Week 10 is highlighted by the return of the New England Patriots to NFL action. The 7-1 Pats host the 5-2-1 Seattle Seahawks in a rematch of Super Bowl 49, arguably the best championship game in professional football history. The game kicks off at 8:30 pm eastern time at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough and will be televised on NBC.
★★ 5-3 Houston Texans at 2-6 Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, November 13 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon
Jaguars -2½ . . . . over/under 42 . . . . HOU +120, JAC -140
Broadcast in northern Florida (Jacksonville, Gainesville), southern Georgia (Savannah) and Texas (except Dallas).
Jacksonville’s change at offensive coordinator to Nathaniel Hackett had mixed results. The Jaguars moved the ball very well against the Chiefs, with season highs in total yards (449) and rushing (205 yards). Those numbers are nice, but useless if you cannot finish off drives. The Jags moved the ball 66 yards on their first two drives but both ended in punts. Two drives (62 yards, 33 yards) ended on failed fourth down attempts. There was also a 74 yard drive that was done in by a fumble, and another ended with a missed field goal.
Most egregiously Jacksonville turned the ball over four times. If you want to know why Jacksonville has not lived up to the preseason hype, look no further than their 17 giveaways this season. The Jaguars own the NFL’s worst turnover differential (-12), which is a difficult task considering the Jets’ propensity to gift opponents with an interception.
Prediction: Texans 27, Jaguars 17
Texans +2½ (two units) . . . . over 42 . . . . . Houston +120
Final Score: Texans 24, Jaguars 21 ✓
Texans +2½ ✓✓ . . . . over 42 ✓ . . . . Texans +120 ✓
★★★ 6-2 Kansas City Chiefs at 3-5 Carolina Panthers
Sunday, November 13 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts and Evan Washburn
Panthers -3 . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . CAR -170, KAN +150
Broadcast in Illinois (except Chicago), Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia.
Kansas City’s defense has taken a step back this year. The Chiefs have had trouble stopping the run, allowing opponents to rush for 4.8 yards per carry (30th) and 125 yards per game (27th). That of course plays right into Carolina’s offensive game plan, to run the ball early and often. Since their week seven bye the Panther defense has played much better, averaging 15.0 points against. Thomas Davis has been particularly effective. Last week the 12th-year linebacker had 11 tackles (10 solo), an interception, pass defensed, strip sack and forced fumbled in the victory at Los Angeles.
Prediction: Panthers 27, Chiefs 20
Panthers -3 (one unit) . . . . over 44½ . . . . Carolina -170
Final Score: Chiefs 20, Panthers 17 x
Panthers -3 x . . . . over 44½ x . . . . Panthers -170 x
★★★★ 6-3 Denver Broncos at 4-4 New Orleans Saints
Sunday, November 13 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson
Saints -3 . . . . over/under 50 . . . . NOR -150, DEN +130
Broadcast in all markets with the exception of those televising one of the three other CBS games: Houston-Jacksonville, Kansas City-Carolina and Miami-San Diego.
The league’s top-ranked passing offense faces the NFL’s top-ranked passing defense in what should be the best of the eight early games. The New Orleans offense ranks first in total yards (435 per game), third down conversion (53%), passing yards (326 per game) and is second in scoring (30.2 ppg), red zone scoring (70.6%) and pass completions (69.7%).
While the Saint offense is a handful, their defense is another story. The Saints rank last in yards per pass attempt (8.1), yards per play (6.4), passing yards (300 per game) and 30th in both points allowed (29.8) and total yards (409). The good news for the Saints is that there defense has played better lately. After surrendering at 34 points in four of their first five games New Orleans has given up 23.3 points per game over the last three weeks. The Saints are also a much better team playing in the Big Easy. In their last two home games the Saints have defeated the Panthers and Seahawks. Overall New Orleans has won four of their last five to quietly close the gap in the NFC West; the Saints are now just one game behind Atlanta in the loss column.
