How to Bet Week 10 in the NFL, Including Lions-Bears and Seahawks-49ers
Paul Bovi of VegasInsider.com and Borgata sportsbook director Tom Gable offer their informed opinions
This is NFL Best Bets, a recurring series in which professional sports handicappers lend us their insights and picks for the most intriguing matchups for each week of the football season.
For this edition of Best Bets, Paul Bovi, a sports betting expert from VegasInsider.com who’s been handicapping games for three decades, and Thomas Gable, the director of race and sportsbook at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, shared their opinions on five games on the NFL’s slate of Week 10 matchups, including Monday night’s divisional matchup between the Seahawks and 49ers in San Francisco.
You’ve got places to go, people to see and possibly some wagers to make, so let’s get to it.
5-3 Panters (+200, +5.5, O/U 47) at 7-2 Packers
This week, the Panthers sent franchise quarterback Cam Newton to injured reserve, effectively ending his season. That move means interim starter Kyle Allen, who’s won five of six starts this season, will finish out the season under center for the Panthers. The Packers have had an interesting week of their own after scoring just 11 points during an upset loss in Los Angeles to the slumping Chargers in Week 9.
Bovi’s take: “Green Bay had one of their worst offensive performances in the last two decades on Sunday as they were dominated by the Chargers 26-11. They accumulated only 206 yards of offense with half of those coming on the last two drives with the game far out of reach at 26-3. The Panthers got back on track in Week 9 after being manhandled by the Niners as they posted a 30-20 win at home over the Titans. Christian McCaffrey ran for 146 yards while DJ Moore hauled in seven Kyle Allen passes for 101 yards. Both teams have struggled to stop the run and with wide receiver Davante Adams returning for the Packers, we’ll look for the Green Bay offense to atone for their performance in LA on Sunday. For the Panthers, we will look for some scoring as McCaffrey should enjoy success against this Packer defense. Over is the play.”
Gable’s take: “The Packers opened as 4.5-point favorites in this game. They’re looking to rebound after that really bad loss against the Chargers. Their defense, which has been pretty strong, just didn’t look good at all. The Chargers really ran all over them. I’d look for the Packers to rebound after that. For the Panthers, quarterback Kyle Allen has kind of regressed a little bit, I think he has a 2:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio over the past two games. After he got off to that hot start, he’s kind of come back a little bit even though they obviously still have weapons. They have a legitimate MVP candidate in Christian McCaffrey. I see the public being all over the Packers in this one. They’re going to be included in a lot of parlays as well.”
Our Pick: Look for the stars to perform and side with the over.
5-3 Rams (-185, -3.5, O/U 44) at 4-4 Steelers
While both of these teams started the season with aspirations of winning their respective divisions, both have hit stumbling blocks along the way and are now fighting to remain in the playoff picture. Still, with half a season left to play, both still have the opportunity to improve and show more consistency on both sides of the ball and aid their playoff prospects in the process.
Bovi’s take: “The Rams have posted comfortable wins over the Falcons and Bengals in their last two after a dismal performance against the Niners. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks will sit this one out as he recovers from a concussion. The Rams need a win as they trail both the Niners and the Seahawks in the NFC West while the Steelers find themselves two games behind the Ravens in their quest to make something out of what looked like a lost season early on. Last week, Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph targeted running back Jaylen Samuels 13 times and completed each one, though the yardage tally was minimal at 73 yards. We will side with the Steelers at home getting more than a field goal.”
Gable’s take: “The Steelers escaped with a win last week on a missed field goal. That being said, with the win, they’re back to .500 and still in the wildcard picture. The Rams are coming off their bye. They started favored by 3.5 in this game with the total at 44.5. For the Steelers, it’s going to come down to quarterback Mason Rudolph. He needs to show improvement for them to stay in the hunt. He’s really going to have to step up if they’re going to make a serious run to get to the playoffs. I think the public is going to be on the Rams in this game. A lot of people have been down on them. I think Sean McVey is still one of the best coaches in the league. He’s going to get this figured out. While the Steelers have had some wins, they haven’t had that definitive win where they have convinced a lot of people that they belong where they are right now.”
Our Pick: Hope Pittsburgh’s D plays well and go Steelers plus the points
3-4-1 Lions (+115, +2.5, O/U 41.5) at 3-5 Bears
Losers of four games in a row, the Bears need to win this game at home if they’re going to revive their already slim hopes of making the playoffs. Just a game ahead of them in the standings in the NFC North, the Lions are in virtually the same spot if they want a shot at making the postseason. That means the loser of this one is probably playing for next year following Week 10.
Bovi’s take: “These two bring up the rear in the NFC North with only a tie by the Lions in the opening week providing the half-game margin separating the two. Detroit was involved in yet another close game last week and came out on the short end of a 31-24 decision to the Raiders. Earlier in the season, the Lions won a pair of games by a field goal but recently it has gone the other way and Detroit has dropped four of their last five. The Bears continue to produce little in the way of offense as they came up short of 200 yards in last week’s 22-14 loss to the Eagles. The Lions have struggled to run the ball this year and that could be the difference in this one as the Bears will be able to tee off on Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. This is a winnable game for the Bears and we will side with them to take this one by four to seven points.”
