NFL Week 10 best bets and expert picks for the Sunday slate. Find best bets for NFL Week 10 featuring Packers vs. Steelers, 49ers vs. Jaguars, Texans vs. Bengals, Lions vs. Chargers, Broncos vs. Bills, Commanders vs. Seahawks, and Browns vs. Ravens.
NFL Week 10 Best Bets
We’re onto Week 10 of the NFL season, and this week’s slate is loaded with exciting matchups. In this article, you can find best bet breakdowns for some of the biggest games of the week. Check out the Lineups YouTube page for coverage of all of the NFL games this week. Let’s get to work.
Jacob Wayne’s Record: 15-12-1 (+2.8 units)
Kody Malstrom’s Record: 11-6 (+4.5 units)
Will Schwartz’s Record: 13-13 (-0.9 units)
Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Packers’ offense has been very underwhelming this season, and that’s especially true in the first halves of games. Green Bay ranks dead last in the league with 4.5 points per game in the first half, and they haven’t scored more than seven points in the first half since Week 2. Matt LaFleur still hasn’t figured out how to get this team out of the gates faster.
It feels like ages ago that Jordan Love was being crowned as the Packers’ next franchise passer, and he’s been incredibly inaccurate, ranking 36th out of 37 qualified passers with a 68.4% adjusted completion rate per PFF. It certainly hasn’t helped that top wide receiver Christian Watson and top running back Aaron Jones have been in and out of the lineup with injuries.
The Steelers, meanwhile, are happy to contribute to low scoring first halves. They rank 28th with 6.9 points per game in the first half and had scored three or fewer points in the first half in four straight games prior to ten points last week. Matt Canada’s Steelers offense has been one of the most disappointing in the league.
Kenny Pickett has struggled mightily this season, ranking 31st in EPA+CPOE composite ahead of only Zach Wilson. This matchup doesn’t set up as being particularly easy for him, either. The Packers rank seventh in PFF’s team coverage grades and will get pressure on Pickett with the league’s sixth-highest blitz rate.
Both of these teams rank bottom five in offensive EPA and success rate in the first half, and regardless of how you feel about these defenses, the matchup largely hasn’t mattered all year. The Packers are 6-1-1 to the first half under this season, and I’ll bet on that trend continuing with Love making a tough road start against Pittsburgh.
Best Bet: First Half Under 19.5 Points
San Francisco 49ers at Jacksonville Jaguars
The 49ers lost three straight games prior to their bye week, and while I expect them to improve as the season goes on, this matchup is very difficult in a number of ways. First, the Jaguars have as good of a shot as anyone at stopping Christian McCaffrey with the top run defense in the NFL by success rate.
If McCaffrey isn’t at operating at full MVP-level capacity, the onus falls on the shoulders of Brock Purdy, who I still have questions about. Purdy suffered a concussion on Monday Night Football against the Vikings and was somehow cleared to play just six days later against the Bengals. In that second game, his head hit the ground hard at one point, and I can’t help but wonder if he’s at 100% health here.
It will certainly help that the 49ers are getting Trent Williams and Deebo Samuel back in the lineup, but I have concerns about their defense, as well. San Francisco’s biggest defensive weakness has been the deep ball as they allow the fifth-highest yards per attempt on deep passes. Enter Trevor Lawrence, who’s the best deep ball passer in the NFL according to PFF.
San Francisco’s pass rush should theoretically be dominant with their all star cast, but they rank just 28th in adjusted sack rate. Lawrence has the fourth-lowest average time to throw in the NFL at 2.48 seconds, so I’m not anticipating him to get sacked often. He can deliver quick strikes to a bevy of pass catching weapons including Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk, and Evan Engram.
Overall, the 49ers’ defense hasn’t been what many expected so far this year, and the downgrade from DeMeco Ryans to Steve Wilks as the defensive coordinator could be significant. While the 49ers will bounce back from their losing streak eventually, I have these teams power rated close to even right now, and I’m happy to get the full field goal with Lawrence as a home dog.
Best Bet: Jaguars +3
Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are back. Well, more accurately, Joe Burrow is back. In the team’s two wins since the bye week, Burrow is putting up MVP level numbers. He has completed 77.6% of his passes over the last two weeks with seven big-time throws to just one turnover-worthy play. It’s hard to bet against Burrow when he’s playing like this.
Burrow has a great chance to continue his recent form against a Texans pass defense ranked 24th in EPA. Last week, Houston allowed the Buccaneers to score 37 points as Baker Mayfield threw for two touchdowns and averaged 8.9 yards per attempt. Injuries to defensive backs Derek Stingley Jr., Steven Nelson, and Jimmie Ward haven’t helped.
After looking healthy for the first time this season, Tee Higgins will be out with a hamstring injury, but Ja’Marr Chase is expected to play despite a nasty back bruise. Keep an eye on the reports for Chase, but as long as he’s out there, I still like this play.
