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NFL

NFL Week 10: Part 2

Week 10: Part 1 is live and can be found here. The last seven games for Week 10 are listed below in Part 2.

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Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

 

Browns at Patriots -2.5

The Browns took a big step forward last week, thanks to their passing game finally coming through in key moments. The Browns leaned heavily on their rushing attack and defense in the lopsided win against the Bengals. The Browns forced an early pick-six and three total turnovers to bury the Bengals early. Can the Browns keep it rolling this week against the red-hot Pats?

The Patriots have steadily improved each week. They’re now 4-1 over their last five, losing only to the Cowboys at Gillette Stadium. Sure, the teams they beat weren’t that great, but the trend is impressive. Five out of the next six games for the Patriots will be substantially more difficult. From here, we’re really going to see whether the improvements are fact or fiction.

New England was at 74% of the cash handle on Thursday with a line of -2.5. As of Sunday morning, the line moved towards the direction of the Patriots by a full point, but the cash stayed put at 68%. I like the Patriots at home this week and feel this will be a classic Bill Belichick coaching performance (heavy short passing and strong defense).

Patriots 23 Browns 16

 

Vikings +3.5 at Chargers

The Vikings are in a lot of close games. Part of that is their talent and balance on offense. Another part of it is playcalling. The Vikings get very conservative with leads and very aggressive when trailing. This week’s game should be very much the same. If the Vikings can lean on their run game this week, they should be able to open up the offense in play action.

The Chargers’ defense has been very easy to move the ball against for much of the season. For the Vikings, it shouldn’t be very difficult to move the ball in this game. The Chargers’ plan in this game should be focusing on stopping the run, forcing third and long, and then pivoting to heavy blitzes on Kirk Cousins. Offensively, the Chargers need to utilize balance like last week.

Even if the run game is not very effective, the Chargers can’t let teams tee-off on their offensive line all game with blitzes. Last week, the Chargers weren’t successful on the ground, but it was enough to keep their QB effective and keep the defense honest.

Early in the week, the Chargers were favored by 2.5, but heavy action has now pushed the line to 3.5. With 75% of the handle on Thursday, the line moving to 3.5 has induced more action towards the Vikings. The handle now rests at Chargers 60% on Sunday, but the trend suggests we take the hook and the Vikings at +3.5.

Chargers 27 Vikings 24

 

Panthers at Cardinals (see score prediction)

The Panthers are in full-blown panic mode. After starting the season 3-0, the Panthers have now lost five of six, going 1-5 ATS in that span. Even with the return of Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers still have yet to regain their offensive rhythm. With Sam Darnold now sidelined for at least the next four games, the Panthers will get an extended look at PJ Walker at QB.

The Cardinals are still really good. Last week was supposed to be a letdown, as both Kyler Murray and Deandre Hopkins were ruled-out prior to kickoff. The 49ers played them tight the first time, so this game in Santa Clara was supposed to be a 49ers win. Last week’s demolition of the 49ers proved just how good this Cardinals team really is.

On Thursday, Arizona was only at 52% of the handle at -9.5. With the game time status of Kyler Murray and Deandre Hopkins hanging in the balance, the line has only dropped to -9 for Arizona. Even with Murray potentially out, the Cardinals looked great last week and the Panthers have been awful lately. Carolina holds the handle at 51% right now, but I still like Arizona if Kyler can play. If not, go Carolina +9.

Cardinals 27 Panthers 17   -- Without Kyler: Cardinals 19 Panthers 17

 

Eagles at Broncos -1

The Eagles finally had a mediocre performance for 60 minutes. For much of the season, they either blowout bad teams or get blown out by good teams and last week was finally a close game throughout. Jalen Hurts took steps in the right direction, finally targeting Devonta Smith heavily and stretching the Chargers defense with a well-balanced offense.

The Broncos got a little lucky last week. The score was deceiving, but credit the Broncos for running the ball down the Cowboys’ the entire game. The Broncos definitely got lucky with a lot of key Cowboys drops and some bad misses from Dak Prescott, but the point still stands. Now, the Broncos have an opportunity to stay in the playoff hunt against a flawed Eagles team.

Denver had the slight advantage on the Thursday cash handle (56%). On Sunday, Denver’s cash handle ballooned to 72%. This line is oddly closer than I would expect it to be, but I’m not going to shy away. We are sticking with the model here and it’s telling us to ride the Broncos.

Broncos 24 Eagles 18

 

Seahawks at Packers -3

Are the Seahawks back? Prior to Russell Wilson’s injury, the Seahawks were in a bit of slump offensively. Russell Wilson is still dynamic, but he was averaging only 150 yards passing over his last two games before the injury. Regardless of the struggles prior to his injury, the Seahawks should still get a production bump on offense with Wilson returning this week.

The Packers should have Aaron Rodgers back this week. If not, they could be in some trouble. Last week, the Packers defense continued to show the country why they are title contenders, holding the Chiefs to 13 points in Arrowhead Stadium. The offensive balance is impressive and the Rodgers to Adams combo is probably the most unstoppable connection in the league.

By Thursday, there was volatile movement in this line, as it went from Packers -4 to Packers -2, before settling at Packers -3.5. On Sunday, the line now rests at 3, as the announcement for the return of both Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson should make for an entertaining game. The model likes the Packers at a 60% handle. I feel like this will be a big statement game for Rodgers this week, amidst all the drama.

Packers 30 Seahawks 15

 

 Chiefs at Raiders +2.5

The Chiefs are a mess on both sides of the ball. Even with all their issues, they’re still 5-4 and in contention for a playoff spot. Much of that has been the fortunate series of matchups (WFT, Giants, Eagles, Packers W/O Rodgers). This week, they’ll get the Raiders, who were terrible last week, but not bad since losing John Gruden.

The Raiders are probably just an average team. They have a few impressive wins on the year (Ravens and Steelers) but also some bad losses (Bears and Giants). This week, the Raiders will face their rival, whom they beat handily last season and barely lost to in the second meeting. Expect a similar Cover 2 approach on defense this week and more Mahomes frustration.

The Chiefs held strong cash percentages (78% on Thursday). On Sunday, the handle dropped to 59%. With the late movement, this one falls on the line for our pick, so I am leaning Raiders. I think the Raiders have a balanced offense and a far superior defense. Until we see the Chiefs shake their offensive slump, I simply don’t trust them yet.

Raiders 30 Chiefs 20

 

Rams -3.5 at 49ers 

The Rams were embarrassed last week against the Derrick Henry-less Titans. Despite the clear advantage heading into the game, the Rams appeared to completely disregard the Titans’ defensive line. For much of the game, the Titans completely dominated the Rams offensive line, which forced easy turnovers and points off turnovers. Now, the Rams need a long term resolution in that area.

The 49ers just continue to both disappoint us and fool us. Again, we went with the 49ers because of key Cardinals injuries and Kyle Shanahan, despite Shanahan having a losing record as an NFL coach. A week removed from the return of Jimmy G and George Kittle, the offense looks a little better, but the defense looks exponentially worse.

The Thursday cash numbers were all Rams at 89%. On Sunday, the cash drifted towards the 49ers at 54%.  Monday’s cash numbers have since made a massive shift towards the Rams, as the cash now favors the Rams at 60%.

Rams 30 49ers 20

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