Spread picks and scores for every Week 10 NFL Game

Mike Renner makes spread picks and score predictions for every Week 10 game of the NFL season.

| 11 months ago
(AP Photo/Don Wright)

(AP Photo/Don Wright)

Spread picks and scores for every Week 10 NFL Game

As with every week, I’ll be giving a primer of all Week 10 games, as well as highlighting the key match-ups. I’ll give you my picks and how confident I am in each, from a betting perspective. The confidence grade is on our patented -2 through +2 scale.

A positively graded prediction means that I feel good about the bet. If it’s zero, I’m on the fence. And if it’s negative, I really don’t like the line either way. After a rough few weeks, I’m 29-26 on positively-graded picks for the season against the spread, and 32-35-4 on all others.

Lions at Packers (-12)

Right after I say Aaron Rodgers hasn’t had back-to-back negatively graded games since 2010, he puts up another stinker in Carolina. Last year’s MVP doesn’t look comfortable right now behind an offensive line that has regressed, and with a receiving corps that seemingly can’t get open. The Packers are back at home, though, where Rodgers can use the hard count, and the Packers have won every game by at least a touchdowns—but only one by more than 12. The Lions’ 29th ranked coverage unit isn’t near what the Packers have faced in recent weeks, and I anticipate Green Bay’s offense getting back on track.

Prediction: Packers 34, Lions 24
Confidence grade: -1

Cowboys at Buccaneers (-1)

This game is a must-win for Dallas to keep their playoff hopes alive. And if they can’t win this one, they’ll never win with Matt Cassel at quarterback. The Bucs’ linebackers have struggled mightily with gap control all season, and the Cowboys’ offensive line specializes in getting clean linemen to the second level. Also, if the Cowboys running backs are going to start breaking tackles, now is the time. Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David have combined for 30 missed tackles on the season, by far the most of any linebacker duo. Add it all up, and Dallas should be able to control the ball on the ground, and will need just a little contribution from their quarterback to pull out the W.

Prediction: Cowboys 24, Buccaneers 21
Confidence grade: +0.5

Panthers (-6) at Titans

The Panthers defense is too much for most quarterbacks in the NFL to handle, let alone a rookie. Mariota has been playing well this year and has a -1.3 overall grade, but the best defense he’s faced so far is the Bills. The Titans defense, however, is no slouch either. They’ve given up the third fewest passing yards in the league, and their coverage unit grades out in the top 10. While Cam Newton has been superb this season in making something out of nothing, his inaccuracy continues to be costly. Newton’s 69.4 accuracy percentage 26th in the league. Those numbers don’t scream blowout to me.

Prediction: Panthers 27, Titans 24
Confidence grade: -1

Bears at Rams (-7)

The third-lowest scoring team in the NFL favored by a touchdown? That doesn’t sit well with me, especially against an, at a minimum, capable offense like Chicago’s. Jay Cutler has been getting rid of the ball in a swift 2.45 seconds this season, 12th-fastest among quarterbacks, and that should help quell the pressure of one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Chicago’s run defense—which has graded out around average this season—against Todd Gurley is the premier matchup in this one. But we saw last week that the Rams running back can’t do it all by himself, and the banged up offensive line is simply struggling to open up holes right now.

Prediction: Bears 21, Rams 20
Confidence grade: +0.5

Saints (-1.5) at Redskins

The past two seasons, it seems like every time I start to believe the Saints are back to a playoff caliber team, they go ahead and burn me. Brandon Browner has evolved from penalty machine to full-blown liability on the back end, with 16 penalties already this year and the lowest grade of any corner. That being said, the Redskins are competing for futility themselves, with two of our five-lowest graded inside linebackers (Perry Riley and Keenan Robinson) and the two lowest-graded safeties (Trenton Robinson and Dashon Goldson). With all the bad defense being played, it figures to be a shootout again for the Saints, and I’ll side with Drew Brees if that’s the case.

Prediction: Saints 35, Redskins 31
Confidence grade: -0.5

Dolphins at Eagles (-6)

The Dolphins’ run defense continues to be a problem. Our 27th-ranked unit has also given up the second-most yards in the NFL this season. The defensive line simply isn’t separating off blocks and make plays. Ndamukong Suh and Earl Mitchell have combined for 17 stops. Three different defensive tackles have more than that alone. The Eagles’ early season struggles are long gone now, as they’ve put up 150+ yards in their last four games, and their run blocking has climbed up to third best in our grading. With the Eagles’ defense far outweighing that of the Dolphins’, I see Philadelphia running away with this one.

Prediction: Eagles 31, Dolphins 21
Confidence grade: +0.5

Browns at Steelers (-5)

There are so many moving parts in this one at the quarterback position that it’s hard to feel confident. Ben Roethlisberger won’t rule out playing Sunday, and that’s a huge swing between him and Landry Jones. Josh McCown is still trying to go for the Browns, but that doesn’t look likely, either. Johnny Manziel would seem to be the more touted backup, but I’d imagine it would turn into a run heavy affair with two backups in the game. Cleveland is just so awful against the run that I don’t anticipate that boding well for them. They have 11 players on defense with run defense grades of -2.0 or below. DeAngelo Williams has run extremely well this year when given the opportunity, averaging 2.8 yards after contact, and I think he pushes them over the edge.

Prediction: Steelers 27, Browns 21
Confidence grade: -1.5

Jaguars at Ravens (-6)

The Ravens’ reputation as a top-tier defense has started to wear off. They simply don’t have enough complete players, like a Terrell Suggs, who can impact the game against both the run and the pass. Say what you want about Jacksonville’s inability to put up points this year, but they’ve shown they have capable young players at running back, quarterback, and wide receiver. It’s the consistency that’s been the issue. The Ravens’ offense, on the other hand, really has no one capable at receiver without Steve Smith.

