Neil Reynolds has stretched out his lead over Jeff Reinebold after again getting the better of his podcast pal in Week Nine. Can Jeff drag things back in Week 10?
Each week, on the Inside the Huddle podcast, Neil and Jeff make their predictions for every NFL game, keeping a tally of their records as the season goes on. Neil is now ahead by two games, successfully picking wins for the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints last Sunday…
Wouldnt it be so in tune with this old AFC West (AFL, really) rivalry for the Raiders to deliver at home against a contender? Sure would. Though any upset would be predicated on Derek Carr playing above even his pay grade. Its been a tough season for the franchise quarterback, who posted a 99.5 passer rating last week despite Oakland putting only three points on the board. Thats partially because Carr took seven sacks instead of tossing incompletions/interceptions. And because he dinked and dunked enough to make Tom Brady blush. (Except Bradys dink-and-dunkage produces wins.) Nearly 200 of Carrs 282 pass attempts have been thrown either behind the line of scrimmage or in the 0-to-10-yard range. Ugh. Philip Rivers, meanwhile, has made hay on play-action, which is where I feel the Chargers will dominate. According to Pro Football Focus, Rivers completion percentage off play-action is 13.8 percent higher than on regular attempts. His play-action passer rating? A perfect 158.3. The Raiders already have no pass rush. What if they get fooled on run fakes?
Its been a good two weeks here with my picks. I went 22-5 straight up the past two weeks and 19-8 against the spread.
In fact, there might be two. The first is Thursdays game matching the Carolina Panthers at the Pittsburgh Steelers. The New Orleans Saints at the Cincinnati Bengals is another intriguing game, although putting Bengals in the intrigue category could draw the ire of some.
This game is the Cowboys season. Lose in Philadelphia and they can forget about the playoffs. They will be 3-6, trending massively downward. There are no more excuses. With Amari Cooper in his second week in the offense, a solid slot receiver in Cole Beasley and, of course, Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield, Dallas should be able to move the ball on an Eagles defense that is currently ranked 17th in yards allowed. In theory. Dak Prescott will have to make accurate, on-time throws. And heres the joy of it: He will see windows, as this Philadelphia secondary has floundered often this season. Can he set up and read the field, anticipating his receivers coming open before they do? If not, the Cowboys will struggle to score. The Eagles D might bend plenty, but the unit still ranks fifth in points allowed. They stop the leaking when they must. A big part of that is their pass rush, which is notorious for making game-changing plays when quarterbacks hold the ball too long …
This is an enticing Thursday night game. Both teams are playing well and come in on winning streaks. Its always tough for the visitor on a Thursday, but I think Cam Newton will keep the Panthers in this one. Steelers win, but its close.
Steelers inactives for Week 10 vs. Panthers
This is a tough turnaround for the Saints, coming off a big home victory over the Rams and now facing a good team coming off the bye on the road. The Bengals are banged up with A.J. Green likely out, which will help the Saints secondary. But I think the Bengals hang around in this one. Saints win it, but its tight.
The Falcons are playing consecutive road games outside, which is a challenge. But the offense has come alive behind Matt Ryan. The Chiefs carved up the Browns defense last week, and this week it will be Ryan. The Browns wont keep up.
This is a tough spot for the Dolphins. They face a good team coming home after two road losses. Oh, that team also has Aaron Rodgers. But I think the Dolphins will hang around here, even with Brock Osweiler at quarterback. The Packers win, but its close.
Also inactive tonight is defensive lineman Daniel McCullers, who was also ruled out on Wednesday. McCullers missed practice all week as well with an ankle injury he suffered last week against the Ravens. With McCullers out, fellow defensive lineman L.T. Walton is active tonight.
Week 10 NFL odds, picks: Steelers beat the Panthers on Thursday, Bucs dump the Redskins, Saints outlast the Bengals
This is essentially a playoff game for these two. Loser has six losses and is likely out of the playoffs. Both teams are coming off a bye, so they are rested. I think this will be a game where the Jacksonville defense plays like many expected before the season. They get the best of Andrew Luck and Leonard Fournette runs to control the clock.
With Gilbert out, Matt Feiler will make his third straight start at right tackle. Feiler was able to get first team reps in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, something that was extremely valuable to him.
The Bears are riding high, while the Lions are coming off a bad showing against the Vikings. Matt Stafford was sacked 10 times, so the Bears front has to be salivating to get after him. Chicago hasnt exactly beat up a lot of good teams to get to first place, so this wont be easy. But they will find a way late to pull it out.
