The Los Angeles Rams finally lost, dropping their first game in the season against the Saints. A big win by New Orleans reignites the NFC race as the two clubs vie for a first-round bye in the NFL playoffs. The Saints and the Patriots now share the same +500 line to win the Super Bowl, as per odds research from CanadaSportsBetting.ca.
The best NFL picks for week ten include the Saints over the Bengals, along with the Seahawks covering a large spread over the heavily-favored Rams. Chicago, Atlanta and the Chargers look like strong favorites, while the Bucs and the Steelers appear ready to defend home turf.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
Detroit’s owned Chicago over the past five years, winning nine of the last ten meetings against their NFC North rivals. This trend appears ready to flip after an uneven season from the Lions, who lost a pair of blowouts against Seattle and Minnesota over the past two weeks. The Bears enter this matchup as favorites for the first time in years, winners of two consecutive games against the Jets and Bills.
Khalil Mack will rejoin Chicago for this divisional tilt, which should greatly worry coach Matt Patricia. Detroit’s o-line collapsed, serving up 10 sacks to the marauding Vikings. Chicago’s pass rush didn’t skip a beat without Mack, and the Bears d-line will be deadlier with his return. Expect Chicago to extend their NFC North lead with a two-possession win over the Lions.
New Orleans Saints at Cincinnati Bengals
The starting line for this matchup showed a five-point spread on behalf of the Saints. Over the past few days, sportsbooks extended the expected winning margin to six points, reflecting New Orleans’ status as an NFC titan. After handing the Rams their first loss of the season, the Saints appear ready to march to a first-round bye in the playoffs.
New Orleans wins with overwhelming offense, averaging a whopping 34.9 PPG – including 45 points against a strong Rams defense. Cincinnati allows 29.6 PPG, third worst in the NFL, giving the Bengals a point differential of -2.0 PPG. Cincy’s unlikely to halt the Saints offense, which should allow New Orleans a seven-point win or better. Consider investing early before the line potentially rises to -6.5 or worse.
Atlanta Falcons at Cleveland Browns
A promising start to the 2018 regular season turned into a four-game losing streak for the Browns, who pulled off gutsy wins over the Ravens and Jets. Cleveland fired coach Hue Jackson, which will increase the amount of chaos for the remainder of the campaign. The Browns will play hard for whoever coaches the club, but they don’t have the talent to hang with teams like the Falcons.
Atlanta’s riding a three-game win streak back into the NFC wild card race, beating the Giants, the Bucs and Washington over the last three weeks. Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense still put up plenty of points, but the best news for Atlanta would consist of defensive improvements over the past couple of weeks. The Browns will probably lose by a touchdown or more.
Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams
A wave of Packers fans invaded the Coliseum when the Rams hosted Green Bay a couple of weeks ago, reflecting the slow growth of the Los Angeles fanbase, which tends to prefer the Raiders anyway. This greatly reduces home advantage for the Rams, who had to deal with a boisterous and vocal Wisconsin invasion.
Seattle’s closer to L.A. than Green Bay, so the Seahawks can expect an unusual amount of fan support on the road. The Seahawks lost by only two points when these teams met in week five, highlighting a resurgent defense which ranks fifth in PPG allowed. A ten-point spread is a large margin for any team to cover, more so against a strong defense. Seattle is a bit underrated, fully capable of keeping this game within one possession.
Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Washington still leads the NFC East, but many aren’t sold on this club making the playoffs in the NFC. Lopsided losses to the Colts, Saints and Falcons reveals significant flaws in Washington’s offense, which has sputtered despite Adrian Peterson returning to relevance. Alex Smith hasn’t worked out as a replacement for Kirk Cousins, placing undue stress on their top-ten defense.
Tampa allows the most points in the league, but their defense improves notably at home. Fitzmagic is real, resulting in impressive wins over the Saints and Eagles to begin the season. As long as the Buccaneers start Fitzpatrick over Winston, Tampa should be able to pull off a win by a field goal or better.
Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders
These franchises are opposites. The Raiders are in the middle of a disastrous season on their way to Vegas. The Chargers are one of the more popular dark horse picks to elevate themselves as AFC Super Bowl representatives, successfully transitioning from San Diego. The spread has grown from -10.0 to -10.5 on behalf of Los Angeles, reflecting a consensus of sports bettors picking the Chargers spread.
Two years removed from a playoff berth, the Raiders no longer do anything well, ranking 28th on offense and second-last in points allowed. A massive -13.9 PPG differential reveals just how terrible Oakland’s performance has been this season. Comparatively, the Chargers have played well on both sides of the ball en route to a 6-2 record. A two-touchdown win for Los Angeles appears imminent.
Carolina Panthers at Pittsburgh Steelers
Looks like the Panthers are the popular spread pick for this matchup. Over the past couple of days, the line for Pittsburgh moved from -4.0 to -3.5 points, a significant shift of opinion towards Carolina. The Panthers have proven themselves as a top contender in the NFC with a 6-2 record, but the Steelers have improved greatly over their four-game winning streak.
Common NFL wisdom suggests that the home team enjoys a three-point advantage. The Steelers look like a tier above the Panthers over the last few weeks, especially comparing the two offenses. Carolina’s travelling to Steel City on three days rest, increasing the difficulty of winning on the road. Expect Pittsburgh to grind out a big win over Cam Newton’s squad.