NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Seahawks, Cowboys, Eagles, Bills Among Top Spreads For Week 10
Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: Russell Wilson.
NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions
I’ll be picking five NFL sides each week of the season for DraftKings‘ Pro Football Millionaire Pick’Em contest. Note that the spreads for this contest lock on Wednesdays, so some will be stale by the time you read this and thus not readily available outside of the contest. But you can check real-time NFL odds here.
I’ll also outline the rest of my betting card for the week below (click here to skip ahead).
NFL ATS Picks For Week 10
Here were the five sides for this week’s pick’em contest entry.
Note that I picked the Saints in the video version of this series before news broke that Alvin Kamara would miss Week 10, so I swapped in the Bills before actually submitting my picks to the contest. You’ll still find explanations for both picks below.
- Saints +3.5: 1 p.m. ET
- Cowboys -8.5: 1 p.m. ET
- Eagles +2.5: 4:25 p.m. ET
- Seahawks +3.5: 4:25 p.m. ET
- Chiefs -2.5: 8:25 p.m. ET
- *Bills -13.5 : 1 p.m. ET
1. Saints (+3.5) at Titans
Note: With Alvin Kamara out, I’ll no longer will be playing this in the contest.
Click to expand Palmer’s argument for this pick pre-Kamara news
The Titans have been on a roll, winning five straight, with the last four coming against a murderer’s row schedule of opponents: The Bills, Chiefs, Colts and Rams. And while the Saints are no stranger to defeating top-tier competition with wins over the Buccaneers and Packers, this feels like a let-down spot for a New Orleans team playing a non-conference opponent.
This number is inflated, as the Titans come off a 28-16 victory in a game that was misleading based on the box score. The Titans had just 194 yards of offense on 3.5 yards per play but were gifted 14 points off two Matthew Stafford interceptions.
We can expect this Titans offense to take a step back based on the absence of Derrick Henry, as the threat of the play-action pass won’t be nearly as effective without him. Replacing Henry with Peterson certain won’t go well for this team either, as they’ll be facing a Saints defense which is third in both rushing EPA and Success Rate and second in ESPN’s run stop win rate. It remains to be seen if Ryan Tannehill can beat this Saints defense which is seventh in passing EPA/play.
From a numbers perspective my model makes this game closer to a 1.5 than the -3.5 we’re seeing in the market. With road underdogs being 51-30-1 ATS this season, covering 63% of the time, this feels like a good spot to sell on the Titans and bet on the Saints.
2. Cowboys (-8.5) vs. Falcons
This is the perfect buy-low spot on the Cowboys, who come off a 30-16 loss to the Broncos in which Dak Prescott had his worst game of the season, completing 19-of-39 passes for 232 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
In many ways, the result was misleading as the Cowboys turned it over on downs in Denver territory on their first two drives before the game took on a life of its own and the Broncos took control.
The Falcons aren’t likely to stop this high-powered Cowboys offense, which is scoring 30.1 points per game and is top five in both Expected Points Added (EPA) per play and Success Rate. The Falcons are giving up 27.5 points per game, are 25th in EPA/play and 32nd in Success Rate, despite playing the 29th-ranked schedule of opposing offenses.
While this team has won three out of its last four games, they’ve come against the Jets, Dolphins and Saints without Jameis Winston. This Cowboys team should be a major step up in class, and I expect them to handle business here.
3. Eagles (+2.5) at Broncos
Just as we buy low on the Cowboys, we now sell high on the Broncos, who pulled off an upset win as 10-point underdogs last week. The Eagles have taken sharp money for the past five weeks, and I expect that to be no different against a Broncos team that’s banged up on the offensive line.
Right guard Graham Glasgow is out for season with an ankle injury, right tackle Bobby Massie is expected to miss one week with an ankle injury and left tackle Garett Bolles will also miss more time with an ankle injury.
The Broncos will be relying on rookie Quinn Meinerz, tackle Calvin Anderson and tackle Cam Fleming against an Eagles defense that is second in ESPN’s pass rush win rate (53%), so I’m not expecting Teddy Bridgewater to have a ton of time to throw.
The biggest key for the Eagles is that they’ve developed an identity by running the ball. They have the seventh highest run vs. pass ratio this season and are third in Rushing EPA/play and first in Rushing Success Rate. During the last two weeks, Eagles running backs had 258 yards and six touchdowns on 66 carries, which has opened up the play-action passing game for Jalen Hurts.
Hurts completed 83.3% of his play-action passes, and given his dual threat ability, this is a much more dangerous Eagles offense than the one we witnessed in Weeks 1-7. With the Broncos defense ranking 21st in rushing EPA and 23rd in Rushing Success Rate (43.1%), I’m expecting this Eagles offense to find success.
Overall. this line is too high, as my model makes this game a pick’em. I’ll play the Eagles in this spot.
4. Seahawks (+3.5) at Packers
Editor’s note: News broke that Aaron Rodgers will play in Week 10 after the following pick was written.
Russell Wilson is back at quarterback for the Seahawks, and the drop-off from Wilson to Geno Smith is about as big of a drop-off as any other quarterback. You could also say the same about the drop-off from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love, who comes off a game against the Chiefs in which he completed 19-of-34 passes for just 190 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Rodgers missed practice the entire week due to COVID-19, and while he could be cleared to play this weekend, missing two whole weeks without football won’t bode well for this team.
