NFL best bets for Week 10 from Steve Makinen

November 11, 2023 04:28 PM

NFL Week 10 Best Bets

I endured my first losing record in over a month this past week in the NFL action, and it just so happened to coincide with statements that the betting public had one of their best weeks of the season, according to popular sportsbooks. That is by no means coincidental. That said, I was still able to pull through with a 3-4 record in Week 9, and I’ll take that if it’s going to be one of my lesser performances. Now, overall, for the season, my won-lost record stands at 38-23 (62.3%). This includes a 7-1 record on totals after the MNF win. As I mentioned last week, hopefully, you’ve been following along and starting to read/interpret the same things I am on the weekly VSiN NFL Analytics Reports, because they are essentially guiding my handicapping. I have seven more plays lined up for Sunday on the NFL slate.

Cleveland at Baltimore

Baltimore has injected itself into the AFC title contention conversation with four straight wins, scoring 32.3 PPG in the last three. The Ravens have been extremely balanced and potent on offense, with QB Lamar Jackson leading the way. Now they face a key divisional contest, and I can’t imagine with as hot as head coach John Harbaugh’s team, we won’t see a total focused effort.

There isn’t an overwhelming amount of handle nor bets on Baltimore, a good thing, and there are two systems from the NFL Analytics Report that catch my eye: 1) With the Browns coming off the shutout of dreadful Arizona, teams off of a home shutout win have been dreadful in the next outing recently in the NFL, going 13-17 SU and 10-19-1 ATS (34.5%) in their last 30 games following up that extremely good defensive performance.

Also, with Baltimore having beaten the Browns 28-3 last month, teams that won by 21 or more points in the opening game between teams are 77-22 SU and 63-36 ATS (63.6%) in the rematch. This doesn’t look like a comfortable win for either team on the surface, but that’s exactly why I think it might be.

Lay the 6.5 (+/- 0.5) with Baltimore

San Francisco at Jacksonville

We have two teams headed in opposite directions and coming out of their bye weeks in Jacksonville on Sunday, and the red-hot hosting Jaguars have the better record. So why in the world are the 49ers favored?

This seems like a mega trap to me, as those behind the counter are trying to bait bettors into backing Jacksonville. There are a few reasons I like the 49ers here besides having taken the bye week to refresh.

First, San Francisco has won the last five ATS versus Jacksonville. Second, in another rare winning record, when the majority of the handle backed the team with fewer season wins in a 2022 NFL game for an ATS wager, this majority group was 26-22 ATS (54.2%). Third, regarding the 49ers losing skid, NFL teams that have lost their last three games ATS, all when favored, are on a 38-11 SU and 30-17-2 ATS (61.2%) run when favored in the next game as well. There’s also been a lot of success backing road favorites out of their bye weeks.

Let’s go San Francisco -3 (+/- 1 point OK as well)

New Orleans at Minnesota

It’s one thing to come in mid-week with little to no performance expectations and pull off a surprise. It’s another thing to give an opponent film to watch and then pull off another surprise with a new team a week later. I don’t like the chances for QB Josh Dobbs to work magic again for the Vikings against New Orleans this week.

The Saints are a different team over their last few games, and while they didn’t cover the number against Chicago last week, by all rights, they should have. This offense is finding a groove, scoring 26.6 PPG in its last five, and QB Derek Carr seems to be getting more comfortable each game.

As a franchise, I revealed this week in my True Road Field Performance study that New Orleans has been one of the best teams in the NFL in terms of playing on the road lately, going 18-12 SU and 16-13 ATS for a league-best +2.1 points True Road Field rating. In other words, it is advantageous for them to play away from home. They are also on a 7-2 ATS run in the last nine vs. Minnesota and head into their bye week on a 15-5 SU and 14-5-1 ATS run in that situation since 2003, including 9-2 ATS on the road.

Let’s lay the 3-points with New Orleans this week (+/- 1)

Green Bay at Pittsburgh

We saw a completely different Green Bay team last week than the prior four games, and the Packers were able to end their losing skid. They will try to make it two wins in a row when they travel to Pittsburgh on Sunday. Noteworthy is that they are 4-1 ATS in their last five head-to-head games with the Steelers. What changed last week to get the Packers back in the win column?

