Below are my confidence level straight up picks for Week 10. The picks with a confidence level of 1-5 (a group that went 16-5 over the past two weeks) will be available to all NFL Pickwatch readers.
The selections with a 6+ confidence level, a group of games that have netted a 175-70-2 record since 2020 (including 18-10 since Week 4), will be available exclusively to Pickwatch Pro subscribers. Pickwatch Pro is a great service that allows subscribers to download the best expert data in the industry, see team-by-team winners for every expert, and provides access to Upset Watch, which has been the ultimate cheat code to beat the sportsbooks over the last six years. Combine those elements with the top level of my weekly picks and it makes for a must-subscribe service for anyone serious about betting.
Atlanta at Carolina
Steve Wilks got his team to play at or above its talent level for a while, but that came to an end last week when the Bengals obliterated the Panthers last week. Cincinnati did this in large part with a powerhouse ground attack that gained 241 yards against Carolina. That came on the heels of the Panthers allowing 167 rushing yards against Atlanta in Week 8 and doesn’t bode well for a rematch with the Falcons, as Atlanta has tallied 151+ rushing yards in all but two of its games. Carolina is also going through more coaching changes, as Wilks fired the defensive back and defensive line coaches after last week’s debacle, so Atlanta should notch its third straight win in this series.
KC’s pick: Atlanta
Confidence level: 5
Seattle vs. Tampa Bay (at Munich, Germany)
This the NFL’s first game in Germany and it was made to showcase Tom Brady, but the reality of this game is that Geno Smith is outplaying Brady by a notable margin this season. Smith has thrown for 2+ touchdown passes in all but two games this year and his 73.1 percent completion rate ranks third best in league history for a single season. Seattle also has Kenneth Walker III, a superb power back who is putting together a strong case for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Tampa Bay is playing better on defense in many ways, but it has allowed 151+ rushing yards in four of the past six games. Add that to the Buccaneers scoring 18 or fewer points in three of the past four games and Seattle is the preferred selection.
KC’s pick: Seattle
Confidence level: 4
Minnesota at Buffalo
The Vikings have a formula for winning, as Kevin O’Connell’s offense has led to Minnesota scoring 20+ points in all but one game and 23+ points in all but two games. The Vikings also don’t turn the ball over much, having tallied only a single game with more than one giveaway, and they get ball back quite often, posting at least one takeaway in every game this year. Buffalo could have offset those elements quite effectively a few weeks ago, but Josh Allen hasn’t been the same since he hurt his elbow. That is a major factor in Buffalo having four giveaways over the past two weeks, but that risk taking hasn’t been there for a while now, as the Bills have posted two giveaways on four occasions since Week 4. Injuries to their safeties have also caused the Buffalo rush defense to struggle, as it has allowed 382 yards over the past two weeks. Put it all together and the Bills are ripe for an upset against a quality team.
KC’s pick: Minnesota
Confidence level: 2
Detroit at Chicago
Chicago has lost five of its last six, but the Bears can take solace in that it now looks like Justin Fields is developing into a topflight quarterback. Fields set a single game regular season record for rushing yards by a quarterback and that has led Chicago to rush for 237+ yards in four straight games. To put that into perspective, it makes the Bears one of only six teams in NFL history to rush for 230+ yards in four straight games, a feat that was last accomplished by the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers club that had Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier. Detroit played its best defensive game of the season last week, and the Lions offense could turn this into a shootout since Chicago has allowed 84 points over the past two weeks, but the Bears rushing prowess is enough to land this contest in its column.
KC’s pick: Chicago
Confidence level: 3
Cleveland at Miami
The Dolphins had some lower scoring games earlier this year that ended in losses, so Mike McDaniel decided to kick things into gear by going with the shootout mode. That approach has been more successful, as Miami is now 3-0 in contests where both teams score 24+ points. Cleveland has not fared as well in those types of matchups, as the Browns are 1-2 in shootouts, so the key for Cleveland will be to slow things down. They may have success in doing so if last week’s 252 rushing yards allowed total by Miami is an omen, but the Dolphins gave up fewer than 100 rushing yards in three games preceding that. Combine that trend with how well Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle are playing, and it lands this one on the Miami side of the ledger.
KC’s pick: Miami
Confidence level: 4
New Orleans at Pittsburgh
The Saints at one point had the makings of a fairly powerful offensive attack and that led to New Orleans scoring 24+ points in six of its first eight games. That prowess seemed to leave the Saints last week in the uninspired game it played against Baltimore on Monday night, and it may come up short against a Pittsburgh defense that has played much better in coverage of late. The problem for the Steelers is that their offense has been a disaster for the entire season, as Pittsburgh hasn’t been able to block, throw, catch, or run well this year. The wild card here is Mike Tomlin, as is a master of getting his team to play above its talent level in situations like this. Tomlin seemed close to losing the club in the loss at Philadelphia, but the time off should allow this home contest to right the ship somewhat for the Steelers.
KC’s pick: Pittsburgh
Confidence level: 1
Denver at Tennessee
Maybe more than any coach in the NFL, Mike Vrabel knows exactly what his team’s identity is. He is a true believer in power football and stuck with that identity after his team started out 0-2 and it led to five straight wins and almost resulted in a road upset over a Kansas City team that just couldn’t close out drives against the Titans physical and aggressive defense. Denver has a physical and aggressive defense of its own, but that platoon has allowed 346 rushing yards over the past two weeks. Blend that with a matchup against Derrick Henry, the Broncos offensive woes, and a home game for Tennessee and it should equal a win for the Titans.
KC’s pick: Tennessee
Confidence level: 4
Arizona at LA Rams
The Cardinals have a volatile quarterback in Kyler Murray, but that trait is part of why Arizona has scored 89 points over the past three weeks despite having recently lost Marquise Brown to injury. That scoring largesse only led to one win, as the Cardinals gave up 77 first downs, 1,296 offensive yards, and 99 points in those contests. That might be a concern against a competent offense, but the Rams have been anything but that, as Los Angeles has scored more than 14 points only once since Week 3. The Rams can’t run the ball, can’t pass block, and may not have Matthew Stafford, who is in the concussion protocol and might not be cleared in time. These factors are more than enough to give this pick to the Cardinals
KC’s pick: Arizona
Confidence level: 2
KC’s 6+ confidence level picks, a group of selections that have gone 175-70-2 since 2020 (including 18-10 since Week 4), are available exclusively to Pickwatch Pro subscribers.