One of my favorite expressions is that “every blind squirrel gets a nut.” Well, excluding the Thursday and Monday night games…I went 11-0 straight up and 10-1 against the spread last week. Not too shabby for a bunch of toss-up games as I saw them in this column at the time.
Among those correct picks was the Saints over the Rams. Was I surprised about the actual result? Not at all. Los Angeles was bound to lose at some point. But here’s a quick prediction…they won’t lose again…all year. It’s a team that, once healthy in the secondary, has absolutely no weaknesses. And with a remaining schedule of Seattle, Kansas City (in Mexico City), at Detroit, at Chicago, Philadelphia, at Arizona, San Francisco…I would be surprised if they slipped up once more.
In the playoffs anything can happen, but as I said a few weeks ago, fade Todd Gurley and company at your own risk. They’re the most talented team in pro football and there’s no team that I see comparable top-to-bottom at the moment, even New Orleans.
On to hopefully more winning picks in Week 10…
Week 10 NFL Picks
Last Week: 11-2 Straight Up (SU), 11-2 Against the Spread (ATS)
Overall: 94-38-2 SU, 73-61 ATS
(Picks against the spread in parentheses; home teams in caps)
PITTSBURGH 34, Carolina 27 (ATS: Steelers -4.5)
A really fun Thursday night game with two likely playoff teams. But Pittsburgh is generally a lot better at home than on the road and I expect Big Ben, Antonio Brown, and company to hold off Cam Newton and his Panthers in a relative shootout.
NEW YORK JETS 26, Buffalo 13 (ATS: Jets -7.5)
Veteran QB Josh McCown is a fine replacement for the injured Sam Darnold for the Jets…and I don’t see how the Bills generate enough offense to keep this one close.
CHICAGO 20, Detroit 13 (ATS: Bears -6.5)
Did the Lions punt their season when they traded their best WR Golden Tate to Philly last week? They sure played like it last Sunday. Don’t expect a much better performance this week in Chicago.
TAMPA BAY 30, Washington 24 (ATS: Buccaneers -2.5)
The Redskins’ offensive line is a train wreck and we’re due for more Fitz-magic back at home in Tampa. This is actually one of my favorite plays of the week as I think the Redskins are long overdue for a cold spell.
KANSAS CITY 38, Arizona 17 (ATS: Chiefs -16.5)
I can’t believe I’m picking a team to cover a three possession spread once again after the Vikings pooped the bed vs. Buffalo earlier in the season. But have you watched the Chiefs offense? And have you watched the Cardinals’? Maybe my score prediction is closer than it really should be…
New England 24, TENNESSEE 20 (ATS: Titans +6.5)
I really want to pick the Titans to pull the home upset…but coming off a short week, it’s hard to imagine Tennessee being ready to defeat the great Tom Brady. I am taking the points with Marcus Mariota’s team however…
New Orleans 31, CINCINNATI 24 (ATS: Saints -4.5)
Cinci is coming off a bye and while I usually love that angle, the Saints have been too good of late. Without star WR A.J. Green, I have a hard time seeing the Bengals keep up in a potential shootout.
Jacksonville 24, INDIANAPOLIS 22 (ATS: Jaguars +3.5)
Just call this a gut feeling. The Jaguars have to turn it around at some point. If the bye week didn’t get the trick done, then maybe coach Doug Marrone has completely lost the locker room and his job should be in jeopardy, less than a year after taking the team to the NFC Championship Game.
GREEN BAY 30, Miami 16 (ATS: Packers -9.5)
Great bounce back spot for Green Bay having lost two tough games in a row on the road against possibly the league’s two best teams, the Rams and Patriots. Aaron Rodgers throws for three scores as GB rolls and covers fairly easily.
Atlanta 27, CLEVELAND 21 (ATS: Falcons -4.5)
The Browns are a lot better than in recent years…but as I predicted a month or so ago, the Falcons are going to make a run at the playoffs despite a 1-4 start. Give me Atlanta and the points on the road.
Los Angeles Chargers 30, OAKLAND 20 (ATS: Chargers -9.5)
How can you pick Oakland straight up after that garbage performance last week against a severely undermanned 49ers team? Do the players even like playing for Jon Gruden?? But a cover of the nearly 10 point spread wouldn’t shock me. Either way, there is pretty much no way the Chargers lose this game.
LOS ANGELES RAMS 34, Seattle 20 (ATS: Rams -10.5)
As mentioned above, the Rams are bouncing back in a big way this week and the rest of the season. Good luck Seattle in stopping Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, and the potent Rams offense. Russell Wilson has done an admirable job considering he essentially has very few weapons around him for the Seahawks.
PHILADELPHIA 27, Dallas 17 (ATS: Eagles -6.5)
My favorite straight up play of the week for those of you still in Survivor Pools. Philly is well-rested coming off a bye week and the Cowboys are traveling to the City of Brotherly Love after losing on Monday night at home to the Titans. Sorry Cowboys fans, no bounce back this week. Carson Wentz throws for 300+ yards and at least two scores in an easy Eagles victory.
New York Giants 19, SAN FRANCISCO 17 (ATS: Giants +3.5)
My dumb, what the hell, this makes no sense pick of the week. But New York is coming off a bye and they have to win again this season, right? The Giants are much more talented on paper…but Eli Manning is a shell of his former self. Behind four Aldrick Rosas field goals, the Giants win an ugly game that may break records for lowest Week 10 MNF TV ratings!
Week 10 Fantasy Football Guidance
‘Boom & Crush’ Record (15+ PPR fantasy points from a non-must start player)
Last Week: 1-2
‘Be Careful’ Record (12 or less PPR fantasy points from a top-15 player)
Last Week: 3-0
Boom & Crush:
QB: Baker Mayfield (CLE vs. ATL)
RB: Tarik Cohen (CHI vs. DET)
QB: Mitchell Trubisky (CHI vs. DET)
RB: Adrian Peterson (WASH at TB)
WR/TE: Brandin Cooks (LAR vs. SEA)