Bleacher Report's Expert Week 10 NFL Picks
The trend continues.
Home favorites were just 31-42 against the spread entering Week 9 of the NFL season, and then they went 2-8 to bring that record to a ridiculous 33-50. Home teams in general are just 65-70 straight-up this season, which indicates 2020 might not have been an aberration when home squads went 127-128-1.
Turns out, full stadiums haven't corrected that.
It's something to keep in mind, whether you want to ride the trend or fade it with the assumption that home-field advantage will eventually be restored, with added value for those riding home teams.
Bleacher Report national NFL writers Gary Davenport, Brad Gagnon and Brent Sobleski, B/R Gridiron editors Ian Kenyon and Wes O'Donnell and B/R Betting host Connor Rogers aren't convinced it'll keep up.
Here are their ATS picks for every game on the Week 10 slate.
Baltimore Ravens (6-2) at Miami Dolphins (2-7)
DraftKings Line: Baltimore -7.5
About 80 percent of the public is willing to give up a touchdown plus a hook in favor of the Baltimore Ravens as they travel on extra short rest Thursday night. That's how down folks are on the Miami Dolphins, who at one point were merely a three-point underdog for this matchup.
The gang is joining the public on Baltimore, but only with the slimmest possible majority.
"The Ravens tend to keep games much closer than they deserve to be, particularly against inferior competition," Sobleski admitted. "So, a touchdown spread may be enticing when facing the Miami Dolphins. However, Lamar Jackson is playing at an MVP level again, the Ravens have scored at least 31 points in three of their last four games and the Dolphins own the league's 30th-ranked defense. Baltimore should take care of business."
The Ravens earned a reputation for stomping on inferior teams last year, but that indeed has not been the case this season. Two of their last three wins have come in overtime, and they were forced to come back against the Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings.
Of course, the argument could be made they're a strong veteran team due for a blowout win over a struggling opponent. That's the argument four of our six contributors are making.
Score Prediction: Ravens 28, Dolphins 17
Buffalo Bills (5-3) at New York Jets (2-6)
DraftKings Line: Buffalo -11.5
Will the Buffalo Bills bounce back after an embarrassing 9-6 loss to a Jacksonville Jaguars team that hadn't won a game on American soil in 14 months? Nearly our entire panel believes so, as they're backing the Bills to cover an 11.5-point spread against the inferior but feisty New York Jets on the road Sunday afternoon.
"This is admittedly a beefy spread," Davenport said, "especially after the Bills just scored all of six points in a stunning loss to the Jaguars. But Buffalo has to be seething after that setback last week, and while the Jets have shown some fight of late, they also fell by 15 last time out against the Colts. The Bills are playing as well defensively as any team in the league, and the Buffalo offense should get back on track against the NFL's 32nd-ranked defense. Buffalo rolls by 20-plus points and covers."
That's supported by the fact that all five of Buffalo's victories this season have come by 15-plus points. Still, Rogers isn't convinced. He's the lone wolf on Gang Green.
"The Jets and Bills are arguably two of the most unpredictable teams in the AFC right now," he said. "While Gang Green only has two wins, they both came at home against playoff contenders Tennessee and Cincinnati. Buffalo has dominated at times this year, but the offense could not have looked worse last week in a stunning loss to Jacksonville. The Bills are going to come out angry and get back on track, but this line is gigantic. I think the Jets backdoor cover in the second half."
Rogers: New York
Score Prediction: Bills 31, Jets 14
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2) at Washington Football Team (2-6)
DraftKings Line: Tampa Bay -9.5
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off a bye week Sunday in Washington, but so are the Washington Football Team. The vast majority of our crew feels Tampa Bay is positioned to benefit more from extra time to prepare, as nearly the entire panel is laying 9.5 points with Tom Brady and Co.
"Not only is this a situation in which Brady is coming off a poor performance in a loss," Gagnon said, "but he's also had extra time to stew, recover and prepare thoroughly for an opponent that was already riding a four-game losing streak before hitting its bye. Brady and the Bucs are too experienced and talented to mess around after what happened in Week 8 against New Orleans. This one won't be close."
In their last six games with more than a week to prepare, the Bucs are 6-0 with an average scoring margin of 36-16.
And while both teams are dealing with several injuries to key offensive players, the Bucs are deeper and likely a lot better equipped to deal with their injury situation. They're a heavy public favorite. And while sometimes that's a tempting fade, this might be one to keep simple.
