The NFL’s Week 10 schedule lacks the big games from last week, but there are still plenty of games on Sunday where a team can prove it still belongs in the playoff race or not. We have picks for games like Commanders-Seahawks, Texans-Bengals, and Lions-Chargers that should be some of the better games in Week 10.
- Commanders +6.5 (-110) at BetRivers
- Texans-Bengals Under 46.5 Points (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
- Lions -1.5 (-110) at BetRivers
Washington Airing It Out
Underdogs were 2-12 SU in Week 9, but one of the winners was Washington in New England in a 20-17 game where the defense delivered late days after trading away Montez Sweat and Chase Young. Now the Commanders (4-5) can get back to .500 with a win in Seattle after the Seahawks were blown out 37-3 in Baltimore last week.
The Seahawks are a 6.5-point home favorite with a total of 45.5 points. We think it’s good value for the underdog.
Sunday, November 12, 2023 – 04:25 PM ET at Lumen Field
How Washington Keeps It Close
We will see which coaches remain in Washington for 2024, but the staff is going to have a ton of tape on Sam Howell to evaluate if he is the long-term answer at quarterback for this franchise. Howell’s 452 action plays are the most by any quarterback this season as they rely heavily on him in Eric Bieniemy’s offense.
Fortunately, Howell has cut down on the sacks he’s been taking, with only 4 sacks in the last 2 games. Howell was sacked at least 4 times in every game in Weeks 1-7.
Howell has played some of his best games against the Philadelphia defense, leading the Commanders to 31 points in both games. In fact, Washington is the only team that has scored more than 28 points on the Eagles this season.
With Seattle, Howell faces a somewhat average pass rush that does not blitz at a high rate, so hopefully he will not be overwhelmed and succumb to his sack issues from games earlier this season.
We have already seen the Seahawks give up some big passing numbers to the likes of P.J. Walker (Browns) and Andy Dalton (Panthers), so Howell will have many shots with his receivers to make plays in this game and keep it close.
Why Seattle Should Not Run Away with Game
Pete Carroll is a veteran coach who knows how to fire his team up after an ugly loss. But the 37-3 loss in Baltimore was more of a revelation that this team has not been playing great football for much of the year despite having a nice 5-2 record going into Baltimore.
The Seahawks have allowed 4 more points than they’ve scored this season, and they are only 2-2 since the bye. That would probably be 1-3 if not for a late interception thrown by Cleveland’s backup quarterback P.J. Walker.
Last year, the Seahawks were a strong offense (9th in scoring) and the weakest defense in the playoffs (25th in scoring). This year, Seattle is closer to mediocre on both sides of the ball, with a No. 17 scoring offense and No. 21 scoring defense. Seattle ranks 20th or worse in many key categories on offense and defense.
After committing a single turnover in the first 4 games this season, the Seahawks have turned it over multiple times in every game since the bye in Week 5. Geno Smith’s numbers are down almost across the board from 2022. The only thing that looks better is his sack rate has decreased.
But the Seahawks are also 30th on 3rd down and 21st in the red zone, so situational play has not been strong either.
Washington has scored at least 20 points in 7-of-9 games this season. A pass-happy offense, Washington has a running game that might also find more success against this Seattle defense that just allowed almost 300 yards on the ground to Baltimore.
The Seahawks lack some of the offensive polish they had last year when Geno Smith had his breakout season. Washington seemed to survive its first game well after trading the edge rushers. Look for a close game here, as we think the computer score is right in the ballpark of what this game should be for your NFL picks. Trust the road underdog to cover.
Score Prediction: Seahawks 24 – Commanders 20
Bengals to Slow Down C.J. Stroud Next?
The Houston Texans got back to .500 after winning the unexpected shootout of the year against Tampa Bay last week. C.J. Stroud had arguably the best game ever played by a rookie quarterback with 470 yards and 5 touchdowns.
But before we jump on that bandwagon, let’s not forget that Houston just scored 13 points in Carolina the week before. The Bengals have won 4 games in a row and have not allowed more than 20 points since Week 4.
The Bengals are a 6.5-point home favorite, but we are focusing more on the total of 46.5 points in this one.
Sunday, November 12, 2023 – 01:00 PM ET at Paycor Stadium
Houston: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The Texans come in feeling optimistic with C.J. Stroud ranked 3rd in the NFL with 8.1 yards per pass attempt. Joe Burrow (6.0) is only ranked 29th in that same stat, and Stroud is also doing it in volume as he is No. 7 in passing yards and touchdown passes too.
Stroud has been great at distributing the ball to different receivers this season. The Texans are tied for the league lead with 4 games of a player breaking 140 receiving yards, but they are the only team to have 3 different players do it, with Noah Brown joining Tank Dell and Nico Collins on that list with his huge game against Tampa Bay.
The other good news is the Houston offense has a league-low 5 giveaways and have yet to turn it over multiple times in any game this season.
But there is some bad news for this offense. The Texans will have to prove their offense travels well too, as the Texans have been held under 20 points in 3-of-4 road games this year. We know the Bengals do well at home and usually have strong defensive game plans for the good teams and quarterbacks under coordinator Lou Anarumo.
The ugly is the Texans’ running game still ranks 27th in yards and 30th in yards per carry, so they rarely give Stroud a balanced attack. This can help explain the inconsistent scoring. The Texans are also 24th in the red zone at scoring touchdowns, so they need to get better inside the 20.
