(24-20-1 against the spread this season)
By Danny Picard
BOSTON — I had an awful Week 9, going 1-4 against the spread. Cincinnati saved me on Sunday night by covering with a big win over Buffalo.
The Patriots keep burning me, and so, I’m done picking them for the foreseeable future. I mean, Washington has one of the worst defenses in the league, and they got even worse after trading away two of their best defensive players just days before the game in Foxboro, and the Pats still couldn’t score more than 17 points in the loss.
Sorry, I’m venting again. Positive vibes. Let’s bounce back.
Here are my picks for Week 10:
CLEVELAND BROWNS (+6.5) over Baltimore Ravens
-Baltimore has already beaten Cleveland this season, back in Week 4, 28-3 in Cleveland. But Deshaun Watson was injured and didn’t play in that game. He’s healthy enough to play now, and threw two touchdowns in the Browns’ win over Arizona last Sunday. So, I’m not even going to compare this one to their Week 4 matchup. The 7-2 Ravens are rolling right now, having won four straight. In their last three wins, they’ve put up more than 30 points. Baltimore is tied with Kansas City for the most wins in the AFC. Yet, you might be surprised to see the Browns not too far behind in the standings at 5-3. The Ravens are a favorite for a reason, and I’m not saying they’ll lose at home here, but I do think the Browns keep it close in what I expect to be an AFC North dogfight with a very low over/under of 38. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens find a way to win, while Watson and the Browns find a way to cover. Give me the points.
CINCINNATI BENGALS (-6.5) over Houston Texans
-With back-to-back wins over San Francisco and Buffalo, I think it’s safe to say that Joe Burrow and the 5-3 Bengals are once again a Super Bowl contender. Cincinnati has won four straight, and Burrow has 10 touchdown passes and two interceptions in those four wins. Now, Cincinnati hosts the 4-4 Texans, who are coming off a dramatic 39-37 win over Tampa Bay. Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud threw for 470 yards and five touchdown passes in the win. Credit to Stroud, who now has 14 touchdown passes and just one interception through his first eight NFL games. Because of Stroud’s play, the Texans are surprising a lot of people so far this season. But I expect Stroud to have a back-to-Earth moment on Sunday in Cincinnati. Bengals keep it rolling and beat the Texans by 10.
DETROIT LIONS (-3) over Los Angeles Chargers
-The 6-2 Lions are coming off the bye, while the 4-4 Chargers are coming off a win over the Jets on Monday night. Los Angeles has the worst pass defense in the NFL, allowing 286 pass yards per game, so I envision a big game for a well-rested Jared Goff against a Chargers team that’s playing on a short week. There isn’t really much more to say about this game, other than Detroit has become must-see TV this season. And they’ve lived up to everyone’s expectations after winning eight of their final 10 games last season. Now, With Aaron Rodgers no longer in Green Bay, the NFC North seems to be Detroit’s for the taking. A 38-6 loss to Baltimore a few weeks ago was definitely a reality check for the Lions. But the Chargers’ defense is definitely not the Ravens’ defense. So, put your money on Goff in LA on Sunday. Detroit wins by a touchdown in a shootout.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-5.5) over Washington Commanders
-Geno Smith and the 5-3 Seahawks got whooped last Sunday in Baltimore, 37-3. Smith threw for just 157 yards and had one interception. But he should have a much better day at home in Week 10 against a Washington defense that’s the fifth-worst in the league, allowing 253 pass yards per game. The Commanders are 4-5 and are coming off a win over the Patriots in Foxboro. This will be a different scene for Washington though, in Seattle, against a Seahawks team that’s primed for a bounce-back performance. Wrong place, wrong time for the Commanders. I’m taking the Seahawks to win big at home.
BUFFALO BILLS (-7) over Denver Broncos
-Speaking of wrong place, wrong time, you can say the same thing about the 3-5 Broncos, who take a two-game win streak into Buffalo a week after the 5-4 Bills lost to the Bengals on Sunday Night Football. Buffalo has not looked like the dominant team they were in their 48-20 win over Miami back in Week 4. Since their trip to London following that game, the Bills have been playing average football at best, losing three of their last five. They now host a Broncos team that’s coming off the bye. That bye, for Denver, couldn’t have come at a worse time. It served as quite the momentum killer, coming a week after the Broncos beat the Chiefs in Week 8. I just think this is a bad matchup for Denver, in Buffalo, with the Bills having a top-five defense, allowing just 18 points per game, and the Broncos having the NFL’s worst defense, allowing 28 points per game. Josh Allen is good for three-plus touchdowns in this one on Monday night. Give me Buffalo by two touchdowns.
Follow Danny on instagram @DannyPicard.