NFL Picks Week 10 Against the Spread: Which Underdogs Will Cover?
Week 10 of the 2011 NFL season welcomes back all 32 teams to the gridiron while also scheduling the first Thursday night contest featuring AFC West division rivals.
Oddsmakers have enjoyed a solid pro football campaign thus far, with favorites posting a 63-60-6 against-the-spread record, and the "over" still holding onto a slight 65-63 advantage.
Total bettors have noticed a major difference in terms of scoring as the season continues to progress, including the "under" cashing in 10 of 13 games this past Sunday.
Let's take a closer look at this week's games from a betting perspective.
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Oakland has dropped two straight games and now heads south to face a divisional foe that has revenge on its mind.
Quarterback Carson Palmer is still learning the offense, putting him in a tough spot with such a quick turnaround with this game being played on Thursday night.
San Diego is in a must-win situation off three consecutive losses, coming in with a football team that ranks in the top 10 in both total offense and defense.
The Chargers are 7-2 ATS in November over the last two-plus seasons, which should be enough to get the cash here.
Pick: San Diego Chargers (-6.5)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a disheartening 23-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens as 3.5-point home favorites, something that I'd normally fade the following week.
That's not the case here with a bye week on the horizon, facing an upstart team that goes up in class within the AFC North division.
Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton will have to wait until Dec. 4 to try and pick up his first career victory over Steelers signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger.
Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
The Kansas City Chiefs are 2-2 ATS on the year when playing inside Arrowhead Stadium, with both spread losses coming as favorites.
Denver is not out of this crazy AFC West divisional race, as the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers will be facing off against each other on Thursday night.
The Broncos only spread loss on the road this year has come against the Green Bay Packers—a team that happens to be the only team without a loss in the National Football League.
Pick: Denver Broncos (+3.5)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
I'm not about to lay points on the road in a division rivalry with a rookie quarterback that has completed just 45.7 percent of his passes.
Jacksonville Jaguars signal-caller Blaine Gabbert will be coming off the bye and facing a franchise that will look to avoid falling to 0-10 in front of the home fans.
The Indianapolis Colts have been a home underdog of three points or less just once in the last two-plus seasons, while their opponent dresses up in that role for the first time in the same span.
Pick: Indianapolis Colts (+3)
Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
The Buffalo Bills simply don't match up well with the New York Jets, dropping a 27-11 decision as 2.5-point home favorites Sunday.
It wasn't surprising due to allowing 38 points in each series meeting a year ago.
Dallas has alternated wins and losses over its past four games since its bye week, handing the Seattle Seahawks a 23-13 defeat in Week 9.
Definitely going to take the points with a Bills team that is 5-1 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points the last two-plus seasons, while also looking to cover all three games versus the NFC East this season.
Pick: Buffalo Bills (+6)
Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The Houston Texans have really put together a balanced football team, ranking eighth in the league in total offense and third in total defense.
With a bye week looming, the franchise will want to keep its winning streak alive, traveling to the Sunshine State as winners of four straight.
Tampa Bay has certainly regressed after last year's 10-6 record, especially on the defensive end, ranking 30th in the league in allowing 398.9 yards per game.
Watch the line closely, with the Buccaneers being 0-4 ATS as a home underdog of three points or less.
Pick: Houston Texans (-3)
Tennessee Titans at Carolina Panthers
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
The Carolina Panthers are 2-1 ATS as a home favorite this season, coming off its bye week after suffering a 24-21 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
I don't like playing rookie quarterbacks and first-year head coaches in this type of situation, especially laying points against a veteran signal-caller on the other side.
Cam Newton will have to wait in capturing his third win of the season.
Pick: Tennessee Titans (+3.5)
Washington Redskins at Miami Dolphins
Peter Aiken/Getty Images
The Miami Dolphins are certainly better than their record, but I'm not about to lay four points on them after beating the Kansas City Chiefs on the road as four-point underdogs.
Washington is really on the brink of losing its season, scoring just 44 points combined during a four-game losing streak.
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan desperately needs a win, while the host is still celebrating in South Beach after notching its first win.
Pick: Washington Redskins (+4)
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
The Atlanta Falcons are starting to hit their stride in winning three consecutive games, including a dominating 31-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts as 6.5-point road favorites Sunday.
Both teams are balanced in being able to run or pass on any down, but I'm going to take the visiting New Orleans Saints in the first meeting between these division rivals.
The Saints are also 12-4 ATS as a road favorite of three points or less.
Pick: New Orleans Saints (-1)
St. Louis Rams at Cleveland Browns
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images
The Cleveland Browns have scored just 119 points this season, returning home off consecutive road losses against the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans.
St. Louis lost out on all momentum of putting together a winning streak, falling 19-13 to the Arizona Cardinals in overtime as 2.5-point road underdogs.
A terrible spot for the Rams with four division games ahead and sitting six games back of the San Francisco 49ers.
Pick: Cleveland Browns (-1.5)
Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
The Seattle Seahawks are much better at home than on the road, which sets up nicely for them to make some noise down the stretch, playing five of their last eight games in front of the 12th man.
Baltimore lands in a terrible spot, coming off a come-from-behind victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers while looking dead ahead to hosting the upstart Cincinnati Bengals the following week.
Second-year head coach Pete Carroll will finally get some consistency out of his offense, with quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and Marshawn Lynch starting together for only the third game this season come Sunday.
Pick: Seattle Seahawks (+7.5)
New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
The San Francisco 49ers are going to give the New York Giants a heavy dose of running back Frank Gore, as the team comes home with a 7-1 record and large lead in the NFC West standings.
He will be going up against a defensive front that likes to get after the quarterback, something that the 49ers can combat by their rushing attack that ranks sixth in the league.
New York picked up a big win over the New England Patriots, but has been known to go in the tank versus quality teams during the second half of the season.
Pick: San Francisco 49ers (-3.5)
New England Patriots at New York Jets
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Both teams on opposites sides of the spectrum in terms of current form, locked in a three-way tie with the Buffalo Bills atop the AFC East standings.
Incredible line value in this rematch, considering the New England Patriots opened up as nine-point home favorites in the first meeting on Oct. 9.
Pick: New England Patriots (+1.5)
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
The oddsmakers are certainly going to draw sharp action on the Minnesota Vikings, being sent out as road underdogs of 10.5 to 14 points for the first time in at least the last two-plus seasons.
Green Bay came away with a 33-27 win over Minnesota in the first meeting as 10-point road favorites, which also served as the team's first look at rookie quarterback Christian Ponder on the other sideline.
Definite advantage to the Packers in the second meeting, coming in with a 5-1 ATS mark as a home favorite of 10.5 to 14 points.
Pick: Green Bay Packers (-13.5)