The Denver pass defense ranks first in yards per game (183), yards per pass (5.2) and completion percentage (54.6%). The Broncos have been vulnerable on the ground however, and the Saints have rushed for 475 yards in their last three games. Denver is giving up 129 yards rushing per game (29th) and 4.4 yards per carry (22nd). Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian has completed just 52% of his passes over the last three weeks, and Denver has turned the ball over five times in their last two games. The Broncos appear to be heading in the opposite direction as the Saints, losing three of their last five games.
If New Orleans can continue to run the ball well then that will help neutralize Von Miller and the Denver pass rush. On the other hand should Denver be able to do the same then that takes pressure off Siemian – and also keeps Drew Brees and the Saint offense off the field.
Prediction: Saints 31, Broncos 27
Saints -3 . . . . over 50 . . . . New Orleans -150
Final Score: Broncos 25, Saints 23 x
Saints -3 x . . . . over 50 x . . . . Saints -150 x
★★ 3-5 Los Angeles Rams at 3-6 New York Jets
Sunday, November 13 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis and Peter Schrager
Jets -1 . . . . over/under 39½ . . . . NYJ -115, LAR -105
Broadcast in southern California (except San Diego), Connecticut and New York (except Syracuse).
Both defenses should be able to pressure the opposing quarterback into making mistakes. And both offenses need to utilize their running backs more than they have been recently. Todd Gurley has run the ball just 14, 15 and 12 times over the last three games for the Rams, while Jeff Fisher has inexplicably had Case Keenum drop back to pass 106 times in the last two games. Similarly Matt Forte ran the ball just twelve times for the Jets last week even though he averaged 7.7 yards per carry – and Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two more picks in the loss to Miami. The Jets now lead the league with 19 turnovers and have a minus-11 turnover differential.
Prediction: Rams 17, Jets 13
Rams +1 . . . . under 39½ . . . . Los Angeles -105
Final Score: Rams 9, Jets 6 ✓
Rams +1 ✓ . . . . under 39½ ✓ . . . . Rams -105 ✓
★★★ 6-3 Atlanta Falcons at 4-4 Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, November 13 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch and Pam Oliver
Falcons -1 . . . . over/under 50½ . . . . ATL -120, PHI +100
Broadcast in New England (except CT), Alabama, Arkansas, northern California, San Diego CA, south Florida (Miami, West Palm Beach), Florida panhandle (Panama City, Tallahassee), Georgia, Idaho, Topeka KS, Kentucky, Louisiana (except New Orleans), Mississippi, Missouri (except Springfield), Nevada, New Mexico, Syracuse NY, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas (except Houston) and Washington.
The Falcons face a tough challenge this week, attempting the rare feat of winning on the road in back-to-back weeks. Last week Atlanta’s unstoppable offense went over 40 points for the fourth time. After losses to Seattle and San Diego the Falcons bounced back with wins against Green Bay and Tampa Bay. Atlanta’s defense can’t stop a nosebleed, but it doesn’t matter; five times the Falcons have won games despite giving up 28 or more points.
Philadelphia began the season 3-0 but has lost four of their last five games. All of those four losses were by seven or fewer points, and all were on the road. Philly needs to get back to protecting the ball better. The Eagles did not turn the ball over until week five, but have coughed it up seven times in the last three games. Eagle RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai has struggled since being thrust into the starting lineup due to Lane Johnson’s suspension. Vaitai will have his hands full against Atlanta DE Vic Beasley, who has 7½ sacks.
Prediction: Falcons 35, Eagles 24
Falcons -1 (one unit) . . . . over 50½ (two units) . . . . Atlanta -120
Final Score: Eagles 24, Falcons 15 x
Falcons -1 x . . . . over 50½ xx . . . . Falcons -120 x
★★★ 5-3 Minnesota Vikings at 4-3-1 Washington Redskins
Sunday, November 13 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Dick Stockton, Chris Spielman and Kristina Pink
Redskins -2 . . . . over/under 42 . . . . WAS -130, MIN +110
Broadcast in DC, Iowa (except Cedar Rapids), Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina (except Charlotte), North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia.