How about RB Aaron Jones getting 24 touches finally? As I indicated he might. I expect another heavy dose of Jones this week, as he is dynamic and takes some pressure off QB Jordan Love. Green Bay also comes into this one on a 16-8 ATS run as an underdog.

Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has always performed well in the underdog role under head coach Mike Tomlin. However, when favored, this team is just 15-26 ATS since 2018. The Steelers are still scoring just 16.6 PPG, and the Packers come off their best defensive performance of the season. I’m not sure why nearly 80% of the handle and bet volume is willing to lay points with an anemic offensive favorite.

Let’s take Green Bay +3 (hopefully, we’ll see 3.5)

Detroit at LA Chargers

What a crazy swing of gameday liens for the Chargers in recent weeks. They have gone from 1.5-point home dogs to 5.5-point road dogs, then 9.5-point home favorites, and finally, 3-point road chalk this past Monday night. Despite back-to-back wins, LA now becomes a 3-point home dog again. I’m not sure that oddsmakers have any idea what to expect from this team. Or perhaps they do, indicating it by the number set for this week.

Detroit comes out of its bye week after a great 6-2 start to the season. The Lions will fit into a great system as road chalk here: Play on road favorites coming out of their bye week. (Record: 104-43 SU and 88-56-3 ATS since 1999, 61.1%). As a franchise, they are on a 7-3-1 SU and 9-2 ATS run in such contests. They went into the bye off a double-digit win over the Raiders in which they gained 486 yards of offense, 222 on the ground. They’ll supposedly get RB David Montgomery back as well. I expect an efficient and successful effort from head coach Dan Campbell’s team here.

I’m willing to lay the 3-points (+/- 0.5) with Detroit

NY Giants at Dallas

Two weeks ago, I wrote about Dallas and its ability to score points at home before they proceeded to wallop the Rams. In fact, the Cowboys have put up 37 PPG in their three home games this season after scoring 35.5 PPG in their final seven home contests last season.

When you consider that the total for this game against the Giants is just 38, essentially, we’ll only need a little better than the typical offensive effort at home from head coach Mike McCarthy’s team to take this one Over. If that weren’t enough, the last four games of NYG-DAL series in Dallas went Over total, avg 58.8 PPG. Yes, I realize the Giants will be starting rookie QB Tommy DeVito this week, but he will have had all week to prepare and expecting any NFL team to score less than 10 points in any game makes little sense.

Also, did you see the nugget in this week’s NFL Analytics Report about Dallas’ trend in home rematch games? The Cowboys have gone Over the total in 14 straight contests of that nature. After putting up 40 on New York on the road in Week 1, I don’t see any signs of their sizzling offense getting cooled off here.

Let’s go Dallas-NY Giants over 38 and anything up to 40

Washington at Seattle

One of the most heavily bet teams this week in NFL action, as far as handle is concerned is the Seahawks, and after the ugly loss last week at Baltimore, I’m having a hard time figuring out why. Head coach Pete Carroll’s team scored just 3 points and gained just 151 yards of offense in the 34-point defeat.

Now, realizing that each game is its own in this league, I’m not suggesting that Seattle can’t bounce back and play much better here, but covering 6 points against a Washington team that is heating up offensively doesn’t seem all that probable. QB Sam Howell is having a pretty strong season for the Commanders with 2,400+ yards and a 14-9 TD-Int ratio in his first extended playing time in the league. His team has scored 20 points or more in seven of the nine games and has put up 904 yards of offense in the last two weeks alone.

This would seem to be a very live underdog at this point. If that weren’t enough reason as to why they should compete here, consider that Washington is 16-9 ATS (64%) when coming off a SU win since 2019. I don’t see why head coach Ron Rivera’s team won’t be in this game.

Take Washington +6 (+/- 1)

For more system matches and key trends, check out the Week 10 NFL Analytics Report.

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