the fact that Atlanta is going to find scoring points nearly impossible, the Seahawks won't need more than 20 points to cover this spread. Needless to say, I see them getting at least 20.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Bengals -1.5
This pick was hard to make. It just doesn't feel right to take the Bengals (6-3) when they are giving up points on the road against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
However, the Ravens (3-5) are offering up a weak defense of that title. They have lost three straight and four of the last five. Baltimore hasn't scored more than 18 points in its last three games.
At the root of the problem is terrible O-line play. Baltimore is last in the league in yards per rush and 26th in sacks allowed per game.
That weakness is going to doom the Ravens in this one.
The Bengals defense has been solid this year yet a bit inconsistent. It is 11th in passing and 10th in rushing. However, despite the loss of Geno Atkins, the Bengals still have a formidable defensive line with the likes of Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap able to bring the heat off the edge.
With the Bengals defense winning the battle in the trenches in this game, Baltimore is going to offer up another lackluster offensive showing and another loss.
San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos
Pick: Chargers +7
After picking two road teams, I have to get in a customary home dog here. I always start my picks of the week by looking for home underdogs, and the Chargers (4-4) getting seven against the Broncos (7-1) jumped right out.
Denver's high-powered offense makes this spread a touch scary. However, Denver isn't going to stop San Diego.
The Chargers are fourth in passing yards, and Philip Rivers is on pace to set the single-season record for completion percentage. He has completed 72.2 percent of his passes so far this season, and that number will likely improve this week.
The Broncos are 30th in passing yards allowed this season and 26th in yards allowed per pass. The Chargers will be able to exploit that defense and sustain drives.
Coming off a frustrating overtime road loss to the Washington Redskins, the Chargers will be playing their first home game since beating the Colts 19-9 in Week 6.
In that game, San Diego used its lethal offense to control time of possession and keep Andrew Luck on the sideline. The Colts held the ball for less than 23 minutes in that game.
I expect a similar game plan and result in this one. Seven points are too much to pass up.
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