NFL Week 10 Picks

Entering the second half of the season, there’s surprisingly little we know about the best team in the NFL.  That’s because we don’t know who it is.  My rankings have the Broncos on top, but they aren’t clearly better than the Colts, and neither is that far ahead of the Pats, Ravens, or Eagles.  And if you’re a believer in head-to-head games being super informative, then maybe you’d put the Pats ahead of the Broncos despite New England having played worse in a lot of other games.  Maybe the Eagles should be ahead of the Colts, although they’ve gotten by on special teams and now have to get by with Mark Sanchez.  Maybe the one-loss Cardinals should be #1, although they lost convincingly to the Broncos.  So maybe this will be the week that brings a little clarity to the league, or maybe at least the playoff picture.

We won’t learn too much about the top teams this week unless there’s a major upset.  The Colts and Pats are on their bye weeks while Denver gets Oakland, Baltimore gets Tennessee, and the Eagles get the Panthers.  But we might learn about the playoffs.  According to 538, 10 of the 13 games this week will swing various teams’ playoff chances by over 40%.  A couple of those are fairly limited, like Seahawks-Giants which affects a number of teams but primarily Seattle.  But some are going to have implications all over, like Miami-Detroit.

home away Home Line Away Line Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Cincy Cleveland -280 235 0.572 0.411 0.575
Buffalo KC -100 -120 0.507 0.494 0.522
Detroit Miami -150 130 0.523 0.617 0.534
Jacksonville Dallas 250 -300 0.308 0.515 0.415
NO SF -245 205 0.675 0.542 0.637
Baltimore Tennessee -450 355 0.744 0.58 0.681
Jets Pittsburgh 160 -185 0.333 0.169 0.398
TB Atlanta 130 -150 0.407 0.411 0.461
Oakland Denver 470 -575 0.304 0.442 0.385
Arizona StL -285 240 0.73 0.677 0.675
Seattle Giants -450 385 0.661 0.735 0.631
GB Chicago -325 265 0.708 0.517 0.66
Philly Carolina -300 250 0.761 0.526 0.673

As always, we need to look at the .500 teams as well.  The Saints-49ers game will go a long way towards telling us if New Orleans is the team of the first quarter or the second quarter of the season, and if San Fran is going to pull things together or not.  Buffalo-Kansas City will have one team heading towards the top and the other struggling to make the playoffs.

home away Spread Odds Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Cincy Cleveland -6.5 -110 3.66 1.51 3.4
Buffalo KC 0 -110 0.48 0.8 0.69
Detroit Miami -3 -100 1.1 0.56 1.3
Jacksonville Dallas 7 -105 -5.08 -2.62 -3.61
NO SF -5 -110 6.12 3.06 5.59
Baltimore Tennessee -9.5 -110 8.59 4.38 7.49
Jets Pittsburgh 3.5 -110 -4.46 -5.37 -3.84
TB Atlanta 3 -125 -2.19 -3.32 -1.58
Oakland Denver 11 -110 -5.79 -6.78 -4.65
Arizona StL -6.5 -110 8.55 3.1 7.51
Seattle Giants -8.5 -110 4.96 4.27 4.79
GB Chicago -7 -115 8.19 3.56 7.25
Philly Carolina -7 -100 9.11 4.16 7.51

There’s a potential dearth of high-scoring games this week. Luigi really only has Bears-Packers up there, while the over/unders would include Saints-49ers and Raiders-Broncos (where you can expect the scoring to really only be on one side).  So I’ll take this space to remind you that the models don’t know that Dallas-Jacksonville is in London, and they’re giving the Jags home field advantage.  If Romo can’t play though, that might be about a fair trade-off.

home away Over/Under Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Cincy Cleveland 46 47.02 47.71 46.54
Buffalo KC 42 45.1 43.6 44.76
Detroit Miami 43.5 44.16 45.61 44.45
Jacksonville Dallas 45.5 45.82 42.97 45.48
NO SF 49.5 46.8 49.17 46.27
Baltimore Tennessee 44 44.95 45.99 45.15
Jets Pittsburgh 47.5 47.31 45.53 46.52
TB Atlanta 47 46.11 47.58 45.34
Oakland Denver 50.5 48.85 47.02 47.4
Arizona StL 43 45.9 40.24 45.4
Seattle Giants 44.5 46.25 45.83 45.72
GB Chicago 53 49.34 44.23 48.19
Philly Carolina 47.5 46.88 46.54 46.39

We’re on to Simmons’ picks, and I have to say I enjoyed this one more than most weeks thanks to some good reader emails.  The Andy Dalton/Shawshank email was good, as was the Harbaugh/Shyamalan one.  Don’t quit your day job Bill – just let everyone else do the writing.

home away Simmons Spread Simmons Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
Cincy Cleveland -6.5 Cleveland Cleveland Cleveland Cleveland
Buffalo KC 2 Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo
Detroit Miami -3 Miami Miami Miami Miami
Jacksonville Dallas 7.5 Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville
NO SF -6 NO NO SF SF
Baltimore Tennessee -10 Baltimore Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee
Jets Pittsburgh 6 Jets Jets Jets Jets
TB Atlanta 3 Tampa TB Atlanta TB
Oakland Denver 12 Denver Oakland Oakland Oakland
Arizona StL -7 StL Arizona StL Arizona
Seattle Giants -9.5 Seattle Giants Giants Giants
GB Chicago -7 GB GB Chicago GB
Philly Carolina -7 Philly Philly Carolina Philly

And finally we have the SuperContest picks.  Thanks to Cleveland, everyone already has a win in the bank.  Let’s hope they don’t all go 1-4.  Luigi is going with Cleveland +6, Oakland +11, Giants +9.5, Eagles -6, and Buffalo +2.  Yoshi 2 is swapping in Jacksonville +6.5 for the Eagles. And Yoshi 1 is going with Tennessee +9.5, Oakland, Giants, Cleveland, and Chicago +7.  So a lot of underdogs this week.  Hopefully we see some covers.

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