Gable’s take: “The Bears opened as 2.5-point favorites. This game really is going to feature a horrible Bears offense against an equally horrible Lions defense. Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has been such a disappointment this year for all those people who were predicting big things for him. He’s been just horrendous. The Bears strength is their defense. Because of what we’ve seen from the Bears recently, I think the public is going to be all over the Lions here getting the 2.5. I think they have the ability to put up enough points that they should be able to beat the Bears. Matthew Stafford’s been pretty decent and they’ve been scoring points. That’s not really their issue. I think they could certainly win this outright.”
Our Pick: Look for some defensive scores and go with the over.
6-3 Vikings (+140, +3, O/U 48) at 5-3 Cowboys
The Vikings had a big chance for a statement win playing on the road last week in Kansas City, but were unable to knock off the Chiefs despite Patrick Mahomes being on the sidelines. The Cowboys come into this home game coming off two straight division wins (Eagles, Giants) following a shocking loss to the previously winless Jets, who haven’t won a game since.
Bovi’s take: “Kirk Cousins took to the road on Sunday and struggled in completing only 19-of-38 for 220 yards as the Vikings fell to the Chiefs The Vikings sacked Matt Moore five times, but Patrick Mahomes’ understudy stood tall and completed 25 passes for 275 yards. The Cowboys broke open a close game with the Giants en route to a 37-18 win on Monday. Dallas held Saquon Barkley to 28 yards on 14 carries which went a long way in keeping the Giants in check while limiting them to only six points in the second half. The Vikings defense has struggled over the last four, which includes their 19-9 win over the Redskins as quarterback Case Keenum moved the ball easily up and down the field before leaving with a concussion. The gave up 30 to the Lions in the prior week. They will struggle with the Cowboys arsenal along with running back Zeke Elliott. Look for the Cowboys to pull away late and come away with a 10-point win.”
Gable’s take: “This is going to be a very interesting game. I think more so for the Vikings than the Cowboys. Obviously, the Cowboys are sitting in the lead in the NFC East. The Vikings are going to need to beat teams like the Cowboys in order to avoid playing a wildcard game on the road to start the playoffs. Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins seems to have turned around. He had this horrible start to the year where everybody was just bashing him and then he seemed to get it turned around and had a couple of weeks as one of, if not the, best quarterbacks in the league. Then again, their strength is going to be running with Dalvin Cook and the Cowboys are tough against the run. For them to be a serious contender to come out of the NFC, they can’t rely solely on the Cousins. it’s going to be a tough game for the Vikings.”
Our Pick: Hope both offenses get it going in primetime and take the over.
7-2 Seahawks (+225, +6, O/U 47) at 8-0 49ers
Against a young Cardinals team on Thursday Night Football last week, the undefeated 49ers got an impressive performance from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on a night when their defense wasn’t great and escaped with a win to remain unbeaten. The Seahawks also played a poor game in Week 9 against an inferior opponent (the Bengals) but won in OT as Russell Wilson threw five TDs.
Bovi’s take: “The Niners remain as the only unbeaten team after escaping Arizona with a 28-25 win. Quarterback Jimmy Garappolo was spectacular in completing 28-of-37 while recently acquired receiver Emmanuel Sanders hauled in seven catches for 112 yards. The Niners have definitely shown some weakness defending the ground game of late and that was the case against Arizona as the Cardinals ran for 153 yards on 23 carries. The Seahawks continue to win the close games as they defeated the Bucs 40-34 in overtime last week. Six of the Seahawks seven wins have come by a combined 21 points. A Niners win here all but gives them the division as they would enjoy an insurmountable three-game cushion in the loss column. Hard to bet against Russell Wilson getting points, but feel the Niners are the better team and will likely pull out the win. We’ll look for scoring by both teams and side with the over.”
Gable’s take: “The 49ers have been saying they felt humbled after the Thursday night game against the Cardinals in Week 9 and that they needed that game. The Seahawks have won a number of close games and probably have won some games that they shouldn’t have. But if they want to have any chance to win the division, this is a must-win for them. They have to beat the 49ers in this game and to do that they’re going to need the guy who they have relied on all year — Russell Wilson. He’s kind of been a one-man show and is the MVP favorite right now in pretty much every market. He has this hodgepodge group of wide receivers that he’s making it work with. For the 49ers, even if Jimmy Garoppolo regresses, the 49ers defense has been so strong and so good that they can probably carry them a long way this year. This is just a huge division game.”
Our Pick: Hope Wilson’s run continues and take the Seahawks plus six.
Last Week’s Picks: 3-2, Season: 24-21
Editor’s note: Lines fluctuate throughout the week based on injuries, weather reports and other factors. Make sure to double-check odds before betting.