Predicting the outcome of an NFL contest must take an abundance of information into consideration. Factors such as recent defensive trends against the run or pass, performances at home versus on the road, key injuries and even game-day weather must be accounted for.
Vegas oddsmakers utilize every bit of information and take every possible scenario into consideration before setting a game line. As a bettor, the same must be done for a chance to emerge with more money in your pocket than you started with. That's the name of the game, after all.
With all of this information available by watching recent footage and exploring different sources around the Web, here's a look at final-score predictions for each of the 13 contests set to take place in Week 10. That's followed by an example of an important factor that will lead to a win for three teams on Sunday.
|NFL Week 10 Odds and Picks|
|Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals||CIN -7||CIN, 31-20|
|Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Even||ATL, 31-24|
|Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens||BAL -10.5||BAL, 27-23|
|Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets||PIT -4.5||PIT, 34-20|
|San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints||NO -4.5||NO, 28-20|
|Dallas Cowboys vs. Jacksonville Jaguars*||DAL -7.5||JAX, 27-26|
|Miami Dolphins at Detroit Lions||DET -2.5||DET, 24-17|
|Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills||Even||KC, 23-17|
|Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders||DEN -12.5||DEN, 38-20|
|New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks||SEA -10||SEA, 23-20|
|St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals||AZ -8||AZ, 27-17|
|Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers||GB -8||GB, 36-24|
|Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles||PHI -7||CAR, 27-24|
|*Game played in London|
All game odds courtesy of Odds Shark and current as of November 4.
Atlanta Falcons (even) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This fight between NFC South gutter-dwellers will be determined by a battle in the trenches. Atlanta can have one of the league's hottest offenses when quarterback Matt Ryan is given time to throw; however, due to injuries along the offensive line, that hasn't been the case.
Atlanta has been about average in pass protection this season, ranking in the middle of the pack with a minus-17.1 efficiency rating, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Luckily, the Falcons big men will be facing off against a Buccaneers defense that hasn't been able to muster much of a pass rush this season, ranking 25th in the league with just 13 sacks on the year.
Tampa Bay's secondary has been just as bad, ranking 31st in the league, allowing an average of 285.3 yards per game through the air. A mixture of a poor pass rush and a shaky secondary against a top-tier quarterback like Ryan bodes very well for the signal-caller to get the time he needs to put up some major points in Week 10.
Expect to see a fair amount of points on the scoreboard from both of these teams, with the Falcons offensive line holding up just well enough to secure the win.
Prediction: Falcons 31, Buccaneers 24
Denver Broncos (-12.5) at Oakland Raiders
Balance on the offensive side of the ball will be one determining factor for the Broncos to not only defeat the Raiders on Sunday, but to also cover a rather large spread.
Peyton Manning and Co. are coming off a devastating loss to the New England Patriots. Manning didn't play overly well in that contest, and he'll be looking to get back on track in Week 10. Although, he'll need a running game to help him get that done.
Ronnie Hillman will look to get Denver's 27th-ranked ground game going against an Oakland defense that ranks 27th against the run. The running back is averaging 4.3 yards per carry this season, and he's eclipsed the 100-yard mark both times he's been given at least 20 carries. The Raiders will allow him to hit that milestone, opening things up for Manning against their 10th-ranked pass defense.
That's not good for the Raiders considering Manning's torrid pace this season. NFL Live recently named Manning the league's midseason MVP, via NFL on ESPN:
Meanwhile, Oakland hasn't been able to get anything going on the ground this year, ranking dead last in the league and averaging just 65.5 yards per game. Now it's up against a top-ranked Denver run defense that's giving up just 71.6 yards per game on the ground. Oakland's inability to run the ball will make things extremely difficult for rookie quarterback Derek Carr and his young targets.
These teams match up completely in favor of the Broncos in these categories, making Denver the easy pick to win big on Sunday.
Prediction: Denver 38, Oakland 20
St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-8)
Expect the running game to play a huge part in the outcome of this NFC West showdown. Both teams feature talented ball-carriers; however, they haven't exactly produced the same kind of efficiency against the run on the defensive side of the ball.
Arizona has done a phenomenal job establishing the run despite being more of a pass-oriented offense. While the Cardinals only rank 28th in the league on the ground, that number will continue to go up due to the improving health of running back Andre Ellington.
Ellington looked in form in Week 9 against the Dallas Cowboys, rushing for 95 yards on 21 carries. He's flourished as a receiver as well, ranking among the league's best in total yards per game, according to Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910:
The ball-carrier will have a great opportunity to keep that number trending upward against a Rams defense ranked 29th in the league, allowing an average of 136.3 yards per game on the ground.
Conversely, St. Louis has recently shifted to favor rookie Tre Mason out of the backfield. He carried a team-high 19 times in Week 9, gaining 65 yards. Although, that 3.4 yard-per-carry average isn't promising in Week 10 against a Cardinals defense ranked third in the league against the run.
When the Rams struggle to get the ground game going, it won't matter that the Cardinals have the league's worst pass defense, as they'll be able to focus heavily on quarterback Austin Davis and the team's depleted wide receiver corps.
Prediction: Cardinals 27, Rams 17