Prediction: Jaguars 24, Ravens 21
Confidence grade: 0

Vikings at Raiders (-3)

The matchup Vikings and Raiders fans have been waiting for: Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr were selected within five picks of each other in the 2014 draft, and while Teddy won Round 1, Carr is undoubtedly ahead in their second season. I wrote earlier this week about how far Carr has come in his decision-making since his rookie season. The same article could be written about how much Bridgewater has stagnated. While I think he has a solid game against the Raiders’ poor secondary, I foresee Carr continuing to outplay the Vikings’ quarterback at home.

Prediction: Raiders 27, Vikings 23
Confidence grade: +0.5

Patriots (-7.5) at Giants

Last year’s Super Bowl results don’t even move the needle for me in this one. This is a different Patriots team, and frankly, a different Tom Brady. He’s playing at such a high level that you really can’t have gaping holes in coverage and expect to compete. With PFF’s lowest-graded safety in Landon Collins, and two starting linebackers graded out below -3 in coverage, I can’t see how the Patriots don’t pick the Giants apart.

Prediction: Patriots 31, Giants 20
Confidence grade: +1.5

Chiefs at Broncos (-7)

I was a tad surprised to find out this week that the Chiefs’ offense has actually scored more points this season than the Broncos, and that total yardage-wise, these two teams are separated by a single yard. That doesn’t inspire a ton of hope for me in the Chiefs, but it really makes that seven-point spread look inflated. Add to that the fact that the Chiefs’ haven’t allowed more than 18 points in a game since Week 4, and there is a lot of reason to like Kansas City on Sunday. A big reason for the Chiefs’ defensive success is that they no longer have any glaring weak spots in that secondary. Jamell Fleming was exposed to a -5.7 grade when these teams matched up in Week 2, but now Sean Smith is back, and his +1.0 overall grade has provided stability on the back end.

Prediction: Broncos 17, Chiefs 14
Confidence grade: +0.5

Cardinals at Seahawks (-3)

The Cardinals have been so explosive this year because of their ability to throw the ball downfield. The Seahawks’ cover-three scheme has been so successful in recent years because they completely shut down the deep and intermediate zones and force check downs. Even if Cary Williams and Richard Sherman aren’t having banner years, they are both still in the top-15 corners for yards allowed. I’m siding with the Seahawks in this one because I don’t think Palmer has it in him to keep checking down underneath to move the ball. Eventually, he’ll make a handful of bad decisions down the field, and the Seahawks will capitalize on them.

Prediction: Seahawks 23, Cardinals 17
Confidence grade: -1

Texans at Bengals (-10.5)

The Bengals have what every team wants right now: balance. They can both run and pass at the highest level. Houston, on the other hand, is the complete opposite, as they do both at the lowest level. The Texans currently own the worst yards per carry average in the NFL and third worst yards per attempt through the air. There really aren’t any stats we have that give the Texans any hope here. Bengals in a landslide.

Prediction: Bengals 30, Texans 14
Confidence grade: +0.5

Season Record: 78-54 (64-64-4 ATS)

| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

  • Scott Kohler

    Brees and Saints will take care of business. Their offensive line is bad but they aren’t bad enough to let the Redskins and their nfl low 13 sacks get to Brees. And as we all know, when you give Brees time, he’ll kill you. Plus the Redskins run defense is second worst in the nfl and Mark Ingram will look to get back on track with Max Unger and Terron Armstead leading the way opening up holes (Tim Lelito and Zach Strief have also been highly rated run blockers according to you guys at PFF) The Saints are most likely getting Hau’oli Kikaha back which will also definitely help their pass rush that was non-existent against the Titans in his absence. My score prediction: Saints-35, Redskins-21

    • Lee DiNapoli

      I thought it would be a much closer shootout. That was crazy, though.

  • crosseyedlemon

    Over recent years the Giants have got inside the heads of the Patriots the same way the Patriots have done it to the Colts. New England won’t have to worry about the pressure of a perfect season after this game. If Peyton Manning and Drew Brees can have 7 TD days is there any reason to think Aaron Rodgers couldn’t? This might be his best opportunity to accomplish that. I would be willing to lay 28 points against the Lions this week.

    • snoth cambin

      2 different teams the patriots have a better defense then they did back then the Giants have a horrible defense and no pass rush totally different from recent years

      • crosseyedlemon

        None of that will matter here because this is a game where the psychological factor will work against the Patriots.

  • Sam Doohan

    I’m pretty certain the Steelers come out on top even with Landry Jones at QB. Manziel isn’t a guy who can pick on the secondary so even someone as inept as Blake won’t have that much chance to screw it up. On the flip side Williams is a weapon, a fine replacement for Bell and against the Brownies run D he’ll go through them like butter.

    Over/under on Williams total yards on sunday – 205

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    • crosseyedlemon

      Even if the Steelers set up a buffet table along the sidelines for Williams he won’t be getting yardage anywhere near that.

      • Sam Doohan

        Apparently not even if it’s a joke will he get that much yardage *sigh*

  • Bob Wrotenstien

    “The Seahawks’ cover-three scheme has been so successful in recent years
    because they completely shut down the deep and intermediate zones and
    force check downs”

    Maybe….. but when they use their resources to shut down the outside burners AND stuff the box that’s going to leave Larry Fitzgerald a happy man wandering the middle

    • crosseyedlemon

      Any team that allows Larry Fitzgerald to do his thing is going to regret it. The best hope for Seattle is a strong running game to keep that explosive Cardinal offense on the sidelines as long as possible.

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  • JT

    Cam has his most accurate game of the season against this so called great pass defense….