Here is a 5-Pack of NFL value plays for Week 10 to help build your bankroll Sunday, featuring the New England Patriots trying to stay unbeaten visiting the New York Giants at 4:25 ET.
And then there were three! With the Denver Broncos getting upset by the Indianapolis Colts last week, there are now three undefeated teams remaining in the NFL as we enter Week 10 in the Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots and the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are in action Monday night, and our 5-pack of Sunday NFL picks this week includes games featuring the other two unbeatens.
As usual, Week 10 began with Thursday Night Football and there was a mild upset when Coach Rex Ryan got some revenge on the team that fired him after last season as he took his new team the Buffalo Bills into New Jersey and beat the New York Jets 22-17 as a 2½-point underdog. That contest marked the fourth straight Thursday night game this season to go ‘under’, as the teams could not eclipse the closing total of 42.
Moving on to Sunday, our 5-Pack this week again has a bit of everything. We have three sides atypically comprised of at two favorites and one underdog, as we are usually contrarian in nature, and we have two totals split between one ‘over’ and one ‘under’. As has become our norm in recent seasons, all of these NFL odds come from Pinnacle Sports.
Sunday, November 15th
Carolina Panthers -4½ (-102) over Tennessee Titans (1:00 ET): The Panthers very nearly blew a 37-14 lead vs. the Green Bay Packers at home last week, as Aaron Rodgers looked like himself again while leading the Packers to two touchdown drives with one of those followed by a two-point conversion, trimming the Carolina lead to 37-29, and then Green Bay got the ball back in Carolina territory with over three minutes left on an interception by Cam Newton. But the great Carolina defense then stiffened and the Panthers remained perfect at 8-0. Now we could respect that this looks like a letdown spot for Carolina after beating Seattle, Philadelphia, Indianapolis and Green Bay in consecutive weeks, and that is probably why this spread seems a tad deflated. However, perhaps the worst thing that could have happened to the Titans was upsetting the New Orleans Saints 34-28 in overtime last week for just their second win of the season in their first game under interim coach Mike Mularkey after the firing of Ken Whisenhunt with Marcus Mariota matching Drew Brees by passing for 371 yards. That lessens the chances of the Panthers looking past this matchup of former Heisman Trophy winners as they might have if Tennessee had fallen to 1-7 instead.
Chicago Bears +7 (-115) over St. Louis Rams (1:00 ET): We got burned by fading the Rams as favorites of over a touchdown a couple of weeks ago when they responded by routing the 49ers 27-6, but undaunted, here we go tempting fate by once again going against St. Louis as exactly a touchdown favorite. Our reasoning remains the same as it was two weeks ago, as this is now Todd Gurley’s team and the Rams figure to be very conservative from here on out by feeding Gurley the ball as much as possible while limiting the exposure of Nick Foles and a suspect passing game and relying on a stiff defense to do the rest. While running the ball well and often and playing good defense is a nice recipe that will win you a lot of football games, it is also an approach not conducive to piling up big scores and blowing teams out. The Bears may be coming off of a short week, but they also come off of a nice road win over the San Diego Chargers Monday night as the injured Matt Forte was not missed as much as many believed. That is because the rookie Jeremy Langford stepped right in and looked a lot like Forte Lite, rushing for 72 yards on 18 carries and adding 70 receiving yards on three receptions. It also looked like the oft maligned Jay Cutler seemed very comfortable with the rookie in the backfield, so unlike the 49ers when the Rams blew them out with around this same point spread, the Bears should score enough points to cover vs. a conservative St. Louis offense.
Pittsburgh Steelers -5 (-115) over Cleveland Browns (1:00 ET): This is now a battle of back-up quarterbacks, as Landry Jones gets the start for the Steelers after Ben Roethlisberger suffered a mid-foot sprain last week that will cost him a couple of weeks, while Johnny Manziel gets his second straight start for the Browns as Josh McCown continues to nurse his injured ribs. The latest word is that McCown will be in uniform and available for this game, but more of in an emergency capacity with Johnny Football getting the start. You may recall that the first time Big Ben was injured for Pittsburgh this season he was replaced by Michael Vick, who was largely ineffective while basically taking away Antonio Brown as a receiving threat. But then Vick also got hurt and the offense perked up with Jones at the helm as he developed a rapport with Brown and the offense looked like its usual self again. The Steelers learned from their mistake and promoted Jones to second string while dropping Vick to third string, so we expect a typical Pittsburgh offensive performance here. Conversely, Manziel was awful in his first start last Thursday night completing just 15-of-33 passes for 168 yards as the Browns suffered their fourth straight loss and third straight by at least two touchdowns.
Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders ‘over’ 43½ (-110) (4:05 ET): The Vikings have now won four straight games, and with the Packers suddenly losing two straight, Minnesota now finds itself tied with Green Bay atop the NFC North at 6-2. However, to say that the Vikings have been fortunate would be an understatement as all four wins during the winning streak have been by single-digits and, despite the 6-2 mark, Minnesota is actually getting out-gained by an average of -10.7 yards per game over all of its games. With that being said though, the Vikes are facing the worst passing defense in the NFL here in Oakland with the Raiders allowing a hideous 314.6 yards per game through the air, and with Ted Bridgewater reportedly passing the concussion protocol and cleared to play in this game, he can have a nice passing game here which in turn should open up running lanes for the great Adrian Peterson, all leading to points. Now, Minnesota does rank second in the league in points against at 17.5 per game and sixth in total defense surrendering 332.2 yards per contest, but that has come vs. the easiest schedule in the NFL according to Football Outsiders. The Raiders have a nice young troika on offense in quarterback Derek Carr, running back Latavius Murray (who himself has also been cleared after passing the concussion protocol) and wide receiver Amari Cooper, and with a veteran receiver on the opposite end in Michael Crabtree having a great season in his own right, we can also see the Oakland offense exposing the Minnesota defense a bit here.
New England Patriots, New York Giants ‘under’ 54 (-105) (4:25 ET): The Patriots are attempting to go to 9-0 while simultaneously seeking revenge on the team that beat New England in two Super Bowls. In fact, with these teams from opposite conferences meeting so infrequently, the Patriots have not covered a point spread against the Giants since 2003, with New York currently being on a 5-0 ATS run against Tom Brad & Co. combining three regular season meetings and those Super Bowls as well as a 4-0 straight up run. So logic would dictate that New England will run up the score here while in revenge mode, but remember that the Giants have defended Brady better than most teams in the past because they had the ability to put pressure on the passer with just their base set without blitzing. That trait was missing this year, but then last week Jason Pierre-Paul made his season debut following the well publicized fireworks incident on the 4th of July and the defensive line had its best game of the season in a 32-18 road win at Tampa Bay. Now whether or not this is enough to extend the winning streak or even the ATS streak vs. Brady is debatable, but we do that the line could at least help limit the New England scoring in this game, which would key an ’under’ here with this posted total being so high that it would probably need good contributions from both teams. Besides, even the New England defense is quietly fifth in the NFL in points allowed (17.9 per game) and eighth in total defense (333.9 yards).