NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Saints and Browns To Cover vs. Titans and Patriots, Plus Colts-Jaguars Spread
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images. Pictured: Saints coach Sean Payton
- Based on the latest NFL odds, what are the most valuable picks on the board for Week 10? Our analysts reveal their favorite bets for Sunday afternoon's early games.
- Find out why the Saints and Browns to cover against the Titans and Patriots are among their predictions for the 1 p.m. ET kickoff window.
Saints at Titans
Sean Koerner: The Titans upset the Rams, 28-16, last week thanks primarily to Matthew Stafford throwing two interceptions that led to 14 easy points for Tennessee. However, the Titans offense looked sluggish without Derrick Henry, and now they’ve lost Julio Jones for at least the next three games after placing him on IR with a hamstring injury.
The Titans are a “sell high” team with a 7-2 record that has been inflated by their luck in one-score matchups, going 3-1 in such games this season. And on the other side of the ball, the Saints offer a good “buy low” opportunity after losing to the Falcons in a 27-25 nail bitter.
Alvin Kamara and Terron Armstead have already been ruled out for Sunday’s game, which is a crushing blow to the Saints offense. Luckily, they recently acquired Mark Ingram, who should handle a full workload and prevent too much of a drop-off without such a talented back like Kamara.
The Saints have also yet to unleash Taysom Hill after losing Jameis Winston for the season. There’s a chance head coach Sean Payton limited Hill’s usage last week to ease him back into the lineup upon his return from a concussion. However, I like betting on offensive genius Payton to make the most out of his offense this week and pull off the upset.
Additionally, their No. 3 ranked defense in Football Outsiders’ DVOA should limit a Titans offense without Henry and Jones.
I would bet this only to +3.
Saints at Titans
Stuckey: This line might look funny to some on the surface with the 7-2 Titans only favored by a field goal at home against a 5-4 Saints team that lost Jameis Winston. Well, wins aren’t everything and I still have the Saints power rated ahead of the Titans with these two current rosters.
If you don’t trust my numbers, take a look their respective DVOA ratings and estimated wins based on post-game win probability, per Football Outsiders:
- Titans 14th DVOA with 4.5 Estimated Wins (18th)
- Saints 8th DVOA with 5.6 Estimated Wins (6th)
This is still a Tennessee team with a negative net yards per play for the season. The Titans average 5.6 yards per play (22nd) and allow 5.8 (19th) for a net of -0.2.
When it comes to the on-field matchup, I expect a heavy dose of rush from the Saints against a poor Titans run defense. Tennessee ranks 25th in EPA per rush and 29th in Rush Success Rate.
Even without Alvin Kamara, New Orleans should have success moving it on the ground behind a very good offensive line that can also help neutralize the Titan pass rush when necessary.
Also, I’m not a huge Taysom Hill guy, but this is a matchup where he can have success. Sean Payton has already mentioned he will have a number of packages for him.
I’m not expecting any sort of massive output from the Saints offense, but I think they can do enough on that end, while relying on their special teams advantage and defense to shut down the shorthanded Tennessee offense.
If you’re into trends, this is historically been a great spot to back Payton. The Saints head coach is 44-25-2 (63.8%) Against the Spread (ATS) as an underdog and is covering by four points per game. His 25.3% ROI in this spot is the second-best mark out of 137 coaches (behind Mike Tomlin), per Action Labs.
Even better, Payton is 49-26 (65.3%) ATS and is covering by four points per game. Once again, his 28% ROI in this spot is the second-best mark (behind Bill Belichick). Payton is also 26-10 ATS (72.2%) on the road after a loss.
And while Mike Vrabel has been a cash cow as an underdog (17-9 ATS), he’s just 13-18 as a favorite.
Take the three points here with the Saints in a favorable spot with some beneficial matchups in a game I project as close to a coin flip. I’d only bet this at +3. Read my entire breakdown of this matchup — and my other top plays this week — here.
Browns at Patriots
Chris Raybon: Without Tom Brady, the Patriots are no longer an intimidating team to bet against in Foxborough.
The Patriots are 1-4 at home this season, with their only win coming against the lowly Jets. If home field isn’t the advantage it used to be for the Patriots, they are in trouble here, as they are clearly the inferior team: The Browns rank sixth in overall DVOA while the Patriots rank 13th.
Both teams have banged-up backfields, but Cleveland is in better shape, as the Browns have a better run defense (fifth in DVOA) than the Patriots (17th). Plus, D’Ernest Johnson showed he can be a workhorse with 24 touches for 168 total yards and a touchdown in a start against the Broncos three weeks ago.
But the biggest edge Cleveland could enjoy in this spot is with its defensive pressure against rookie Mac Jones. The Browns generate pressure at the third-highest rate in the league (28.4%), and when under pressure, Jones’ completion rate drops from 72% to 56%, his yards per attempt dip from 7.7 to 5.5, and his turnover-worthy plays more than quadruple from 1.2% to 5.7%. I’d bet this to +1.
Browns at Patriots
Raheem Palmer: 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 gameplan 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, I think we see a lower-scoring first half.
Jaguars at Colts
Brandon Anderson: For a second straight week, the Colts find themselves playing at home against a bad opponent coming off a shocking upset win. And for a second straight week, I absolutely love the Colts.
The Colts are somehow one of only five AFC teams below .500, but they’re playing very well on both sides of the ball. They’re 10th in Football Outsiders’ overall DVOA, ranking top 12 on both offense and defense. They’re also sixth in EPA over the last four weeks, so they’re starting to peak.
The one thing the Jaguars have done consistently well this season is run the ball, but that has cratered lately with James Robinson ailing, and the Colts’ run defense is elite. Jacksonville’s pass rush was the star of its win in Buffalo, but Indy’s offensive line won’t let that play, either.
Per our Action Labs data, teams that eke out close upset wins as double-digit underdogs and are listed as underdogs (of any size) in their next game are just 15-28-1 against the spread (ATS) in that next game, covering only 45% of the time. And when they’re double-digit underdogs in that next game, like the Jaguars are here, they’re just 1-7 ATS.
The Colts also literally just dominated an overvalued Jets team that was coming off a big upset win like the Jags are now.
The home team has won 11 of the last 12 in this division rivalry, so you have to trust the home team here, especially since six of those 12 games were won by double digits.
This line will rise by kickoff, especially with Robinson and Trevor Lawrence ailing. Grab it while it’s artificially deflated after the Jags’ upset win.