The Vikings are in a free-fall, losing three straight after beginning the season 5-0. Minnesota is averaging just 12.0 points per game during that span, with their offensive line proving to be incapable of either pass protection or run blocking. Couple that with an unreliable kicker – Blair Walsh has missed four field goals and three PAT – and Minnesota just can’t be expected to score enough to win.
Prediction: Redskins 20, Vikings 17
Redskins -2 . . . . under 42 . . . . Washington -130
Final Score: Redskins 26, Vikings 20 ✓
Redskins -2 ✓ . . . . under 42 x . . . . Redskins -130 ✓
★★★ 4-4 Green Bay Packers at 4-5 Tennessee Titans
Sunday, November 13 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Laura Okmin
Packers -2½ . . . . over/under 49½ . . . . GNB -145, TEN +125
Broadcast in Alaska, Arizona, Chico CA, Colorado, Hawaii, Cedar Rapids IA, Wichita KS, Michigan, Nebraska, Cincinnati OH, Cleveland OH, Springfield MO, St. Louis MO, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
The Packers should have the NFC North virtually wrapped up by now, but after losing three of their last four games – including three straight at Lambeau – find themselves in jeopardy of missing the playoffs. This will be the first of three straight road games for the Pack, who looked sluggish in last week’s loss to a mediocre Indianapolis team. Tennessee’s offense is playing better than it did at the start of the season, but their defense has regressed. The Titans allowed 19.0 points per game in September but have given up 31.3 points per game over the last four weeks.
Prediction: Packers 31, Titans 28
Packers -2½ . . . . over 49½ (two units) . . . . Green Bay -145
Final Score: Titans 47, Packers 25 x
Packers -2½ x . . . . over 49½ ✓✓ . . . . Packers -145 x
★ 2-6 Chicago Bears at 3-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, November 13 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Dan Hellie, David Diehl and Holly Sonders
Bears -2½ . . . . over/under 45½ . . . . CHI -130, TAM +110
Broadcast in central Florida (Fort Myers, Ocala, Orlando and Tampa), Illinois and Indiana.
Tampa Bay’s defense is not getting the job done. The Bucs are allowing 29.0 points per game (29th), 399 yards per game (28th), 6.0 yards per play (28th), 118 rushing yards per game (28th), 281 passing yards per game (28th), 7.9 yards per pass attempt (30th), and are giving up red zone touchdowns 65.5% of the time (28th). Wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey should be in line for a big game. The Bucs have given up 37 pass plays of 20 or more yards, which is the second most in the NFL. There is no home field advantage here; the Bucs are 0-4 at RayJay and the heat and humidity are no longer factors for visiting teams this late in the year.
Prediction: Bears 34, Buccaneers 24
Bears -2½ . . . . over 45½ (two units) . . . . Chicago -130
Final Score: Buccaneers 36, Bears 10 x
Bears -2½ x . . . . over 45½ ✓✓ . . . . Bears -130 x
★★★ 4-4 Miami Dolphins at 4-5 San Diego Chargers
Sunday, November 13 at 4:05 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green and Jamie Erdahl
Chargers -4 . . . . over/under 48½ . . . . SDG -210, MIA +175
Broadcast in Yuma AZ, southern California, DC, Florida (except Jacksonville), Georgia (except Savannah), Chicago IL, Minnesota, New York City, Philadelphia PA, Nashville TN and Wisconsin.
San Diego’s offense is clicking on all cylinders. The Chargers are averaging 29.8 points per game (3rd) and have scored 27 or more points six times this season. Melvin Gordon now has 1052 yards from scrimmage, second most in the NFL. Miami counters with their own star running back. Jay Ajayi is averaging 5.9 yards per carry and has rushed for 529 yards in the last three games. His productivity has taken pressure off quarterback Ryan Tannehill to carry the team, resulting in three straight wins for the Dolphins.
