Every NFL Game Handicapped with Picks (Week 10)
2022 NFL Analysis and Picks (Week 10)
2022 NFL WAGERING RECORD
ALL PICKS POSTED HERE AT POINTSPREADS.CA
Disclaimer: Opinions are those of Nolan Dalla. All information here and the comments provided on this website are for entertainment purposes only. I do not intend nor advise readers to make any wagers. Ultimately, you must make your own decisions about if to gamble, how much to wager, and which bets to make.
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Seattle vs. Tampa Bay (In Munich, Germany)
Line: Buccaneers -2.5
Moneylines: Seahawks +125 / Bucs -145
Analysis: A strong case can be made that the wrong team is favored in this game. A hot 6-3 team is nearly a FG underdog to a struggling 4-5 team? Oh, and the dog has won 4 straight. So, why are the Bucs favored by -2.5 vs. the Seahawks and why would anyone possibly bet on them and lay points, aside from the Tom Brady fan club? In Brady’s defense, he’s a perfect 3-0 in NFL international games, throwing 10 touchdown passes while averaging 317 passing yards per contest. But do those old stats really matter anymore to a team with its fortunes riding on a 45-year-old arm? Well, I’ll get to speculate on this in a moment. ///// First, let’s address the unusual setting for this game, in Germany. After many games in London (and Mexico City), the NFL plays for the first time on the European continent. It’s tough to predict how these intangible factors will impact preparations and performances. As a general handicapping principle, whenever there’s any added randomness—just take the points. So, advantage—Seattle. ///// My main concern with betting on the Seahawks (and why they’re +2.5, I believe) are road and travel factors. This is Seattle’s third-straight road game. That’s a difficult stretch for a great team, let alone one that’s relatively young and still coming together as a unit. As for historical trends on this, third-straight NFL roadies are 35-69 SU, and 46-55-3 ATS. The Seahawks have been a marvelous surprise this past month, whipping division rivals LA Rams and AZ Cardinals on the road (which is rare), and now must fly as far as logistically possible to their next road contest (check this — is Seattle to Munich the longest flight in NFL regular season history?). I expect these factors to catch up with the Seahawks here. So, it’s advantage—Tampa Bay. ///// I’ve presented some contradictory evidence, which seemingly makes it difficult to pick either side. Actually, I think these contradictions may help us to make two picks, which I’ll now explain. ///// I expect this game to be close early, with Seattle possibly leading in the first few quarters. Then, as the game wears on, I see Tampa Bay winning and covering. This calls for an unusual combination of wagers, which I’ve done a few times this season. First, take Seattle +1.5 and lay the -115 in the first half. The Seahawks are an NFL-best 8-1 ATS in the first half this season and playing versus a slow-starting opponent. The Bucs are just 3-6 ATS in the first half this season. Moreover, I read some stats about the Seahawks’ offense in the 1H; this is the #2nd ranked team in the league in the fewest three-and-outs in the first two quarters. That stat tells me Pete Carroll is coaching his ass off and preparing his team well. They come out of the locker room ready, yet obviously still aren’t getting any respect from betting markets on this first-half angle. I mean, they’re getting points! Oh, and Tampa Bay has trailed at halftime in 3 of their last 4 games facing opponents that are a combined 13-21 SU, not exactly a fast starting offense even when facing bad opposition. ///// I’m combing a bet on the dog in the 1H with laying -2.5 (not -3, that’s a pass) with Tampa Bay. I see the very real possibility that road fatigue impacts Seattle in the second half, and the Tom Brady magic is always a wild card in the deck. I’m not a conspiracy spewer, but would anyone be surprised to see a little extra NFL and officiating love for Brady and the Bucs in the 2H to make this first-ever game in Germany something to remember? Yeah, I know that sounds ridiculous, but it just seems more likely to see Seattle leading or tied at the half based on better recent performance, and then Tampa Bay making a 2H comeback that could result in both wagers cashing. Perfect scenario: Game tied at the half, then a late field goal wins it for Tampa Bay by -3.