C.J. Stroud is coming off a historic performance with 470 passing yards and five touchdowns, but he’s still a rookie quarterback who will have ups and downs. His home-road splits this season are staggering, as well. Check this out:
- Home: 9.3 yards per attempt, 7.5% touchdown rate, 113.9 passer rating
- Road: 6.8 yards per attempt, 2.3% touchdown rate, 90.8 passer rating
Now, Stroud hits the road to face a Cincinnati defense that’s coming into its own. The Bengals are starting three rookies or second-year players in the secondary while top cornerback Chidobe Awuzie was coming off a torn ACL. A slow start should have been expected, but defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo is one of the best in the business.
The Bengals’ biggest defensive weakness is against the run, where they rank 24th in DVOA. The Texans are 31st in rushing offense DVOA, though, so they aren’t equipped to attack that. Instead, it will be Stroud on the road throwing against a pass defense ranked 10th by DVOA.
Cincinnati’s season-long metrics are deflated after their slow start, but they look like they’re back to being a Super Bowl contender. Getting their spread under a touchdown is tremendous value, and I can’t help but wonder what this number would have been if Stroud hadn’t led the Texans down the field for that final game-winning score.
Best Bet: Bengals -6.5
Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Chargers
The bye week could not come any sooner for the Detroit Lions who have been dealing with injuries since the season opener. One of those injuries include running back David Montgomery, serving as their red zone bull back who has found routine success running up the gut behind one of the best offensive lines in football.
Red zone success has been a missing factor in the Lions offense since Montgomery’s injury as we witnessed against the lowly Las Vegas Raiders. While Gibbs has been a productive replacement since his absence, he doesn’t bring the same physicality up the gut and has forced Ben Johnson to try and get creative to little success.
With Montgomery back, the Lions should have no issue with turning their scoring opportunities into touchdowns. Especially because the Lions are poised to routinely be in scoring position, moving the ball against a Chargers defense that ranks 23rd in Def DVOA and 22nd in Def EPA.
An oddity for a Chargers defense that has talent at all three levels of the defense, but poor coaching and scheming has been their own undoing at this point of the season. It’s not just that they struggle to contain one area of the offense, ranking both a lowly 21st in Def Pass DVOA and 20th in Def Rush DVOA.
Defending the pass is going to be especially worrisome as the Lions bring a high powered passing offense that specializes in getting their playmakers out in the open field. With LA clocking in at 25th in Pressure Rate, Jared Goff should have no issue with sitting back in the pocket and picking apart a weak Chargers secondary.
On the other end, Justin Herbert may find himself in a collapsing pocket for a majority of the game as the Lions front four have been one of the bigger surprises of the season. While their sack rate is still less to be desired, the pressure alone should be enough to force Herbert to struggle as we have seen the past few weeks against the Cowboys and Jets.
Factor in Herbert’s group of pass catchers being decimated by injuries and clean passing lanes may come at a premium. With a defense poised to get Herbert off the field, as well as an offense in a position to set a scoring pace too fast for the Chargers to keep up with, the Lions are in a good position to get the win on the road.
Best Bet: Detroit Lions moneyline
NFL Week 10 Wong Teaser
After taking a break last week, the Wong Teaser is back with two teams who faced each other on Sunday Night Football now both serve as a valuable teaser piece. Those two teams are the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills, both currently sitting at a touchdown or higher and now getting bet down to under the key number of -3.
Starting with Cincinnati, they are firing on all cylinders as Joe Burrow looks to be in MVP form. With a healthy Joe Burrow under center, the rest of the offense is elevated as he stretches the field with elite downfield precision and connects with his star studded group of pass catchers.
The Bengals pass attack is in a position to shred the Texans secondary as they rank a lowly 26th in Def Pass DVOA, 24th in Def Pass EPA, and 21st in Def Pass Success Rate. With Will Anderson potentially out due to injury, their pass rush takes a hit which gives Burrow a more clean pocket to operate with.
On the other end, the Bengals defense has been steadily improving as their young secondary gets more experience. That compliments their pass rush who has thrived as of late, now getting the chance to pressure CJ Stroud as the Texans offensive line is riddled with injuries. As a Havoc minded unit, expect plenty of disruptions in an effort to slow down the red hot CJ Stroud.
As for the Buffalo Bills, this is a must win spot as they look to bounce back after a string of underwhelming performances. Their defense has mightily regressed from their top-5 Def DVOA mark, now playing as a league average unit at best.
Even amidst regression, the Bills defensive scheme is built to give the Broncos offense struggles. This is in large part of their ability to generate pressure with just their front four, ranking seventh in Pressure and 16th in Blitz Rate. That allows the Bills linebackers to anchor in coverage, either crashing down when Wilson runs to the outside or sit in coverage and dare him to thread the needle.
