Bovada Week 10 NFL Picks
After a wacky first half of the NFL season, order seems to be restored. The usuals — New England, Pittsburgh, Dallas — are once again favorites. They are joined by a few upstarts, most notably Philadelphia and Los Angeles Rams.
This situation suits bettors best, as most of the league’s surprises are behind us, but certainly not all. Take this week for example. After a deep look at each game, three underdogs really spark our betting interest and we’ll tell you why. Odds are courtesy of Bovada.
Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons (-3)
Despite the on-and-off-again drama of Ezekiel Elliott, this Cowboys team is scorching hot. Since their bye week, Dallas is 3-0 with statement victory after another — 30-point win over San Francisco, two-score victory against Washington, and a 28-17 triumph over Kansas City a week ago.
Eliott is supposed to serve his suspension, but don’t be surprised if he suits up on Sunday after all that’s happened recently. Regardless, the Cowboys should have success running the ball, with or without their star running back, as Atlanta’s run defense has been spotty all season long, surrendering 4.2 yards per carry.
Plus, this Falcons team is a shell of its Super Bowl team. They’ve lost four of their last five, failing to score more than 17 points in each of those losses. Dallas’ middle-of-the-road defense should be able to hold up and preserve a Cowboys ‘W.
Pick: Dallas (+3)
New York Jets (-2.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
We’ll be the first to admit it, we love revenge games and that’s exactly what we have on our hands in this one as an injury to Jameis Winston has thrust Ryan Fitzpatrick under center to face his ex-Jets teammates.
Call us crazy, but a switch at quarterback is what this Bucs team needs to revive its slumping season. For all his talent, Winston wasn’t getting the job done. Tampa has struggled to score, averaging a pedestrian 19.8 per game. In Fitzpatrick, they’re getting a like-minded gunslinger, but a motivated one that’s seen it all over his 13-year career.
Fitz will be without star receiver Mike Evans, who will serve a one-game suspension. However, New York is depleted in their own right. Key starters such as defensive tackle Muhammed Wilkerson and cornerback Morris Claiborne are unlikely to play. All things considered, we like Fitz to rise to the occasion and pull off the upset.
Pick: Tampa Bay (+2.5)
Over/under 46.5 points: New Orleans Saints at Buffalo Bills
Don’t look now, but New Orleans has slowly shed the ariel attack reputation it built over the last decade. Instead of Drew Brees sitting in the pocket and slinging it, the Saints have quietly become a chew-the-clock running team. Behind a two-headed monster of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, New Orleans ranks seventh in rushing. It’s proved to be a formula for success as the Saints have ripped off six consecutive wins.
A road trip to Buffalo will surely test New Orleans’ mettle. At 5-3, the Bills are one of the league’s biggest surprises. They can thank a smashmouth defense that’s giving up just 18.6 points a game for most of its success.
Buffalo is a perfect 4-0 when they eclipse 100 yards on the ground. Look for them to establish a run game against New Orleans, who will likely try to do the same. With a heavy dose of running from both, this game stays under.
Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers (-9)
This one pits two of the sorriest offenses against one another. Carolina is averaging 18.7 points per game, while Miami is dead last at 14.5. Immediately, that indicates it will be an ugly one on Monday Night Football.
Most were doom and gloom when the Dolphins dealt Pro Bowl running back Jay Ajayi at the trade deadline, but the move actually bolstered its anemic offense. The big bugaboo about Ajayi was he wasn’t a threat to catch it out of the backfield. Last week, Ajayi’s replacements — Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake — combined for 82 yards catching and 83 rushing.
Those dump passes to the running back, ones that move the chains, will help keep the Dolphins in this one. Don’t get us wrong, we still expect Carolina to roll, but not by 10 points or more.
Pick: Miami (+9.5)
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