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NFL DFS

Welcome to the Week 10 edition of our NFL Bets of the Week column. Here, I’ll strive to identify a handful of games per week I feel have profit potential at DraftKings SportsbookFanDuel Sportsbook, 888 Sports and BetStars Sportsbook.

Depending on the circumstance, I’ll hone in on moneylines, point spreads, or projected totals. Sometimes I may even touch on multiple metrics for one game. We’ll strive for quality over quantity here as well — the focus will only be on spots that seem to truly be advantageous. Then, I’ll take you on a fairly deep dive as to why.

Please note we’ll be referencing only legal, regulated sportsbook betting odds and totals here at PlayPicks. A “pick” is a wager that, as of the time of this writing, we feel confident recommending. A “lean” is a wager that we favor over the other side. This play could end up on our card with the release of additional information.

Let’s take a quick look at how things went in Week 9. Follow that up with a leap into three interesting scenarios for Week 10.

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Recapping Week 9

Week 9 winners: Falcons +2

Week 9 losers: Rams + 2

Season record to date:

ATS Picks: 15-7 (.682)

ATS Leans: 1-0 (.1000)

Moneyline: 6-4 (.600)

Over/under: 0-1-1

Week 10 NFL Betting Picks

Atlanta Falcons (4-4) at Cleveland Browns (2-6-1)

DraftKings Sportsbook OddsFalcons -6

FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Falcons -6.5

888 Sportsbook Odds: Falcons -6

Over/Under Total: 50.5

How They Fared in Week 9

The Falcons laid an impressive 38-14 walloping on Washington at home. Matt Ryan threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns. Julio Jones scored his first touchdown of the season as part of a 7-121 line. Tevin Coleman turned 13 rushes into 88 yards and added a pair of receiving scores as part of a 5-68 line through the air.

The Browns played their first game under interim head coach Gregg Williams and new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens. They definitely drew the short straw for their first game, receiving a visit from the Kansas City Chiefs. Cleveland put up a solid fight in the first half before seeing the game get away from them in the third quarter. However, the offensive line appeared to play better under Kitchens’ offensive scheme, allowing only two sacks of Baker Mayfield. The rookie signal caller came within just three yards of his second career 300-yard effort.

He also threw a pair of touchdowns. Nick Chubb continued to look like the right fit as a lead back with a 22-85-1 line on the ground. Both of Mayfield’s touchdown passes went to Duke Johnson, who was officially reincorporated back into the offense to the tune of nine catches for 78 yards.

Notable Matchups and Metrics

The Falcons suddenly look like the NFC contenders many figured them to be before the season started. Ryan appears back to 2016 MVP form (19:3 TD:INT). Jones (60-933-1) is generating his usual stellar production. Mohamed Sanu (28-369-3), Calvin Ridley (33-463-7), and Austin Hooper (33-362-2) have all excelled in supporting roles. And despite losing Devonta Freeman to injury, Coleman has been serviceable with 603 total yards and three total touchdowns. Following a 1-4 start, Atlanta has rattled off three straight wins.

However, the Browns do not exactly make for the best matchup on either side of the ball. Yes, the Cleveland defense has allowed a robust 285.0 passing yards per game. However, they’ve also snagged the third-most interceptions. They’ve allowed a respectable 7.4 yards per attempt as well and have harassed quarterbacks plenty in the pocket — tied with several teams for sixth-most sacks (22). The Falcons have allowed the same amount.

And although the Browns have been much more vulnerable on the ground (138.7 rush yards per game allowed), Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian apparently has made some secret pact to hold Coleman well under 20 carries each week. Atlanta’s top back has yet to top 16 rushes in any contest. The Falcons have logged the sixth-fewest rushing attempts (181) while averaging a pedestrian 4.1 yards per carry.

Then, the Browns have some horses with which to attack the Dirty Birds’ defensive weaknesses. It starts with their two-headed backfield of Chubb and Johnson. The latter is much more renowned for his pass-catching prowess, and rightfully so. However, Chubb has already demonstrated the ability to snare his fair share of passes out of the backfield. That bodes well against a Falcons defense that’s allowed the most (and it’s not really very close) receptions (76) and receiving yards (658) to running backs.

They haven’t been any great shakes stopping them on the ground either: 4.3 yards per carry and eight rushing touchdowns to RBs. Plus, a deeper look at the numbers reveals they haven’t been very good slowing down mobile quarterbacks. The Falcons have allowed 6.6 yards per rush and a pair of touchdowns on the ground to signal callers. Those numbers don’t bode well versus Mayfield, who’s averaging 6.1 yards on his 15 rushes thus far.

