NFL picks, predictions against spread Week 10: Chiefs rip Raiders; Packers nip Seahawks; Cowboys, Bills rebound

There’s one word to describe what happened with the mostly surprising results of Week 9 in the NFL: Brutal. After rolling of late with our game picks and predictions against the spread, Vegas put up a few traps and it was hard to avoid falling into all of them.

At first glance, the numbers for Week 10 seem a little more normal and manageable, but there are several more essential “pick ’em” matchups on the slate with slight favorites on one side. There are 14 more chances to get things right after surviving and batting around .500 last week.

So what are our pigskin prognostications for this week? It’s time dive headfirst into the latest fearless NFL forecast:

(Game odds courtesy of FanDuel)

NFL POWER RANKINGS: 
Titans, Patriots, Cardinals step up; Cowboys, Bills, Raiders fade for Week 10

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NFL picks against the spread for Week 10

Game of the Week: Chiefs (-2.5, 51.5 o/u) at Raiders

Sunday 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

The Chiefs are a better team than the Raiders. They have won 11 of the past 13 meetings. They figured out a few more things defensively last week and also cleaned up their offense. Derek Carr hit a funk in New York at the same time Patrick Mahomes regained his turnover-free confidence. There should be a rather pro Chiefs crowd in Vegas helping the cause, too. Mahomes goes back to being Mahomes in driving Kansas City right past Carr.

Pick: Chiefs win 30-24 and cover the spread.

Game of Midweek: Ravens (-7.5, 46.5 o/u) at Dolphins

Thursday 8:20 p.m. ET, Fox, NFL Network, Amazon Prime Video

Lamar Jackson and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown had their breakout party the last time they went home to South Florida for a game, Week 1 of 2019. They have emerged as one of the premier quarterback-wide receiver combinations and have plenty of help from Rashod Bateman and Mark Andrews. The Dolphins’ defense has been playing better, but it still can wilt against the run and give up big pass plays. With likely more of Jacoby Brissett on the other side, this will be a Miami walkover for Baltimore.

Pick: Ravens win 38-10 and cover the spread.

Lock of the Week: Bills (-13.5, 47.5 o/u) over Jets

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Bills took the Jaguars lightly and got stuck with an ugly loss with none of their usual offense featuring Josh Allen. But their defense was on point against a weaker passing game and it will come out angry on the road for not being rewarded. Buffalo will simplify its attack not forcing big plays as Allen does more dinking, dunking and running all over the Jets.

Pick: Bills win 34-10 and cover the spread.

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Upset of the Week: Eagles (+3, 44 o/u) over Broncos

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

The Eagles present a bad matchup for the hosts. They will squeeze their defense on Teddy Bridgewater and will load up to contain the Broncos’ running game. Denver is prime for.a letdown after expending major energy to take down Dallas. Jalen Hurts’ running and intermediate passing will set up the Eagles to steal this game late. Philadelphia’s defense also tends to show up against limited offenses.

Pick: Eagles win 23-20.

Jaguars at Colts (-10.5, 47.5 o/u)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Jaguars now have two home wins of different varieties, field-goal escapes in London and Jacksonville. They’ve been a bad road team, however, in the first year with Trevor Lawrence and Urban Meyer. The Colts tend to take care of business against bad teams at home because of their relentless running with Jonathan Taylor and others to keep Carson Wentz in a comfort zone spreading the ball around for Frank Reich. The Colts get to .500 by taking advantage of another plum matchup in Indy.

Pick: Colts win 31-17 and cover the spread.

Browns at Patriots (-1.5, 45.5 o/u)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The.Browns got their complete groove back in Cincinnati. The Patriots did dispatch Carolina to match records with this week’s opponent, but they are stil very dependent on big defensive plays and the run to win games. The Browns will run hard on New England’s front with Nick Chubb and defensively force Mac Jones into more mistakes opposite Baker Mayfield.