Finally, it was just back in Week 8 when the Texans scored 13 points and became the only team to lose to Carolina this season. Expecting big things against an experienced team like Cincinnati may be wishful thinking.
Bengals Keep Winning
The Bengals have not lost since their 1-3 start, and they finally got a win over an AFC team by beating Buffalo 24-18 last week. But when it looked like that game was going to be a shootout, both defenses clamped down and the Bengals finished with 24 points, which is in their usual range of points in a big game against an AFC foe.
Even last season, the Bengals had 5 games where they scored more than 27 points, and 4-of-5 games were against NFC opponents. The trend has continued this season as the Bengals have 2 games with more than 27 points and both were against the NFC West (34 points in Arizona and 31 in San Francisco).
Like Houston, the Bengals have just 6 turnovers and have not had a game with multiple giveaways yet this season. That might sound like this could be a turnover-free game, or you can think of it the other way with regression, and that this might be the day the teams get a little sloppy and turn it over, leading to fewer points.
Either way, the Bengals are certainly playing better on offense now that Burrow’s calf is healthy, but they are not the kind of offense that will consistently drop 30 points a week for long stretches at a time.
It’s usually more of a grind and the defense is still a big part of the successful runs for this team.
Playing quarterback is hard in the NFL, especially for rookies. When Matthew Stafford threw for 422 yards and 5 touchdowns as a rookie against the Browns in 2009, it wasn’t the launching point of his stardom. He threw for 213 yards, 1 touchdown, and 4 interceptions in a 34-12 loss against Green Bay the next week.
This one should be a good game and Stroud shouldn’t throw that kind of pick parade, but we’ll take the under as the computer score looks like something right out of a Cincinnati playoff run the last 2 years. It definitely should not look anything like the crazy shootout Houston had last week with Tampa Bay.
Score Prediction: Bengals 23 – Texans 20
Lions Ready to Roar After Bye Week
The Detroit Lions (6-2) have played very well this season outside of one awful blowout in Baltimore. The Los Angeles Chargers (4-4) are back in the playoff hunt after a pair of drama-free wins in prime time against the Bears and Jets. But you should expect Detroit to make things harder on Justin Herbert and company this week.
The Lions are a 1.5-point road favorite with a total of 48.5 points. We are looking at that spread.
Sunday, November 12, 2023 – 04:05 PM ET at SoFi Stadium
The Uncharacteristic Chargers
Watching the Chargers cruise to easy wins in prime time the last 2 weeks against the Bears and Jets has been weird. This team is almost contractually obligated to be stuck in 1-score games late in the 4th quarter every week.
The Chargers led by double digits after each quarter in their wins over the Bears and Jets. They had 2 games like that in the entire previous decade (2013-22) before these games, and they were not in the same season, let alone in back-to-back weeks.
Justin Herbert passed for at least 167 yards in his first 57 starts in the NFL. He only had 136 yards against the Jets, which is a sign of how great the New York defense played, and how bad the offense was that it didn’t need more from Herbert.
The Chargers only had 191 yards of offense against the Jets, the first game under 200 yards for the Chargers since they played the Ravens in 2018, 2 years before Herbert was drafted.
Chargers Need to Sharpen Up
The Chargers are going to have to be sharper than that offensively in this game, and Detroit’s defense is much improved this year, and we saw the sacks on Jimmy Garoppolo in the last game played against the Raiders. The Lions have Aidan Hutchinson and talented players at each level this year. Detroit has only allowed more than 20 points on the road to Baltimore in that worst performance of the season game for Dan Campbell’s bunch.
Detroit is very good at shutting down the run, as only Baltimore hit 100 yards on these Lions. That could make this another one-dimensional game for the Chargers where they rely on Herbert, who did not complete more than 2 passes to any receiver besides Keenan Allen against the Jets. He misses having deep threat Mike Williams (torn ACL) as rookie Quentin Johnston has been bad, and Josh Palmer is on injured reserve.
The Lions can keep this offense under 27 points even with the game in Los Angeles, which is not a strong home-field advantage at all.
Lions Can Win in a Variety of Ways
The Lions enter this game with the better defense, but you have to say the offense is also better, as Detroit ranks No. 8 in scoring and No. 2 in yards. Jared Goff is having another solid year in leading the offense, and Amon-Ra St. Brown is capable of matching or exceeding anything Keenan Allen brings for the Chargers.
The wild card is at running back. Is David Montgomery going to be healthy after the bye, or will the Lions go back to rookie Jahmyr Gibbs after he shined against the Raiders? Either way, the Lions should have a balanced attack to rely on as they can beat the Chargers, a defense that is terrible against the pass and wide receivers specifically, in multiple ways.
Unlike Herbert, you can say Goff has a reliable No. 2 weapon that isn’t a running back. He has rookie tight end Sam LaPorta, who is quickly establishing himself as one of the better players at his position. LaPorta already has 43 catches, 434 yards, and 4 touchdowns in 8 games.
The computer score brought a smile to our faces as this is the kind of Lions-Chargers game we deserve to see in 2023. Something close with above-average scoring, and the better team wins it in the end to cover the spread. In what should be a good one for Week 10, make sure you catch the Chargers back in their element in a game that’s late and close this Sunday.
Score Prediction: Lions 25 – Chargers 23
NFL Pick: Lions -1.5 (-110) at BetRivers
*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.