For the gambler in you, Week 10

Each week, we’ll take the best -- and cleverest -- odds collected by Bovada for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you’ll read all week. Because if you can’t lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what’s the point of watching sports at all?

Note: Home team is listed first in Against the Spread.

Game One: Bears -1.5 vs. Texans
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET NBC

2012 Against The Spread
Overall: 5-3 Overall: 6-2
Home: 2-2 Home: 4-1
Away: 3-1 Away: 2-1
Last 2 vs. HOU: 0-2 Last 2 vs. CHI: 2-0
2012 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 29th Pass defense: 4th
Rush offense: 11th Rush defense: 2nd
Pass defense: 16th Pass offense: 16th
Rush defense: 6th Rush offense: 8th

Verdict: Like I told Kevin Corke in Friday's edition of Pro Football 360, I think Chicago's Jay Cutler is on the verge of becoming a top-10 quarterback in the league. Not elite, but still, a guy who consistenly plays well and wins games for his team. Cutler is lucky that he has a solid running game and a defense that can't stop scoring touchdowns, but this week, against the best team in the AFC, he's going to struggle. Houston is my AFC title-winner, and the Texans will cover.

Game Two: Eagles +1.5 vs. Cowboys
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX

2012 Against The Spread
Overall: 1-6-1 Overall: 3-5
Home: 0-3-1 Home: 0-3
Away: 1-3 Away: 3-2
Last 5 vs. DAL: 3-2 Last 5 vs. PHI: 2-3
2012 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 14th Pass defense: 5th
Rush offense: 10th Rush defense: 14th
Pass defense: 14th Pass offense: 3rd
Rush defense: 15th Rush offense: 28th

Verdict: The Eagles originally were about a three-point favorite in this game when the line opened, but soon after, so much money went to the Cowboys that the favorite changed. Sure, the Eagles might be more of a disaster at this point (not that Dallas is that far behind, mind you), but at home, I like Philadelphia just a little more. You look at the stats above, and it's clear that the Eagles are a slightly above average team, but I think they're about to embark on a (probably-unsuccessful) playoff push. Go with Philadelphia.

Game Three (largest spread of week): Steelers -12.5 vs. Chiefs
Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN

2012 Against The Spread
Overall: 4-4 Overall: 2-6
Home: 2-1 Home: 1-3
Away: 2-3 Away: 1-3
Last 5 vs. KC: 2-3 Last 5 vs. PIT: 3-2
2012 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 10th Pass defense: 11th
Rush offense: 21st Rush defense: 22nd
Pass defense: 1st Pass offense: 25th
Rush defense: 7th Rush offense: 3rd

Verdict: I wrote last week that I thought the Steelers were about to make a major move in the AFC North (and get themselves into position to earn a top-two playoff seed), and we saw how well they played in beating the reigning Super Bowl champs. Pittsburgh is on the upswing, and the Chiefs are ... well, they're the Chiefs -- a team that hasn't held a lead all season. Pittsburgh should cover this spread and really, the Steelers should do it easily.


When will the Chiefs take their first lead of the season?    

1st half Week 10   2-1

2nd half Week 10   7-2

Week 11   5-7     

Week 12 or after   11-2  

Well, the Chiefs are playing the Steelers this week, so I’ll go no on Monday. The next four games include meetings against the Bengals (next week) and the Panthers (Dec. 2). The odds say Cincinnati will allow the Chiefs a lead, but I’m gambling that Kansas City will have to wait until the Carolina game before it’s ahead.

Total rushing yards Week 10 -- Doug Martin       

Over/Under   89 ½

The Buccaneers running back, as you know, rushed for a ridiculous 251 yards last week, and in Week 8, he topped out at a strong 135 yards. But before you put all your money on the over, the only other time this season Martin has rushed for more than 85 yards was in Week 1. Furthermore, the Chargers are the fourth-best rush defense team in the league, allowing only 84 yards per game. Go under with Martin this week.

Will Christian Ponder be benched Week 10?    

Yes   +250 (5-2)

No   -400 (1-4)

In two of Ponder’s last three appearances for the Vikings, he’s thrown for 63 yards or fewer. For the entire game. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Vikings are on a two-game losing streak and seem poised to fall into irrelevance in the NFC North. And while backup Joe Webb has shown himself to be competent whenever he’s made spot starts, the team hasn’t ever seemed interested in giving him a real chance to compete for the starter spot. So, no. Ponder, barring injury, will play the entire game.

Last week: 2-1 against the spread (hit on the Steelers +3.5 vs. the Giants, the Packers -11.5 vs. the Cardinals; missed on the Titans +3.5 vs. the Bears).

1-0-1 on the prop bets. Hit on the Eagles gaining more than 400 yards of offense vs. the Saints; drew on Vick going over one turnover.

Overall: 14-13 against the spread; 20-6-1 on prop bets; three props still undecided (Ken Whisenhunt first coach to get fired; Robert Griffin III won't lead the league in completion percentage at the end of the regular season; the Falcons won't go undefeated in 2012).

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.

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