This week’s lines are from USAToday.com (as of Thursday night).
ATS – Against the Spread; SU – Straight Up; O/U – Over/Under
Byes: Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay, Washington
Houston at Chicago (O/U 41)
Let’s begin with the game of the week and a potential Super Bowl preview.
The Houston Texans and Chicago Bears both enter Week 10 with 7-1 records.
Houston is coming off a 21-9 victory against the Buffalo Bills while the Bears disposed of the Tennessee Titans last week, 51-20.
I expect a defensive battle between two of the top defensive teams in the league. The Bears defense ranks 2nd in the league, holding opponents to 15 points per game while the Texans rank 4th at 17.1 points per game.
Texans’ running back Arian Foster will have a difficult time finding holes to run through against the Bears defense which has held opponents to 88 rushing yards per game, 6th in the NFL. Bears running back Matt Forte will find himself in a similar situation with the Texans limiting opponents to 82.2 rushing yards per game, good for 2nd in the NFL.
Cornerback Charles Tillman is expected to play after it was initially suspected that he would miss the game due to his wife possibly being in labor. The plan is to have her induced on Monday if she can wait that long. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been known to disappear in big games in the past and he’ll be under pressure by Texans’ defensive lineman J.J. Watt all night. Texans’ quarterback Matt Schaub is having a decent season but will have his biggest test of the season. The Bears defense should be able to shut down wide receiver Andre Johnson, who isn’t the same player he used to be.
Gimme the Under.
Buffalo at New England (-11 and O/U 52)
The Patriots have owned the Bills for the last decade. Dating back to late 2003, New England is 17-1 SU against Buffalo. The teams last played in Week 3 where the Patriots defeated the Bills 52-28 in Buffalo. In their last three meetings, the average amount of points scored per game has been over 71 points. I expect a ton of points being scored in this game with the Patriots coming out on top. For you parlay players, you may want to consider playing both the side and the total.
Gimme the Patriots minus the points and the Over.
N.Y. Giants at Cincinnati (+3.5)
Last week, the Bengals lost at home to the Denver Broncos by a score of 31-23. They are currently on a four game losing streak. In that span, quarterback Andy Dalton has struggled, throwing six touchdowns and seven interceptions. The Bengals have under-performed this season, the combined record of the teams that they have defeated this season is 6-19.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning is in a slump of his own, throwing only one touchdown and four interceptions in his last three games. He struggled in last week’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, completing only 42% of his passes with zero touchdowns and one interception. Manning should have an easier time this week against the Bengals defense which is among the worst in the league. Even with last week’s loss, the Giants are still among the top teams in the league and should bounce back this week with a win.
The Giants are 3-0-1 ATS on the road this season while the Bengals are 0-3-1 ATS at home.
Gimme the Giants minus the points.
San Diego at Tampa Bay (O/U 47)
Since their bye week, Tampa Bay rookie running back Doug Martin has rushed for 547 yards and six touchdowns with 192 yards receiving and a touchdown in his last four games. During that same time frame, the Bucs have scored an average of 36 points per game. The Chargers can light up the scoreboard when the offense is clicking which I expect to be the case this week against the Bucs pass defense which ranks last in the league giving up 321 yards per game.
Gimme the Over.
Tennessee at Miami (-6)
The Titans were atrocious last week against the Bears, losing 51-20 at home.
They face another good defense this week against the Dolphins, who are holding opponents to 18.6 points per game, 6th in the league. Quarterback Jake Locker is expected to start for the first time since injuring his shoulder in Week 4. After a rough start to the season (six interceptions and only two touchdowns), Dolphins rookie QB Ryan Tannenhill has turned it on lately. Not including his Week 8 game with the Jets, where he left with a quad injury, Tannenhill has completed 65% of his passes for three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Gimme the Dolphins minus the points.
Atlanta at New Orleans (O/U 53.5)
Atlanta remains undefeated (8-0) after defeating the Dallas Cowboys 19-13 last week. New Orleans defeated the Philadelphia Eagles last week 28-13 to improve to 3-5 after losing their first four games to start the season.
These are two high powered offenses with both teams averaging over 27 points per game. In their last meeting (last December), the teams combined to score a total of 61 points. The Falcons only scored 16 of those points but with quarterback Matt Ryan having more freedom with the offense combined with the horrid Saints defense, the Falcons will easily surpass this number.
In their last four meetings in New Orleans, the Over is 4-0 ATS
Gimme the Over.
N.Y. Jets +6 over Seattle
Denver -4 over Carolina
Pittsburgh -11.5 over Kansas City
Baltimore -7.5 over Oakland
Philadelphia +1 over Dallas
Detroit -1 over Minnesota
St. Louis +11 over San Francisco
SEASON RECAP (W-L-T)
Total Record: 52-43-3
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