- Ravens go from undefeated Patriots in Week 9 to winless Bengals in Week 10
- Don’t look now, but the Dolphins again have a favorable spread to bet on
- ATS Week 9 Record: 2-2; Overall 2019 Record: 15-21
Thanks to the Green Bay Packers for sending their body doubles to Los Angeles in a total no-show loss to the Chargers. And while we’re here, kudos to the Washington Redskins for wasting an Adrian Peterson throwback performance in Buffalo. Again, we split the difference in Week 9.
But we’re aiming way high in Week 10, leaning on some surprising betting darlings this season. But we start with the hottest “it” team in the NFL, who just knocked off the previously unbeaten Patriots.
Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals
|Baltimore Ravens||-10 (-109)|
|Cincinnati Bengals||+10 (-109)|
*Odds from November 7
Analysis: In a span of seven days, the Ravens go from facing the cream of the crop, to the ocean floor as they visit the last winless team in football, the Bengals. The Ravens have looked all-world, beating up on both the Seahawks and Patriots, covering the spread after not being able to do so in their previous five contests.
— NFL (@NFL) November 4, 2019
The Ravens may line up in an assortment of different backfield formations, but that’s about as exotic as it gets. Ultimately they mash the opposition with the most physical line in football and a bruising set of backs, led by QB Lamar Jackson. Baltimore is churning out an NFL-best 204 yards a game on the ground, and that spells disaster for the Bengals, surrendering an NFL-worst 177.6 rushing yards per game.
Lamar Jackson isn’t a, “running quarterback”. He’s a quarterback who can run!
— Emmanuel Acho (@thEMANacho) November 7, 2019
If that’s not enough, Cincinnati has benched starter Andy Dalton, one of the few competent skill players on the roster, to get a look at rookie Ryan Finley. The last time the Ravens faced a squad devoid of talent appearing discombobulated heading into Sunday, they hung 59 on the Dolphins in Week 1.
Baltimore leads the NFL in scoring at 31.4 points a game, and they beat up on the Bengals in this one.
The pick: Ravens -10 (-109)
Buffalo Bills vs Cleveland Browns
|Buffalo Bills||+3 (-119)|
|Cleveland Browns||-3 (-101)|
Analysis: Talk about disrespect: the 6-2 Bills are three-point underdogs to the 2-6 Browns. Buffalo has made hay with the soft part of their schedule (combined record of teams they’ve beaten is 9-42), but they’ve also shown to be capable on the defensive side of the ball, while their offense plays catch-up.
For your viewing pleasure:
— Jenna Cottrell (@JennaCottrell) November 3, 2019
The Bills have have limited 12 straight opponents to one passing TD or less, the longest current streak in the NFL, while allowing just 16.4 points per game. That keeps Josh Allen in any ball game, and he appears to have found his stride as of late. After throwing six interceptions in his first four games, he has one in the next four, to go with seven TD passes.
Another perfect game today by the Cleveland @Browns as they lose to the Broncos. As a #Browns fan, I'm pleased to see the Browns brilliantly executing their same strategy of losing a lot of games in order to get a high draft pick next year. https://t.co/Q6i7YGZD7S
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) November 4, 2019
Those are figures Baker Mayfield only wishes to have, as he’s tied for the league lead with 12 interceptions, and he’s regressed from his rookie season and the Browns have subsequently fallen flat under all the preseason expectations. Perhaps suspended Kareem Hunt, making his Cleveland debut, could add an extra element to their offense, but their running game wasn’t exactly the issue.
The Browns are 0-3 at home this year, while the Bills are a perfect 3-0 ATS on the road.
The pick: Bills +3 (-119)
Miami Dolphins vs Indianapolis Colts
|Miami Dolphins||+10.5 (-109)|
|Indianapolis Colts||-10.5 (-109)|
Analysis: Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m most confident in the Miami Dolphins for a second week in a row. The Fins have righted the ship after showcasing as one of the worst teams ever to start the year, to just a bad team. They were the worst in the NFL in yards allowed per game in the first four games of the year, but have stabilized to 15th. Better yet, they’ve covered in four straight games, including notching their first win against the sad-sack Jets last week.
Ryan Fitzpatrick throws his 3rd TD of the half!
— NFL (@NFL) November 3, 2019
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 299 yards and three scores against the Jets, and he’s the key to this one, as the Dolphins will be without their starting running back Mark Walton (suspension) and promising receiver Preston Williams (knee).
Minkah Fitzpatrick doing what he does best. Take interceptions to the HOUSE. 96-yarder by the way. pic.twitter.com/dJpvKLafFx
— Touchdown Alabama (@TDAlabamaMag) November 3, 2019
Even then, the feel-good story Colts campaign appears to be leaking some heavy oil. They barely escaped the Broncos in Week 8, then lost their starting pivot Jacoby Brissett to a knee injury last week in a loss to the Steelers. Brian Hoyer is the third man up, and he literally swung the game with a pick-6 to Minkah Fitzpatrick, to help wake up the Steelers.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) November 4, 2019
While their offensive line has surrendered just 16 sacks all season, they’ve given up nine the last two weeks, and the Dolphins are coming off a season-best three sack performance.
The Colts should win, but I like the 10.5 points Miami is getting.
The pick: Dolphins +10.5 (-109)
LA Rams vs Pittsburgh Steelers
|LA Rams||-3.5 (-109)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||+3.5 (-109)|
Analysis: Rams head coach Sean McVay is literally perfect against the AFC in the regular season. He’s led the Rams to a 10-0 mark, and his offense is pumping out 32.2 points per game and dusting the opposition in the process, winning by nearly two touchdowns per game against AFC competition.
Cooper Kupp is destroying the Bengals secondary. #LARams
— Bishman (@bishman03) October 27, 2019
Los Angeles appears recovered from a three-game skid, having won their last two in convincing performances over doormats Atlanta and Cincinnati. They’re 6-2 on the year against the spread, and are a perfect 4-0 ATS on the road this year.
Couple of concerns here: the first is wide receiver Brandin Cooks is out with a concussion. The Rams weapons are so skill-specific it might throw things out of whack. Also, Todd Gurley is clearly not the MVP-level star he was from a year ago. Whatever is ailing his knee is showing up on the stat sheet. He’s a lowly 26th in totes, and 29th in rushing yards, with 355 in seven games, just 3.9 yards a pop.
Andrew Whitworth talks about the Rams' offensive line struggles and what they need to do to give Todd Gurley more opportunities
"There’s moments where we haven’t even gave Todd a chance." pic.twitter.com/aUVVxMmOa8
— Speak For Yourself (@SFY) November 5, 2019
Their offensive line is also not as dominant, and that’s where the Steelers could wreck this betting line. The Steelers are second in the NFL in takeaways with 22, and Pittsburgh’s 29 sacks are the most they’ve crunched QB’s over their first eight games since 2008.
— NFL (@NFL) November 6, 2019
Unfortunately, I don’t believe in Mason Rudolph’s ability to put up points, despite the fact he’s thrown at least a TD pass in his first six career starts. He’s yet to average better than 7.0 yards gained per pass attempt since returning (part of which is to avoid pressure) and that’s bottling up the potential big plays down the field. James Conner is also banged up and will be compromised even if he is in the lineup.
I really wanted to take the Steelers, but let’s wait till McVay’s record gets blemished before going against him.
The pick: Rams -3.5 (-109)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.