Vegas pick’em: NFL Week 10 winners against the spread

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John Locher / AP

In this Monday, May 14, 2018, file photo, betting odds are displayed on a board in the sportsbook at the South Point.

Thu, Nov 8, 2018 (2 a.m.)

Week 10: Cowboys at Eagles

Which side would you take in Cowboys at Eagles? (Poll consensus year to date: 8-1)

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Bravo, bettors: You sufficiently sunk the house in Week 9 of the NFL season.

Bookmakers around town are sulking after the public sent them calling for cash reserves to pay out all of the winning tickets last Sunday. Don’t feel sorry for them.

They’re not exaggerating their losses — William Hill sports books, for instance, saw eight of 11 games on Sunday go against the side they needed on Sunday, and that appeared to be on the light side — but they’re also not unable to sustain them. Sports books are barely a month removed, after all, from winning a record $44.3 million on football wagers in September.

They’ll almost surely post big win totals and hold percentages in October and November as well, regardless of one bad week. That’s no reason to stop trying.

Talking Points was no help to all the success, arguably having its worst week of the season. The blog went only a slightly mediocre 6-7 picking every game against the spread, but that included a crippling 0-3 on plays.

Check below for an attempt at a bounce-back in Week 10. Picks are separated into three confidence categories and listed in rough order of confidence. Lines are the best currently available on the chosen side in Las Vegas.

Plays (13-14-1)

Cincinnati Bengals plus-5.5 vs. New Orleans Saints Always sell on teams reaching their peak in the market, and it’s almost impossible to get any higher than the Saints after they beat the previously-undefeated Rams 45-35 as 1.5-point favorites. The Bengals’ offense isn’t as far behind the Saints’ as perceived — New Orleans has gained 6.2 yards per play to Cincinnati’s 5.7 — and the two teams’ defenses are dead-even at 6.3 yards per play allowed.

Carolina Panthers plus-4 at Pittsburgh Steelers The Panthers are one of the most overlooked 6-2 teams in recent memory — and it’s not as if the record is a fluke. Football Outsiders actually calculates Carolina’s expected win total at 6.4. They’re too strong on both sides of the ball to be getting more than a field goal against almost any team.

Dallas Cowboys plus-7 at Philadelphia Eagles Yes, the Eagles have gotten (somewhat) healthier on offense but they’re still struggling just as much as the Cowboys. In the same number of games, Philadelphia has only outgained Dallas by 0.1 yards per play and scored 14 more points. This is too many points for the Eagles to lay.

Leans (24-14-3)

Cleveland Browns plus-5 vs. Atlanta Falcons The Browns were set up for failure last week, enduring a coaching change going into a game against the best team in the NFL to lead to a 37-21 loss to the Chiefs. The Falcons were set up for success, coming off of a bye going into a game against an overrated team in the Redskins that led to a 38-14 victory. It’s all left this spread inflated by a couple points.

Indianapolis Colts minus-2.5 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Preseason expectations are the only thing keeping this spread so diminished, as the Colts have otherwise outperformed the Jaguars in every area. The teams’ point differentials are far more telling than their identical 3-5 straight-up records — Indianapolis is plus-18 on the year while Jacksonville is minus-36.

Tennessee Titans plus-7 vs. New England Patriots Bill Belichick’s tricks may not work as well as usual against protégé Mike Vrabel, who’s shown numerous early indicators that he could be the rare disciple of the New England Patriots’ coach to excel. Vrabel is 5-0 against the spread in his young career when taking at least a field goal on the betting line.

Guesses (33-29-4)

New York Giants plus-3 at San Francisco 49ers 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens was incredible in his debut, throwing for nearly 12 yards per carry with three touchdowns to no interceptions in a 34-3 win over the Raiders, but this line is showing him too much respect for what was ultimately only one start. The Giants are coming off of a bye, and get a bit of schedule reprieve after having faced opponents unanimously tougher than the 49ers so far this season. 

Seattle Seahawks plus-10 at Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles’ defense slipped to 24th in the NFL in giving up 6 yards per play after allowing New Orleans to trample it for nearly 500 years. Not trusting the unit to stop Russell Wilson, who nearly led an upset over Los Angeles last month with three touchdown passes, consistently enough to beat a double-digit number.

Chicago Bears minus-6.5 vs. Detroit Lions Bears’ offense has quietly come along and cracked the top 10 in DVOA this week. Pair an above-average unit on that side of the ball with the NFL’s best defense and Chicago deserves to lay the full 7 points at home against the league’s dregs — a category where Detroit belongs.

New York Jets minus-6.5 vs. Buffalo Bills Don’t expect the Bills’ offensive woes to fix themselves this week, not against a Jets’ defense ranking in the NFL’s top 10 in giving up 5.3 yards per play. New York’s problems have come on offense, where it could be better off with Josh McCown — who threw for 7.3 yards per attempt with 18 touchdowns to no interceptions last year — expected to take over for the injured Sam Darnold — who’s sitting at 6.7 yards per attempt with 11 touchdowns to 14 interceptions in his rookie season.

Washington Redskins plus-3 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hard to back either of these teams in their current state. The Redskins are ravaged with injuries, especially along the offensive line, while dysfunction is reigning supreme with the Buccaneers. Washington still sits atop the NFC East, though, and therefore looks to have more to play for.

Green Bay Packers minus-9 vs. Miami Dolphins Rare case where taking an inflated number might be the better option. This is trending dangerously close to must-win territory for the Packers, which have an advantage the point spread nearly can’t account for with Aaron Rodgers against the Dolphins’ Brock Osweiler.

Oakland Raiders plus-10 vs. San Diego Chargers As difficult as it may sound, principle dictates taking the double-digits with the home team here. The look-ahead line on this game last week was only San Diego minus-7.5, and as bad as Oakland looked in a 34-3 loss at San Francisco, it shouldn’t account for that large of a swing.

Arizona Cardinals plus-17 at Kansas City Chiefs There’s no value in laying this high of a number in an NFL game, especially not with Arizona potentially looking sharper coming out of a bye. The Chiefs become the sixth team to lay 17 points or more in the last 10 years. The previous five teams went 2-2-1 against the spread.

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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