As for the Bills offense, they get the chance to run over a weak Broncos defense who ranks well below average in DVOA, EPA, and Success Rate. Granted the Broncos defense has improved as of late, yet still below average at best. With little to no pressure, Josh Allen should have no issue with making the right read and avoiding his turnover worthy throwing tendency.
Best Bet: Bengals -1 / Bills -1.5 Wong Teaser
Washington Commanders at Seattle Seahawks
Simply put, this is the perfect combination of a buy low and a sell high. The Seahawks are coming off of the ugliest game of their season thus far, a 37-3 loss at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens. The thing is, these Ravens are absolutely incredible.
They’re at the top of the league in both DVOA and EPA, and have a pair of the flukiest losses in the league on their resume. Before the demolition of the Seahawks, they did something very similar to the Detroit Lions, a team that is very comparable to Seattle in many ways, if not better.
The point is that this could have happened to anyone on a road trip to Baltimore, and it should not be held against the Seahawks, who are coming back to one of the league’s best home field advantages themselves. They’re hosting a Commanders team that is coming off of a win, but is still one of the league’s worst teams.
They just happened to have played one of the very few definitively worse teams, the New England Patriots. In fact, the Commanders have played the league’s weakest schedule so far, so it’s not just the most recent win; their entire record is inflated. So Washington is overvalued coming off of a win, while Seattle just looked as bad as they’ll look at any point this season. The result of this equation is a line of -6 for the Seahawks, giving us access to the key number of a seven-point victory.
Aside from last week’s results for each team, this is a pretty bad mismatch for Washington. Seattle’s offense is ninth in passing offense DVOA, with quarterback Geno Smith slinging the ball to the talented wideout group of Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, and rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba, working behind an offensive line that ranks ninth in adjusted sack rate. By contrast, Washington’s pass defense ranks 29th in DVOA, despite the easy schedule they’ve played.
Offensively, the Commanders have had some success running the ball so far, but the Seahawks rank ninth in defensive line adjusted line yards, and could force Washington to the air via Sam Howell more often than they’d like. The Seahawks also blitz at just the 27th-highest rate in the league, but they pressure at the 17th-highest rate, so they’re able to get home without sacrificing players in coverage, an absolutely enormous boost for any defense.
It’s hard to imagine this Washington offense moving the ball effectively in front of the 12th man, while Pete Carroll will absolutely have his team ready to get back on track in what has suddenly become a very competitive NFC West race. This is a no-brainer of a situational piece, as Seattle has suddenly become fairly underrated.
Best Bet: Seahawks -6
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
The AFC North is the Big Ten East of the NFL. Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland are all represented, the teams have a genuine, perpetual dislike for each other, and most importantly for our purposes, the in-division games are intense contests defined by hard-hitting defense. As has been the case on the college side of this metaphor, unders reign supreme in the “black-and-blue” division of the AFC, and we’re about to invest in another.
As mentioned above, the Ravens are a fantastic football team. They’re a well-balanced club to be sure, but the heart and soul of the team is its defense, which ranks second in the league in DVOA. Amazingly enough, they’re going up against the one team that ranks higher than them on that list, the league-topping Cleveland Browns.
Not only is the Browns defense a phenomenal overall unit, ranking first in DVOA against both the pass and the run, but they were built specifically to slow down Lamar Jackson, a task that must be the priority for any team hoping to win the North. The team has prioritized athleticism, starting with a star edge rushing duo composed of Myles Garrett, who leads the NFL with a 94.6 PFF pass rush grade and is just half a sack away from the league lead, and the excellent Za’Darius Smith in support. Speedy and explosive linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has also been phenomenal in snuffing out the run.
The Browns are second in the league in pressure rate despite ranking 11th in blitz rate, by virtue of a defensive line that leads the league in adjusted sack yards. They’re also top of the list in adjusted line yards against the run, so they’re well-equipped to do the two things that can slow down Jackson; shove the run, and get after him without sacrificing men in coverage.
On the other side of the ball, Cleveland has no way to move the ball on a Baltimore defense that is almost just as excellent. They’re third in the league in DVOA against the run, which is at the heart of the Browns’ offense, which ranks 30th in passing DVOA. They’ll have no ability to throw the ball against the second-ranked Ravens pass defense, so they’ll not only be grounding and pounding into a run defense that is very tough even against a challenging offense, they’ll be predictable in doing so.
In fact, both of these teams are fairly predictable when it comes to running the football; the Ravens lead the league in run play percentage, even as the passing offense has taken a huge leap, while the Browns are third in the category. With the ball on the ground and the clock moving, this game should absolutely fly by and stay low-scoring the whole way through.
Best Bet: Under 38 Points