Throughout the NFL season, Stadium sports betting analyst Nate Jacobson will break down every single point spread using Thursday morning’s lines. His thoughts on the Week 10 schedule are as follows.
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Sides I Enjoy
Browns (+3.5) vs. Dolphins: I like this situation for the Browns, who are coming off a bye week. Last time we saw Cleveland, they dominated the Bengals on Monday night in Week 8. I don’t like betting on teams after they have performed well on national television, but the bye last week allows Cleveland to reset. The Browns should be healthier as well, with names like CB Denzel Ward and OL Wyatt Teller returning to practice this week.
The main reason I like the Browns is that their offense, particularly their run game, should be successful against the Dolphins defense. Kevin Stefanski of Cleveland is a good game planner and play caller, and with more time to prepare, that unit should perform well. The Browns are 3-5 and will face the Bills and Buccaneers before QB Deshaun Watson returns from suspension. A win here would put Cleveland back in the AFC playoff picture. On Tuesday, I bet the Browns +4, and I’d take them at anything over a field goal.
Cowboys (+5) vs. Packers:
While I have significantly downgraded the Packers during their five-game losing streak, my line for this home game is Packers +3. Green Bay’s line value is +5, but their current injury situation is less than ideal. After scoring nine points in a dome against the Lions, one of the league’s worst statistical defenses, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ reputation has plummeted. The Packers, on the other hand, had five drives inside the Lions’ 22 that resulted in three points. If Rodgers had taken better care of the ball instead of throwing interceptions in the red zone, the Packers would have won and the point spread for this upcoming game would be different.
This is also an excellent time to offload the Cowboys. Despite the fact that Dallas is coming off a bye, I believe they are overpriced at this price. Dak Prescott has played well since returning from a thumb injury, but he had two easy home games against the Lions and Bears. While the Packers defense has underperformed this season, the Cowboys are on the road, and the potentially chilly weather in Green Bay could be a shock to the system for a team that plays most of its games indoors or in warm weather. I’ll keep an eye on the Packers’ injury report to see if I can get a better number, but by kickoff, I’ll most likely have a bet on Green Bay.
Sides I’m Thinking About
Texans (+5) vs. Giants: I’ve been looking to bet against the Giants for the majority of the season, but I avoided them during their last game against the Seahawks in Week 8. Now I’d like to return to fading the 6-2 Giants, who are outperforming due to their excellent coaching staff. That being said, I had planned to bet the Texans before a line change on Wednesday changed the game from Texans +6.5 to Texans +5. While I don’t like Houston at +5, I’ll still consider them and hope some money returns to the home team.
Steelers (+1.5) vs. Saints: I don’t like betting on the Steelers, but this is a good spot for them. Pittsburgh is at home after a bye week, while the Saints are on short rest after playing on Monday night. I also just downgraded the Saints based on their poor performance on Monday. Furthermore, players I expected to see return from injury in New Orleans have yet to do so. The Steelers look like a great teaser leg at +7.5 in a game with a total of 40.5.
Broncos (+2.5) vs. Titans: The Titans are coming off a strong defensive performance against the Chiefs last Sunday. The Titans were unable to move the ball in the second half with Malik Willis at quarterback, but the defense was able to force overtime and easily cover the 14-point closing spread.
But now I’m curious how the Titans’ defense will react after being on the field for 91 plays and 41 minutes. The Broncos are coming off a bye week following a potentially confidence-boosting victory over the Jaguars in London, so they’ll be fully rested and fresh for this game despite their recent on-field shortcomings.
The most important thing to watch here is whether Willis starts for the third time in a row or if Ryan Tannehill returns from an ankle injury. The current line of Titans -2.5 implies that Tannehill will return, but if Willis starts, I expect the line to be closer to a pick’em or shift toward the Broncos as a small favorite. In any case, this is a tough spot for the tired Titans, and I’ll be siding with the Broncos.
