The 2010 NFL season has passed the midway point now and things are as muddled as ever. No division leader leads by more than one game and picking NFL games has become more of luck than science with top teams being upset week in and week out.
This week’s schedule restarts some Thursday action with the Atlanta Falcons hosting the Baltimore Ravens. Monday night has Donovan McNabb’s second go around against his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles while the 6-2 Steelers and Patriots meet on Sunday night.
Every week in this 2010 NFL season could make or break a season. There are at least 22, and maybe as high as 25, teams that still have a legitimate chance of making the playoffs if they can string a couple of wins together. Can you imagine the playoff and tiebreaker scenarios the last couple weeks of the season? It’s going to be insane.
On a high note, the NFC finally looks like it has some Super Bowl contenders in the New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles (and don’t count the Packers or Saints out either). Meanwhile, the Jets and Patriots are coming down to earth and Peyton Manning is starting to feel the effect of having half his team on the injury list. All of this is reflected in the Week 10 NFL Power Rankings.
So without further ado, here is the Week 10 NFL Picks, Schedule and Betting Lines. All times are Eastern. Check out how last week’s picks fared.
Bye week: Packers, Saints, Raiders, Chargers.
Thursday, Nov. 11
8:20- Baltimore Ravens at Atlanta Falcons (-1): o/u 43.5. This might be the best game of the Week 10 schedule. The Ravens are arguably the best team in the NFL and the Falcons and Matt Ryan just don’t lose at home. They got a scare vs the Buccaneers this past week, but always find ways to win. With that being said, the Ravens are coming off maybe their most impressive game, a beating of the Dolphins. This is a battle of the top 2008 quarterbacks, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco. Ravens 23 Falcons 21
Sunday, Nov. 14
Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts (-7): o/u 47. The Bengals season ended on Monday night and they are sure to have a letdown traveling to Indy. Peyton Manning still has a lot of green options of offense, but he always seems to make it work. It doesn’t hurt to still have Reggie Wayne to throw to either. Colts 33 Bengals 20
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-1.5): o/u 50. Take the over because there’s not going to be much defense here. Only the Bills and Cowboys have allowed more points than these teams (and barely). Arian Foster is coming off a huge game while the Jags had two weeks to prepare for Houston. Jacksonville wasn’t expected to compete while this is supposed to be the Texans’ breakthrough year. They will want this one more. Texans 38 Jaguars 30
Tennessee Titans (-1) at Miami Dolphins: o/u 42.5. This could be an elimination game, especially for Miami who would fall to 4-5 and well behind the Patriots and Jets. A Titans win will make it a close race with the Colts to the end of the season. The bye week for Tennessee is probably the difference. Vince Young had time to heal and Chris Johnson will be fresh and ready to be off and running. Titans 27 Dolphins 20
Minnesota Vikings (-1) at Chicago Bears: o/u 40. This is yet another gut-check game in Week 10. The Vikings season will be over with a loss while the Bears can make a legitimate playoff push with a win. Favre and Brad Childress need it more, and the Vikings are more talented, so it’s time for them to prove it. The Bears finally picked up a win over the lowly Bills, but did not impress much, winning largely on a blocked extra point. Vikings 23 Bears 17
Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills (-3): o/u 43. The Bills can finally pick up a win with Matthew Stafford out for the year for the Lions. They have come oh so close in the last three weeks, and this should finally reap a reward. The Lions are much improved but another devastating loss and the loss of Stafford will make it difficult for Detroit to play at its best. Bills 20 Lions 17
New York Jets (-3) at Cleveland Browns: o/u 37.5. Can the Browns strike lightning in a bottle for the third time after already knocking off the Saints and Patriots? Peyton Hillis looked like a beast, but the Jets will be bringing a much better defense to play. Mark Sanchez proved he can lead a comeback drive and this might be a game where the Jets want to prove a point. Jets 27 Browns 13
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6.5): o/u 36.5. The Bucs had their easiest win of the season the first time these two teams met. With Matt Moore out for the season and DeAngelo Williams still battling an injury, this one might not be close again. The Bucs proved they are for real, nearly knocking off the Falcons on the road, and Josh Freeman looks like the real deal. Buccaneers 24 Panthers 9
4:05- Kansas City Chiefs (-1) at Denver Broncos: o/u 43. The Chiefs are watching their division lead shrink while the Broncos just can’t win a game. Kansas City should have a field day on the Broncos defense. The Chiefs defense is good enough to slow down Kyle Orton and the Denver offense. Chiefs 27 Broncos 20
4:15- St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers (-6): o/u 38.5. The Niners have a real chance of getting back in the NFC West with Seattle and Arizona continuing to lose despite being just 2-6. A win here would shave another game off one of the division leaders with plenty of division games still left. However, the Rams have played like the best team in the NFC West and Sam Bradford will continue to lead this team to the unexpected promiseland. Rams 20 49ers 19
4:15- Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (-3): o/u 41. A Cardinals win would put both teams at 4-5, and depending on the outcome above, could both be tied for first place. Seattle looked awful at home, and they are awful on the road, so if they don’t get Matt Hasselbeck back, this season could turn ugly. At least the Cardinals put themselves in a position to win most games even if they keep losing late. Cardinals 23 Seahawks 13
4:15- Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (-14): o/u 45. What can you even say about this game? TheÂ Cowboys look flat awful while the Giants might be the best team in the NFC, if not the entire NFL. Jason Garrett could give this team a boost, but with Tony Romo out and general just bad play and mistakes each week, Dallas should have no chance here. It could get out of hand early. Giants 31 Cowboys 14
Sunday Night Football, 8:20
New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5): o/u 45. Another battle of 6-2 teams puts AFC supremacy on the line. The Steelers have not looked like the team that got off to such a hot start, but they are doing enough to win games. The Patriots are tough to figure after getting blown out by 20 points to the Browns. Bill Belichick always has an answer in these situations, so it might be unwise not to believe in him and Tom Brady. Patriots 24 Steelers 23
Monday Night Football, 8:35
Philadelphia Eagles (-3) at Washington Redskins: o/u 42. McNabb vs the Eagles Part 2. He somehow led Washington to a win in Philly, but expect a much different outcome this time around with Michael Vick at quarterback. Michael Vick is throwing the ball better than ever and the Redskins have one of the worst defenses in the league. McNabb has looked underwhelming and coach Mike Shanahan doesn’t even trust him to run the two-minute offense with the game on the line. Eagles 28 Redskins 14