NFL Week 10 – Best Bets Against the Spread
We did better last week, going 2-1 with the picks. Let’s hope for another positive result this week. As always, check back on the free picks page, for plays on the Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football games.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars -2 Total: 42
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The Texans will head to Florida to take on the Jaguars in a game that few are likely interested in besides fans of the two franchises. Even they may be getting sick of their teams under-performing.
It’s a hot take to say that Houston is under-performing with a 5-3 record. After all, they’re first in the AFC South and are coming off a 20-13 victory against the Lions in Week 8. They had a bye week last week.
However, with all that said, their offseason commitment to starter Brock Osweiler looks like a terrible deal. It’s still too early to tell how he will turn out, but the experiment after eight games has not looked good. It’s particularly disheartening because he has so many talented players around him in running back Lamar Miller, and wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller.
Their schedule also hasn’t been tough, considering the AFC South is easily the worst division in professional football this season.
Jaguars fans must be getting sick of waiting for this team to “take the next step.” Contending for a playoff spot may be enough for this fan base, but instead, Jacksonville has taken a firm step back from last season. They lost a close game at Kansas City last week, by a score of 19-14. The loss put their record at 2-6, last in the division.
Houston originally opened at -1.5 favorites in this game, but the odds moved quickly for Jacksonville. They’re now -2.5 at most online sportsbooks, despite nearly 70 percent of wagers coming on the Texans.
The Jaguars fired their offensive coordinator after a loss two weeks ago, and Bortles has already shown a slight improvement. They lost at Kansas City, but he threw for over 250 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. That’s a pedestrian line but is a good one against a tough Chiefs’ secondary.
The best part is Bortles doesn’t necessarily need to have a big game for Jacksonville to win this one. Kansas City has been terrible against the run and both Chris Ivory, and T.J. Yeldon are healthy.
Osweiler’s matchup is far from ideal as well. He has yet to clear 270 yards in a game, and the Jaguars have allowed the fourth-fewest yards per pass attempt in the league. Lamar Miller has a good matchup, but he has been banged up over the past several weeks.
Some may see a Houston team coming off a bye that is ready to crush the weakest team in the division, but that’s probably not how it plays out. There’s look-ahead potential here for the Texans as well, with a big game against the Raiders at home.
I love Jacksonville in this spot laying anything less than a field goal.
Pick: Jaguars -2.5
Kansas City Chiefs at Carolina Panthers -3 Total: 44
Kansas City heads south to take on the Panthers in Carolina in Week 10. The Chiefs seemed to have regained their 2016 form, but that hasn’t been the case for the defending NFC Champion Panthers, who are on the outside looking in at a playoff spot.
The Panthers have rattled off back-to-back wins, but every game matters to them as they have a 3-5 record and are currently last in the AFC South. They gutted out a low-scoring win last week at Los Angeles, winning 13-10.
The Chief started the year a little rocky, but have righted the ship. They are now 6-2 and second in the AFC West after beating Jacksonville at home last week, 19-14. It’s their fourth straight win.
The odds opened with the Panthers at -3 and hasn’t seen much movement. Chiefs’ backers have put in slight more bets than Carolina bettors. There isn’t an against the public situation, but it is a spot that I like Carolina.
The Chiefs have consistently played much worse on the road than at home, not just this season, but historically. This is because Arrowhead is one of the best places to play in the NFL and one of the worst for visiting teams.
Not only that, but quarterback Alex Smith is coming back from injury. Linebacker Justin Houston was supposed to return this week, but he was ruled out late this week. Defensive end Jay Howard will also miss the game with a hip injury. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, their number one option in the passing game will also miss the contest. Linebacker Derrick Johnson is questionable and rookie cornerback D.J. White is doubtful.
The Panthers match up well against the Chiefs’ defense, due to their heavy reliance on the ground game. On the flip side, the Panthers defense stops the run extremely well and cover tight ends better than most defenses in the league.
That’s exactly where the Chiefs will go if they get down too much or the run game isn’t working. By that time, I expect Carolina to have a lead, where their deep ball issues in the secondary won’t blow the game.
Pick: Panthers -3
Dallas Cowboys at Pittsburgh Steelers -2.5 Total: 50
In a rivalry that takes us back to the 1970s, the Dallas Cowboys head to the Steel City to take on the Steelers in a late Sunday afternoon affair. “America’s team” has been the talk of the league while the Steelers are looking to end a serious slide.
The Cowboys shellacked the Browns in Cleveland last week, beating them by a score of 35-10 and improving their record to 6-1. They’re the runaway winners in the NFC East, provided they don’t have a late season collapse.
Pittsburgh lost its third straight game at rival Baltimore, in a low scoring, 21-14 defeat. The loss put the Steelers’ record at 4-4 this season. They’re just one game behind first place behind the Ravens.
The Steelers opened as -3 favorites, before quickly moving to -2.5. The betting action in this game has been massive on Dallas, but not quite as high as it was earlier in the week. Compared to 80 percent of wagers coming on the Cowboys on Tuesday, just 65 percent of bets are being placed on Dallas as of Friday.
This is an ideal bounce-back spot for Pittsburgh. They, like the Chiefs, above, have compelling home-road splits in recent years. Ben Roethlisberger is also one week better after his knee injury. The rest of the Steelers roster is mostly fully healthy as well.
The Steelers are a better team than Dallas, when healthy. That seems hard to believe, but I fully expect that to be the result on Sunday.
Pick: Steelers -2.5