The Picks: Seattle (First Half) + 1.5 at -115 / Tampa Bay (Game Line) -2.5
Jacksonville at Kansas City
Line: Chiefs -10
Moneylines: Jaguars +355 / Chiefs -470
Analysis: This game looks similar to last Sunday night’s 20-17 win by Kansas City hosting Tennessee. The Chiefs were double-digit favorites but played poorly versus the depleted Titans with a backup QB. Much of the reason for the Titans’ easy cover and near-upset win was their power running game, and now the Chiefs face another good ground attack this week. In their last five outings, Jacksonville ran the ball for 176 YPG, well above league average If they post similar numbers in this spot, the Jags could keep the score within the margins and also boost the UNDER. ///// There’s also a strong trend that merits consideration. Since the start of last season, the UNDER is 68-46 (nearly 60 percent) when BOTH teams hit the UNDER in the previous game — which applied to the Jaguars and Chiefs in Week 9. Kansas City could be just a bit worn down after facing a tough gauntlet of opponents in the last three weeks — San Francisco, Buffalo, Tennessee. The Chiefs are also prone to complacency following a win, as KC is just 11-19 ATS off a victory. Another glaring stat: Kansas City is a woeful 7-12 ATS their last 19 games as a home favorite. ///// What keeps me off the dog despite some strong trends is the Chiefs being such an effective offensive team and their ability to maintain drives. They’ve converted 37-58 (64 percent) of their last third down plays. To put that into perspective, anywhere close to 50 percent is excellent, but that’s off the chart, especially versus some good defenses. ///// I think all this leads to a strong UNDER situation. Kansas City tends to keep the ball but then also burns time off the clock. Assuming the Jaguars keep running 29 times a game (which is their average) that should also keep the clock ticking. This total at 51 is very high (up from 49.5 early, I don’t know why), especially for any game involving the Jaguars. I’m taking the UNDER based on some expectation the Chiefs won’t blow out the Jags, which likely leads to a lower-scoring game. Jacksonville absolutely must be able to run this ball in this game, or things could get ugly and we’ll lose this bet. I’m counting on they will be able to do that.
The Pick: Jacksonville / Kansas City UNDER 51
Houston at NY Giants
Line: Giants -4.5
Moneylines: Texans +180 / Giants -220
Analysis: The surprising 6-2 Giants (only two losses were to Cowboys and Seahawks — no shame in those defeats) come off a bye and host garbage shit Houston, which is a near-universal consensus as the worst team in the NFL (Indy says–hold my beer!). We might expect the Giants to be slightly bigger favorites given the disparity of records. The reason for the lack of betting trust in the Giants is simple — they don’t blow out teams or score many points. Their six wins were by the following margins — 6, 5, 4, 8, 3, and 1. ///// Even though Houston doesn’t pose much offensive threat, well, neither do these Giants — ranking #30th in passing and #24th overall. Accordingly, I’m not touching a side. ///// Nonetheless, I am making a rare prop play on this game that merits consideration. Let’s go OVER on BARKLEY (NYG) RUSHING YARDS — 93. This is a high number for any running back. In fact, as a contrarian, I’d normally be on the other side of public opinion. Nonetheless, Barkley looks like a super strong bet to crack the 93-yard mark for multiple reasons. First, he averages 97 YPG. Second, he’s running against the dead-last #32nd ranked rush defense in the NFL, which allows a whopping 181 YPG on average. The Giants should run wild. The NYG know they won’t need to do much on offense, other than feed the ball to Barkley and win the time-of-possession battle. If the Giants are ahead much of the game, that helps the OVER rushing yards prop even more, since the Giants won’t need to pass the ball. So, Barkley — averaging 21 carries per game (third most in NFL) — will grind the field. Barkley took 31 carries in the Chicago game, which is a similar opponent here. He should get his yards, and certainly possesses breakaway (long run) potential. Off the bye with fresh legs facing a bad rush defense, Barkley’s numbers should be a good bet for the OVER.
