Following a perfect 3-0 performance last week, we are now 21-11-2 for the season, which is close to a 66% success rate. With 9 weeks in the book and 8 more to come, let’s see if we can close out the season on a good note. It all starts this week with 2 main picks, and a couple of secondary picks that will also be official plays, but that I like a little bit less than the first two.
PICK #1: Buffalo Bills +2.5 vs New Orleans Saints
Why do I always end up betting games involving the Buffalo Bills this year? I mentioned last week that I was 4-0 predicting the outcome of their games in 2017, so with another correct pick on Week #9 I’m now 5-0. Can we remain perfect?
I’ve only found arguments supporting the Bills, so it made the choice easy. First of all, you know I tend to fade teams coming off an easy win, whereas I also tend to back those who just suffered a tough-to-swallow or an embarrassing loss. Well, in this case we’ve got both occurrences.
On one side, you’ve got the Saints coming off an almost effortless 30-10 win over the Bucs, a game in which Tampa’s hopes of making a comeback vanished when quarterback Jameis Winston was knocked out of the game after one half.
Meanwhile, the Bills put out a pathetic performance against the Jets, turning the ball over three times and allowing 7 sacks to a Jets defense that had recorded just 11 sacks in the entire season thus far! Playing so badly on national television is certainly one of the main reasons why 70% of spread bets have gone on New Orleans so far. The Saints’ 6-game winning streak helps too!
The Bills are getting three extra days of rest after playing the Thursday night game, which is good news for them because they needed time to regroup. They will be looking to rebound in front of their home fans at New Era Field, where they are a perfect 4-0 this season. The players have adopted very well the “Defend our dirt” mantra that was installed by new head coach Sean McDermott. The organization hanged a big sign with this slogan on it near the Bills’ locker room. Each player has a jar full of rubber, sand and dirt picked up at New Era Field and their practice field.
I’m betting on Buffalo to keep its perfect record at home, or at worst to lose this match by 1 or 2 points.
PICK #2: Cleveland Browns +13 at Detroit Lions
I also like this play quite a bit. The rest factor, which is critical when handicapping NFL games, is definitely in favor of Cleveland. They are coming off their bye week, so they’ve had plenty of time to analyze Detroit’s tendencies. Meanwhile, the Lions are losing one day of preparation after having fought their archrivals in Green Bay on Monday night.
We are also observing a clear sandwich game for Detroit. They have just faced New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Green Bay (all good/rival teams) and they are expecting two divisional rivals next with Chicago and Minnesota. The current game against the Browns is very clearly low in the list of priorities. I can easily see Detroit letting down and struggling to beat such a big spread.
That’s especially true considering the Lions are coming off a critical win at Lambeau Field, where they had lost 24 of their previous 25 meetings. They will need to get their head straight and focus on the Browns very quickly.
At this time, it is unknown who will start at quarterback for the Browns, but who cares? Whether it’s DeShone Kizer or Kevin Hogan, they seem equally bad and I’ll still be taking Cleveland in this game.
PICK #3: Seattle Seahawks -5.5 at Arizona Cardinals
As mentioned at the beginning, there’s a gap between my first two picks and my last two. Don’t get me wrong, I still like the last two enough to make them official plays, but I don’t recommend betting as much.
I get it. All NFL teams are pretty motivated for all of their games, but I sincerely believe the level of motivation can still vary from one game to the other. In this case, I’ve got reason to believe the Seahawks will be playing like mad men, much more so than Arizona. First, Seattle just dropped a home game against the Redskins and will be looking to bounce back in a big way. They will also be looking to avenge a couple of disappointing meetings with the Cardinals last year, where Arizona prevailed 34-31 in Seattle before both teams featured the lowest scoring overtime tie in NFL history, a 6-6 tie on Sunday Night Football. It was one of the craziest games I had ever seen, as both kickers missed an easy potential game-winning field goal in overtime.
The Cards beat the 49ers by a 20-10 score last week, and we all know that playing San Francisco is not the best preparation prior to a matchup with Seattle.
Drew Stanton will be Arizona’s quarterback and his numbers against Seattle are not good. In two appearances versus the Seahawks, he completed just 22 of 44 passes for 223 yards, no touchdown passes and 3 interceptions. Since 2014, he has thrown 11 TD passes versus 12 picks. Not good.
I expect Seattle to explode and break this game open.
PICK #4: Minnesota Vikings -1 at Washington Redskins
My last pick of the week goes to Minnesota who benefited from a bye week. They will be looking for revenge after losing 26-20 in Washington last year. The Skins have just logged a big win in Seattle and may still feel too good about themselves.
Minnesota is a very tough opponent, even with Case Keenum at the helm who has been doing a very good job this season. He’s surrounded by a good cast of players, including the duo of Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray in the backfield, wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, not to mention the reliable Kyle Rudolph from the tight end position. I trust their offense much more than Washington’s, even though both teams are showing approximately the same number of points scored. Washington’s receiving corps worries me quite a bit. Their current leading receiver is a running back, their best tight end, Jordan Reed, is questionable to play and their leading WR, Jamison Crowder, is out. They are not scaring many people from this standpoint.
Also notice how Minnesota’s point differential this season is +44 versus -17 for the Skins.
Ok so those were my four official picks for Week #10 in the NFL! If you wish to open an account with a new sportsbook, don’t forget to take a look at my list of 20 online sportsbooks to which I have awarded a grade out of 100%. Check out the “Sportsbook Reviews” section for details.
Good luck on your plays this weekend, thanks for reading, we’ll talk again soon. Bye bye!