Bye Weeks: Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots and New York Jets. To bet any of this weeks games, remember to check our our list of the top NFL betting sites.
The Eagles come into this game after a dominant performance against the Raiders at Oakland and are just one game behind Dallas with a 4-5 record in the NFC East. Nick Foles threw a whopping seven touchdowns in the 49-20 win. He puts head coach Chip Kelly in a tough spot after the performance and makes it nearly impossible for Michael Vick to regain the job, even when he is healthy.
While Philadelphia is especially strong offensively, they have been terrible defensive team for much of the season. They have allowed a three hundred yard passer six times this season and their rush defense has been poor, as well.
Injury wise, Vick remains limited, locking in Foles for a second straight start. Riley Cooper dealt with an illness earlier in the week but will play Sunday. Tackle Jason Peters left with a pectoral injury late in the third quarter of last week’s win but will play in Sunday’s contest. He is a key part of the Philadelphia offensive line.
Green Bay suffered the biggest injury of their season and perhaps in the NFL this year with former-MVP Aaron Rodgers suffering a broken collarbone. It happened early in the first quarter as Rodgers took a sack. He immediately left the game and did not return.
Journeyman quarterback Seneca Wallace took over for Rodgers and was subpar in his absence. The Packers fell 27-20 at home to the Chicago Bears to post a 5-3 record heading into this week. The offense changes a bit under Wallace who did not look like he wanted to throw downfield. While he has some running ability, the whole offense takes a giant step down. Expect Green Bay to rely heavily on rookie running back Eddie Lacy.
Overall, the Packers defense has been poor but has shown the ability to generate turnovers and knock out the opposing teams best weapon on offense. Still, the rest of the offense seems to get their yards and touchdowns against this below average unit.
The health of Clay Matthews is still to be determined, but he looks to be ready to play after thumb surgery. He will, however, be playing with a cast on his right hand. While James Jones returned last week, he played on just 28 snaps. He will be healthier this week and looks to be a bigger part of the offense.
Opened at Green Bay -9.5 but dropped quickly to -1 after Rodgers’ injury news hit. Almost every book online has the game at -1 currently. The total also came down from the opening number of 52 after the injury news and now stands at 47.
This game presents a compelling scenario for Green Bay, a team that desperately needs a win to keep pace the NFC North but has lost the best quarterback in the league. While backup Seneca Wallace looked poor in action last week, he has another week of practice in him, and I would expect to see a much better performance.
Let’s not forget the Packers have some tremendous skill players in Nelson, Jones and Eddie Lacy. The Eagles defense is not imposing by any stretch of the imagination and no matter who is behind center these guys should be able to carry the load, at least somewhat.
The Packers are also at home and face an Eagles team that has continuously been Jekyll and Hyde all season long. Following up wins with losses, and inconsistency in back-to-back games.
The Packers -1 take care of business at home.
Bet now at www.bovada.lv, America’s safest and most reliable NFL sportsbook.
The Lions, 5-3 in the NFC North are coming off a bye in Week 9 as they face their NFC North division rival Bears at Soldier Field in a huge game. Detroit’s win last week was a thrilling 31-30 affair against the Dallas Cowboys, in which Matthew Stafford snuck the ball into on the end zone in the final seconds. It also marked one of the best performances in NFL history by a receiver, a 329 yard, 14 catch, one touchdown game by Calvin Johnson.
The Lions are a mixed bag on defense, but seriously struggle when it comes to rushing the passer. They average just over 1.5 sacks a game, good for third worst in the NFL. They give up a fair bit of points to opposing defenses, but that stat is marred by opposing offense trying to match the Lions scoring output on offense.
Defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah has sported a walking boot in practice this week and is all but confirmed out in Sunday’s contest. He went down in Week 8 with an ankle injury. He will be a tremendous loss to an already poor pass rushing line. Nate Burleson did practice this week, but the wide out is not expected to make his return from a broken arm just yet. He is on track for Week 11.
The Bears are fresh off a Monday Night win against Green Bay and also have their injury concerns. Most importantly is the status of QB Jay Cutler who has said he expects to play in Week 10. It is a shocker as he was expected to miss four weeks minimum after going down in Week 7 with a groin injury. Backup Josh McCown was excellent in his only start of the year against the Packers on Monday, leading the Bears to a 27-20 victory.
The normal stout defense of the Bears past few years has entirely disappeared. Charles Tillman finally played last week but looked terrible, and the unit is allowing over 28 points per contest. Their pass rush is almost nonexistent, and they are getting gashed in the run game, as well.
Chicago opened at +3, but the game has been moved to pick after the announcement that Cutler will start. The total is among the highest this week at 52.5, moving up several points from the opening number of 50.
Detroit won a Week 4 matchup at Ford Field, 40-32 and the Bears are even more banged up in this game and also are coming off a short week. Cutler’s starting the game isn’t necessarily a terrible thing for Lions backers as he is coming off an injury and could potentially have a worse game than McCown, who has looked excellent in relief.
Mostly though, I don’t think the Bears defense can stop the potent offense of the Lions, especially with them well rested and coming off a bye. Their injuries to linebackers Lance Briggs and others and continued poor play in the secondary make this defense unable to stand up to Detroit’s explosive offense. This game could get ugly in a hurry.
The Lions pk get the crucial division win on the road.
There are few strong spots for the Rams this season, especially after quarterback Sam Bradford went down with a season ending injury in Week 7 in a loss against the Carolina Panthers. Kellen Clemens took over since that game and the results have been four straight losses, including last week’s 28-21 loss against Tennessee which dropped the franchise to 3-6.
On offense, Zac Stacy has been the lone bright spot. The rookie rusher has taken the league by surprise after breaking out for a 150-yard all-purpose, two touchdown performance in the loss against the Titans. They have relied heavily on the run since the injury to Bradford, and will once again plan to give Stacy a hefty workload Sunday.
The defense has been poor in most areas, besides their pass rush which ranks second best in the league with over four sacks per game. Their rush defense has been the worst in the league behind the Jaguars and has given up 150 yards against three different running backs this season.
The Colts still have a stranglehold over the AFC South with a 6-2 record after a phenomenal Monday Night Football comeback against the Houston Texans. T.Y. Hilton exploded for three touchdowns and over 150 yards receiving in the win, doing his best to make up for the loss of Reggie Wayne. However, running back Trent Richardson has still been a massive disappointment. He rushed for just 20 yards on 8 carries last week and has not topped 60 yards once since his trade to the Colts.
Defensively, the Colts have played excellent pass coverage for much of the season but were torched last week by Case Keenum and Andrew Johnson of Houston. Still, you have to like their matchup against the anemic Rams passing attack. Against the rush, they are rather poor, giving up 124 yards per game but have just allowed four rushing touchdowns all season.
Injuries to the offensive line don’t help the run game’s cause and Trent Richardson has missed a few days of work this week, as well. However, he remains on track to play against the Colts. Darrius Heyward –Bay left last week’s game after a hard hit but did not receive a concussion.
The game opened at Indy -12 but has come down after some sharp action on the Rams to just -9.5 at most shops. The total opened at 44 and has not moved.
I think the sharps are right on this game. Indianapolis has looked shaky, to say the least, in recent weeks, and while their offense is still relatively effective, it is much less potent without Wayne. The struggling running game is also a massive issue, and with the Rams secondary improving, it is an even larger problem that may be facing the Colts this week.
The Rams rush defense is terrible, but the Colts have not been able to run on anyone this year, despite the matchup. 9.5 points are more than enough for me to fire a bet on the Rams as I think they have a reasonable chance of keeping this one close.
Take St. Louis +9.5
The Bengals head into Baltimore for a crucial AFC North divisional game, one week after losing on Thursday Night Football at Miami, 22-20 in overtime. Sitting at 6-3, the Bengals are firmly in front in the division with the Ravens currently sitting at 3-5.
Andy Dalton looked poor in the loss to the Dolphins, throwing for over 300 yards but also hocking up three picks. A.J. Green caught a dozen balls for 128 yards, and Giovanni Bernard added 104 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bengals boast perhaps the best defensive line in the league, well they did, before the loss of lineman Geno Atkins for the rest of the season. This is a massive blow to the franchise and immediately downgrades the Bengals pass rush and rush defense. Still, this unit as a whole is still one of the best in the league.
The Ravens lost their fifth game in a boring affair against the Browns in Cleveland. The 24-18 loss was especially poor considering the Browns were starting their third quarterback this year, journeyman Jason Campbell.
Nothing got going for the Ravens as the passing game struggled and they gained just 30 yards rushing. Ray Rice has not been himself this season and backup Bernard Pierce has not been much better. Teams finally seem to be locking down number one option Torrey Smith, making it hard for this offense to do much of anything. Also, their offensive line has been rated by most metrics as one of the worst in the league.
Defensively, it is a different story. Baltimore ranks in the top third of the league in points allowed and are second in sacks per game with 3.5 per contest. However, their secondary has not been impressive, case in point last week’s 262 yard passing performance delivered by Jason Campbell.
Marlon Brown, Ray Rice, and Terrell Suggs have all been on the injury report throughout practice this week but are all expected to play on Sunday.
This game opened as a pk but has moved towards Baltimore’s favor at +1.5. The total opened at 44.5 and has moved down slight to 44.
It is tough to say no to the reigning Super Bowl champions at home, especially as underdogs, but I think I must. This Ravens team has not looked good all year, even in their victories. The lack of a run game has become a massive problem as teams begin key in on Torrey Smith.
Still, the most significant matchup will be A.J. Green versus the Ravens secondary. Baltimore will likely have some success stopping Bernard which will force the Bengals to throw. A.J. Green should torch this secondary of the Ravens and should be in line for a big day. The Ravens offense isn’t built to win from behind which is why they have lost so many games this year. I like the Bengals in this crucial AFC North matchup.
Bet Cincinnati -1.5.
The Bills were in the midst of the upset of the season last week with quarterback Jeff Tuel at the helm during his first NFL game, but soon found themselves out of the game due to two key turnovers. After leading 13-3 against undefeated Kansas City, the Bills coughed up a pick six touchdown, and another fumble that was returned for a TD. At 3-5, the Bills aren’t out of the playoff picture yet, but every game is now a borderline must-win.
The excellent news is that rookie QB E.J. Manuel will return this week after suffering a knee injury five weeks ago. C.J. Spiller looks to finally be healthy after a productive outing in the loss to Kansas City. However, Robert Woods will miss this game forcing wide out Marquise Goodwin into a larger role.
On the other side of the ball, there have been few positives to dwell on. The Bills do get after the quarterback rather well, sacking QBs just over 3.1 times per game. However, they regularly give up 300 yard passing days to opposing quarterbacks and have struggled in stopping the run all season long.
Pittsburgh is coming off one of their worst losses in franchise history, a 55-20 loss to the New England Patriots at Foxboro. The season has not gotten better for the Steelers as they head into the second half and are already looking towards next season with a 2-6 record.
Their defense has been a shell of their former selves, and while the still rank highly in yards and points allowed, they never seem to create turnovers. They also have been increasingly poor at stopping the run and are getting up there in age. It is going to be a rough second half defensively for the Steelers.
Offensively, Roethlisberger has been putting up monster numbers in recent weeks but only because the Steelers have been behind in most of their games. Ben continues to throw a lot and has a decent receiving corps in Sanders, Cotchery and Brown. Rookie running back Le’Von Bell has also been impressive, totaling over 130 yards in the loss against the Patriots.
The Steelers will get back David DeCastro this week who has been a beast in run blocking this season. They will also return rookie wide receiver Marcus Wheaton who has yet to make an impact in the passing game. Top cornerback Ike Taylor got a concussion against the Patriots and is questionable to play this week.
Pittsburgh opened at -5 favorites, but that number has moved to -3 across the board. The total opened at 40.5 but has moved to 43.5. These moves in the line are likely direct results of Manuel being announced the starter.
This game will be one of the ones I likely won’t pay much attention to this weekend as it will likely be a boring game with two teams that are not going anywhere this season. Pittsburgh needs to set their sets on rebuilding after a miserable season like this. While some might expect an inspired effort from Pittsburgh in the wake of last week’s loss, I’m not sure that is going to happen.
Nevertheless, they do match up well against a porous Bills defense and have traditionally handled rookie quarterbacks well under Dick LeBeau’s tenure. At least on paper, the Steelers are poised for a bounce back win but nothing would shock me anymore with Pittsburgh. They look old and downtrodden. However, I’ll give the nod this week against a poor Buffalo team at Heinz Field.
Take the Steelers -3 at home.
It has been a rough year to say the least for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Still winless after nine weeks of football, Jacksonville received more grim news during their Week 9 bye. Wide receiver Justin Blackmon has been suspended the rest of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Their last game before the bye was a Week 8 blasting by the San Francisco 49ers, 42-10. The game was played at Wembley Stadium in London. There isn’t much worth talking about in regards to the Jaguars. They rank near the bottom of every defensive and offensive category and as I mentioned above, are winless on the year. The loss of Blackmon hurts an already anemic passing game.
The Titans run game came back with a vengeance last week as Tennessee comes into Week 10 at the .500 mark with a 4-4 record. Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene both scored touchdowns and CJ2k has his best game of the season, rushing for over 150 yards and two touchdowns.
On defense, the Titans arguably have the best secondary in football. Cornerbacks Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty have been one of the best corner tandems in the league and have shut down opposing passing games all year long. The one weakness for the Titans is their rush defense, which been extremely poor. They were ripped apart by Zac Stacy last week and have given up multiple rushing touchdowns in three straight games.
Shonn Greene will be a full-go in this matchup after leaving last week’s game with an injury late. The Titans also expect free safety Michael Griffin to return to the starting lineup this week.
The game opened at -14.5 for the Titans but has come down to -13 and -12 at most books as of Friday. The total, opened at 41 and has stayed around that number for the most part.
Let’s just remember, the Titans are 4-4 on the year, a far cry from a dominant team in this league. With that said, the matchup is excellent, but this is a spot I like the Jaguars a lot. If there has been a time to take this team this year, it is this week.
The Titans bugaboo on defense is their rush defense, an area where Jacksonville may be able to take advantage. Maurice Jones-Drew has not been his dominant self this year but has looked much better in recent weeks. He should be able to help in the short passing game, in addition to the run game. His presence alone may keep this one within single digits. While the loss of Blackmon is immense to this passing game, Cecil Shorts has looked excellent in recent weeks, and the bye week has given them time to prepare without the wide out.
Take the underdog Jaguars +13 on the road
The Raiders were eviscerated last week at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles, losing 49-20. Though their defense has been improved this season, it is hard to believe after games like that. They allowed a whopping seven touchdowns to Nick Foles in last week’s loss in Oakland, dropping to 3-5 on the year.
Offensively, the Raiders have been mostly run oriented, but Terrelle Pryor has found a nice connection with wide out Denarius Moore. Still, Pryor leads all NFL quarterbacks in rushing, and the Raiders love to pound the rock. That may be harder without running back Darren McFadden who will be out this week with a knee injury. Rashad Jennings will carry the load this week and had an excellent game in relief of McFadden last week. He rushed for over 100 yards and a touchdown and caught 7 balls for 74 yards.
The Raiders will be without cornerback D.J. Hayden this week after he suffered a groin injury in last week’s loss. This loss is crucial, especially considering how poor Oakland’s secondary looked last week.
The Giants come off their bye week after back-to-back wins with their normally terribly defense allowing just 14 points in the two victories. Still, at 2-6 the G-Men are almost certainly out of the playoff picture, even in a subpar NFC East this year.
While the defense has improved the past few weeks, it has been the offense that has struggled all year long. Their matchup this week is excellent, but it should not be treated as if the Giants will have a solid game offensively. They have faced plenty of these matchups all year and have stumbled. Eli Manning’s turnovers and inaccuracy have been a tremendous problem, as is the lack of a running game. The Giants rank 30th in rush offense and 30th in scoring offense.
Running back Andre Brown makes his return this week after being sidelined for much of the season. Peyton Hillis will still get the lead back duties but look for Brown to take over the head role soon.
This game opened at Giants -8.5 but has moved to -7 and -7.5 at most sportsbooks. The total opened at 43.5 and has not moved much from that number.
Forgive me for not buying into the 2-6 Giants being 7-point favorites at home. It is somewhat believable, because of Oakland’s beating last week, but it is still hard to fathom in my mind. As you can guess, I will be going with the Raiders in this one.
Their defense is much better than last week’s debacle, and though the Giants defense has shown some promise in recent weeks, there was six weeks before that when the unit was terrible. The Raiders are the better team; it is as simple as that. They should be eager to get out on the field and avenge last week’s loss.
Take Oakland +7.5 on the road.
The Seahawks return to Atlanta for the first time since losing to them in last year’s playoffs. However, Seattle is now the ones in the driver’s seat towards the playoffs as the Falcons are desperately trying to stay in contention.
The Seahawks have the best record in the NFC at 8-1 after winning in a tough, come from behind victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 27-24. Russell Wilson has been excellent in his second year at the helm at quarterback and running back Marshawn Lynch is second in the league in rushing at 726 yards.
The defense has been even better. Seattle’s defense ranks second in yards allowed per game at 296. They also have the most interceptions in the league and is second in passing yards allowed.
What has made Seattle’s performance even more impressive is their unusual rash of injuries. Their offensive line has been makeshift for much of the season, and they will again be without center Max Unger, and tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomni. Percy Harvin who injured his hip in training camp will not make his season debut this week but is on target for a Week 11 debut.
The Falcons dreams of a return run in the playoffs are all but closed at 2-6, but the veteran team seems to be having none of that talk. Despite speculation before the deadline that they would sell off Tony Gonzalez and other players, the franchise still seems to believe in their team.
The Falcons have been able to score points in most weeks but fell 35-10 at Carolina last week in a game where quarterback Matt Ryan threw three interceptions. This week presents another imposing matchup. In back-to-back losses including the Carolina game, Ryan has thrown for seven picks and two touchdowns.
Atlanta has truly struggled against the pass this year, giving up an average of almost 250 yards per game to opposing signal callers. Their rush defense has also not been faithful either, and is giving up over 116 yards per game.
Roddy White will return this week after a three week hiatus, in what has essentially been a lost season for the wide receiver. White has just 130 yards on the season in five games of action.
Opened at Atlanta -3 but heavy action on Seattle moved the game to +5 for the Falcons. The total opened at 44.5 and is at 45 now.
It is tough to not love Seattle in this game, but Atlanta is at home and desperate for a win. Furthermore, the Seahawks defense has not looked especially strong in recent weeks, considering they have faced some seriously offensively challenged teams. Atlanta looked lost against Carolina last week, but I think this one will be higher scoring them most think.
I’m not huge on either side in this game, but I do like the over 44.5. There will be fireworks in this matchup, even with the Seahawks vaunted defense.
Play Over 44.5.
Denver heads to AFC West rival San Diego this week after getting some distressing news during the bye week. The Broncos will lose head coach John Fox for the rest of the year due to a surgical procedure to repair a heart valve. Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, former head coach of the Jaguars, will take on the interim coaching responsibilities.
Surprisingly, the Broncos are in second place in the AFC West with a 7-1 record. The Kansas City Chiefs, who are on their bye this week, remain undefeated. Denver last played in a 45-21 rout in Week 8 at Washington. Full of offensive weapons, the Broncos look to continue their historic offensive numbers, led by quarterback Peyton Manning.
The Broncos have had some lingering injuries for a few of their offensive weapons, but everyone is on track to play this week including tight end Julius Thomas who missed the game against the Redskins. Top cornerback Champ Bailey will miss his third straight game with a hip injury.
At 4-4, the Chargers remain in the thick of it as we head into the second half of the season. San Diego coach Mike McCoy knows just what he is getting into when it comes to this Chargers attack as he was the offensive coordinator in Denver prior to his hire in southern California.
Phillip Rivers is experiencing a bit of a renaissance in this San Diego offense, throwing for 17 touchdowns versus seven interceptions. His 106.5 passer rating so far is third in the league, as well.
Defensively, San Diego has struggled mightily this year and has been especially bad against the pass. That is a problem, especially with Peyton Manning coming to town. The Chargers are giving up 275.4 yards per contest and rank 27th in the league against the pass.
Opened with San Diego +6.5 and has moved to +7 just about everywhere with a trend towards 7.5. The total, the largest of the week, opened at 56.5 and has moved to 58.5.
As much as I want to believe in the Chargers in this matchup, it is difficult. Their defense looked absolutely terrible against Washington as they generated no pass rush, tackling ability or skills in coverage. It is scary to think what Peyton Manning might do to this defense.
