Which NFL underdogs are most enticing in Week 10? Just three games have a spread of over a touchdown, so expect plenty of close games. Below are our experts picking the games against the spread this season, along with each of their picks against the spread and best bets for this weekend's slate.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-13)
In a tough week, I'll take the big one. The Saints have gotten hot and typically stay hot; over the past two seasons, New Orleans is 11-1 against the spread after two consecutive covers. Admittedly, the Julio Jones-Calvin Ridley tandem gave the Saints some problems a year ago, and if Atlanta is going to hang around you figure it will be the passing game cooking, like it has been of late. But Atlanta is 1-11 ATS coming off a game in which it had 300-plus net passing yards the past two seasons. —Gary Gramling
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (-2.5)
Making the Lions your best bet never seems like a smart thing, especially when they're on the road. Plus, this will be the second road game in a row for Detroit, who lost in Oakland last week. But Matt Nagy is doing a terrible job coaching the Bears and Mitch Trubisky has no business being a starting quarterback in the NFL. Those two things make the Lions, who are getting points here, the top play of the week. The pathetic Bears offense won't have a chance to keep up with the Lions, who are averaging 25.5 points per game. The Bears have scored more than 25 points in a game once this season—Week 3 against the Redskins. —Jimmy Traina
Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns (-3)
Hold your nose.
First, the market is telling you all you need to know about Buffalo. The 6-2 Bills opened as a 2.5-point road underdog to the 2-6 Browns, and the line has now shifted to Browns -3.
The market doesn’t think much of the Bills, and for good reason: Buffalo has benefitted from an incredibly fortuitous schedule. Its six wins this season have been the Jets, Giants, Bengals, Titans, Dolphins and Redskins. The Bills have only left the New York/New Jersey area once so far this season before this trip to Cleveland. The quarterbacks in those games: Sam Darnold, Eli Manning, Andy Dalton, Marcus Mariota, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Dwayne Haskins. So, four of those QBs have been benched this season, one is a rookie and the other first battled mono and now is battling ghosts.
To be fair, the 2019 version of Baker Mayfield fits right in with that motley crew of struggling quarterbacks. But I don’t think he’ll be throwing the ball often. The Bills’ defense has gotten a lot of love this season, but it ranks 30th in rush defense DVOA. Adrian Peterson just averaged 6.0 yards per carry against the Bills this past weekend, and the Eagles’ lackluster ground game was able to put up 218 yards on 5.3 YPC the game before. This should be a heavy Nick Chubb game.
Don’t trust Freddie Kitchens to come up with a gameplan attacking the Bills’ biggest weakness on defense? He is practically forced to because the projected weather in Cleveland this Sunday is 15 mph winds. And to give Kitchens some credit: When the Browns went up against a Patriots defense that hasn't been as strong defending the run (13th in DVOA) compared to opposing passing attacks (second in DVOA), Cleveland ran the ball early and often with Chubb. The Browns had to air it out more later on after the game got out of hand following a few turnovers. Chubb finished with 131 yards on 6.6 yards per carry vs. New England, and could see even more success here.
Yes, it’s the Browns, but I have to go with what the market is telling me and a clear advantage for Cleveland in scoring on this Bills defense. Take advantage of everyone ripping the disappointing Browns, and fade this overvalued Bills team. —Max Meyer
Season record: 18-8-1