A referendum that would have raised hotel occupancy taxes to help pay for a new stadium for the Chargers in San Diego failed to pass in last week’s election. I will be curious to see if Mike McCoy will be able to convince his players to ignore the noise and focus on the game.
Prediction: Chargers 31, Dolphins 24
Chargers -4 (one unit) . . . . over 48½ . . . . San Diego -210
Final Score: Dolphins 31, Chargers 24 x
Chargers -4 x . . . . over 48½ ✓ . . . . Chargers -210 x
★ 1-7 San Francisco 49ers at 3-4-1 Arizona Cardinals
Sunday, November 13 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Chris Myers, Ronde Barber and Jennifer Hale
Cardinals -14 . . . . over/under 48 . . . . ARI -1100, SFO +700
Broadcast in Arizona, northern California and Reno NV.
Normally I would back any NFL team getting 14 points against a sub-.500 team, but these Niners are awful. San Francisco ranks last by a wide margin in virtually every run defense metric, including an unfathomable 193 yards per game. Now the Niners have to go on the road and face one of the best running backs in the league. David Johnson leads the NFL with 139 yards from scrimmage per game and is averaging 4.5 yards per carry.
Prediction: Cardinals 38, Forty Niners 17
Cardinals -14 (one unit) . . . . over 48 (one unit) . . . . Arizona -1100
Final Score: Cardinals 23, Forty Niners 20 ✓
Cardinals -14 x . . . . over 48 x . . . . Cardinals -1100 ✓
★★★★★ 7-1 Dallas Cowboys at 4-4 Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, November 13 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews
Steelers -2½ . . . . over/under 50 . . . . PIT -150, DAL +130
Broadcast in all markets with the exceptions of Arizona, northern California, San Diego CA and Reno NV.
The Cowboys have been televised in either prime time or as the primary afternoon game every week this season, but nobody should complain about that this week. With linebacker Ryan Shazier back in the lineup Pittsburgh’s defense, especially against the run, is vastly improved. The Steelers need to limit Cowboy running back Ezekiel Elliott from gaining large chunks of yardage. The problem is that is more easily said than done when going up against one of the two best offensive lines in the NFL. Ben Roethlisberger had his traditional poor performance in his first game back from an injury, but should have a better day versus a Dallas defense that is allowing opponents to complete 68% of their passes (third worst in the NFL).
Prediction: Steelers 27, Cowboys 24
Steelers -2½ . . . . over 50 . . . . Pittsburgh -150
Final Score: Cowboys 35, Steelers 30 x
Steelers -2½ x . . . . over 50 ✓ . . . . Steelers -150 x
★★★★★ 5-2-1 Seattle Seahawks at 7-1 New England Patriots
Sunday, November 13 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya
Patriots -7½ . . . . over/under 49 . . . . NWE -360, SEA +300
Broadcast in all markets.
Multiple changes in personnel and injuries have made the Seattle offensive line a liability. The result is a change in personality for the Seattle offense, with a running game that is one of the least effective in the league. That won’t help keep the Patriot offense off the field. The return of Tom Brady from a witch hunt suspension and Rob Gronkowski from a preseason hamstring injury have propelled New England’s into an unstoppable juggernaut. The Patriots are averaging 34 points per game over the last four weeks, winning by an average margin of more than 16 points per game.
Seattle has benefited from officiating decisions in three of their five wins, including an outrageous non-call against Richard Sherman for roughing the kicker against Buffalo last week. You know the officiating is bad when there was no flag, yet a player is fined for the hit. This game won’t be close enough to come down to a referee’s arbitrary decision though. For more on this game check out Seahawks at Patriots: In-Depth Team Stats, Odds and More.
