The games are beginning to garner more importance in the National Football League as we have passed the Week Ten mark. Every game now seems to have some sort of impact on the pursuit of the playoff race and, especially with the weather becoming cooler in the North, defenses are beginning to flex their muscles. Sometimes, however, those trends don’t seem to hold up and do not translate into the sports betting field.
There is plenty of information that you can take in when you’re making your wagers. One of the most popular things to look at is a team’s performance against the spread (ATS). This does do a good job of determining whether a team is performing at the level it is believed that they should be. If a team is on the plus side of covering, then they’re doing what they should; if they are on the minus side, then they are sometimes over- or underestimating their opposition and not playing at an elite level.
These trends don’t always play out the way they should, however. A prime example of this is the 2023 Pittsburgh Steelers. They have been outgained by their opposition in their first eight games this season, normally a trend that lends itself to a losing record and fanbases howling for the scalp of the head coach. Instead, Steeler head coach Mike Tomlin has been able to guide the team to a winning record (6-3) and the team is in the thick of the fight for the AFC North title.
For the NFL Week Ten slate, we came out with a winning record (2-1). However, that was counterbalanced by our Week Nine performance (1-2), which means that the only ones making any money right now are the sportsbooks. Let’s see how we got to that point in our NFL Week Ten recap.
PICK #1 – Houston Texans v. CINCINNATI BENGALS
Pick – Texans +6.5
Result – Texans 30, Bengals 27 (WIN)
This Texans team has turned into a fun one to watch. QB C. J. Stroud is the prohibitive favorite to take down the AFC Rookie of the Year honors as he masterfully leads the Texans into a position that nobody thought they would find themselves in during 2023 – a playoff position. If the playoffs were to start today, the Texans would be the #7 seed in the AFC and, with the way they are playing, would be a team that nobody wants to go up against.
The Bengals, on the other hand, must find the mojo that has made them a perennial playoff team. Just when Joe Burrow looked like he was getting it together, his receiving corps was cut down with an injured Tee Higgins and a gimpy LaMarr Chase. The Bengals need to get healthy, and quick, or they will find themselves on the outside looking in come playoff time.
PICK #2 – New York Giants v. DALLAS COWBOYS
Pick – Giants +17.5
Result – Cowboys 49, Giants 17 (LOSS)
When you don’t even score more points than what the spread was, that isn’t a good indicator that you even came close in the wager. It isn’t that the Giants didn’t make an effort in the game, it is simply a fact that the Cowboys were THAT GOOD. It seems to me, though, that the Cowboys do this every year – they beat up on the bottom feeders in the league but, when it comes to playing serious contenders (the Eagles and others), then they fold up. The ‘Boys lost to the Eagles, the 49ers…and the Cardinals. Yes, the Cardinals did beat the ‘Pokes…that’s why I have a hard time crowning the Cowboys for anything right now.
PICK #3 – Detroit Lions v. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Pick – OVER 48.5
Result – Lions 41, Chargers 38 (WIN)
In my breakdown of this game last week, I said the teams were going to go up and down the field against each other, and they did. There was a total of THREE punts in the game, and QBs Jared Goff and Justin Hebert led their offenses to a total of 954 yards of total offense. The difference came in the running games, as the Lions toted the rock for an astounding 280 yards against the Chargers 98. If the Lions can continue this type of attack, then they’re going to be a force in the NFC.
NFL Week Ten (and Nine) Results – 3-3
NFL 2023 Season Results – 13-16-1