Denver’s squad has holes as well but is not nearly as porous. I think Rivers and company will have an excellent game, but it just will not be enough. Denver will pull away late as this game explodes into a shootout.
Denver -7, on the road.
The Panthers take their 5-3 record and four game win streak into likely their toughest test yet this season, a date with the 49ers in San Francisco. The Niners are also riding a five game week streak off their bye, and something has to give on Sunday.
Carolina’s offense has flourished after a slow start to the season and has topped 30 points in each game of their win streak. Cam Newton has been the catalyst, completing 64.4 percent of his passes for over 1800 yards and 17 all-purpose touchdowns.
The defense has been just as impressive during the current streak, as well. They have not allowed an opponent to score over 15 points and have forced at least one turnover in every game during the four game stretch.
At 6-2, the 49ers have rebounded from a 1-2 start to sport a 6-2 record heading into Week 10. Not the flashiest team in the world, San Francisco relies on defense and a strong running game to get the job done.
They rank dead last in passing offense but are number one in the league in rushing yards at over 150 per game. Their defense has been terrific all around and has forced a whopping 13 turnovers in the five game win streak.
Linebacker Aldon Smith, who was suspended for five weeks due to substance abuse issues will play this week but will not start. Mario Manningham will play this week after suffering a knee injury early in the season. He is a nice upgrade to a thin wide receiving corps for San Francisco.
The game opened with San Francisco as -7 favorites, which may be still available at some books, but most are offering -6.5. The total has moved about two points from the opening number of 41 to 43 at most bookmakers.
This game is one of the more difficult for me all week, and I can’t seem to pick a side I like. The 49ers seem like the safer play, partly because they are coming off a bye. Also, Carolina’s win streak has been against some of the poorest teams in the NFL. Though that doesn’t cheapen the feat, it makes me wonder how talented this team actually is, especially stacked up against the 49ers.
I’ll go with San Francisco -7, but I’m not especially excited about it.
The Texans suffered a rough loss last week as they blew an 18-point lead against the Indianapolis Colts. Not only that, their head coach, Gary Kubiak suffered a transient ischemic attack and collapsed on the sideline. He will fully recover but won’t be back to coach this Sunday. For now, Wade Phillips, the Texans defensive coordinator will take the coaching duties for the time being.
Houston was well on their way to a win after rushing out to a massive lead last week. Case Keenum looked excellent at quarterback and connected with Andre Johnson for three touchdowns. Despite the loss, Texans fans have to be happy with what they have seen from Keenum. The rookie has thrown for 621 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions after taking the starting job from Matt Schaub.
The Texans are first in the NFL in total defense, but rank near the bottom of the scoring defense category. This was due to so many turnovers by their offense early in the season that gave opponents’ a short field or defensive points.
Injury wise, the Texans are relatively healthy other than running back Arian Foster. He has not practiced all week, and Ben Tate is likely to start at running back for Houston this week.
After a rough start to the season, the Cardinals seem to have momentarily righted the ship at 4-4. Coming off their bye in Week 9, Arizona beat the Atlanta Falcons at home in a 27-13 victory. Finally healthy, Larry Fitzgerald caught four balls for 48 yards and a touchdown in the win. Fitzgerald’s name is not on the injury report this week for the first time this season.
Arizona’s defense has been their best attribute so far this season, especially against the pass. Patrick Peterson has shut down most opposing receivers and should be able to do the same to Andre Johnson.
The game opened at Arizona -2.5 and has not moved off the just under a field goal number. The total moved up slightly from an opener of 40 to 41.
This game is a massive mismatch and one that Arizona should win easily. Not only are they coming off their bye, but the Texans don’t have their best running back and are starting a rookie quarterback. Case Keenum has been an enjoyable story so far but is due for a hiccup.
The Cardinals defense is among the best in the league and Arizona plays much better at home. Peterson should do a much better job than the Colts did last week at covering Andre Johnson, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see “Dre” have his worst game of the season this week. This game should be an easy victory for Arizona.
Lay the points with the Cardinals -7.
Head over now to www.bovada.lv to bet on any NFL game this season as well as all other major US sports including the NBA, MLB, Nascar and hockey.