Gagnon: Tampa Bay
Kenyon: Tampa Bay
O'Donnell: Tampa Bay
Rogers: Tampa Bay
Sobleski: Tampa Bay
Score Prediction: Buccaneers 34, Washington 17
Atlanta Falcons (4-4) at Dallas Cowboys (6-2)
DraftKings Line: Dallas -8
Our own deadlock of the week comes in Dallas, where the Cowboys are attempting to rebound from an utter dud in Week 9 but are giving up more than a touchdown to an Atlanta Falcons squad that has had some life of late.
Kenyon on Atlanta: "Matt Ryan has played surprisingly good football over the past six weeks after a rough start to the year. He's thrown for 1,693 yards, 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions over the Falcons' last six games, which is a 17-game pace of 4,797 yards, 37 touchdowns and nine picks. The Falcons are 4-2 over that stretch and seem to have found their rhythm as an offense between Ryan, Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Pitts. Getting eight points against a Cowboys team that is coming off a stunning home loss to the Broncos feels generous. Take the points."
O'Donnell on Dallas: "The Cowboys were thoroughly manhandled by Vic Fangio's defense last week, but Dak Prescott and Co. are too good to be controlled that way again. They get a chance to rebound against a Falcons team that gives up almost 28 points per game, and I expect Dallas to take full advantage of the opportunity. This is still a team that can contend for the NFC crown."
Dallas is 7-1 against the spread this season, but this surely accounts for that, and Atlanta is often a bettor's nightmare. We encourage caution here.
Score Prediction: Cowboys 31, Falcons 23
New Orleans Saints (5-3) at Tennessee Titans (7-2)
DraftKings Line: Tennessee -2.5
The Tennessee Titans are 1-0 straight-up and against the spread without star running back Derrick Henry, but that is the smallest sample of games possible. It's fair to be wary about how they'll deal with the New Orleans Saints at home Sunday afternoon.
Still, they're laying less than a field goal at this point against a team that also remains far from healthy coming off a home loss to the inferior Falcons. The majority of the gang is willing to lay 2.5 points with Ryan Tannehill and Co.
"Tennessee needed a boost after the loss of Henry, and it appears the defense has come alive," Rogers said. "While Trevor Siemian has been surprisingly efficient for the Saints, this feels like a come-down-to-earth week for him. The Titans have had double-digit win margins in three of their last five wins (they've won five straight). They should keep things rolling at home."
It's true, the Titans are arguably the hottest team in the league. But it sure helped that Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams offense basically handed them two first-half touchdowns Sunday night. That's not a sustainable model, and the well-coached, defensively stout Saints could put up a fight here.
In fact, Gagnon and O'Donnell believe they can steal this one on the road.
Gagnon: New Orleans
O'Donnell: New Orleans
Score Prediction: Titans 24, Saints 20
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6) at Indianapolis Colts (4-5)
DraftKings Line: Indianapolis -10
The Indianapolis Colts have rather quietly posted a 6-3 record against the spread this season, with each of their four wins coming by double-digit margins. The vast majority of our panel isn't biting on the Jacksonville Jaguars, even after they beat the mighty Bills in Week 9.
Five of our six experts are laying 10 with Indy at home.
"Over the past month, the Colts have found their identity while winning three of their last four games," Sobleski said. "Jonathan Taylor is now the league's active leading rusher with over 100 yards in four of the team's last six games. If not for a disastrous Carson Wentz decision from his own end zone with less than two minutes to play against the Titans, the Colts could be on a four-game winning streak. The Jaguars, meanwhile, aren't likely to surprise everyone yet again with another performance like they managed Sunday against the Bills."
Yeah, the Jags have still scored just 16 total points the last two weeks. And those six points allowed against Buffalo appear to be an aberration for a team that has surrendered at least 20 in every other game this season. Eight of their last 10 losses have come by at least 12 points, so spotting them only 10 seems like quite a risk in this spot.
Score Prediction: Colts 31, Jaguars 16
Detroit Lions (0-8) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)
DraftKings Line: Pittsburgh -8
The Detroit Lions haven't won yet this season, but they're 4-4 against the spread and are well-rested ahead of a Week 10 matchup with a Pittsburgh Steelers squad that had to fight tooth and nail to beat the Chicago Bears Monday night.
You can see why we're far from unanimity with Pittsburgh as an eight-point favorite Sunday, but the majority is still backing the home team.
"The Steelers are a hard team to have much confidence in with a spread this size," Davenport admitted. "In Week 9 they blew a late lead against Chicago and had to put together a game-winning drive to win by two points. But the Lions are just bad. Detroit has scored more than 17 points all of once (Week 1) and when last we saw them on the field they lost 44-6 to a mediocre Eagles team. The Lions just don't have the offense to avoid a double-digit loss."
