We are back to fourteen games on the schedule this week after having a lot of teams on bye week the last two weeks.
The election is over and even if you are unhappy with the outcome, you can now focus more of your time on sports. There might even be a portion of the country that has no idea the NBA season has started. Welcome back to the real world, political junkies.
We pick ever NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets in Week 10 of the 2016 NFL season.
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-10) – My pick is Cleveland Browns
The Browns are a really bad team, but have moved the ball well at times with QBs Josh McCown and Cody Kessler under center. Cleveland only lost by five points to Baltimore in Cleveland in late-September. I haven’t been a fan of Baltimore all season, but their cover (and win) at home against Pittsburgh last week was a bit of a surprise. The Ravens may very well win this game, but I don’t expect them to cover a double-digit spread on a short week’s rest. I’m taking the points on Thursday night.
Green Bay Packers at Tennessee Titans (+2.5) – My pick is Tennessee Titans
The Packers lost a close one to the Colts last week, a game they should have one. A kickoff return by the Colts basically won them the game after the Packers were better at nearly every other aspect of the game. Colts RB Frank Gore was used as a battering ram and if TItans RB DeMarco Murray is used in the same way, he should fare much better. The Titans offense have been pretty darn good this year. The Packers have had issues keeping up with good offenses this year. This one will be close, but I’m taking the points.
Kansas City Chiefs at Carolina Panthers (-3) – My pick is Carolina Panthers
Kansas City was without QB Alex Smith last week, but Nick Foles did a nice job in their win over Jacksonville. Smith is expected to be cleared from a concussion he suffered against Indy, so that’s good news for Kansas City. Carolina is on a little winning streak since their bye week. Carolina had great protection against Arizona, but Cam Newton was hit numerous times last week at Los Angeles. Kansas City has a pretty nice pass rush, so Cam will have issues. I have to take the Panthers to cover since Kansas City is having injury problems to their running backs.
Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins (-3) – My pick is Washington Redskins
I loved the Minnesota Vikings the first two months of the year…but have really let me down the last few weeks. Their offense is stagnant and it has put their very good defense in bad field position. The Redskins are coming off a bye week after their game with Cincinnati ended in a tie. If the Redskins can run the ball, I think they will cover. I’m taking Washington in this one.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (+1.5) – My pick is Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars made some improvements last week in their loss to Kansas City. They were actually able to run the ball. If they can consistently run the ball with RB Chris Ivory, QB Blake Bortles will need to do less. I think he could be a very good quarterback if he has a balanced running game. The Texans are coming off a bye and have been very inconsistent this year. They haven’t won back-to-back games since the first two weeks of the year. I am taking Jacksonville here since I liked what I saw from their offense last week. They didn’t score many points against KC, but the new offensive coordinator put some life in their running game.
Denver Broncos at New Orleans Saints (-2) – My pick is New Orleans Saints
How can anyone take Denver here? They have been extreme pedestrian the last month with a really bad run defense. Denver QB Trevor Siemian has also appeared to have regressed since the first month of the season. The Saints offense is on fire and even though Denver’s secondary is very good, QB Drew Brees should keep the ball moving. I’m taking the Saints to cover at home.
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles (-1) – My pick is Atlanta Falcons
The Eagles are undefeated at home this season, but the Falcons are 4-1 on the road. The Falcons are the hot team coming into this game with their offense clicking on all levels. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan is on the short list for MVP. The Eagles have lost back-to-back games against division rivals, so they really need a win here. Atlanta will out-gain Philly in the air and on the ground. I don’t see a win here for the Eagles, so I’m taking Atlanta.
Los Angeles Rams at New York Jets (-2) – My pick is New York Jets
This might be a pretty ugly game. I don’t expect a ton of offense with Jets QB Bryce Petty getting his first start of the season. This could very well be a 12-9 type of game with field goals. I’m taking the Jets in a defensive battles.
Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers (-3.5) – My pick is San Diego Chargers
Who knew San Diego RB Melvin Gordon was any good? I watched him in college and he was very good, but I haven’t seen any flashes of that in the NFL. Something finally clicked and he is playing like an actual NFL running back. Miami RB Jay Ajayi is also killing it right now. He has over 500 yards on the ground in his last three games. San Diego is a bit spotty on run defense, but they held DeMarco Murray to 51 yards last week, so I have to give them the edge here. Also, Miami is a horrible road team, so I’m taking San Diego to cover.
Dallas Cowboys at Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5) – My pick is Dallas Cowboys
The Steelers have a piss-poor run defense and they face the NFL’s leading rusher rookie Ezekiel Elliott. I don’t have much faith in Pittsburgh right now. They have lost to some bad teams lately. Dallas is a well-rounded team and should cover this game.
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (-13) – My pick is Arizona Cardinals
As much as I think this line is a bit inflated due to Arizona’s lack of explosiveness on offense in recent weeks, I still think Arizona will cover. San Francisco has been getting destroyed on the ground. I think all Arizona needs to do is give the ball to RB David Johnson and use him in screen passes. He will have a fantastic fantasy week (if you play fantasy). The Niners are really bad and the Cardinals will cover.
Seattle Seahawks at New England Patriots (-7.5) – My pick is Seattle Seahawks
New England has been amazing since QB Tom Brady returned from suspension. They have won every game and covered every spread since he was reinstated. We all know Seattle is a great home team, but isn’t as stellar on the road. I do worry about Seattle’s offense, as we saw during their road games at Arizona and Los Angeles. They failed to score a touchdown in either contest. These teams know each other pretty well, even though they don’t play in the same conference. I expect New England to win this game, but I think they come short in covering, so give me the points.
Cincinnati Bengals at New York Giants (-1) – My pick is New York Giants
Cincinnati has struggled against teams with winning records this season, they are 0-5-1 ATS in those games. Their secondary has struggled in two out of the last three weeks. Washington out-gained them by nearly 200 yards in the air two weeks ago in their tie. This game is going to be tight. Cincinnati WR A.J. Green will get plenty of targets, but I think the Giants WR duo Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard will be too much for the Bengals secondary. I’m taking the Giants to cover at home.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Sweetbob’s NFL picks against the spread record in previous seasons:
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob