Last Week: 5-8-1
Overall: 54-79-2 (40.6%)
Score Predictor Picks
Last Week: 7-6-1
Overall: 82-51-2 (61.7%)
(*The Score Predictor is a tool I created that takes over a decade’s worth of score and spread data to predict the final score of each game. It places higher weights on more recent games as well as games against the opponent that week. Ultimately, it outputs a final home team and away team score that is used to make a pick against the spread.)
Week 9 Whiffs
— There are not enough curse words to accurately describe my hatred of the Chargers this season. Did they really just beat the Packers by 15 points? What the…
— The Jets are quickly becoming one of the worst teams in the NFL despite their spending spree in the offseason. They were beaten down by a Dolphins team that isn’t even trying to win. I wonder what C.J. Mosley is thinking.
— Last, but certainly not least, everybody’s favorite team, the Cleveland Browns. What a dumpster fire this is turning into. Even though they were on the road, in a game that they needed to win, I had them dominating a Denver team going in the wrong direction with their backup quarterback who had never started a game in the NFL before.
I could have went 0-fer the week and it wouldn’t have mattered after the Ravens win on Sunday night. That stadium was more electric than it has been in years and that can all be attributed to the newest number 8 in Baltimore. Not only has his athleticism carried this team this season, but his mental makeup is what you look for in a true leader. He accepts blame when there is none, and passes on praise when there is plenty. We’re lucky to have him here in Baltimore.
Home favorites of 4-7 points continue to get hammered after nine weeks, losing ATS 68.3% of the time. Overall, home teams are only winning ATS at a 42.1% clip. Last year at this time, they were hitting at 49%.
Here are the ATS Rankings through Week 9:
New Orleans sits alone at the top of these rankings after a week where Green Bay and New England both lost straight up and ATS. I think we’re all in anticipation now of the 12/8 matchup between the Saints and 49ers.
As always, most importantly:
Disclaimer: Please do not take these picks and expect to make any real money. I enjoy picking games and the discussions they create so feel free to play along. I will provide information for each game, but please make your own decisions and BE RESPONSIBLE!
Here are my Week 10 picks…
Thursday – 11/7/19
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders (+1, o/u 48.5)
My “favorite” team this year gets the week started for me on Thursday Night. Last week, the Chargers’ defense finally stepped up to the level that I anticipated at the beginning of the season as they took town the Packers. The problem now is, we really have no idea who these Chargers are.
Oddsshark.com said it best: “Los Angeles is a lot like an ex-significant other. Just when you think they’ve changed for the better, they start exhibiting the same terrible habits that caused us to break things off in the first place.” That completely defines the Chargers.
That said, I’m going to have to still hop on the Chargers here. I think they’ll take advantage of a Raiders’ defense that allows the most passing yards per game in the NFL. The Chargers’ defense will build upon their Week 9 showing, shut down the Oakland offense, and win by three.
The Chargers are 3-0 straight up and ATS in their last 3 games against the Raiders. Oakland is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games at home.
Score Predictor: Los Angeles 22.8 – Oakland 21.1 (Los Angeles -1)
My Pick: Los Angeles -1
Sunday – 11/10/19
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals (+10, o/u 46.0)
Every part of me thinks this will be a letdown game sandwiched in-between wins against the Seahawks and Patriots and a future date with the Texans. Then you tell me that the Bengals are starting a rookie signal caller and my mind is torn.
Cincinnati should come off their bye week healthier than they have been all season. The thought is that A.J. Green will make his season debut and they should also get back Carl Lawson, John Miller, Andre Smith, and Darqueze Dennard. That’s a lot of weapons back for the 0-8 Bengals.
On the Baltimore side of things, their leadership seems to have the right mindset to avoid a letdown here in Week 10. Lamar Jackson says all the right things, as does John Harbaugh, but it’s human nature to look ahead.
I think the Ravens will win, and I have it at 10 points. I already took them at -9.5 so if you can get them at that number, I would do it, but the extra half point here makes things interesting in my opinion. I’ll take the Ravens here at -10, but I’m not in love with it as I think Vegas is spot on with this number.
Baltimore is 2-10 ATS in their last 12 games as a double-digit favorite. The Bengals are 1-8 ATS in their last nine home games.
Score Predictor: Baltimore 23.9 – Cincinnati 21.7 (Cincinnati +10)
My Pick: Baltimore -10
Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints (-13, o/u 51.5)
There isn’t a ton to say about this game. Atlanta has been terrible and their defense has been worse. The Saints have been terrific and their offense is now better with Drew Brees back under center. Add to that coming off a bye week and the Saints should be primed to take care of business against the Falcons.
The ONLY thing that worries me a little is the Survivor Pool factor. We’ve gone too long now without a major upset killing survivor pools across the country. This one would do that in a big way this week. Good luck…
New Orleans is 11-1 ATS in their last 12 games after consecutive ATS wins. The Falcons are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games in New Orleans.
Score Predictor: Atlanta 25.9 – New Orleans 26.6 (Atlanta +13)
My Pick: New Orleans -13
Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns (-3, o/u 40.0)
This is a must-win game for the struggling Browns. From an odds perspective, this seems like a trap. Cleveland is winless at home while the Bills are undefeated at 3-0 on the road, yet the Browns are still a 3-point favorite.
I’ve gone back and forth on this game. I want to pick the Browns because this spread looks odd to me. Then I go back to the Bills and think, “there’s no way Baker Mayfield won’t turn the ball over against this defense, right?”
After I banged my head on my desk a few times, I took a look at the teams the Bills have beaten this year: Washington, Miami, Tennessee, Cincinnati, and the two New Yorks. Not exactly a murderers row. When they last played a good team (Philadelphia), they got drubbed 31-13 at home. I’m going to pull out my contrarian hat this week and take Cleveland to cover here.
Buffalo is 4-0 ATS in their last four games as an underdog. The Browns are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games as home favorites and 1-13 ATS in their last 14 games at home against teams with winning records.
Score Predictor: Buffalo 22.2 – Cleveland 23.3 (Buffalo +3)
My Pick: Cleveland -3
New York Giants vs. New York Jets (+2.5, o/u 43.5)
I’m going to stay far away from this game as neither team gives me any confidence with their recent play. The Giants are coming off a big loss to the Cowboys and the Jets just lost to the Dolphins.
There really aren’t any stats I could throw at you that I could make you believe one way or another. I’m going to go with the Jets here because I think their defense is a fraction better than that of the Giants. It’s not much, but that’s all I have on this stinker of a game.
The Giants are 5-1 straight up and 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games against the Jets, but are 0-5 straight up and 1-4 ATS in their last five games. The Jets are 0-7 straight up and 1-6 ATS in their last seven games in the early afternoon.
Score Predictor: New York Giants 23.9 – New York Jets 24.1 (New York Jets +2.5)
My Pick: New York Jets +2.5
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tennessee Titans (+4, o/u 48.5)
Patrick Mahomes may make his return this week in Tennessee. If he does, I love the -4 line here. Even with Matt Moore, I’d consider taking the Chiefs as their defense has stepped up without Mahomes the past few weeks. From the Titans side, they’ll be riding again with Ryan Tannehill who has looked solid, but I can’t take him only getting four points against a Chiefs team that has been great on the road so far this season.
Kansas City will improve to 5-0 on the road this week against and cover the four points.
The Chiefs are 3-1 ATS on the road this season with a 15.0 average point differential.
Score Predictor: Kansas City 25.8 – Tennessee 19.7 (Kansas City -4)
My Pick: Kansas City -4
Arizona Cardinals vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4.5, o/u 51.5)
I love the over in this game. Neither team has a strong defense and both have strong passing offenses. That will lead to a ton of points.
As for my ATS pick, I tend to lean away from quarterbacks like Jameis Winston who gift wrap interceptions to opposing teams. If he doesn’t turn it over, the Bucs are a good team. When he does though, they struggle big time. I’m going to have to roll with Arizona and the points because there’s no sense in trusting that Winston won’t be forced into a few picks.
Oh, did I say I love the over here?
Arizona is 5-1 ATS in their last six games as underdogs. Tampa Bay is 1-8 ATS in their last nine home games after back-to-back road games.
Score Predictor: Arizona 25.3 – Tampa Bay 24.6 (Arizona +4.5)
My Pick: Arizona +4.5
Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears (-2.5, o/u 41.5)
Seven of the Lions’ eight games have been decided by a touchdown or less, but even with Matthew Stafford having a career year, their defense has been letting them down. Because of that defense, if there were ever a “get right” game for Mitch Trubisky, this is it. If the Lions can shut down this Bears’ offense, there will have to be a lot of soul searching in the Windy City.
