It is playoff push time. Divisional showdowns become all the more important this late in the season as teams claw their way to the top of their respective division. This week, I will focus on two games that highlight significant divisional rivalries and their influence on NFL point spread odds that present possible value before making my picks for NFL point spreads in Week 10. Make sure you keep up with all of the betting team’s Week 10 plays throughout the week.
NFL Odds & Point Spreads, Week 10 | Seattle Seahawks (+1.5) at Los Angeles Rams, Over/Under 55.5
Great minds think alike
The NFC West has one thing in common between all four teams in the division – they all have powerful rushing attacks. The Los Angeles Rams boast a top-ten run game averaging 137.7 yards per game on the ground and have ran in the fifth-most rushing touchdowns this year with 11. They utilize a three-headed attack with running back Darrell Henderson leading the way and teammates Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers sharing the load.
Although the 2020 version of the Seattle Seahawks may not be as run-stubborn as in years past, they still run the ball efficiently with a 4.8 yard per carry average – the eighth-best average in the league this year. With the way quarterback Russell Wilson has played this year, it is no surprise they have changed their philosophy. They are winning games through shootouts week in and week out.
What both of these teams have in common, however, is their ability to stop the run. They both field top-five units against the run game, holding opponents to under 95 yards per game with averages under four yards per carry. The Seahawks have allowed 11 rushing touchdowns, however, whereas the Rams have only allowed six.
On one side of the matchup, you have a team that forces a run-heavy offense (Rams) going up against a formidable run-stopping team (Seahawks). On the other side of the field, you have the league’s best passing attack going up against a secondary that can be thrown on if you are throwing to the non-Ramsey side. The Seahawks are the overall better team in this Week 10 NFL spread matchup, and getting them at plus-money is even better.
These two teams could not be any more different in offensive philosophy if they tried. The Seahawks are a downhill passing attack that leads the league in passing touchdowns with 28 – this averages out to 3.5 passing touchdowns per game. On the other hand, the Rams are a dink and dunk passing attack that capitalizes on what the defense gives them to move the ball down the field.
The Rams prefer to run the ball early and often, utilizing all three of their running backs to create third and short opportunities where quarterback Jared Goff can throw short passes to keep the chains moving. The Seahawks love chunk yardage plays and quick scores, which is evident by their second-best 6.5 yards per play average and Wilson’s 28 passing touchdowns – a league-best.
Seattle leads the league in scoring offense with 34.3 points per game, and they are also top in the NFL in passing yards per game with over 298. This season, their worst offensive game was against the Minnesota Vikings, where they scored 27 points – this team can and will put points on the board and in a hurry.
Los Angeles sits in the bottom half of the league in scoring offense with 24.1, and they rank in the middle in passing yards per game with 258. Usually, when facing the Seahawks, it is expected that you must be able to put up 30 points on the scoreboard if you want a chance at beating them – something the Rams have only managed to do three times in eight games this season. Add in the fact that those three games were against the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, and Washington Football Team, and you have a situation that is not very promising for the Rams.
Defense wins championships
The most notable area that the Seahawks lack is the one area that used to be their expertise – their defense. They allow a league-worst 362 passing yards per game and have allowed opponents to score over 30 points per game on average. This is partially because opposing teams must become pass-happy to keep up with Wilson’s incredible MVP-esque season. Still, it is also due to the fact that their secondary continuously gets burned in every game they play.
The bright side of the Seahawks defense is their run-stopping ability, however. They are holding opponents to 93.6 yards per game with a 3.7 yards per carry average – both top-five numbers in the NFL this year. Combine their ability to shut down opponent’s run games with their inability to stop the passing attack, and you have a team that typically gets attacked through the air regularly.
The Rams, on the other hand, field a near-complete defense. They have excellent pass rushers and run stoppers led by the best defensive lineman in the game, Aaron Donald, and they can equally shut down the pass with a secondary led by cornerback Jalen Ramsey. They do have a significant hole with their starting cornerback opposite Ramsey, however. Troy Hill is allowing a 77% completion percentage and a quarterback rating of 96.0 to opposing quarterbacks.
Los Angeles may be able to remove one of Seattle’s dangerous duo of receivers from the game plan but will struggle mightily if they think they will be able to shut down both Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. If they are unable to generate pressure on Wilson or if he can extend plays with his legs, the Rams will see the same fate that many teams have this season when facing the Seahawks and will give up multiple passing touchdowns to Wilson & Company.
Jessica’s Week 10 NFL Odds & Points Spread Pick: Seahawks ML +110
This is an example of the wrong team favored in a Week 10 NFL spread and something that should be capitalized on. Sure, the Rams are coming off of their bye. Sure, the Seahawks were embarrassed last week versus a good Bills teams. If that is what decided this line, this is genuinely recency bias based on public perception. A Wilson-led Seahawks team is a much better team than a Goff-led Rams team, regardless of defense. Take the plus-money NFL odds.
NFL Odds & Point Spreads | Philadelphia Eagles (-3) at New York Giants, Over/Under 44.5
The mighty NFC (L) East
Welcome to the worst division in the entire NFL. These four teams have a combined total of fewer than 10 wins through 34 games this year – that is a 26%-win percentage between them. One of these teams from the NFC East will be hosting a home playoff game in the playoffs against an opponent who will deserve that home-field advantage more than any of them. We are about two-thirds of the way through the season, and there are still NFL spreads in Week 10 that can be capitalized on.
The Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants face each other for the second time in four weeks, and the Giants should have won that first outing if it were not for some fluky plays and missed opportunities. Whereas the other game was decided in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter, this game will trend in the opposite direction. The Eagles are entering this game off of their bye week and with a much healthier roster than they had the first time these two teams met.