The Pick: PROP: S. Barkley (NYG) OVER 93 Rushing Yards
New Orleans at Pittsburgh
Line: Saints -1.5
Moneylines: Saints -125 / Steelers +105
Analysis: Remember Guantanomo Bay and the controversy about forcing blindfolded prisoners to listen to Britney Spear’s music cranked up to 10 while wearing earphones and stripped to their underwear surrounded by barking attack dogs on chains? Well, that sounds more fun than watching this shitshow. What a sorry-ass football game. If I have to choose between this game and the Raiders-Colts, I might prefer suffering the Guantanamo treatment. ///// I’d point out that Saints QB Andy Dalton is on the downside of his career, that is, if he had any career left. At least Pittsburgh’s rookie QB could develop into something. Maybe. The Saints even signing Dalton after such a miserable failure in Dallas and Chicago showed what a clueless organization the Saints have become. ///// Given the Steelers come in fresh while the Saints are off a short week (they played on MNF and looked awful), we have to start with a lean to Pittsburgh, especially as an underdog. The tipping point for a wager is the expected return of All-Pro linebacker T.J. Watt to the defense, who can be a game-changer (reigning Defensive Player of the Year). The Steelers defense was already decent, giving up just 20 PPG at home this season. Now, they should be even better with their leader (one stat showed Pittsburgh is +7 points better in games he starts over the course of his career). ///// Turnovers are tough to handicap, but let’s also note that New Orleans has committed a league-leading 17 giveaways. ///// I like the equation here — with a rested and improved defense facing a team with a lackluster QB and an offense with some injuries (WR Thomas out) that also turns over the ball. What scares me is the weak Pittsburgh offense. I’m hoping two things happen: (1) the extra prep time after a bye week sparks more productivity, and (2) the Steelers’ defense shuts down the Saints and forces turnovers. I think there’s enough of a possibility of this happening to justify a wager.
The Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers +1.5
Detroit at Chicago
Line: Bears -3
Moneylines: Lions +130 / Bears -150
Analysis: This is a much more interesting matchup than we anticipated a few weeks ago. Both teams are a combined 5-12, but are also capable of just about any type of performance across the spectrum from week to week. I really like what Chicago has done on offense over the past month. In their previous three games, the Bears have scored 33-29-32 points, quite a jolt from their pre-bye week phase when they were among the NFL’s worse offenses. It still remains to be seen if Chicago has turned a major corner with Justin Fields at QB. Nonetheless, there are good reasons to be optimistic. Let’s also credit the Bears for suddenly fielding a powerhouse running attack. Just look at the numbers from their previous four matchups — 238-244-240-252 on the ground. Those are staggering rushing figures for any team. Like the ’72 Dolphins-type numbers. ///// This doesn’t translate into wins, necessarily, and that’s because Chicago’s defense — which was bad — has gotten even worse. The Bears surrendered a whopping 84 points in their last two games (42 PPG!). As I noted in last week’s report, the trade of the Bears’ best two defensive players before the deadline telegraphs a major reboot. The Bears conceded that they can’t stop anybody, and will try to outscore teams–including the Lions. ///// This points to two wagers on this game, both involving the total. First, I’ll take OVER 48.5 in what seems like an easy call. Not only are the Bears scoring points and surrendering points, but the Lions have also given up 24+ points in 7 of their 8 games this season. Last week’s Lions’ upset win vs. rival Green Bay was a defensive struggle, and that should shift this week into a much higher-scoring affair. ///// Weather can certainly be an issue in Chicago this time of year, so keep an eye on the wind. The forecast calls for temps just about the freezing mark, which shouldn’t impact the offenses. ///// The second wager I’m making is the Detroit Lions team total, at 23.5. This is just within the margins for me, and deserves a wager given the weakness of the Bears’ defense. I’m passing on the Chicago team total, which is 24.5. The 24-point mark is a key number in NFL betting, and I don’t want to be on the wrong side of the half-point. Yeah, the Bears should break this but we’ve got slightly better edges with the game total and the Lions’ scoring total.
