I went 12-2 straight up last week, and 10-4 against the spread. For the season, that puts me at 84-48 straight up and 60-67-5 against the spread. For a comparison, check out the “experts” over at ESPN.com.
What follows are my picks for the NFL’s Week 10:
*Thursday, November 8*
Indianapolis (5-3) at Jacksonville (1-7) – 8:20 p.m. (Line: Colts by 3)
The Colts have won three in a row. The Jaguars have dropped five straight. They are winless at home this season and have the most inept offense in the league in terms of points per game, passing yards per game, and total yards per game.
- RJ’s Pick: Indianapolis by 7
*Sunday, November 11*
Detroit (4-4) at Minnesota (5-4) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: Lions by 2.5)
The Lions have won their last two games and are finally starting to look like last year’s team. They have the league’s top passing offense, and their defense is ranked seventh in the league in total yards allowed per game. The Vikings have lost two in a row. Christian Ponder has been pretty bad in his last three-games, with just two TDs and four INTs over that span. He failed to pass for more than 100 yards in two of those games, and his completion percentage has been right around 50%. The loser of this matchup will be in last place in the NFC North and have little chance of making the playoffs.
- RJ’s Pick: Detroit by 6
New York Giants (6-3) at Cincinnati (3-5) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: Giants by 3.5)
The Super Bowl champion Giants lost at home to the Steelers last week, 24-20. However, they remain in complete control of the NFC East with a two and a half-game lead over the Eagles and Cowboys, and a three-game lead over the Redskins. The Bengals have dropped four straight after starting the season at 3-1. Andy Dalton is a good young QB, but he’s thrown at least one interception in every game this season.
- RJ’s Pick: New York Giants by 9
Tennessee (3-6) at Miami (4-4) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: Miami by 6)
The Titans have allowed 308 points already this season. That is, by far, the most in the NFL. For a comparison, the Titans allowed just 317 points during the entire 2011 regular season. The Dolphins have become a trendy AFC Wild Card pick for some sportswriters, but I am skeptical. Their defense is ranked sixth in terms of points allowed, but 24th in total yards allowed. Their offense is not particularly potent. They’ve got a rookie quarterback playing behind a questionable offensive line. I don’t think this team finishes any better than .500.
- RJ’s Pick: Miami by 3
Buffalo (3-5) at New England (5-3) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: New England by 10.5)
The Bills have lost two in a row. Their defense is ranked next to last in points allowed per game, rushing yards allowed per game, and total yards allowed per game. The Patriots have won their last two. They lead the NFL in points scored per game and total yards of offense per game. They should score at least 40 points this week.
- RJ’s Pick: New England by 20
Atlanta (8-0) at New Orleans (3-5) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: Falcons by 2.5)
The Falcons are the NFL’s last remaining unbeaten team, but their defense is still something of a question mark. The Saints have the league’s worst defense in terms of yards allowed per game. This one should be a shootout.
- RJ’s Pick: Atlanta by 8
San Diego (4-4) at Tampa Bay (4-4) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: Tampa Bay by 3)
The Chargers won last week and can get back above .500 with a road win this week. The Buccaneers have won two in a row. Rookie RB Doug Martin was a beast last week, rushing for 251 yards and four TDs. This is not an easy matchup to pick.
- RJ’s Pick: Tampa Bay by 1
Denver (5-3) at Carolina (2-6) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: Broncos by 3.5)
The Broncos have won three straight. Peyton Manning had his worst passer rating in a game since Week Three last week, as it was “only” 105.8. The Panthers have the worst record in the NFC.
- RJ’s Pick: Denver by 10
Oakland (3-5) at Baltimore (6-2) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: Baltimore by 7)
The Raiders have a below average defense and a mediocre offense with an anemic running game. They are not a good team, but they are just good enough to be competitive. The Ravens are undefeated at home this season. They have a very consistent running back in Ray Rice. In four of his eight games this year, he has gained 98, 99, 101, and 102 yards on the ground. In two of the other four games, he simply wasn’t given the ball much (10 carries in Week One and just nine carries in Week Seven).
- RJ’s Pick: Baltimore by 3
New York Jets (3-5) at Seattle (5-4) – 4:05 p.m. (Line: Seattle by 6)
The Jets have lost their last two games and four out of their last five. The Seahawks are unbeaten at home. Maybe after the Jets lose this week we’ll finally see Tim Tebow starting under center.
- RJ’s Pick: Seattle by 11
Dallas (3-5) at Philadelphia (3-5) – 4:25 p.m. (Line: Cowboys by 2)
The Cowboys have lost three close games this year to good teams – by two points in Baltimore, by five points to the Giants, and by six points in Atlanta. They are ranked sixth in total yards of offense per game and fifth in total yards allowed per game. The Eagles have lost four consecutive games. They have scored the fewest points in the NFC. The winner of this one will still have a somewhat realistic chance of making the playoffs. The loser will be pretty much toast. Expect a lot of turnovers.
- RJ’s Pick: Dallas by 5
St. Louis (3-5) at San Francisco (6-2) – 4:25 p.m. (Line: San Francisco by 10.5)
The Rams have lost their last three. They have not scored more than 20 points in a game since Week Two. The 49ers have the top rushing offense in the league, averaging 169 yards per game on the ground and 5.6 yards per carry. They are allowing fewer than 13 points per game.
- RJ’s Pick: San Francisco by 17
Houston (7-1) at Chicago (7-1) – 8:20 p.m. (Line: Chicago by 1)
An excellent, must-see matchup. The Texans have scored an average of almost 30 points per game while allowing about 17 points per game. Their only loss this year was to the Packers. The Bears are scoring 29.5 points per game (a lot of those points coming from their defense) while allowing just 15 points per game. Their only loss of the season was to the Packers. On a neutral field I would have to pick the Texans, but in Chicago, in November, at night? I gotta go with the Bears.
- RJ’s Pick: Chicago by 4
*Monday, November 12*
Kansas City (1-7) at Pittsburgh (5-3) – 8:30 p.m. (Line: Pittsburgh by 11)
The Chiefs have lost five in a row. The Steelers have won three straight and are 3-0 at home this season. They have allowed the fewest passing yards per game and the fewest total yards per game in the NFL.
- RJ’s Pick: Pittsburgh by 7
Bye Week Teams: Cleveland (2-7), Green Bay (6-3), Arizona (4-5), and Washington (3-6)
If you’re interested, you can check out the full list of Danny Sheridan’s Odds here.