It doesn’t seem to matter much if my NFL predictions appear sound these days. I can take a look at the trends and how teams have been performing recently. I can look into the history of the matchups and how previous games have worked out. Unfortunately, these “sound” predictions have not been working out lately.
For some of my NFL Week 10 predictions, I went a little against my gut in an effort to reverse this trend toward sub-mediocrity. While I would certainly love to get all of my picks right this week, I am only going to set a modest goal of getting at least 50% right. I have to be more accurate than flipping a coin, right?
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)
As well as Aaron Rodgers has been doing, relatively speaking, the Vikings are a stronger team. Adrian Peterson has been impressive and with such a small spread, Minnesota should be able to come out on top and win by at least a field goal.
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-3.5)
I’ve said before that the Bills are the real deal, but New England has proven that it can still be a serious playoff contender even in the absence of superstar quarterback Tom Brady. Yes, the Pats dropped the ball against the Colts last week, but you can expect them to bounce back against Buffalo.
Tennessee Titans (-2.5) at Chicago Bears
A trip to the Windy City will be a challenging one for the undefeated Tennessee Titans, but the Titans have demonstrated their ability to rise to the occasion and even snatch victories when coming from behind. It’ll be tough, but I’m rooting for a Titan undefeated season. Take that, Pats!
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (-0.5)
Both of these teams are relatively young and they’ve got a couple of younger guys on there that are leading the charge. Matt Ryan has been very impressive for the Falcons, even outperforming Michael Vick. This could be one of the more exciting games of the week. Watch it if you can.
St. Louis Rams at New York Jets (-8.5)
Brett Favre is nowhere near as dominant as he was during his younger years and the Jets aren’t exactly the most impressive of teams in the league, but the Rams are simply hopeless. This is one of the picks where I am going against my gut, because I find it unlikely that the Jets will cover the point spread. Then again, stranger things have happened.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-6.5) at Detroit Lions
I find it a little hard to believe that Jacksonville is an abysmal 3-5 thus far this season, but I see no reason why the Lions will snap its winless streak this week. Ed Lau‘s wish of a team going without a single victory just might happen.
Seattle Seahakws at Miami Dolphins (-8.5)
The Seahawks have been decimated with injuries and they perform remarkably poorly on the road. The Dolphins have come up with a few surprise victories, but they’re not exactly stellar either. However this game turns out, I think that it could be close, so I’ll take the conservative route on this one.
Baltimore Ravens (-0.5) at Houston Texans
As I’ve said in previous weeks, I still think of the Texans as some expansion team in its building stages, but Houston has stepped up its game this year for sure. The Ravens have been taken down a notch or two from their former glory, but Baltimore should be able to come out on top.
Carolina Panthers (-8.5) at Oakland Raiders
Jake Delhomme and the rest of the crew in Carolina have been a bit of a sleeper hit this season, rising to the top of a competitive division and winning four of their last five. The spread is a little big on this game, but Oakland doesn’t stand a chance. Too bad. I like the passion of the Raider Nation.
Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5)
This is a must-win for Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. They managed to secure a win over the Patriots last week, but they’re going to struggle against the strength of Pittsburgh. “Big” Ben Roethlisberger did not practice, but I hope he plays.
Kansas City Chief at San Diego Chargers (-14.5)
The Chargers are great and all, but winning by more than two touchdowns against any team is quite a feat. If they prove me wrong here, so be it.
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)
How can you go against the Super Bowl champions? Even though the Giants have only dropped a single game this season, they go into Philadelphia as the underdog. That’s okay. The Giants are used to it and they still manage to win. Go Eli. You’re the better Manning now.
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (-9.5)
It helps when you play in a hopeless division. Thanks to the positively dismal performances of the Rams and the Seahawks, the Arizona Cardinals have somehow managed to emerge as the leader in the NFC West. Edgerrin James may be a shadow of his former self and Kurt Warner is past his prime, but they’re winning enough games to lead the division. Expect a Monday Night win over the division rival Niners. I’m just not as sure that the Cards will cover the spread.