Week 10 of the NFL season is here. Time to place your bets.
Joe Fortenbaugh: Cardinals -3 vs. Texans. At home in a primetime divisional matchup and fresh off the bye with their season on the line, the Houston Texans tanked a 21-3 halftime lead to the Indianapolis Colts to drop their sixth straight contest. During that stretch, Houston has been outscored by an average of 14.0 points per game, is -9 in turnover differential and has covered the spread only one time. Arizona is coming off the bye, is 5-0 ATS over its last five games against teams with a losing record and is 3-1 ATS at home this season. After what we saw last week, it’s safe to say the Houston gas tank is bone dry.
Tom Mantzouranis: 49ers -6.5 vs. Panthers. The Panthers are 6-0 ATS as road dogs lately, and they're beginning to get some recognition as a team to watch after winning -- and scoring 30+ in -- four in a row. But the schedule matters, people, and dominating the Vikings, Rams, Bucs and Falcons isn't even remotely the same as keeping up with a team like the 49ers, who are similarly hot. OK, if we're being honest, San Fran, like the Panthers, has beaten up on weaker teams to get here. So why do I use the schedule against the Panthers, but not the 49ers? Colin Kaepernick is looking better and better (literally, his QB rating has gone up in four straight contests, with his best rushing performances since Week 2 coming in the last two weeks). He and Vernon Davis, even healthier after the bye, are going to give the Panthers' all-world linebacking crew some fits.
NFL Week 10 Betting Odds
|(Odds courtesy of COVERS.com)|
Stay Away From
Fortenbaugh: Dolphins -2.5 at Buccaneers. What do you get when you pit the NFL’s two most dysfunctional teams against one another on Monday Night Football? Answer: An investment opportunity that makes Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme look like the Whole Foods Markets’ IPO of 1998.
Mantzouranis: Bengals -1.5 at Ravens. AFC North battles are often unpredictable, and I'm not ready to keep faith in a Bengals team that has now lost its two best defenders (Leon Hall and Geno Atkins) until they prove they can still play stifling defense without both. We know that Joe Flacco can ball when he has time to throw, and even considering the Ravens' underwhelming offensive line, not having to face Atkins is a major plus. Another loss effectively ends the Ravens' season, and I have a hard time believing they're ready to pack it in. On the other hand, they've been one of the league's most disappointing teams, and the Bengals have had extra time to prepare. So ... (shrug).
Best Of The Rest
Fortenbaugh: 49ers -6.5 vs. Panthers. The Panthers’ current four-game winning streak has come against teams who are a combined 6-27 on the season. The Niners are surrendering an average of only 12.2 points per game during their current five-game winning streak (5-0 ATS), are off the bye and are 18-7-1 ATS over their last 26 home games. Throw in a cross-country flight for Carolina and you’ve got a very favorable spot for Jim Harbaugh’s crew.
Chargers +7 vs. Broncos. San Diego is 6-0 ATS over its last six games following a loss and have former Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy calling the shots from the sidelines this season. That’s a huge advantage for the Bolts, who could be getting more than a touchdown here once the public starts betting on Manning and the Broncos.
Lions -2.5 at Bears. Short week for Chicago following Monday night’s upset win at Green Bay, extra time to prepare for a Detroit team that is coming off the bye and tied for the lead in the NFC North. Note that the Lions are 6-1 ATS over their last seven meetings with the Bears, while Chicago is 0-5-1 ATS over its last six home games.
Mantzouranis: Eagles +1 at Green Bay. I know Philadelphia's defense has been awful, but you might have heard something about the Packers losing a pretty great player in between talking heads shouting about what's happening in Miami. Their run game has been dominant this year, averaging a league-best 5.0 YPC, and Eddie Lacy is quickly developing into a stud, but I don't expect Green Bay to match points with an Eagles team that is 4-1 on the road this year and has suddenly found stability at quarterback, especially in a short week following an emotional divisional battle with the Bears.
Buccaneers +2.5 vs. Dolphins. Have you heard about what's going on in Miami? The Dolphins are down two starting linemen after already struggling to protect Ryan Tannehill, but more troubling is the talk emerging from their locker room on Wednesday. The players unanimously -- and passionately -- spoke out in defense of Richie Incognito. I've got a hunch Joe Philbin and Dolphins brass instructed the players to keep quiet on all things related to that incident. If the team issued that edict, and the players ignored it, it's a sign Philbin is losing or has lost his locker room. And at that point, it doesn't matter how talented your team is or how many starting linemen are on the field; you're in deep trouble. Plus, the Bucs have to win sometime. Right?
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