I like the Lions to win this game outright and put a nail in the coffin of my pre-season NFC champs.
Detroit is 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games. The Bears are 1-4 ATS in their last five games.
Score Predictor: Detroit 22.7 – Chicago 21.2 (Detroit +2.5)
My Pick: Detroit +2.5
Miami Dolphins vs. Indianapolis Colts (-10.5, o/u 44.0)
As I’m writing about this game, I’m trying to convince myself to go one way or another and having a really difficult time. I’m going to stay far away from this one as well this week.
After their respective performances last week, I lean Dolphins here. My reasoning is simple: injuries. The Colts will be without wideouts T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell, which could pose problems for backup Brian Hoyer. They should still be able to run the ball with Marlon Mack, but their struggles through the air will keep Miami close.
Miami is 0-7 straight up and 2-5 ATS in their last seven games as a double-digit underdog. Indianapolis is 1-4 ATS in their last five games against AFC East teams.
Score Predictor: Miami 18.9 – Indianapolis 26.7 (Miami +10.5)
My Pick: Miami +10.5
Los Angeles Rams vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (+3.5, o/u 44.0)
Pittsburgh salvaged a little hope with a close win against the Colts in Week 9. They won’t be so lucky this week against a Rams team that needs a win to keep pace in the NFC playoff race. The Rams’ defense will stop the run and force Mason Rudolph to beat them, which he won’t. I like the Rams by double-digits (and the under).
Los Angeles has gone 10-1 in their last 11 games against the AFC and 6-0 ATS in their last six road games. The Steelers are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games against the Rams.
Score Predictor: Los Angeles 21.7 – Pittsburgh 23.2 (Pittsburgh +3.5)
My Pick: Los Angeles -3.5
Carolina Panthers vs. Green Bay Packers (-5, o/u 47.0)
Five points seems like an awful lot in this game. Green Bay is coming off a terrible loss in Los Angeles to face arguably the MVP front-runner in Christian McCaffrey. Assuming the Panthers rely on McCaffrey as they have all season, their offense should be able to score points to keep up with the Packers and keep this game close, if not win outright.
Carolina also has the 5th ranked passing defense, which should make Aaron Rodgers‘ life more difficult than he’s used to. I look for the under to hit in this game as well.
Green Bay is 1-5 ATS in their last six games before a bye. Carolina is 3-1 ATS on the road this season with a -0.8 average point differential.
Score Predictor: Carolina 24.1 – Green Bay 24.6 (Carolina +5)
My Pick: Carolina +5
Minnesota Vikings vs. Dallas Cowboys (-3, o/u 47.5)
Did you hear that? Those are Cowboys’ fans saying they’re going to win the Super Bowl again after back-to-back divisional wins.
This game is a crucial game for both teams. Dallas is looking to stay atop of the NFC East and Minnesota is looking to keep pace with the Packers after blowing an opportunity last week against a Mahomes-less Chiefs team.
I lean Cowboys here, but not because I want to. With Adam Thielen most likely out this week, Kirk Cousins’ options will be limited. The pass rush of the Cowboys will get to him early and often forcing him into another dud in prime time.
Minnesota is 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog. The Cowboys are 8-1 straight up in their last 9 home games.
Score Predictor: Minnesota 20.9 – Dallas 25.2 (Dallas -3)
My Pick: Dallas -3
Monday – 11/11/19
Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers (-6, o/u 46.5)
Finally, a decent Monday Night game. I’m sure ESPN is licking their chops at this one.
The Seahawks come into this one after almost dropping a second straight home game to Tampa Bay in Week 9. San Francisco comes in after also escaping with a three-point win on the road in Arizona.
I love Seattle in this spot to cover. Bringing Josh Gordon into the fold will give them another viable receiving option to go along with Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. As long as the Seahawks’ defense can right the ship a bit, there’s no reason why they can’t win this game outright.
Seattle is 8-0 ATS in their last eight games as an underdog. The 49ers are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games against the NFC.
Score Predictor: Seattle 23.3 – San Francisco 17.1 (Seattle +6)
My Pick: Seattle +6
I went 0-fer in my favorite picks last week bringing me to 4-4 over the past three weeks. This week I don’t see a ton of games that I’m high on. I do like the Rams (-3.5) and Chiefs (-4), but outside of those two, there isn’t a game that I need to pounce on.
Good luck in Week 10!