Decisions at the Game
Falcons (-2.5) at Panthers: These two teams met in Atlanta 11 days ago, and the Falcons won -4 in what turned out to be one of the most exciting games of the season, with the Falcons winning in overtime.
I was tempted to take the Panthers because if they were +4 at home against the Falcons in Week 8, they should be +1 at home. However, the Panthers are coming off an embarrassing performance against the Bengals that resulted in the firing of two assistant coaches, and I’m concerned about the team’s mindset for a Thursday night game. QB PJ Walker will start again after being benched for Baker Mayfield, despite the fact that Mayfield appears to be a slight upgrade over Walker.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5) in Munich:
The point spread for this game before the season was Buccaneers -9. But a lot has changed since then, with the Seahawks already exceeding their regular-season win total of 5.5 and the Buccaneers losing.
After the Buccaneers beat the Rams on Sunday night, the point spread for this game reopened at Buccaneers -1, but Tampa Bay took a wave of money on Monday morning to drive this number up. I agree with the line change because I believe the Buccaneers defense should have an answer for the overachieving Seahawks offense. I’m currently leaning toward the Buccaneers, but the fact that this game is being played in Germany makes it more difficult to handicap. Before betting, I’d like to see if this line drops again.
Jaguars at Chiefs (-9.5): The Jaguars showed some heart last week, rallying from a 17-0 deficit to win their first game since Week 3 against the Raiders. The Chiefs needed overtime to beat the Titans and now face the Chargers in a big game. I don’t have an opinion on this game yet, but if I could get +10, I might be interested in the Jaguars.
Lions at Bears (-3): The Bears’ offense has improved dramatically over the last three games, thanks to QB Justin Fields’ improvement and more creative play calling. The Bears’ defense has deteriorated since trading Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith before the trade deadline. As long as the weather forecast is clear, I would continue to favor overs in Bears games.
Vikings vs. Bills (-3.5): We have a huge question mark here with QB Josh Allen suffering an elbow injury, making his status uncertain moving forward. This line dropped from Vikings +9 to +7.5 on Sunday night, and it has continued to fall throughout the week. The current line suggests Allen is unlikely to play in this game, and if he doesn’t, I’d be interested in betting on Buffalo with Case Keenum starting.
Colts vs. Raiders (-6): I’m very interested to see how this game plays out. Frank Reich was fired by the Indianapolis Colts after the team’s offense only averaged 2.0 yards per play against the Patriots in Week 9. In comes interim coach Jeff Saturday, who has no higher-level coaching experience, and on top of that, 30-year-old assistant QB coach Parks Frazier will be calling plays for the first time.
The 2-6 Raiders, on the other hand, are coming off a demoralizing road trip that included losses to the Saints and Jaguars. I can’t lay this many points with a Josh McDaniels-led team, but I’m not interested in betting on the Colts.
Cardinals at Rams (-1.5): For most of the week, the point spread for this game was Rams -3. On Wednesday, it was revealed that Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford had entered the concussion protocol. Soon after, we learned that Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray missed Wednesday’s practice due to a hamstring injury. I didn’t have an opinion on this game prior to both pieces of news and will wait as long as possible before deciding whether or not to bet on it.
Chargers at 49ers (-7): This number appears to be a little high, as the look-ahead line is 49ers -3.5. The Chargers defeated the Falcons last week, and the 49ers were on bye, so not much has changed, but there are several factors in San Francisco’s favor that explain the point spread.
The 49ers are expected to be healthier in this game, and their bye week will also help Kyle Shanahan prepare for a Chargers defense that struggles to stop the run. The Chargers are thin at wide receiver and on the offensive line, which will be a problem against a 49ers defense that can pressure Justin Herbert. Because of Brandon Staley’s aggressive style of game management, there are numerous possible outcomes, so I’m skipping this one.
Eagles at Commanders (-11): I need more time to contemplate this Monday night game. For the time being, I believe the line is correct when you consider Philadelphia’s strong primetime home-field advantage. I doubt I’ll place a wager on this game.
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