The Picks: Detroit / Chicago OVER 48.5 / Detroit (Team Total) OVER 23.5
Cleveland at Miami
Line: Dolphins -3.5
Moneylines: Browns +155 / Dolphins -180
Analysis: In handicapping, there’s an intangible called “gut instinct.” That instinct tells me Cleveland may pull off an upset in this game. Miami has been winning games with QB Tua Tagovailoa back under center. No doubt, this is an explosive team with lots of weapons that can win in many different ways. But their three-game win streak was all by razor-thin margins — by 6 points vs. Pittsburgh (starting a rookie QB), by 4 points vs. Detroit (worst defense in the NFL), and by 3 points vs. Chicago (the Bears ran wild and scored 32 points in a Miami non-cover). The Browns are certainly capable of giving the Dolphins yet another tough fight. Coming off their bye week, Cleveland should look to this game as their reset button and an opportunity to leap back into playoff contention. Lose, and they’re basically done. ///// They don’t need to pull off miracles, especially since the Browns are built to run the ball down the throats of softer defenses. Cleveland boasts the NFL’s #3rd-ranked running attack (168 YPG) and RB Nick Chubb ranks only behind D. Henry (TEN) as the league rushing leader. Let’s also credit backup QB Jacoby Brissett for a pretty good job manning the Browns’ offense, at least until the massage maestro again becomes eligible to play. This game could break many different ways, and there’s valid concern that if Miami jumps out to a lead, Cleveland won’t have the firepower to stage a comeback, especially through the air. No, the Browns absolutely must run the ball and win time of possession. Hopefully, the added prep time helps with the game planning and Miami comes in a little flat back at home after two roadies. ///// The Browns are also healthy in the defensive secondary for the first time this season after really being banged up, which helps their prospects of slowing down TT and the Miami receivers. ///// Five of the Browns’ eight games were decided by 3 or fewer points. Moreover, the Browns outgained 7 of its 8 opponents this season, which means they generally move the ball effectively. I’m grabbing the Browns plus the points and expecting a close game.
The Pick: Cleveland Browns +3.5
Minnesota at Buffalo
Line: Bills -3.5
Moneylines: Vikings +150 / Bills -175
Analysis: Everything in this game depends on QB Josh Allen starting for the Bills. I see no reason to even approach the game and do any handicapping until that’s determined. Allen practiced on Friday, but remains listed as “questionable” (elbow injury). If he plays, Buffalo remains one of the best teams in the NFL and is a beast at home. With Allen, the Bills are 19-4 SU on home turf since the 2020 season. However, if Allen doesn’t start, the 34-year-old backup Case Keenum takes over, which is sorta’ like Queen plugging in William H. Macy for Freddie Mercury. Maybe I’ll have something closer to game time. Right now, this is an easy pass.
The Pick: No Action.
Denver at Tennessee
Line: Titans -3
Moneylines: Broncos +130 / Titans -150
Analysis: This is the lowest total of the season, to date, and it’s easy to see why. Denver brings one of the best defenses — #2 in yards and points allowed, yet worst offenses — into Nashville. The Broncos have scored 16 or fewer points in 6 of 8 games. Seven of 8 Denver games went UNDER the total. Meanwhile, Tennessee ranks #7th in points allowed. The Titans are also a solid rushing team, even though they’ll get QB Ryan Tannehill back as the starter this week. Seven of 8 Tennessee games stayed UNDER the total. So, by my addition, that’s a combined 13-3 to the UNDER for both teams. So all that said, my pick here is going to seem absurd. ///// I’m betting OVER because the line may have overreacted. First, Tannehill being back under center should give the Titans a much broader range of options. Tennessee hardly even attempted any passes in their past two games. That will change this week. But the bigger reason is…this is absolutely desperation time for Denver. Coming off their bye, and two weeks to prepare with QB Russell Wilson taking well-deserved criticism, this should be an all-out effort by the Broncos, especially the offense. Denver simply must take more shots downfield, or this team will be out of the playoff hunt and the coach is heading to the unemployment line. It’s inconceivable (famous last words in handicapping) that Denver doesn’t bring a more creative offensive game plan into this game. ///// If the total was 40 or higher, I wouldn’t touch it. The number at 37 catches a very key number in totals betting, so that’s a little extra insurance. It’s weaker at 37.5 to 38, and marginal at 38.5. be sure and get 37, if possible. I feel a little compelled to explain why I’m deviating so much from the trends on this game, which indicates a solid UNDER play. It’s important to anticipate what teams are doing and thinking. When the market reacts strongly based on perception, there’s often value in pouncing on the fade. Denvers’ desperation and extra prep time add to the notion that the Broncos could turn the corner here and end up with a much better second half of the season than what we’ve seen so far. ///// I’m also adding Denver’s Team Total in the first half, which is 8.5 (at -125). That’s a really low number, even for a struggling offense. I’ll go OVER that number, even with the higher vig.
The Picks: Denver / Tennessee OVER 37 / Denver Team Total (First Half) OVER 8.5 (-125)
Indianapolis at Las Vegas
Line: Raiders -4.5
Moneylines: Colts +180 / Raiders -220
Analysis: If the Raiders lose this game, the entire coach staff should be 86ed and buried out in the desert. Okay, not really. Just the coach. Las Vegas’ opponent this week is about as bad as things can get. Colts’ status: (1) Frank Reich, the head coach, was fired this week, (2) they’ve lost three straight, (3) they’ve scored just 29 points in the last three weeks, (4) they replaced their offensive coordinator this week, and (5) they’re starting 3rd stringer and 6th-round draft pick QB Sam Ehrlinger-again-in his third start–who has thrown for ~150 PG and has yet to toss a touchdown pass in his NFL career. Here’s another staggering stat: Ehlinger has been sacked on 17 percent of his dropbacks, the highest rate among all active QBs. For some comparison, the immobile statue Matt Ryan’s sack rate with two oyster legs was 7 percent (the league average is about 5-6 percent). As of Tuesday, Colts’ bloggers were panting, “who’s calling the plays this week?” This means there’s no prep for an offense that will need LOTS of work. Oh, and Jeff Saturday (the former great Colts center), now the interim head coach hired in a rush job by owner Bob Irsay after consulting absolutely nobody, has *never* coached before. Oh wait, that’s not correct. Saturday was a high school coach 2017-2020. ///// This is finally an outmatched opponent the dismal Raiders should look at and see a sparing partner in the ring, basically a warm body paid to stand there and take blows. Las Vegas has fallen so far behind high expectations for this season that many locals (and certainly bettors) have given up on them. Deservedly so. Getting shut out by the Saints two games ago, and then blowing a 17-0 lead and losing by 7 to the Jaguars is about as painful an looking at Wayne Newton after yet another facelift. This is the team the Raiders should finally kick the ever-living shit out of, and take out some maniacal frustration. It’s hard to find any silver linings on Las Vegas’ season, but the Raiders are 2-1 at home, with the sole loss in OT. We talk about hitting the reset button, and here’s the chance for the Raiders. Meanwhile, I’m not sure the Colts even have a re-set button. I’ll be shocked if the Raiders don’t win this game by double digits. ///// I’m also betting the Colts Team Total UNDER 17.5 points for all the reasons listed above. I can’t see how any offense performs well given so much turmoil and personnel changes in recent weeks.
The Picks: Las Vegas Raiders -4.5 / Indianapolis team Total UNDER 17.5 (-120)
Arizona at LA Rams
Line: Rams -3
Moneylines: Cardinals +105 / Rams -125
Analysis: These two teams are a heaping pile of shit. However, at least the Rams have some excuses for their miserable 3-5 record. Their offensive line has looked like a Russian Army casualty report. Success in the NFL is based on dependable offensive line play, and the Rams may have the worst OL situation in the NFL right now. ///// I won’t waste lots of time reiterating the underachievements of both teams this season, which are public knowledge. What does stand out from a handicapping perspective is the way these teams play, and how and where they struggle. I’m shocked (thank you! thank you! thank you!) that betting markets STILL haven’t caught onto how bad Arizona is in the first half. The Cardinals are notoriously slow starting, apparently not well-coached in game prep, and have the quirky stat to prove it. Arizona is an NFL worst 1-8 against the spread in the first half, averaging just 8 points in the opening two frames. Yet, betting markets still haven’t adjusted numbers. They even made the Cardinals a favorite last week in the first half, which is preposterous. As for the Rams, even with all their disappointments this season, LA is 5-3 versus the 1H number. So, the Rams are coming into games reasonably strong, and then fading in the second half. Playing at home, the Rams should enjoy obvious advantages. I think laying -1.5 in the 1H with the Rams is reasonable. ///// Let’s add–QB Kyler Murray is 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS against the Rams in his career. The AZ QB struggles against division opponents, with a woeful 5-15 SU record. Hence, the teams that know Murray and this offense best tend to be effective in containing his talents. It’s rare for me to lay points in any half of betting, especially with the opening possession unknown (in halftime betting, at least you know who gets the ball first, which is theoretically worth .5 more possessions per half). I’ll bank on the Cardinals’ troubles to continue and look for the Rams to play better than they’ve shown. Another good stat for us….LAR ranks #8 in overall defense, vs. AZ which is #27th. IMPORTANT UPDATE: QB Matthew Stafford is listed as questionable under protocol rules. Obviously, Stafford MUST start, or this is no play. The line at -3 (Friday night) suggests oddsmakers expect Stafford to start.