Prediction: Patriots 34, Seahawks 24
Patriots -7½ (one unit) . . . . over 49 . . . . New England -360
Final Score: Seahawks 31, Patriots 24 x
Patriots -7½ x . . . . over 49 ✓ . . . . Patriots -360 x
★★★ 3-4-1 Cincinnati Bengals at 5-3 New York Giants
Monday, November 14 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters
Bengals -1 . . . . over/under 47½ . . . . CIN -120, NYG +100
Broadcast in all markets.
Cincinnati was saddled with a tough schedule to start the season, with games at Pittsburgh, Dallas and New England. If they are going to make it to the post-season then they need to find a way to win games like this one. The Bengal offense moves the ball well (395 yards per game, 6th) but doesn’t finish drives off well. Cincy ranks 21st on third down (36.9%) and scores touchdowns in the red zone just 52% of the time (19th). To make matters worse the Bengals not only settle for too many field goals, they are converting only 77% of their attempts (25th).
New York’s offensive line has not played well. The running game is so ineffective (3.2 yards per rush, 68 yards per game) it has virtually been abandoned. The Giants pass the ball on 65% of their plays, second most in the league, making them very predictable to defend.
Prediction: Giants 24, Bengals 21
Giants +1 . . . . under 47½ . . . . New York +100
Final Score: Giants 21, Bengals 20 ✓
Giants +1 ✓ . . . . under 47½ ✓ . . . . Giants +100 ✓
Thursday Night Prediction: Ravens 23, Browns 16
Browns +7½ . . . . under 44½ (one unit) . . . . Baltimore -350
Final Score: Ravens 28, Browns 7 ✓
Browns +7½ x . . . . under 44½ ✓ . . . . Ravens -350 ✓
3-Team Parlay (one unit): x
Falcons at Eagles over 50½ x
Packers at Titans over 49½ ✓
Falcons -1 at Philadelphia x
4-Team 6-Point Teaser (two units): xx
Texans +8½ at Jacksonville ✓
Cardinals -8 vs Forty Niners x
Falcons at Eagles over 42½ x
Packers at Titans over 43½ ✓
Tale of the Tape
Last week began well, picking Atlanta to win and cover (one unit) and the total at Tampa to go over (three units). The Saints over San Francisco was another road win, good for three units. However Green Bay losing at home to the Colts was a disappointment, costing me two units ATS and also prevented me from winning what would have been 600 on a parlay.
Week 9 Results:
9-4 Straight Up
7-5-1 Against the Spread
3-unit plays: 2-0, +600
2-unit plays: 1-1, -20
1-unit plays: 3-2, +80
3-Game Parlay: 1u, 0-1, -110
4-Game Teaser: 1u, 1-0, +300
17 units invested
7-4, +850 on $1870 risk
Year to Date Results:
76-55-2 Straight Up
74-55-4 Against the Spread
5-unit plays: 1-0, +500
3-unit plays: 6-5-1, +120
2-unit plays: 21-12, +1610
1-unit plays: 32-14-1, +1650
Parlays: 2-5, +1250
Teasers: 5-2, +2370
67-38-2, +7610 on original $2310 risk.
329.4% ROI on original $2310 bankroll.
39.3% ROI on $19,360 (176 units) of total weekly investments.
7-4, +850 on 17 units (+45.5%) in Week 9.
11-2, +3470 on 27 units (+116.8%) in Week 8.
3-6, -480 on 12 units (-36.4%) in Week 7.
9-3-1, +1300 on 17 units (+69.5%) in Week 6.
7-7, +50 on 22 units (+2.1%) in Week 5.
9-2, +1910 on 18 units (+96.5%) in Week 4.
3-9-1, -1280 on 22 units (-58.2%) in Week 3.
9-3, +950 on 20 units (+43.2%) in Week 2.
9-2, +840 on 21 units (+36.4%) in Week 1.
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Posted Under: NFL Commentary
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