Not going to lie, things haven't gone well over the last few weeks. Last week a final minute rushing TD by a rookie QB killed the Texans spread bet, Irv Smith scored 2 TDs, on his 2 receptions when I had o2.5 – It was the right bet, and Tyler Lockett cost my a fortune by going down a yard short of the endzone for the Seahawks. Yes they're excuses, but I feel they validate my picks to a certain extent. It's been a rough few weeks.
Week 10 is here though and for me as a Bengals fan it's the game I mark on the calendar when the schedule is released. Bengals v Steelers. I'm hopeful we'll put up a good game and keep it close, of course it would be great to stop their unbeaten run, and the Bengals roster is so far different to anything they've put out there for the last 10 years or so that I think it could be the beginning of things turning in our favour. I hope. That game depends a lot on how well the offensive line stops the best pass rush in the league. That's where I'm less hopeful. Fingers crossed Joey B makes it out alive and the second half of the season starts with some promise, there's some easier games on the way for my boys.
The Bengals were in contention for my spread pick, I like them getting the hook on the 7 as I think it will be a one-score game, but I can't jinx my team like that. The Chargers +1.5 at the Dolphins were there, they've got to win a one-score game at some point and I think the Dolphins are over-rated. The Browns -4 at home to a dome-team in the Texans in “dangerously windy” conditions (according to NFLWeather) should be able to run all over them with Nick Chubb back in the line-up
But I'm settling on the Sunday night football match this week with the Ravens travelling to Foxborough to take on the pathetic Patriots. It's the largest underdog the Pats have been at home since 2001. 19 years. And realistically I think it should be closer to double-digits. The Patriots are ranked 31st by DVOA, 30th vs the pass, 31st against the run and they're not much better on offense with a complete lack of pass-catching talent.
The Ravens need to keep winning to keep pace with the Steelers at the top of the AFC North so won't be taking it easy, they had a weird week against the Colts, only 55 yards offense in the first half, but they ran out 24-10 winners and shut out the Colts in the second half. That Colts team is far better than the current iteration of the Pats and the Ravens could put up 300 yards on the ground with Mark Ingram expected to return to the backfield. They might even get the passing game clicking such is my disrespect of the Patriots defense here. Add to that the Ravens defense is one of the best in the league particularly against the run which is pretty much the only way the Pats will move the ball and I think it should be a 2 TD win for the Ravens.
Ravens -7 at 1.90 in the usual places.
As always a few in contention for me here too, no doubt I'll pick the wrong one, but the likes of John Brown, Tim Patrick, Keenan Allen and Sterling Shepard receptions are lined well, Nick Chubb at 71.5 rush yards against a terrible Texans run D in what's likely to be a run-heavy game is tempting, but it's another returning running back that I'll go with here due to a decent discrepancy in lines between bookies.
Aaron Jones rush yards is lined at 71.5 on Bet365 but a lovely 66.5 on Skybet and in a weather-affected game as big favourites (around 14 points) there should be a ton of rushing attempts for one of the best backs in the league. He's had a month off through injury and will be raring to go, so I'm expecting 20+ carries for him, even at 3 yards per carry he's going to get close to this line and he's got the breakaway speed to hit this line in just a few attempts against a poor Jaguars run defense.
Aaron Jones o66.5 rushing yards – 1.83 (Skybet)
Anytime TD scorer
I used to think I was pretty good at picking TD scorers but they've been a bloody nightmare so far this season. I'll keep backing them of course, and looking for value where it is. Obviously, it makes sense to target the high scoring games on the slate, so the likes of the Bills v Cardinals and Seahawks v Rams, Broncos v Raiders are all over 50 points this week; I'm actually shocked the Broncos v Raiders line hasn't gone up this week I've got it pegged as a high scoring affair.
I like Kyler Murray again obviously, and maybe worth a look at the tight ends for the Cardinals as the Bills are susceptible across the middle of the field, Darrell Daniels and Maxxxxxx Williams both got on the scoresheet last week, but with 1 reception each. Actually both too short for pot-shots. The Bills side, I like John Brown (3.0) and Gabriel Davis (6.0), but they like the TE there too, so Dawson Knox is decently priced at 6.5
Carson and Hyde are once again out for the Seahawks so Deejay Dallas and Travis Homer are of interest at 2.75 and 3.5 respectively, Dallas has 3 TDs in 2 games. Homer gets more snaps if they're trailing. Of course you'd expect DK to get a TD again, he'll be against Jalen Ramsey but can anyone stop that beast of a man?
Noah Fant makes sense for the Broncos at 3.25, and a tight end on the other side tends to score 2 or 3 times a season so 16/1 for Foster Moreau isn't a terrible look either.
But I'll veer away from those and, to me, I think the best value this week is Nick Chubb for the Browns. I am fairly surprised to see him above evens in a game that I think he'll return to the heavy workload that he had pre-injury. Kareem Hunt has been fine but is nowhere near as good as Chubb as an RB1. They're up against a bottom 5 run defense in a game I expect to be very run-heavy given the weather there, he'll get goal-line looks and I think he'll find the end-zone. He's priced as low as 1.5 on Spreadex, so to get 2.2 on him at Betfair, to me, seems very good.
Bigger priced TD scorer – Samaje Perine 8.5 of the Bengals (Betfair/PP) – They're without Mixon again and Perine was used in goal-line positions against the Colts in the last game they played, assume he'll take that role again this week.
Hoping for a change in fortunes on here.
- Ravens -7 – 1.90 (365/most)
- Aaron Jones o66.5 rush yards – 1.83 (Skybet)
- Nick Chubb anytime TD – 2.2 (Betfair/PP)
- Samaje Perine – 8.5 (Betfair/PP) – Half stake
Good Luck with your bets this week, if you follow me on twitter it should be entertaining, yet swear-filled from 925 onwards when I'll inevitably be tweeting during the Bengals and Steelers game.