The Pick: LA Rams -1.5 (First Half)
Dallas at Green Bay
Line: Cowboys -4
Moneylines: Cowboys -200 / Packers +170
Analysis: Nearly 55 years after the epic Ice Bowl game, these two great NFL franchises face off this Sunday afternoon under very different circumstances. First, Bart Starr and Don Meredith are dead, so there’s that. Second, Dallas is -4.5. Green Bay was -4.5 in the ’67 LBJ-Vietnam era game. Third, it’s expected to be 32 degrees at KO, which sounds cold, but hey, that’s still 50 degrees WARMER than the iconic Packers-Cowboys NFL championship. Okay, I’ve milked that enough, let’s get to capping this game (writing 15 of these reports each week gets dull sometimes–gotta’ keep it edgy). ///// The Packers have dropped 5 straight games, which sounds impossible given QB Aaron Rodgers is healthy and there really are no excuses for such subpar results. Green Bay has struggled everywhere (offense, defense, special teams), including scoring just nine points last week vs. Detroit, the league’s worst defense. Now, the Packers must face one of the best defenses in the league. ///// Let me eat some crow about Dallas, which I predicted to be a .500 team, at best. I’ll brag when I’m right, but I’ve been wrong about the Cowboys, who do look well-balanced and certainly could/should reach the playoffs. Off their bye week, the offense got a chance to get healthier, and they’re coming off a 49-point outburst in the previous game. This all spells big trouble for Green Bay. Dallas also has a bonafide 1-2 threat in the backfield, with Tony Pollard in some ways outperforming overpaid Ezekiel Elliott. ///// There’s some added drama with Dallas coach (former Packers coach) Mike McCarthy returning to Green Bay. I don’t think that counts for much. However, Dallas — if ahead — may keep on scoring (recall the Chicago game two weeks ago when the Cowboys were still throwing the ball late in the 4Q) which probably helps the prospect that if the Cowboys win, they also cover the number. ///// All this aside, the one tipping point for me justifying a bet on Dallas, is actually more of a bet AGAINST Green Bay. It’s an intangible. It’s something we don’t see in box scores and stat lines. And that’s the look of serious concern on Aaron Rodgers’ face when he’s been interviewed lately. A few weeks ago, the blank stare was uncertainty. But now, 2 and 3 and 4 and now 5 losses later, it’s a look of surrender. Not saying Rodgers is done or the Packers can’t play out of the funk and get back on track. But Rodgers doesn’t look confident anymore, and with his WRs continuing to be sidelined with injuries, plus an offensive line that’s not pass protecting, there’s little to indicate Green Bay will reverse the fall this week versus a tough opponent. Note: Line dropped from -4.5 to -4 Saturday AM, which makes no sense, but catching a push on the 4 makes this an even stronger bet on Dallas.
The Pick: Dallas Cowboys -4
[SNF] LA Chargers at San Francisco
Line: 49ers -7.5
Moneylines: Chargers +250 / 49ers -300
[MNF] Washington at Philadelphia
Line: Eagles -11
Moneylines: Commanders +405 / Eagles -525
More writeups and picks are coming — please check back later.