NFL Best Bets Week 10
We swept all our games last week and improved to 20-5 in our Best Bets for a remarkable 80% winning percentage. Many of you have slid into my Twitter DMs to ask about my process. Some have even offered a significant amount of money for my advice. I don’t want to name drop, but there may be a Nigerian prince who’s prepared to transfer a huge sum of cash to my checking account. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I wrote about the Seahawks and Bears in week 9, and I’m sticking with them again this week. They’re two of my favorite teams to watch and root for this season and it’s been a lot of fun watching Geno Smith revive his career while Justin Fields establishes himself as a future star in the league. I chose all early games this week in case we run into some back luck; we can try to make it up with the late games.
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Seattle Seahawks +2.5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This game is an opportunity for Tom Brady to complete his master plan of world domination. He’s owned American football for two decades and now his legendary status can extend throughout all of Europe. There’s only one thing standing in his way; Geno “Marino” Smith.
When the NFL made their schedule, they probably assumed this would be a game to showcase their biggest star against a much weaker team. However, I’m not sure there has been a more disappointing team than the Buccaneers or a more surprising team than the Seahawks this season. This line seems to reflect more of the narrative of Brady winning on the world stage than on what these two teams have done on the field. This game has the biggest discrepancy between my model and the Vegas spread than any game this season. Of course, that could mean I’m missing something. The line dropped to -1 just a few days ago and it is telling that two thirds of the tickets are on Seattle, but the majority of cash is on Tampa. That’s usually an indication the pros know something we don’t. The teams matchup well against each other with one exception, the Bucs can’t run the ball and they’ll be going against a good Seahawks defense. Tampa Bay has been dreadful on third down and their inability to keep drives going will make it difficult for them to score. They’re not explosive enough on offense to make up for their inefficiencies. On the other hand, Seattle has been extremely efficient passing and running the ball, ranking first in play success. The biggest concern for the Seahawks is penalties, in which they rank 31st in the league. One thing you can’t do is give Brady multiple opportunities to beat you and penalties that extend drives could bring down Seattle. I expect a close game with Brady likely leading a game-winning drive in the closing moments, but still not enough to cover.
Chicago Bears -3 over Detroit Lions
The Lions, fresh off a win against Green Bay, travel to Chicago to take on the Bears who have lost five of the last six games. Yet, somehow the Bears feel like a team on the rise while Detroit feels like a very bad team. The recent emergence of Justin Fields has brought excitement to Chicago’s offense, though the results haven’t shown up often in the win column. The Bears are averaging over 30 points a game the last three weeks, second best in the league. However, they’re also giving up over 30 points a game in that span, second-worst in the league. Chicago should find the end zone often against Detroit who, even with limiting the Packers to nine points last week, are still giving up the most points in the NFL. On the flip side, the Lions only score 10 points per game on the road. As bad as the Bears defense has been, especially after trading Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn, they’ve played well at home. Jared Goff has thrown only one touchdown on the road this season. I don’t necessarily think Detroit will have difficulty scoring in this game, but the Bears have all the momentum and should win this game. 92% of the cash is on the Chicago side and I’m going with the public on this one.
New York Giants -4.5 over Houston Texans
I’ve made a living this season out of picking road underdogs, so I’m a little hesitant to pick two home favorites this week, but the line movement in this game has made it too good to pass up. The Giants were -6.5 as late as Thursday morning, so getting a two point swing this late is a gift. Houston is arguably the worst team in the league, even with Brandin Cooks back this week. Five of their six losses have come by seven or more points. New York has covered the spread in six of eight games this year and remains undervalued in the betting market. The Texans defense is dead last in rush DVOA and Saquon Barkley should have a field day against a team that gave up 219 yards to Derrick Henry two weeks ago. The Giants have the advantage in every aspect of this game, perhaps most importantly in coaching. Brian Daboll has had a week to game plan and will have his team ready after an embarrassing loss to Seattle before the bye. Grab this line while you can before it jumps back up.
Doug Burrell is a lifelong NFL fan and has been playing fantasy football for over 25 years. He specializes in auction drafts and has been ranked in the top 1% of Yahoo owners since 2014. He enjoys breaking down advanced statistics and complicated game theory into easy, actionable steps that even novice players can use to gain an edge over the competition.
Doug is a veteran, an avid runner, and works as a copywriter. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and three dogs. You can reach him on Twitter @dougwburrell.