A Closer Look At The 2016 NFL Week 10 Expert Predictions
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)NFL Week 10 Free Pick: Philadelphia (-2.5)
Everyone is high on Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, with nearly all the respected pundits I know pegging this QB-WR combination to help the Atlanta Falcons soar to great heights in 2016. But what if this combination doesn’t come through with that many wins, as has been the case over the last many seasons? Or better yet, what if the Eagles don’t play as badly as many people expect them to do? I mean, Philly came from a sub.-500 team in 2012 to record two straight 10-win seasons in 2013 and 2014, so it’s not like the Eagles don’t really know what it means to fly high. It’s definitely not going to be easy for the Eagles to make that big an improvement from their woeful 2015 campaign, but we’ve seen teams do much more than that (see the 2015 Carolina Panthers who doubled their 2014 win total to make an unprecedented first-ever appearance at the Super Bowl). With that in mind, I’d be willing to take a chance on the much-maligned Sam Bradford and 2016 second-overall pick Carson Wentz to muster some offense between them and lead the Eagles to a decent number of victories in 2016, including a home win over the overvalued Ryan-led Falcons.
Houston Texans (-1) at Jacksonville JaguarsNFL Week 10 Free Pick: Jacksonville (+1)
The Texans have loaded up their offense nicely in the offseason and full credits go to Bill O’Brien for what he has done in Houston over the past two seasons. To think that NFL’s best defender J.J. Watt is a sure guarantee for another frightening season against opposing offenses and Brock Osweiler will be offering sound leadership in Houston’s offense makes you want to pencil the Texans as easy repeat winners in the AFC South Division. But just before you do that, you realize that the Jaguars have been no slouches either in the offseason and Blake Bortles is easily one of the top-10 pocket-passers in the league right now, meaning Houston won’t be having it easy against the Jags (or the Colts and Titans, as well). So, while I strongly believe the Texans will win their home fixture, I have mega reservations about trusting them in Jacksonville, where the up-surging Jags collected 5 of their 6 wins last season, and that was before GM David Caldwell beefed up his team’s O and D lines with some much-needed talent that will almost certainly make the hosts a better overall team.
Seattle Seahawks at New England Patriots (-2)NFL Week 10 Free Pick: New England (-2)
I love Russell Wilson and the Seahawks as much as the next guy. But in NFL betting, there are certain players and teams you just don’t dare bet against, with Tom Brady and the Patriots serving as perfect examples, respectively. Brady is undefeated against Wilson and it doesn’t look like 2016 will be the year for that to happen, considering he is still in tiptop shape and this game is likely to find him very energetic and healthier than Wilson after he serves his four-game suspension at the start of the year. Meanwhile, the Patriots have been the definition of a home-dominant team, losing just 2 of their 24 games at the Foxboro over the past three regular seasons. As if that is not enough, the Pats are undefeated against Seattle (in both the regular season and playoffs) in over a decade. You can tempt fate if you wish, but as is clearly highlighted in this analysis, the Patriots should be your obvious and preferred pick for the win and points in this epic Week 10 fixture.
Dallas Cowboys at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6)NFL Week 10 Free Pick: Dallas (+6)
After leading the NFL in receptions over the past two seasons and posting 1834 receiving yards last season (in spite of playing with third-tier QBs for most of the season when Ben Roethlisberger was injured), you should know better than to expect Antonio Brown to have a bad season. Star running back Le’Veon Bell, meanwhile, should still be a force to reckon with–(provided he can stay healthy) while Big Ben should remain as solid as ever. But even with all that talent, you’d be a fool to believe that Tony Romo, the sole owner of the third-highest quarterback rating in NFL history (at 97.1), star receiver Dez Bryant and the host of talented RBs in Dallas (Darren McFadden, 2016 No. 4 overall pick Ezekiel Elliot and Alfred Morris) will lie down in Pittsburgh and get beaten by 6-plus points. I mean, the Cowboys have won 6 of their last 9 overall meetings against the Steelers and are bringing a talented squad in 2016 that can go all the way to the Super Bowl 51 game in Houston. So, unless Big Ben or Romo get injured, this game should be–at the very least–a tight encounter that goes all the way down to the wire, with the winner not claiming a victory of 5-plus points. As things stand, therefore, the value in the early NFL odds should be with Dallas (at +6).