Identifying Value and NFL Week 10 Underdogs
A 1-1 ATS result in Week 9 including the Bills (+3) beatdown of the Seahawks 44-34. Buffalo was my strongest play this season, as the sieve Seahawks defense continues to struggle as a poorly coordinated unit. The Seahawks were a very popular and public play with more than 80% of the bets and money supporting Seattle. So the leading online sportsbooks made out very well on that game as did Fairway's Forecast.
Unfortunately, the season underdog picks on these pages need to improve currently 10-16 ATS and 87-70 ATS the past 3-plus years. I've mentioned previously including in Week 5 that Seattle's defense was a significant problem and the fortunate results would not continue. We had the Vikings (+7) at Seattle in that Week 5 contest and the Seahawks pulled out a miracle in the closing minute and then final seconds.
The Colts could not come through last week against the Ravens in a 24-10 defeat. Indianapolis out-gained Baltimore 339-266 and held the Ravens to just 266 yards at 4.2 yards per play. The misleading final had us right back on the Colts last night as underdog and they delivered a road win over the Titans in a key AFC South first place showdown. Indianapolis closed a 1-point favorite with late, sharp money riding the Colts to a 34-17 victory. Teaser players that were ahead of the market were able to tease the Colts up to +8 and have those tickets alive.
The assault against Seattle will continue this week as we support the LA Rams. During the past three years posting underdog picks, we've used just a handful of home favorites of 2 points or less. Essentially, they are priced as slight underdogs with no home field edge. With few underdogs of interest this week, we'll add the Rams to Fairway's Forecast.
Be sure to check the online sportsbooks special promotions and bonuses each week. William Hill sportsbook has the lines below.
NFL Week 10 Picks
262 Carolina (+6) vs Tampa Bay - Panthers Moneyline +215
270 Los Angeles Rams (-1.5) vs Seattle – Rams Moneyline -130
277 Los Angeles Chargers (+1.5) at Miami - Chargers Moneyline +105
Carolina at Tampa Bay
The Buccaneers (6-3) were buried at home on Sunday night football 38-3 by the Saints. Check the boxscore and you'll see three Brady interceptions but a NFL record 8 rushing yards on just 5 attempts. Not for Brady, but the Bucceneers running game! The Panthers (3-6) and their solid rookie head coach Matt Rhule continue to out-perform the market and last week out-gained the high-powered Chiefs in a 33-31 defeat as plus-10. Star running back Christian McCaffrey returned last week with 28 touches and 151 total yards, and he'll be a key player running and receiving against a top ranked Bucs defense. However, Tampa Bay's defense has struggled a bit the last two weeks allowing 357 yards to the Giants and 420 against the Saints. This line suggests the Bucs would be favored by more than the Chiefs were against the Panthers if the game was in Tampa. That's night right, and we hope Carolina QB Teddy Bridgewater is right this week and holds up well against the Bucs strong defensive front. Bridgewater passed for less than 200 yards with 2 interceptions in Week 6 against the solid Bears defense and gets more pressure this week. But Teddy and the Panthers offense now have McCaffrey back, and we're taking plus 6 at William Hill although most leading online sportsbooks are plus 5.5. That will do to as more money and sharper support leans towards the Panthers.
Seattle at LA Rams
Read my Week 9 analysis of Bills over Seahawks and you'll see my projection of 'I expect a two-game losing streak to start this week.' The Rams (5-3) are rested and ready off a bye and have a +0.9 net yards per play edge over the Seahawks (6-2) in this key NFC West showdown. Los Angeles also owns the superior defense allowing just 292 yards per game and a league-low 4.7 yards per play. The Seahawks explosive (pass) offense led by QB Russell Wilson should finally be slowed somewhat this week. Meanwhile, the sieve Seattle defense and their Sea Chicken to-be-fired coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. are allowing a league worst 455 yards per game and 6.2 yards per play. Back-to-back road games for Seattle and back-to-back losses.
LA Chargers at Miami
The Chargers (2-6) continue to invent new ways to lose, while the Dolphins (5-3) escaped with a win for the second straight week despite being out-gained by large margins in both wins over the Rams and Cardinals. Now Miami, last year's laughingstock of the league, is in position to make the expanded playoffs with rookie QB Tua now 2-0 since being inserted as starter over the Dolphins bye week. But Los Angeles has the leagues future star at quarterback with rookie Justin Herbet posting sensational stats and 306 passing yards per game. The Dolphins run defense is in the bottom quartile of the league, and Arizona rolled up 178 rushing last week. My guidelines project the Chargers to have at least 135 rushing yards and for Herbert to again have a solid game with more than 270 passing. Chargers added to teaser bets, and sharp money showing on LA as the line dipped before our regular Friday post. .
FairwayJay is a leading national sports handicapper and betting analyst, and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. Read more great insights from Jay here and follow him on Twitter @FairwayJay.