The Lions do have four losses by double-digit margins this season, and the "what have you done for me lately?" factor has to be considered for a team that was humiliated in a 44-6 home loss to a less-than-awesome Eagles team in Week 8.
Still, tread carefully considering the rest gap here.
Score Prediction: Steelers 27, Lions 17
Cleveland Browns (5-4) at New England Patriots (5-4)
DraftKings Line: New England -1.5
It's been a long time since the Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots faced each other with both in contention for playoff runs, and you wonder if that'll inspire Bill Belichick more than ever to take down his former team.
With New England laying just 1.5 points in Foxborough Sunday, a slim majority of our panel is backing Belichick and Co.
"Both of these teams are flawed," Gagnon said, "but the Pats haven't lost in regulation since they put up a hell of a fight against the Bucs in Week 4. They're likely to string some home wins together just because the law of averages is doing its thing after they started the season 0-4 at home. And the Browns are a lot more banged up than New England as well. In what is essentially a pick'em, you have to roll with the Patriots."
Indeed, Kareem Hunt (calf) remains out for the Browns, while Baker Mayfield (foot), Myles Garrett (foot), Jarvis Landry (knee) and Nick Chubb (COVID-19 list) have all been limited or out of practice for Cleveland. It could be difficult for them to keep up here.
Gagnon: New England
Kenyon: New England
O'Donnell: New England
Sobleski: New England
Score Prediction: Patriots 24, Browns 21
Minnesota Vikings (3-5) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-3)
DraftKings Line: Los Angeles -3
The Los Angeles Chargers haven't won a game by more than three points since beating the Browns 47-42 one month ago, but the majority of the crew is willing to lay a field goal Sunday with L.A. hosting a Minnesota Vikings squad that is a bit of a mess.
"The Vikings have dealt with a rash of COVID issues with Ryan Connelly, Timon Parris, Garrett Bradbury, Dakota Dozier and Harrison Smith all being placed on the COVID-19 list over the past week," Kenyon said. "Smith is already confirmed out for this game against the Chargers, and the status of the other four players remains in question.
"Minnesota is also coming off back-to-back losses and now travel to Los Angeles to play one of the NFL's most talented teams in the Chargers. Justin Herbert and Co. should handle their business at home."
Herbert is coming off an AFC Offensive Player of the Week performance, while Minnesota had a deflating loss to the Dak-less Cowboys and an even more deflating collapse against the Ravens. The Bolts don't have much of a home-field advantage in L.A., but that might be built into a mere three-point number in favor of a team that is a hell of a lot better than Minnesota on paper.
Gagnon: Los Angeles
Kenyon: Los Angeles
O'Donnell: Los Angeles
Sobleski: Los Angeles
Score Prediction: Chargers 28, Vikings 23
Carolina Panthers (4-5) at Arizona Cardinals (8-1)
DraftKings Line: Arizona -10.5
Both Kyler Murray (ankle) and DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) continue to miss practice time for the Arizona Cardinals, and we wouldn't fault you for deciding to wait on their statuses before pulling the trigger on a bet for Sunday's matchup between Arizona and the Carolina Panthers in Glendale.
That said, this might present an opportunity to land value one way or another. Our crew doesn't get to wait, and they're rolling the dice on a Cards team that won by 14 points on the road without Murray and Hopkins in Week 9.
"The Sam Darnold-less Panthers might actually pose more of a threat to the Cardinals defense," O'Donnell said, "but they won't be able to keep up with Kyler Murray. Arizona's beaten much better teams by big margins this season so the double-digit spread isn't scaring me off at all."
That's O'Donnell operating under the assumption Murray returns. If he doesn't, this number might sink into the single digits. It's worth monitoring and biding your time if possible. That said, Gagnon was quick to jump on Carolina as the lone wolf.
"If indeed Murray and Hopkins remain out, those injuries will eventually catch up to Arizona," he said. "That could certainly be the case against a defensively stout Panthers team that should get more from Christian McCaffrey each week now."
Score Prediction: Cardinals 31, Panthers 14
Philadelphia Eagles (3-6) at Denver Broncos (5-4)
DraftKings Line: Denver -3
Did the Denver Broncos discover something in handily beating the Cowboys on the road in Week 9? The majority of our experts think not. They're backing the Philadelphia Eagles as a three-point underdog in Denver on Sunday afternoon.
"Congratulations to the Eagles for finally remembering that running the football is a thing," Davenport said. "Philly's rededication to the ground game has helped take some of the pressure off Jalen Hurts under center, and while the wins aren't stacking up, the Eagles are at least staying in games. The Broncos are coming off their biggest win of the season, but Denver isn't as good as the team that rolled the Cowboys in Dallas. Take the points in what will likely be a low-scoring affair."
