Week 10 Picks of the Week: Doing the opposite (or rather the reverse)
All right, NFLbets is changing things up this week. After our typical slow start to the season, several good weeks in a row have put us back in the black – under the “Picks of the Week”, rubric, that is. Our so-called “Best Bets” were a total whiff again last week to dump NFLbets’ record for 2019 down to 9-12.
So, yeah. This week, we’re Costanzianly doing the opposite. This week’s Picks of the Week are stealthily our Best Bets and vice versa. NFLbets doesn’t know how that’ll affect your wagering, but full transparency, eh?
What we’re calling NFLbets’ Picks of Week 10 follow.
“Los Angeles” Chargers -1½ at Oakland(/Las Vegas) Raiders
Throw out the numbers: This line is essentially asking you to choose which is the better team: The veteran-stocked team without a home or the surprisingly ragtag bunch getting set to leave home? The Chargers window of Super Bowl contention may already by closed, while Chucky and his plucky Raiders are doing their damnedest to pry that sucker open and force their way into the playoffs.
And consider the greater trends, the actual football these teams are playing. The Raiders recently came off five consecutive road games, including three against prospective playoff teams (Minnesota, Green Bay and Houston) or four (depending on how you feel about Indianapolis’s chances with their third choice at quarterback the rest of the way), plus the London game, at a respectable-enough 2-3 SU (3-2 ATS). Last week, they handled Detroit in front of a raucous crowd and this week face a team with no discernible fanbase at all.
So what about those homeless, fan-less Chargers lately? Sure enough, they won SU/ATS in Los Angeles in front of a just-as-raucous crowd of Packers fans for their first “home” win of the season. Prior to that, the Chargers scored 17 points to eke out a 1-point W in Chicago. Prior to that, a 1-5 run had removed them from serious discussion of the 2019 NFL playoffs temporarily.
Both teams, then, are trending upward and both are currently in serious contention for the no. 6 spot. But you know what? Only the Raiders have Josh Jacobs, who has been tormenting defenses over the past four weeks. This dude plus homefield advantage should be enough in this one. Take the 1½ points if you must, but here at NFLbets’ we prefer to take the Raiders ML at +105 for well better value.
Los Angeles Rams -3½ at Pittsburgh Steelers
Whoa, have the Rams been good to bettors this season. The 2018 NFC champs are at 6-2 ATS (including a spiffy 5-0 ATS outside of Los Angeles), tied for league best along with the New Orleans Saints. Of course, this gaudy record makes NFLbets want to bet against the Rams just weekly – but what are we supposed to do when L.A. is currently in one helluva soft spot in the schedule?
Seriously, after a couple of tough losses against fellow NFC West playoff contenders Seattle and San Francisco, the Rams drew Atlanta and Cincinnati, followed by a bye. Next week, they draw Chicago, which may become the first NFL team ever to field an offense without a quarterback. Not that the 2019 Los Angeles Rams need a puff schedule to look scary; though the pass defense has lost a beat from last year, the offense is top-10 in most statistical categories and, until the 49ers game, scoring had hardly been a problem.
Pittsburgh meanwhile features second-/third-string quarterback Mason Rudolph, whose 3-2 SU record as a starter looks impressive enough until you realize that tops among the wins was last week’s over Indianapolis with *their* third-string QB and Adam Vinatieri’s old foot and depended on a 96-yard pick-six.
On one hand, the Steelers’ starting quarterback seems not to matter. Regardless of QB, Pittsburgh’s is a poor offense which is bottom-5 in passing yardage, rushing yardage and first downs. Because of freak plays like Minkah Fitzpatrick’s TD, however, the Steelers have managed 20 to 27 points in every game after the 33-3 drubbing the Patriots handed them in week 1. And gifts like Vinatieri’s shank has them on a 5-1 ATS run going into this game.
Which is exactly why we’re saying take the Los Angeles Rams -3½ at Pittsburgh. Sometimes you just have to back the better team – especially after a bye week.
Seattle Seahawks +6 at San Francisco 49ers
The Seahwaks this season have proven the diametric opposite to the Rams to NFL bettors. While arguably one of the surprises of the league, the ’Hawks are a mere 3-5 ATS and an incredible 0-5 ATS in Seattle. This team’s propensity for just doing enough for the win may make for exciting football, but it’s maddening for those with money down.
So why is NFLbets even considering the eventuality that Seattle’s numbers stay so wickedly imbalanced for one more week? Because the 49ers have been absolutely whupping the ’spreads in 2019. San Francisco has apparently put together a Super Bowl contender about a year early: the Niners are a healthy 5-3 ATS, including a 3-0 ATS mark at home.
About that home record of the 49ers … NFLbets is inclined to neuter that particular number this week because the Seahawks have proven not only this season but in general to enjoy the advantage over West Coast teams: Since Russell Wilson’s debut in 2012, they’re 6-3-1 ATS (5-5 SU) at Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The 49ers haven’t been playing the most impressive of competition – only two of their eight wins came against teams with winning records – but that no. 1 pass defense cannot be denied and since the bye week have enjoyed a turnover differential of +5. Then again, this D has yet to see the likes of Wilson, again tops in the league in passing when pressured.
Fair enough, Seattle squeaked past the inferior-if-exciting Buccaneers last week in OT, but many were thinking upset when center Austin Britt was reported out. The key to the Seahawks keeping this one close will be improving upon the three sacks allowed to a pass rush that isn’t half as deadly as San Francisco’s.
In the final analysis, though, NFLbets is making a football call here. We believe that Russell Wilson is probably the MVP right now. We also believe that the Seahwaks are a true Super Bowl contender. And MVP QBs leading Super Bowl contenders win these sorts of games. SU, we’re talking. Sure, take the Seattle Seahawks +6, but also take the Seahawks ML at +230 – a payout here is like three wins for the price of two!
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week last week: 4-2.
NFLbets’ Picks of the Week this season: 27-15.
Check here for the current NFL Weekly Odds.
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