John Halpin's Week 10 NFL Picks
8 Nov, 2017 by John Halpin
I’m five games under .500 with my ATS picks. Remember the Seinfeld episode where George Costanza did the opposite of every instinct he had? I’m not going to do that, but maybe you should take that approach with my selections. Or use Josh Katzowitz’s.
On to the Week 10 picks, with selections being both straight up and against the spread unless noted otherwise. If you have any questions, catch me on Twitter (@jhalpin37).
(Home team in CAPS.)
Week 9 records: 7-6 SU, 4-8 ATS
Overall: 76-56 SU, 61-66 ATS
Seahawks (-6) over CARDINALS
The 4-4 Cardinals have beaten the Colts, the Bucs, and the 49ers twice. You want me to pick them against the Seahawks with Drew Stanton starting? No way, dude.
The pick: Seahawks win and cover
Jets (-1.5) over BUCCANEERS
The Bucs will be without QB Jameis Winston (shoulder injury) and WR Mike Evans (suspension). However, the Jets have been bad on the road, beating only the Browns so far. I’m torn on this one, but the Jets seem too obvious, and I’m partial to home underdogs. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s revenge!
The pick: Bucs win and cover
Steelers (-10) over COLTS
The Steelers are a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Two stars with an experienced (aging?) quarterback and a decent line on offense, plus a strong defense that ranks second in the league in points allowed per game (16.4) and fifth in yards (286.6). I generally don’t like road teams laying double digits, but I’m making an exception here. The Colts are bad, in case you forgot.
The pick: Steelers win and cover
BILLS (+2.5) over Saints
Underrated game here. These aren’t the soft Saints we’re used to seeing, but the early forecast for Sunday in Buffalo is for temperatures around 40 degrees with some precipitation. Look for the Bills to stay undefeated at home in a close contest.
The pick: Bills win and cover
BEARS (-5) over Packers
So, the Packers miss Aaron Rodgers, huh? They’ve looked miserable in two full games with Brett Hundley under center, averaging 23:04 minutes of possession and 285.5 yards of total offense. Unless the Pack’s decent run defense steps up this week, they’ll rarely get the ball, and we know they won’t do much with whatever possessions they have. Bet the over on 30 carries for Jordan Howard.
The pick: Bears win and cover
REDSKINS (+1.5) over Vikings
The Redskins hope to get some of their injured offensive linemen back this week, and it’s worth noting that Kirk Cousins played pretty well in front of a patchwork group in the victory at Seattle. This game looks like a tossup, with the respectable ‘Skins hosting one of the league’s best defenses. I originally picked Washington, and changed my mind.
The pick: Vikings win and cover
JAGUARS (-4) over Chargers
I still think the Chargers have a shot at the playoffs, and a road win here wouldn’t shock me. But, how do they keep getting screwed with these 1 p.m. ET kickoffs? This is their third one of the season so far. The Jags are the smart pick.
The pick: Jaguars win and cover
LIONS (-12) over Browns
The Browns have lost their three road games by 14, 3 and 16 points. Not terrible, and their defense has been decent when rookie DE Myles Garrett plays (he’s due back from a concussion). I think the Browns could make this a non-blowout.
The pick: Lions win, Browns cover
TITANS (-5) over Bengals
Is it possible for a 5-3 team that didn’t make the playoffs last season to be somewhat disappointing? That’s how I feel about the Titans. Maybe I’m being too harsh. Let’s say they pull out a close one, after which they’ll be 6-3, and I’ll still be underwhelmed.
The pick: Titans win, Bengals cover
RAMS (-11) over Texans
The poor Texans. Everything was going so well, and then DeShaun Watson stepped the wrong way, and their season blew up. Now they’re average defensively, and bad offensively. The Rams are gonna smash them.
The pick: Rams win and cover
FALCONS (-3) over Cowboys
The Cowboys could be shorthanded this week, as Ezekiel Elliott might start serving his suspension (yes, really this time), while Dez Bryant is recovering from ankle and knee injuries. The Falcons are a near-lock at this number if Zeke gets suspended, but there’s no way the spread will stay here if that happens. Let’s take the Falcons for now, and see if things change.
The pick: Falcons win and cover
49ERS (+1) over Giants
When a team loses its first six, seven or eight games, I like to play the “They have to beat SOMEBODY” game. Look at the 49ers’ remaining schedule – the Giants are that somebody. I’ll feel better about it if Jimmy Garoppolo starts over C.J. Beathard, though.
The pick: 49ers win and cover
Patriots (-7.5) over BRONCOS
The Broncos are reeling, having lost four in a row. But even after last week’s debacle at Philly, their defense ranks second in the league with 280.8 yards per game allowed. Giving any opponent seven-and-a-half points at Mile High – even if that opponent is Tom Brady – seems crazy.
The Broncos are more mediocre than bad, and their home field advantage has always been huge. Also, only two of the Pats’ six wins this season have been by double digits. Let’s go for the upset.
The pick: Broncos win and cover
PANTHERS (-9) over Dolphins
The Dolphins are hard to figure. They’re a respectable 4-5, with solid road wins at the Chargers and Falcons. On the other hand, if not for a final-play TD by DeVante Parker in Week 3, they’d be on the losing end of three shutouts. Football Outsiders says that the only team worse is the Browns.
The Panthers’ top-ranked defense is good enough to shut down the Dolphins, but their offense has struggled, resulting mostly in grind-it-out wins. Before laying this many points, I need to see more.
The pick: Panthers win, Dolphins cover
Last week’s selection of the Texans was made before Watson’s injury. Still, a loss is a loss. I would have switched to the Saints or Jags, if you’re curious.
The Rams are this week’s biggest favorite over the Watson-less Texans, with the Lions joining them in the same range over the Browns. We’ve used the Rams already, and our anti-road rule keeps us away from the Steelers. The Lions are a perfectly acceptable choice.
Week 1: Bills (win)
Week 2: Ravens (win)
Week 3: Panthers (loss)
Week 4: Seahawks (win)
Week 5: Eagles (win)
Week 6: Broncos (loss)
Week 7: Rams (win)
Week 8: Bengals (win)
Week 9: Texans (loss)