A sweet 3-0 record on the three biggest spreads of Week 10. Hit on Denver covering at Oakland as the biggest favorite, Baltimore at home vs. Tennessee and Seattle against the visiting NY Giants. Here are the Pinnacle top NFL spread odds for Sunday.
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers (-10.5 at Bet365)
You can probably pencil in Oakland as one of the three biggest underdogs the rest of the season; other than maybe Week 16 at home against Buffalo. The main question I have is what if Oakland gets the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft? Rookie QB Derek Carr, a second-round pick, has shown some promise. But do you pass up the chance to take a potential superstar quarterback like Oregon's Marcus Mariota? The Raiders were beaten 41-17 at home last week by the Broncos, and Oakland still has topped 17 points just twice. One of those was the closest Oakland came to a win: a 31-28 Week 6 home loss to San Diego as a 7.5-point underdog at sportsbooks. Carr had his best game, throwing for 282 yards and four touchdowns. The Raiders led 28-21 with just under six minutes left. The Bolts got a Nick Novak 30-yard field goal with 5:52 left and then won it on a Branden Oliver 1-yard run with 1:56 remaining. Philip Rivers was excellent, throwing for 313 yards and three touchdowns. It was a bit of a trap game for San Diego as it was coming off four straight impressive wins. Meanwhile, the Raiders were off their bye week. This time it's San Diego off the bye, and the team will get a few starters back from injury, including running back Ryan Mathews. The Bolts entered the break on three-game skid, each loss worse than the previous.
NFL free pick: San Diego. That losing streak will really have gotten the players' attention during the week off. Plus now the Chargers are about as healthy as possible. Oakland has covered just three of its past 12 at sportsbooks against teams with a winning record.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Redskins (-7.5 at The Greek)
This is the game of the weak as opposed to the game of the week. Could Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith be in jeopardy of losing his job after one season? I highly doubt it because the Bucs are paying him a lot of money and Smith is essentially the general manager as well. Some had Tampa as a playoff team, but instead the Bucs are 1-8, and that lone win was a minor miracle Week 4 in Pittsburgh. The Buccaneers were 3.5-point home favorites on NFL odds last week against a Falcons team that had been blown out in every road game. So of course Atlanta won 27-17. Smith went back to Josh McCown at quarterback, his first start since Week 3 (a blowout in Atlanta), and it didn't work. McCown was 27 of 43 for 301 yards with two TDs and two picks while being sacked four times. Proof of how bad the Bucs are is that a 3-6 Redskins team can be more than a touchdown favorite. Washington does come off its bye week, which should mean Robert Griffin III is completely healthy. Want to know how misleading yardage is? Washington is in the Top 10 in total offense and defense but three games under .500.
NFL free pick: Take the points -- that half point could mean everything. If you want to go alternate line and get it at 6.5 at books like 5Dimes, go Washington. The Bucs are 1-9 ATS in their past 10 vs. the NFC. Washington is 2-6 ATS in its past eight at home. Something has to give here.
Cincinnati Bengals at New Orleans Saints (-7.5 at 5Dimes)
The Saints had won 20 straight games at the Superdome in games Sean Payton coached -- so not counting the 2012 season when he was suspended -- but that ended last week in a 27-24 overtime defeat to a desperate 49ers team. New Orleans appeared to win the game at the end of regulation on a Hail Mary TD from Drew Brees to Jimmy Graham, but Graham clearly pushed off on a Niners defensive back and was called for offensive pass interference. In past years, Brees' home splits were way, way better than on the road but not so this season. His home rating is 97.3 with five picks; on the road it's 93.3 with five interceptions. Cincinnati was shocked at home last Thursday, 24-3, by Cleveland and QB Andy Dalton has been ripped locally and nationally since then. He had one of the worst games you will ever see by a guy with a $100 million contract (or any contract for that matter): 10-for-33 for 86 yards with three interceptions and a rating of 2.0. I think you get a rating of 5.0 just for taking a snap. It's like with the SAT, you get points simply for filling in your name. The Bengals have to be having some buyers' remorse with Dalton as they won their first road game of the season but have been outscored 70-17 in losing their past two. As you would expect, Dalton struggled big time in both.
NFL free pick: Take the points. New Orleans has covered only one of its past seven in November. The Bengals have covered seven of their past nine on NFL odds following a loss. Cincinnati had a few extra days to prepare and should stay within a touchdown. If you can get at 6.5 at sportsbooks, my NFL pick would be Saints.