Nevertheless, a bet on the Seahawks is essentially taking a shot that you’ll get a Wilson vs. Love matchup or a Wilson vs. a rusty Rodgers, which I’m willing to take.
Outside of the quarterback news, the Seahawks have some advantages in this matchup, most notably on offense where their run-heavy attack should exploit a Packers defense that’s 26th in Defensive Success Rate (47.7%), 20th in Dropback Success Rate (49.5%), 26th in Rushing EPA/play and 28th in Rushing Success Rate (44.6%).
This defense has played well recently, but for a unit that is just 26th in pass rush win rate, regression is eminent, and it should start here against the Seahawks.
5. Chiefs (-2.5) at Raiders
From a numbers perspective, this line is short, and I think we’re finally getting some value on the Kansas City Chiefs who are 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games, with their two covers this season coming against the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Football Team. This is a market and at some point you have to expect the Chiefs to begin covering spreads, and this feels like the ideal spot to back them as they were laying 7.5 on the preseason lookahead line.
While the Chiefs offense has been struggling, this is still a unit with Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce that should be able to put up points in this spot. The Raiders have been dealing with a ton of turmoil after losing head coach Jon Gruden and their dynamic wide receiver Henry Ruggs III. I’ll take the Chiefs at less than a field goal in this spot.
6. Bills (-13.5) at Jets
This is a similar read as the Cowboys.
I generally like playing good teams coming off a let-down loss, and last week’s 9-6 loss to the Jaguars is certainly a wake-up call for the Bills. This feels like a solid get-right spot for Josh Allen and this offense against a Jets defense that’s giving up a league-worst 31.4 points per game and ranks 30th in EPA/play and 27th in Success Rate.
The Jets will need to slow down this Bills offense without safety Marcus Maye, who ruptured his Achilles tendon against the Colts
Although there’s some optimism on the Jets given the presence of Mike White at quarterback, this Bills defense will be one of the best defenses he’s faced this season. I’ll back the Bills to cover in this spot.
More NFL Picks For Week 10
Cowboys-Falcons Over 54.5
I originally gave this out at 52 on the #HotRead segment of the Action Network Podcast with my colleague Brandon Anderson this past Sunday. My model makes this game 57, so at the current number I’m still showing an edge.
As I said above, the Falcons aren’t likely to have any chance of stopping a high-powered Cowboys offense that’s scoring 30.1 points per game, a top-five number in both EPA/play and Success Rate. The Falcons are giving up 27.5 points per game, are 25th in EPA/play and 32nd in Success Rate despite playing the 29th-ranked schedule of opposing offenses.
On the other side of the ball, the Falcons should find some success against this Cowboys defense that’s missing Randy Gregory. When you consider that these are two fast-paced teams and the Falcons should find themselves in a negative game script chasing points, this is a good spot for an over.
The Browns are second in pressure rate (28.4%) and first in ESPN’s pass rush win rate, so this is a team that can get to the quarterback. They’ll be facing Mac Jones, who has been solid in his rookie season but struggles under pressure.
Given the struggles of Jones against pressure, I’m expecting a low-variance game plan for the Patriots in the first half, and this is a team with the ninth-highest run vs. pass ratio in the league this season (43%-57%).
On the other side of the ball, the Browns have the third-highest run vs. pass ratio (49%-51%). And while they’ll be without Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, much of this offense is still set up by the run and its play-action passing game. I’m expecting more of the same here with D’Earnest Johnson getting most of the carries.
With both of these teams ranking top 10 in Success Rate and Early Down Success Rate, we should see a lower-scoring first half.
2 Team, 6-Point Teaser: Vikings +9/Cowboys -1
Vikings (+9) at Chargers
The Vikings continue to implode week after week, but that still doesn’t prevent them from being able to cover spreads as they did in their 34-31 loss to the Ravens on Sunday afternoon.
Oddsmakers have opened the Vikings as 3-point road favorites against the Chargers, who are coming off a 27-24 victory over the Eagles in a game in which Justin Herbert returned to form, completing 32-of-38 passes for two touchdowns.
Nonetheless, my model makes this game closer to a pick’em. And given the issues defensively for the Chargers, this feels like yet another spot to back the Vikings on the spread. For starters, the Chargers have a decimated secondary with injuries to Asante Samuel Jr. (concussion) and Michael Davis (hamstring), which won’t bode well against Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.
Even more problematic is the Chargers run defense, which is dead last in rushing EPA and Rushing Success Rate, allowing 51.7% of rushing plays to grade out as successful. I’m expecting Dalvin Cook to have a big day with Mike Zimmer lucking into a winning strategy given his conservative nature.
The Vikings have their own set of struggles defensively, but this is still a Chargers team that is just 25th in Early Down Success Rate and has made its living on third and fourth downs.
As a whole, these are two evenly-matched teams. With a total lack of home-field advantage for the Chargers, I like the Vikings to make this a game. While I liked the Vikings with +3, I’d prefer it on 6-point teasers given their COVID-19 absences.
Cowboys (-1) vs. Falcons
See Cowboys explanation above.