The best bets for NFL Week 10 with specific advice on the Jaguars, Jets and Cowboys games this weekend.
Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars (-4)
Despite entering Jacksonville off a bye, Philip Rivers and the Chargers will be hard-pressed to keep up with the Jaguars.
Jacksonville’s defense is the stingiest in the league by PPG allowed (14.6) and is usually well-rested thanks to Leonard Fournette, who has helped the Jaguars become the third-best team by time of possession. By contrast, no NFL team possesses the ball less often than the Chargers. The Jaguars’ defense is soft against the run (26th by YPG), but Melvin Gordon and the Chargers rank just 25th by rushing YPG. Rivers faces a tall order against Jacksonville’s top-rated pass defense, so any potential last-minute comeback will be that much harder to achieve.
The trends are not in L.A.’s favor either, as they’ve gone just 3-6-1 ATS in their last 10 games. The Jaguars have been a much better bet of late, going 7-3 ATS in the same span. Expect Fournette, who’s had two weeks off, to have a career day against L.A.’s league-worst run defenders as Jacksonville cruises to another win. They are the best bet of the week.
The pick: Jaguars -4
New York Jets (-2.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs haven’t covered since Week 1 and aren’t likely to do so this Sunday against the Jets.
New York is 6-0-1 ATS since Week 3 and enters this tilt off extra rest, as they halted a three-game losing skid last Thursday against Buffalo. They’ll face a diluted Tampa offense that is without quarterback Jameis Winston (sore shoulder) and wideout Mike Evans (suspension).
Ryan Fitzpatrick, whom the Jets are well-acquainted with, will be asked to carry the freight. The Bucs have been reliant on gains through the air all season (second by passing YPG) and will likely suffer in that area on Sunday. Doug Martin has yet to reach the 100-yard rushing plateau this season, so he can’t be trusted to put the offense on his back against a Jets defensive unit that allowed just 63 yards rushing to the Bills last week.
Tampa Bay’s defense has an opposing passer rating of 101.9, the fourth-worst mark in the league, so look for Josh McCown to find his targets early and often as the Jets climb back to the .500 mark.
The pick: Jets -2.5
Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons (-3)
The Cowboys have been rewarding their backers lately, covering in three straight contests, while the Falcons have dropped five straight ATS.
One of the reasons Dallas has done so well lately is that they’re winning the turnover battle; they’re plus-6 over their last three games. Atlanta has been far more careless, posting a minus-3 differential during their five-game ATS losing streak. That stat alone goes a long way in explaining why the Falcons have lost four of their last five games despite outgaining the opposition in four of their last five.
Whether or not Ezekiel Elliott plays, the Cowboys should be able to grind away gains on the ground against Atlanta’s 18th-ranked run stoppers. The Falcons simply can’t be trusted this season, so take the Cowboys as (surprising) underdogs this week.
The pick: Cowboys +3
Best of the rest (picks in bold)
Minnesota Vikings (-1) at Washington Redskins
Pittsburgh Steelers (-10) at Indianapolis Colts
New Orleans Saints (-3) at Buffalo Bills
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (-5.5)
Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions (-13)
Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (-4.5)
Houston Texans at Los Angeles Rams (-11.5)
New York Giants (-1) at San Francisco 49ers
New England Patriots (-7.5) at Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers (-9)