By the Numbers

The Falcons are 4-9 (30.8 percent) versus the spread on the road since the beginning of the 2017 season, including 2-5 (28.6 percent) as a road favorite. Atlanta is also 0-6 against the number in non-conference games since the beginning of last season.

The Browns are 3-2 (60.0 percent) versus the number at home this season, including 2-1 (66.7 percent) as a home underdog. They’re also 2-0 against the spread in non-conference games this season.

The Final Word

The Falcons are likely riding high after a convincing win over the Redskins. However, they’re heading into potentially dangerous territory against an opponent they’re not familiar with. The Browns were already aggressive against Patrick Mahomes last week with Williams calling all the shots. They’re likely to come after the less mobile Ryan even more. Moreover, the matchup for the Browns running backs — especially Johnson — could hardly be better. While Atlanta certainly has a chance to pick off their second straight road win, Cleveland has what it takes to cover an inflated spread.

The Pick: Browns +6.5

Detroit Lions (3-5) at Chicago Bears (5-3)

DraftKings Sportsbook OddsBears -6.5

FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Bears -6.5

888 Sportsbook Odds: Bears -7

Over/Under total: 45.0

How They Fared in Week 9

The Lions appeared completely out of sorts in their first game without trusted receiver Golden Tate. They mustered only nine points and allowed Matthew Stafford to be sacked a whopping 10 times on their way to a 24-9 loss to the Vikings. Stafford had his second sub-200-yard game of the last four games (199). Kerryon Johnson was limited to 37 yards on 12 carries.

The top receiving duo of Marvin Jones, Jr. and Kenny Golladay were good but not great by any means. Jones snared six of eight targets for 66 yards, while Golladay secured three of four targets for 46 yards. Playing a quasi-Tate role, Theo Riddick hauled in seven of eight targets. However, they went for just 36 yards.

The Bears continued to look like legitimate NFC contenders. They dismantled the Buffalo Bills by a 41-9 score. Mitchell Trubisky didn’t need to do much, getting by with just 135 yards and a touchdown. Jordan Howard contributed a pair of rushing touchdowns and 47 yards on 14 carries. The defense took care of the rest, adding 65-yard fumble return for a touchdown and a 19-yard pick-six.

Notable Matchups and Metrics

The Bears are starting to get some buzz, the byproduct of a 5-3 record and a pair of consecutive wins. However, has the schedule been a bit too friendly to them?

Chicago’s aforementioned pair of recent victories came against the Jets and Bills. Those offenses were helmed by the turnover-prone Sam Darnold and Nathan Peterman, to whom “turnover-prone” would be way too kind a modifier. The Monsters of the Midway unsurprisingly feasted on both, as well as on a Sam Bradford-led Cardinals squad earlier in the season. Chicago took care of the Seahawks and Buccaneers at Soldier Field as well. However, Russell Wilson threw for a pair of touchdowns while Tampa was completely shell-shocked by the Bears’ offensive barrage in the first half and had to stick to a predictable, pass-happy attack the rest of the way. Even having faced a trio of the most ineffective quarterbacks in the league, the Bears have given up 15 passing touchdowns.

On the other side, the Lions have a much-less publicized but very effective pass defense that could certainly give Trubisky trouble. Detroit has allowed the second-fewest passing yards (1,717) and passing yards per game (215.0). And they’ve collected just as many sacks as the more vaunted unit that will be across the field from them Sunday: 24, good for a tie for fifth most in the NFL.

Detroit collected three sacks and three interceptions off Trubisky in two meetings last season. Granted, stopping the run has been a problem. However, Howard has yet to top 100 yards all season, and he’s averaged over 4.0 yards per rush in only two games. Tarik Cohen could certainly generate a chunk play on any given touch, but his rushing attempts are typically very limited.

The Lions, and by extension Stafford, have a strong record of winning in Chicago over the previous five seasons. They’ve gone 4-1 over that span at Solider Field. Both he and Jones also enjoyed considerable success against many of these same Bears defensive players in 2017:

Stafford: 46-for-64, 536 yards (71.9 completion percentage, 8.4 YPA), 4:0 TD:INT (two games)

Jones: Seven receptions, 170 yards, one TD (two games)

By the Numbers

The Lions are 5-2-1 (71.4 percent) against the spread in division games since the beginning of last season. Detroit is also 7-4-1 (63.6 percent) versus the number as a road team since the beginning of last season, including 3-1 (75.0 percent) this season. The Lions have lost just once to the Bears in their last 10 meetings, with that defeat coming by just three points. Two of Detroit’s three road losses have been by a combined five points.

The Bears are just 3-3-1 (50.0 percent) against the number in division games since the beginning of last season. Chicago has dropped lost nine of their last 10 games to the Lions, losing by an average of 6.2 points.

