Can you believe that we are already into the double-digits in terms of the NFL weeks?! It feels like yesterday that we were talking about the start of the season, and now we are looking at the crunch period of the NFL schedule. Last week was not a good one, as we went 1-4 and saw ourselves drop down below five units of loss this season. However, there is still plenty of time to turn it around and that starts with our NFL Week 10 totals picks.
So, before we start the article, it is time to look at the lessons from last week. The idea of going to team totals was to try and reduce the variance, and the initial results are not good. The positive is that even if I had taken the overall totals I liked last week, it would still have been a bad week (2-3). What that tells me is that last week was just a tough one and that we need to focus our energy on this week.
What went wrong in Week 9
Let’s start with the Green Bay Packers, who completely fell apart. If you saw the Packers and Aaron Rodgers crumbling offensively like that, then congratulations, but not many people did. I saw people saying the Packers would lose in a shootout, but not many saying the Packers offense just would not get on the plane. I am not even sure what to take from this loss, because it feels so random after what we saw the week before.
Other losses on the week included the Lions falling an agonizing point short of covering, as they had a pass picked in the end zone and failed to score with four downs from the eight-yard line. The moral here is that even in potentially high scoring games, beware crossing over the 24 point mark because scoring 25 or more points in the NFL is not a simple thing to do. The Panthers blew through their line, thanks in large part to some inept turnovers by the Titans in their own half in the second quarter, and the Panthers going for it with a pass to Christian McCaffrey on fourth down as early as the second quarter. This game looked ugly as a pick, but some circumstances that were tough to see came about and really put us in a hole early.
The other loss was the Jaguars, who were just diabolical. I was there and witnessed it in person, so I have suffered enough on this one, but I am not touching the Jaguars until I see what they are like with Nick Foles under center. The win this week was the Buccaneers, the reliably fun Buccaneers. They cannot really defend, as Russell Wilson proved last week, and they have a fun offense, making them a great team for this article because often it is hard to set theirs and their opponents total high enough without it looking ridiculous.
So, now we know what to take away from last week. Here are the points totals picks for Week 10 of the NFL.Through 14 weeks of the NFL season (minus MNF on 12/9), the PFN betting group has over 25 units of profit (~625$). With your All-Access Pass, you have an exclusive look at our running record of best bets, not to mention 24/7 availability of the betting group should you have an individualized question. Sign up for the All-Access Pass that'll pay for itself and more.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears offense is in an absolute mess. They have scored under 20 points on five occasions and one of those other times, they only got to 21. In fact, their only times over this team total were against the Redskins, when the defense destroyed Case Keenum, and against the Saints, when the Saints essentially went prevent for the entire second half.
The Detroit defense is not great and has only allowed 22 points or less once this season, but this Bears offense might be the most inept in the league. The Bears will move the ball, especially against a mediocre Lions run defense, but do I feel confident they can sustain drives and score touchdowns? Not really, having just made a mediocre Eagles defense look good. They could score one or two, but then they need three or more field goals to challenge the total. Until I see something different from the Bears offense, I am just going to pile on.
1u – Chicago Bears Under 22.5 Total Points | -117
In fact, let’s double-down here with two Week 10 picks on the same NFL game. The Bears’ defense is still good. They just restricted the Eagles to 22 points, which is solid work. The issue is that they cannot get off and stay off the field. Well, this game should be different.
As I just said, I expect the Bears to have some success moving the ball and sustaining drives to an extent. That will help keep this defense, specifically the pass rush from Khalil Mack and company, fresh, and they should be able to restrict a Lions team who have been carving it up recently. This will be the Lions offense’s biggest challenge of the season, and I cannot see them scoring many more than 22-24 points. Given I think the Bears only get around 17, the under on the game line at 42.5 feels the right pick.
1u – Under 42.5 Total Points | -117
Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns
Okay, so the Bills offense is not great. They have scored less than 20 points four times this season, but this line just feels wrong. How many times have the Browns restricted a team to less than 20 points this season? Once, and that was the Luke Falk led Jets, so does it really even count? The Browns are a mess right now, both on and off the field. The Bills offense should see plenty of the ball, and I will be stunned if they do not get to 20 points.
2u – Buffalo Bills Over 18.5 Total Points | -117
Arizona Cardinals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I am so excited for this game. Two teams who struggle defensively, but can sling it around and make fun plays going head-to-head. The Cardinals have scored over 24 points in four of their last five games, three of which were against bad defenses, much like what the Buccaneers have. Even more promising is that they could convert in the red zone last Thursday night against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Buccaneers have not allowed under 27 points since Week 2, so the Cardinals should be able to score right around the 25 point mark at minimum. Although, given the way this Cardinals offense works, you might be sweating this one deep into the fourth quarter. Throw in that the fact that the Cardinals have had ten days to prepare, and this game has an Arizona offensive special written all over it.
1u – Arizona Cardinals Over 23.5 Total Points | -110
Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys
Normally, you split teams by home and away, but with the Vikings, outdoors and indoors is more appropriate. Indoors this season, the Vikings have failed to score 20 points just once, and that was the weird Thursday Night Football game with the Redskins. All of their other offensive blunders have been when playing outdoors. Even so, they have scored over 22 points in two outdoor road games this season, including last week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Cowboys defense is solid, but the Vikings offense should be able to remain balanced and get to 24 points this week. Yes, the Cowboys have shut down two NFC East opponents in their last two games, but they are both offenses that have their teething problems right now, and probably would have scored more had it not been for silly turnovers. On a week with some highly questionable lines, this feels like a solid pick to end our Week 10 NFL picks article, especially with the Cowboys coming off a Monday Night Football game, giving them a little less preparation time for this one.
1u – Minnesota Vikings Over 22.5 Total Points | -110
Ben Rolfe is an NFL picks writer and editor at PFN. You can follow him @benrolfe15 on twitter. For more gambling information and bets, make sure to get our All-Access Pass! Follow us on Twitter for more great content @PFN365.