Pick: Browns win 23-20.

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Falcons at Cowboys (-9, 53 o/u)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Falcons would be an NFC playoff team at 4-4. The Cowboys are still in great position to win the NFC East at 7-2, but after dropping one badly at home to the Broncos last week, won’t take another .500 team with some talent lightly. Dak Prescott will look more like himself passing from wire to wire against a bad pass rush and secondary. Matt Ryan will be stuck in one-dimensional mode and not heve firepower to catch up.

Pick: Cowboys win 42-27 and cover the spread.

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Saints are a hard team to figure out because of their offensive volatility. But after some hiccups defensively against the Falcons, they will get back on track. They can erase the Titans’ power running game and can contain A.J. Brown with Marshon Lattimore. They also will get some good pressure on Ryan Tannehill. The Saints are getting a little more from wide receiver and Alvin Kamara to boost Trevor Siemian. They will steal this battle of attrition, building on their strong road performances.

Pick: Saints win 20-17.

Buccaneers (-9.5, 51.5 o/u) at Washington 

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Bucs and WFT are both coming off byes. Tom Brady should reload with his weapons and be ultra focused for a playoff rematch on the road. Washington should be healthier to be more competitive offensively, but even with a few defensive fixes, will be picked apart by the GOAT. 

Pick: Buccaneers win 34-20 and cover the spread.

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Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Lions will hope to play hard enough to get a win at some point after their bye. That’s not happening here. The Steelers will run all over them with rookie Najee Harris and there’s also no one on the back end to stop their wideouts from making big plays. On the other side, T.J. Watt and friends will clean up plenty when teeing off on Jared Goff.

Pick: Steelers win 27-14 and cover the spread.

Vikings at Chargers (-2.5, 51.5 o/u)

Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

The Vikings don’t fare well in close games. The Chargers have learned how to finish those types of games much better with Justin Herbert and brandon Staley. Minnesota’s secondary is awful and the pass rush is limited, setting up Herbert to light it up with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Austin Ekeler’s speed and quickness out of the backfield is also a handful. The Vikings will stay in this game with a chunk of Dalvin Cook, but look for L.A.’s pass defense to stop Kirk Cousins when it counts most again in the fourth quarter.

Pick: Chargers win 31-27 and cover the spread.

Panthers at Cardinals (-10, 45 o/u)

Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox

The Panthers are trying to figure out whether they should start Sam Darnold at quarterback. It doesn’t really matter if it’s him or P.J. Walker in the desert, and it doesn’t matter again whether Kyler Murray or DeAndre Hopkins play for the Cardinals. They proved they can win by running the ball and spreading the ball around in the passing game, backed up by aggressive defense. Christian McCaffrey will continue to do what he can running and receiving, but he’s on a playmaking island with Darnold dragging down the wideouts.

Pick: Cardinals win 31-14 and cover the spread.

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Seahawks at Packers (-4, 50 o/u)

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

The Seahawks are getting Russell Wilson back. The Packers should get Aaron Rodgers back. Seattle will be itching to push back toward .500 with its&indispensable passing leader against a hurting Green Bay cornerback corps. But the Packers will counter with plenty of Aaron Jones against a weak run defense, supported by play-action big plays of their own with Rodgers. This will be the late afternoon game we expected between Rodgers and Mahomes last week, playing out in Lambeau with Rodgers and Wilson this week.

Pick: Packers win 27-24 but fail to cover the spread.

Rams (-4.5, 49.5 o/u) at 49ers

Monday 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

This is a hard NFC West matchup to figure out after the results of Week 9. The Rams got slammed by the Titans at home, while the 49ers laid a golden egg against the Cardinals at home. The Rams tend to play better on the road and will be refocused under Sean McVay. There are lot more questions about the 49ers under Kyle Shanahan that won’t go away after this game.

Pick: Rams win 24-20 but fail to cover the spread.

Vinnie Iyer’s 2021 picks:

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