That Week 9 performance from Denver might have had more to do with Dallas not showing up. The team had just traded team legend Von Miller, and that and the absence of key offensive linemen Garett Bolles and Graham Glasgow could catch up to them against a strong Philadelphia defensive front in this spot.
Still, both O'Donnell and Rogers are on the home squad, which isn't silly because they have a much better record than Philly even though the spread indicates the two teams should be about equal. It's also worth noting that Rogers leads all of the pickers in success rate this season.
Score Prediction: Eagles 24, Broncos 23
Seattle Seahawks (3-5) at Green Bay Packers (7-2)
DraftKings Line: Green Bay -3.5
The Green Bay Packers are within sight of the field-goal mark as a 3.5-point favorite Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Just over a week ago, most bettors would have jumped on Green Bay, especially with a chance to buy back to -3. But now Aaron Rodgers' status is up in the air as he tries to return from the COVID-19/reserve list, while Russell Wilson's status is no longer murky for the Seahawks.
The seven-time Pro Bowler is returning after missing four weeks due to a finger injury, and suddenly the Seahawks look mighty tempting with a hook in their back pocket in a must-win situation.
A slim majority of our predictors is jumping on that.
"Seattle is running out of time to get back on track this season, and Wilson won't let them go down without a fight," Rogers said. "Green Bay has had a strange two weeks, and it's no secret Rodgers would love to put those behind him. This is going to be a high-scoring, close game decided by a field goal or less."
Still, Davenport and Kenyon can't resist a Packers team that has now covered eight consecutive spreads.
"Rodgers stated on Tuesday that there is a small chance he is not cleared by Sunday," Kenyon noted, "but if he is eligible to play, Lafleur has said he will get the start regardless of practice time this week. Assuming Rodgers does play, expect Green Bay to win by at least a touchdown."
Davenport: Green Bay
Kenyon: Green Bay
Score Prediction: Packers 27, Seahawks 26
Kansas City Chiefs (5-4) at Las Vegas Raiders (5-3)
DraftKings Line: Kansas City -2.5
Not only have the Kansas City Chiefs averaged just 12.0 points per game the last three weeks, but they were also outscored by the Las Vegas Raiders in their season series last year. Throw in that they're just 4-16 against the spread in their last 20 games (including playoffs) and it's pretty hard to back the Chiefs as a road favorite in Vegas on Sunday night.
The majority of the crew can't do it.
"The Chiefs have gutted out two ugly wins in a row with Patrick Mahomes looking arguably the worst he has in his NFL career," O'Donnell said. "Now a division rival, on the road, on SNF looms. Even if the Raiders don't win this game, they're going to give Andy Reid's squad all they can handle. I'll gladly take these points."
Of course, those on the Raiders should try to get three points if they can do so at an affordable rate. And there's always a lot of risk associated with betting against Mahomes and Andy Reid, especially with so few points on the line. Ditto for betting on a Raiders team that has lost several key figures as a result of off-field circumstances in the last few weeks.
You might be better off enjoying this one for its entertainment value, but the gang is leaning Vegas' way.
Davenport: Las Vegas
Gagnon: Kansas City
Kenyon: Las Vegas
O'Donnell: Las Vegas
Rogers: Las Vegas
Sobleski: Kansas City
Score Prediction: Raiders 27, Chiefs 26
Los Angeles Rams (7-2) at San Francisco 49ers (3-5)
DraftKings Line: Los Angeles -3.5
The San Francisco 49ers still have plenty of talent despite a poor start, and they could be desperate to save their season Monday night at home. But they might be running into the wrong opponent at the wrong time after the superior Los Angeles Rams laid an egg Sunday night against Tennessee.
With that in mind, we finally have a clean sweep despite the fact that Rams backers are dealing with a hook in this matchup.
"The Titans defense manhandled the Rams offense last week," Sobleski said. "The Niners' defensive front isn't playing anywhere near the same level as Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry and Harold Landry III. The 49ers aren't executing right now and just allowed Colt McCoy, not Kyler Murray, to complete 84.6 percent of his passes against them. Expect Matthew Stafford and the Rams offense to get back on track."
It is worth noting that Gagnon waffled before joining his compadres, mainly because the 49ers aren't likely to go down without a fight against a team they've dominated of late (they've won the last four matchups).
All trends come to an end eventually.
Davenport: Los Angeles
Gagnon: Los Angeles
Kenyon: Los Angeles
O'Donnell: Los Angeles
Rogers: Los Angeles
Sobleski: Los Angeles
Score Prediction: Rams 30, 49ers 20
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