The Giants have not beaten the Eagles the last eight times they have faced them, and this time around does not look like it is going to end that streak. Eagles top running back Miles Sanders and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery will both be back this week, which will add needed weapons to quarterback Carson Wentz’s arsenal.
These two opposing quarterbacks lead the league in turnovers, which will be a deciding factor in this game. Wentz currently has the most interceptions in the NFL with 12. However, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is right behind him with the third-worst total of nine. They are both tied with each other for the second-most fumbles by a quarterback this season with seven. This is not a battle of the league’s shining stars, to say the least.
To the trenches and beyond
This game will presumably come down to which quarterback can operate under the least amount of pressure, thus limiting their opportunities for mistakes. The Giants have one of the worst offensive lines in the league, and they will be facing off against the Eagles’ top-five defensive line. The last time these two teams went at it, the Eagles sacked Jones three times, intercepted him once, and recovered a fumble from him as well.
The Eagles enter this game with starting left tackle Jason Peters back from injured reserve, and his presence will make things much easier for Wentz compared to Week 7 when they last faced the Giants. Wentz was sacked three times in that matchup and threw one interception. With Peters, Sanders, and Jeffery’s return, Wentz should have more time in the pocket and find one of his explosive playmakers regularly to move the chains and put up points with ease.
Jones, on the other hand, will face constant pressure from Philadelphia’s ferocious front seven and turn the ball over as he has in every single game this year – he has a total of zero games in 2020 without a turnover. Suppose the Eagles can cause some of these turnovers in Giants territory. In that case, it should be much easier for Wentz to capitalize and score rather than expecting him to be flawless on multiple extended drives.
The return of Miles Sanders also bodes well for Wentz’s offensive performance. The Giants will not be able to pin their ears back and strictly attack Wentz, as they will now have to account for Sanders’ game-changing skillset, which they did not need to address three weeks ago. A receiving trio of Jeffrey, Travis Fulgham, and Dallas Goedert is much more formidable than the Fulgham-led attack the Giants faced last without either of the other two on the field. This NFL spread for Week 10 is a perfect example of the general public looking at the Week 7 game and not realizing the difference in talent from three weeks ago.
A potential deciding factor in this game is the fact that the Eagles are coming off of their bye week. They have had two weeks to strategize and game plan against a familiar opponent which they saw three weeks ago. If head coach Doug Pederson can stay out of his own way with “cute” play calling and just attack the Giants’ weaknesses, the extra rest for the players and the extra time to dissect New York’s team should bode well for the Eagles coaching staff.
Another factor that may come into play is the Eagles players’ loyalty to their head coach. Amidst losing seasons, you can always tell which coaches have the respect of their players and which ones do not. Regardless of what is happening on or off the field, you typically do not hear an Eagles player talk negatively about the team. Already this season, we have heard rumblings from Atlanta Falcons players (pre-Quinn firing), Dallas Cowboys players, Giants players (Golden Tate), and even Lamar Jackson this past week. Pederson has the respect of his players, and they show up week in and week out for him.
If the Eagles can limit their defensive penalties, they will have a much easier time controlling this game from the get-go. Philadelphia has the second-most defensive penalties this year at around 7.75 defensive penalties per game, leading to a league-worst 68 defensive penalty yards per game.
Jessica’s Week 10 NFL Odds & Point Spread Pick: Eagles -3
The Eagles are much healthier than three weeks ago when these two teams faced off last, so these NFL odds are off. They got back their starting left tackle in Peters, their starting running back in Sanders, their number one receiver in Jeffery, and their future starting tight end in Goedert for this matchup. The Giants forced five turnovers last week against the Washington Football Team and still lost. The Eagles are now in a prime position to make a run at the extended playoffs and host an NFC Wild Card game with a losing record. If it were not for Wentz’s propensity to turn the ball over so often, this Week 10 NFL point spread would be much higher for the Eagles.
Week 10 NFL Odds & Point Spread Picks From Other Writers
George Templeton’s Best Bets
Giants +3.5 | -120
Giants stay in the NFC East to take on the division leader Philadelphia in a must-win game for their division title hopes. New York led by double digits in the first meeting with six minutes left and contrived a way to lose the game. They did cover the number listed here. The Eagles are coming off a bye week, which usually means they play well, but it will come down to whether Carson Wentz gets enough protection to avoid the significant errors he often makes.
Raiders -4.5 | -110
Las Vegas’ playoff drive is starting to pick up steam, and they simply have to win a game like this to make the postseason. Drew Lock’s been so inconsistent within the games he has played. He often struggles early and then plays well late. You can’t do that against a Raiders team that can chew up the clock with Josh Jacobs and Derek Carr, finding a way to keep the offense moving on schedule.
Single-game teaser parlay: Chargers +9/ Dolphins-Chargers O42 | -120
L.A. may struggle to finish games, but they are almost always competitive. Justin Herbert vs. Tua Tagovailoa looks like a guarantee for a lot of points, as this should be one of the games of the day.
Chris Smith’s Best Bet
Eagles -3 | -115
I recommended grabbing the Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC East a few weeks ago at +150. While that ship has clearly sailed (Eagles now at -300 to win the division), I do think there will be value in taking the Eagles against divisional foes down the stretch starting this week against the Giants off of a bye. Jones and company probably should have beaten Philadelphia a few weeks ago on Thursday Night Football, and the Giants have covered five of their last six games.
The Eagles have had their number, though, winning eight consecutive games. While the Giants have actually covered the spread in five of those losses, only once did they keep the game within a field goal. Philadelphia is finally getting healthy, and getting them at -3 without having to purchase the hook is too much value to pass on for the eventual NFC East Champions.