The Final Word

The Lions and Stafford have an extensive track record of success against the Bears, including at Soldier Field. Detroit has also played well on the road in three of their four road games, and they have the pass defense to give Trubisky trouble, especially if Taylor Gabriel is sidelined with the knee injury he’s currently dealing with. Granted, the Lions will have to improve their pass protection significantly versus a strong Chicago pass rush. However, the number is considerably inflated for a division game, and I see Detroit taking advantage for the cover even if they fall short of a victory.

The Pick: Lions +7

MARVIN JONES SCORES FIRST TOUCHDOWN OF THE GAME (+900) AT FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK

Washington Redskins (5-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)

DraftKings Sportsbook OddsBuccaneers -3

FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Buccaneers -3

888 Sportsbook Odds: Buccaneers -3

Over/Under total: 51.0

How They Fared in Week 9

The Redskins were handed a 38-14 loss by the visiting Atlanta Falcons, snapping Washington’s three-game winning streak. Alex Smith did manage his first 300-yard game in a Redskins uniform (306), and he threw for both a touchdown and an interception. A significant chunk of his yardage was compiled while connecting with Maurice Harris on 10 occasions for 124 yards. The ageless Vernon Davis contributed a 5-62 line. Adrian Peterson, meanwhile, had a clunker of a performance, rushing nine times for 17 yards.

The Buccaneers’ free fall continued in a road divisional battle against the Carolina Panthers. Tampa fell to Carolina by a 42-28 score, allowing a pair of touchdowns apiece to Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey. Ryan Fitzpatrick began his second 2018 stint as the starting quarterback with 243 passing yards and a 4:2 TD:INT. He connected on two occasions each with Adam Humphries and O.J. Howard for his scores. However, a notable amount of Fitzpatrick’s yardage came after the Buccaneers were down by three touchdowns to start the second half.

Notable Matchups and Metrics

The story of the week for the Redskins is injuries — key, season-ending injuries. Receiver Paul Richardson (shoulder) has been shut down for the rest of the year. Starting guards Brandon Scherff (pectoral) and Shawn Lauvao (knee) are both on injured reserve as well. Washington had to sign three linemen off the street this week just to field a full depth chart. That’s not only an ominous sign for Smith but also represents plenty of doom and gloom for Peterson as well. The veteran running back already struggled last week against the normally permeable Falcon defense. With a makeshift line, life could get even harder versus a Bucs defense that’s been stouter than Atlanta versus the run. The same applies to Smith’s chances for keeping his jersey clean, as Tampa has the pass rushers in Jason Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry (if healthy), and Gerald McCoy to take advantage of sub-par linemen.

What’s more, the season-ending absences don’t represent the full extent of Washington’s grim medical outlook. Chris Thompson (ribs) is already ruled out for Sunday’s game. That leaves Peterson and Kapri Bibbs as the top two running backs, and it removes a key outlet receiver from the equation for Smith. Then, Jamison Crowder (ankle) is no surefire bet to return after a four-game absence, even though he’s at least returned to practice on a limited basis. Jordan Reed is also banged up for the first time this season with a back injury and has been limited in practice so far this week. And, while starting left tackle Trent Williams isn’t sidelined for the remainder of the campaign, he’s out this week with the sprained thumb that already cost him Week 9.

The Buccaneers, of course, have their own set of issues. But they do sport a prolific passing offense, one that’s still ranked at the top of the league with 357.0 yards per game. The pass-catching corps is brimming with talent despite some of the major pieces having a tough time last week against the Panthers. The Redskins have had their share of vulnerability in the secondary as well. Despite allowing a respectable 7.3 YPA, Washington is also yielding 254.0 passing yards per game and a 66.6 completion percentage. Moreover, they’ve surrendered 15 passing touchdowns and passing yardage totals of 273 or more for six straight games.

By the Numbers

The Redskins are 5-6 (45.5 percent) versus the number since the beginning of the 2017 season, including 4-4 (50.0 percent) as an away underdog.

The Final Word

The “By The Numbers” section is very thin on this game for a good reason. Most of those numbers actually reflect much more favorably on the Redskins’ chances of covering. However, there are mitigating circumstances at play in the amount of key injuries Washington sustained last week. They’ll enter this game significantly short-handed against a relatively healthy Bucs squad that’s essentially playing for head coach Dirk Koetter’s job and has acquitted itself well at home, coming just four points short of a 3-0 record there. Given the combination of factors, this is a surmountable number for a desperate Tampa team playing in front of its home fans.

The Pick: Buccaneers -3, Buccaneers moneyline (-144)

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