NFL Predictions Week 10: Early Odds, Picks and Projections for Upcoming Schedule

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2018

James Conner has nine rushing touchdowns this season for the Steelers.
James Conner has nine rushing touchdowns this season for the Steelers.Don Wright/Associated Press

Since the NFL started playing regularly on Thursday nights, the schedule has often included a number of less-than-inspired games that did not become must-see TV for football fans, even the most hardcore variety.

That was certainly the case in Week 9 when the Bay Area battle between the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers was offered to the viewing public.

However, the NFL is making up for it in Week 10 as the Carolina Panthers take on the Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Both teams have been surging in recent weeks, and they have put themselves in a position to make a strong run at a playoff spot and possibly do quite a bit of damage in the postseason. 

The Panthers have won five of their last six games and they are in the NFC's No. 1 wild-card position as they chase the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South.

While Cam Newton is not the most prolific passer in terms of yardage (236.6 yards per game), he is completing 67.3 percent of his passes with a 15-4 TD-interception ratio. Newton has raised his level of play this year, as has second-year running back Christian McCaffrey.

McCaffrey has rushed for 502 yards and three touchdowns, and has 17 runs of 10 yards or more. He is also one of the top receivers out of the backfield with 49 receptions in 58 targets. 

While McCaffrey is a consistent producer, if Newton can find wideout Devin Funchess and tight end Greg Olsen, the Panthers become a dangerous offense.

The Steelers have reeled off four consecutive wins after a 1-2-1 start to the season. They have seemingly overcome the loss of Le'Veon Bell (holdout) even though he was among the best running backs prior to the start of the season. James Conner has run like a tank in his absence.

Conner has 706 rushing yards and has pounded the ball into the end zone nine times, and he is also a key factor in the passing game with 38 receptions. 

Conner is making life better for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wideout Antonio Brown. Roethlisberger is averaging 320.0 yards per game with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions, while Brown is still one of the most dangerous receivers in the league with 51 catches for 594 yards and nine TDs. Look for Brown to be even more productive in terms of receptions and yardage in the second half of the season.

Add in JuJu Smith-Schuster and tight ends Vance McDonald and Jesse James, and the Steelers have a chance to light up the scoreboard.

The Steelers are four-point favorites over the Panthers per OddsShark, and while this should be a back-and-forth game, we see the Steelers taking charge in the fourth quarter and winning the game while covering the spread.

NFL Week 10 Schedule and Odds (via OddsShark)


Thursday, November 8

Carolina at Pittsburgh (-4) 


Sunday, November 11

New England (NL) at Tennessee  

Jacksonville at Indianapolis (-3) 

Buffalo at New York Jets (-7.5)

Detroit at Chicago (-6.5)

New Orleans (-4.5) at Cincinnati 

Atlanta (-4) at Cleveland 

Arizona at Kansas City (-16.5)  

Washington at Tampa Bay (-3) 

Los Angeles Chargers (-10) at Oakland 

Seattle at Los Angeles Rams (-10)

Miami at Green Bay (-9.5)  

Dallas at Philadelphia (NL) 


Monday, November 12

New York Giants at San Francisco (-3)


All Times ET.

Predictions against the spread in bold.

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

The Lions are reeling after losing back-to-back games to the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings. After blowing a home game to Seattle, head coach Matt Patricia should have had his charges ready for a division game, but that was hardly the case.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford was pounded throughout the game and the Vikings registered 10 sacks. The strength of the Bears is their defense, and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's unit should smell blood in the water. If the Bears get stud pass rusher Khalil Mack (ankle) back in the lineup, it will be imperative for the Lions to upgrade their offensive line performance by a significant margin.

Patricia is having a difficult time in his first season as head coach. He may have been a stellar defensive coordinator with the New England Patriots, but he is struggling to get his talented team to play consistently.

On the other hand, Matt Nagy has been an effective leader for the first-place Bears and a breath of fresh air after previous head coach Marc Trestman and John Fox. Second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is not always accurate, but he has made some key throws and is a powerful runner at his position. 

The Bears are doing enough on offense to win games, and they are functioning at a higher level than the Lions. 

Chicago is a 6.5-point favorite, and the Bears will find a way to take charge in this game and pull away in the second half.

Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Las Vegas sets traps and the linemakers will also give out occasional gifts.

The problem is that it is often difficult to determine which is which. In looking at this game between the Redskins and the Bucs, we believe the sports-gambling oddsmakers are giving a November gift to its customers, even though Washington has a slew of offensive line injuries.

The Redskins are in first place and they are coming off a loss to the Atlanta Falcons. They find themselves as three-point underdogs to the Bucs, a team that is among the worst defensive teams in the league.

Washington quarterback Alex Smith and running back Adrian Peterson should be ready to get after Tampa Bay's 29th-ranked defense. If the Redskins get off to a good start, we see them running off to an easy victory.

The Redskins want to hold off the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East, and a win here is required if they are to accomplish that goal.

The Bucs can be an explosive offensive team, but this is a game that would require nearly error-free football from Tampa Bay. We don't see head coach Dirk Koetter's team playing that kind of football. Washington wins the road game.