Oh, Week 10. Why did you have to be so gut-wrenching? I was on the verge of another 5-3 week but the Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers turned the tables with last-minute drives to not only steal wins from the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans but score the all-too frustrating back-door cover. That turned the tables on my record to 3-5 for the week and to be honest, it’s not a place I like to be in anymore. With Week 11 coming up, there are seven weeks left in the season, which means that the margin-for-error in these games is becoming thinner and thinner by the week. So now I leave the frustrations of Week 10 and now look forward to the opening lines of Week 11.
Seahawks dogs for the first time
The Seattle Seahawks are the only team in the league that hasn’t been a betting underdog this season. That’s gonna change in Week 11 when Seattle travels to Arrowhead as 1-point underdogs against the Kansas City Chiefs. The spread is probably going to sway to the other side with the novelty of seeing the Seahawks in this unfamiliar role. Actually, I guarantee this line will move and Seattle will probably close as -2 favorites. By that rationale, I’d wait for the line to move and take Kansas City as the short home underdog.
Windy City doldrums
Soldier Field used to be one of the most imposing places to play as a road team. But that’s not the case this year because the Chicago Bears have yet to win at home and has only one once against the spread in their last 11 home games. That’s not a misprint. This week, the Bears opened as -4.5 favorites against the Minnesota Vikings. Common sense dictates that the public should be wary of Chicago laying points at home but after getting pasted by the Green Bay Packers, 42-14, I’d like to think that the Bears have enough pride in their team to come out with guns blazing. If this were a better team than the Vikings, I’d probably wait to see if the line drops. But it’s Minnesota. I don’t think this line moves and if it did, the best you can hope for is for it to swing half-a-point either way.
The Cleveland Browns are 6-3?!
You better believe it, ladies and gentlemen! I still don’t know how this team is 6-3 but the how of it isn’t as important as the fact that they’ve won six games and lost three. Heading into Week 11, the Browns are -3.5 favorites against the Houston Texans team that’s rolling out a new quarterback in Ryan Mallett. I’m actually a fan of Mallett and I think he’s a big upgrade over Ryan Fitzpatrick. But not a lot of people share that sentiment so I think this line will be bet up to around -5 or -5.5, especially if Arian Foster remains questionable throughout the week. That’s what I’d like to see happen because if that line gets to either of those numbers, I’m riding with the Texans.
Saints home mystique gets shattered
The New Orleans Saints are 4-5 right now but did you know that four of its losses came in games when they were leading with one minute left in the fourth quarter. If there ever was a team that’s gotten the shortest end of the swing-play stick, it’s the Saints. New Orleans tries to regroup when it hosts the Cincinnati Bengals as -6.5 favorites, the same number posted during its game against the San Francisco 49ers. It’s hard to find the pulse of the Saints but try doing it with the Bengals. Wasn’t it just a month ago when people were calling Cincy the best team in football? Now they’re in the middle of a free fall with no end in sight. I don’t see New Orleans losing two games in a row and even if Cincy keeps it tight in the first half, I think they get blown out in the second half.
Broncos heavy road faves again
The Denver Broncos are 2-0 against the spread when its playing as double-digit favorites, or close to it in the case of its game against the New York Jets. A week after trouncing the Oakland Raiders as -12.5 faves, Denver follows that up as -9.5 road favorites against the St. Louis Rams. I normally wouldn’t hesitate to pick the Broncos here but if the Rams go up to as high as +12 underdogs, I’d seriously consider taking the home team. That might be a suicide pick but the Broncos aren’t this dominant, are they?
The Detroit Lions and the Arizona Cardinals are the two best teams in the NFC
Record-wise, none of us can dispute it. But are they really the two best teams in the NFC? I’m still not sure. Regardless, the Cardinals opened as -3 favorites despite the uncertainty of Carson Palmer’s status. We’ll know more this week but there’s a good chance that he doesn’t play in this game. If he’s out, the line will probably swing to the Lions, possibly with a role reversal that will have Detroit laying the points as short favorites. I’d wait to see what happens to Palmer but I do expect some early action on Detroit with his status still up in the air.
Brady vs Luck
The undisputed game of the week has Tom Brady and the New England Patriots traveling to Indianapolis to face Andrew Luck and the Colts. The line opened at -2.5 for the home team and to be honest, I don’t think this line moves a bit. Action should be even on both sides, especially with the game being played in Indianapolis. If the number somehow drops, I’d have an easier time picking Indy.
NFC South Battle Royale
I can’t believe I’m writing this but a team that sports a 3-6 record still has a mathematical chance to win its division. That would be the Atlanta Falcons and this week, they face a Carolina Panthers team that’s 3-5-1 and can somehow move to first place in the South despite its own sub .500 record. Carolina opened as -3 favorites, which is the number I’d put it for the rest of the week. I’d also hold off on making a pick because it’s going to be hard justifying a pick for a team that sucks this early in the week.