Panthers Inactives No. 11 WR Torrey Smith No. 23 CB Josh Hawkins No. 34 RB Cameron Artis-Payne No. 57 LB Andre Smith No. 63 OG Brendan Mahon No. 65 OT Amini Silatolu No. 98 DE Marquis Haynes
The Cardinals are coming off the bye, so they are rested. That defense better be as it readies to face Patrick Mahomes and his potent offense. On the other side, Josh Rosen looked good in his last game, but this road environment will be tough for him. Even so, I think the Cardinals keep it closer than expected.
2018 NFL picks, Week 10: Bet on the Titans against the Patriots, really
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Thursday night games have a bit of a reputation for not featuring exciting matchups, but this weeks contest is a battle between two of the N.F.L.s hottest teams. The Panthers (6-2) have won three straight with a run-heavy offense that has produced a ton of points and a defense that seems playoff-caliber. The Steelers (5-2-1) have won four straight with a balanced offense that has thrived around running back James Conner. There was some mild concern that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would miss the game, but Pittsburgh appears to have him and the rest of its key players in place and should take care of business at home. Pick: Steelers -3.5
NFL Week 10 Picks Against The Spread 2018: Predictions ATS, Updated Odds For Every Game
This game pits former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel, now the coach of the Titans, against Bill Belichick. That will be interesting. The Titans impressed Monday night in beating Dallas, but New Englands defense will slow Marcus Mariotas little surge and the Patriots will go into Nashville and handle the Titans.
The Redskins are really banged up on offense, with the line down three starters. The Bucs have defensive issues, but even those wont matter against the Washington line. Tampa Bay will start Ryan Fitzpatrick here again at quarterback, and I expect him to have a good day. The Redskins defense wont be able to pull this one out for the offense.
NFL 2018 Week 10 picks against the spread: DMans winners include Steelers, Bears, Chiefs, Eagles
This is the dog game of the day, featuring two teams playing for next year and beyond. But the Bills are woeful on offense – no matter who plays quarterback. The Jets might be without quarterback Sam Darnold, which means Josh McCown will start. The Buffalo defense has played well for the most part this season and will keep them in this game.
The Chargers are rolling, while the Raiders are reeling. The Oakland defense is a mess and Philip Rivers is having an impressive season. Look for Rivers and the offense to roll up a big number in this one. Chargers take it.
The Lions fired special teams coordinator Joe Marciano this week, following the teams loss to Minnesota where the Vikings had one kick return for 15 yards and a punt return for 24 yards … all while Detroits offensive line gave up 10 sacks. But sure, blame the guy in charger of the coverage and return teams. First-year coach Matt Patricia, considered a great defensive mind during his time with the Patriots, is in charge of a Lions defense that ranks 31st in the league. The Bears are alone in first place in the NFC North, thanks in large part to the NFLs top-ranked defense. Second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky hasnt been great — in fact, hes been downright frustrating to watch at times because of his inconsistency — but hes been replacement-level this season, 18th overall in terms of value per place, one spot ahead of … Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The Rams suffered their first loss last week, and now must regroup against a division rival that is coming off a loss. The Seahawks will pound it on the ground against a Rams defense that has been vulnerable to the run. They will try and keep Jared Goff off the field, and it will work to keep the game close. But the Rams will win it.
Tonight, Week 10 opens with the Steelers hosting the Panthers in an intriguing inter-conference matchup. The Steelers hold a half game lead on the Bengals in the AFC North, while the Panthers are a game back of the Saints in the NFC South. This is a huge game for both teams. The Steelers are a four-point favorite, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. Carolina is playing really well right now, with three straight wins under their belt. I think theyre in for a stumble this week, so Im going to lay the points with Pittsburgh.
The Cowboys must have this game to have a chance to win the division. They looked awful against the Titans Monday night on offense and the heat is on Dak Prescott. The Eagles are coming off a bye, so they have the big edge there. They also look to be rounding into form. Their defense gets the best of the Dallas offense as the Eagles win it.
The Giants are coming off a much-needed bye, while the 49ers will be rested as well having played last Thursday. The 49ers are expected to start Nick Mullens again in this one after his impressive showing against the Raiders. Can he keep it up? I dont think it will look quite the same. The Giants arent as bad as the Raiders and the bye did them good. Giants take it.
Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When hes not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an… Full Bio