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Week 10 NFL Upset Alert: The Competitive Commanders Remain Underrated

Taking a look at the betting odds for Week 10 in the NFL, I’ve found three games that interest me: 49ers vs. Jaguars, Browns vs. Ravens, and Commanders vs. Seahawks.

For your best bets, I will recommend that you wager on all three underdogs. I personally like to invest three-quarters of a unit in the underdog ATS and the remaining quarter in the underdog ML.

Picks Summary

  • Jaguars ML (+140)
  • Browns ML (+220)
  • Commanders ML (+220)

*All odds from Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)


San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Sunday, November 12, 2023 – 01:00 PM ET at EverBank Stadium


San Francisco’s Overrated Run Defense

At the beginning of the season, it appeared that San Francisco’s run defense was as strong as it was last year, but it is now apparent that the 49ers benefited from facing soft competition.

Their first opponent was the Steelers, who rank 25th in rush offense, then they played the pass-happy Rams, who passed 55 times. Their next opponents were the offensively inept Giants, the Cardinals, who ran the ball well but adopted a pass-first approach, and the Cowboys, who couldn’t run much given how many points they were losing by.

More recently, they lost to the backup-laden Browns who ran for 160 yards, to the pass-first Vikings, and to the Bengals, who ran for 134 yards on five YPC.

San Francisco’s run defense is vulnerable because, during the offseason, it lost a lot to free agency. Losses included Hassan Ridgeway, Charles Omenihu, Samson Ebukam, Jimmie Ward, and Azeez Al-Shaair.

Why This Matters

Jacksonville’s running back Travis Etienne is a good running back who can be productive. He is able to assume a strong workload and churn out consistent gains. The metrics show that he is great at evading tackles and achieving breakaway runs.

Against a declined 49ers run defense, he’ll create third-and-short situations that will make achieving first downs vastly easier for his offense.

Dealing With San Francisco’s Pass Rush

San Francisco backers will point to the 49ers’ menacing pass rush, and while, on paper, a superficial consideration suggests that this creates a matchup advantage for the 49ers, San Francisco’s pass rush won’t be effective on Sunday.

Jaguars’ quarterback Trevor Lawrence owns the second-lowest TT (time to throw), which means that he gets the ball out fast. He has plenty of quick receiving options: Etienne out of the backfield is an effective pass-catcher; he likes to use tight end Evan Engram as a quick outlet; and Calvin Ridley is a speedy option who easily gets open.

When Trevor does have time to throw, he’ll have an easy time navigating the soft zone coverages that San Francisco’s defensive coordinator likes to employ to protect his vulnerable cornerbacks.

One wide receiver who excels at finding soft spots in a zone defense is Christian Kirk. Kirk is averaging six receptions per game in his last seven games.

Jacksonville’s Run Defense

The Jaguars will win this game largely because they own the stronger run defense.

They rank third in run defense and have proved their stoutness at defending the run against the likes of Indianapolis, which after an injury-induced slow start to the season ranks tenth in rush offense, but which ran for 44 yards on 21 carries in its last game against the Jaguars.

Jacksonville’s strong run defense will put too much pressure on mistake-prone quarterback Brock Purdy, who has thrown five interceptions in his last three games.

When the Jaguars lead, then they will expose Purdy more strongly, given Purdy’s extreme discomfort playing from behind, which is evident in his drastic statistical decline when his team is losing.

NFL Pick: Jaguars +3 (-110) at Bet365

NFL Pick: Jaguars ML (+140) at Bet365


Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, November 12, 2023 – 01:00 PM ET at M&T Bank Stadium


The First Meeting

Baltimore backers will point to the first meeting in which the Ravens won 28-3 in Cleveland.

That result creates a misleading impression of Cleveland’s outlook on Sunday because, in that game, the Browns were led at quarterback by Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a rookie selected in the fifth round who is not NFL-ready. He barely completed half his passes and threw three interceptions.

Hate him all you want for off-the-field reasons, but you can’t deny that Deshaun Watson is a competent NFL quarterback who, given his strong past in Houston, has a lot of upside.

Watson will not give Baltimore’s offense the advantages that Thompson-Robinson’s proneness to error and general incompetence afforded it.

Cleveland’s Defense

Despite having to see the field more often than they would have if they had had a competent NFL quarterback, the Browns limited Baltimore to below 300 total yards of offense.

With a star-laden pass rusher who easily makes the opposing quarterback uncomfortable and a well-rounded back seven, the Browns own the NFL’s top defense. They allow nearly 28 fewer yards than any other defense.

On Sunday, they’ll match up well against a Ravens offense spearheaded by quarterback Lamar Jackson, whose three YPC in their first meeting was a season low.

The best offensive player on the field Sunday is going to be Cleveland’s wide receiver Amari Cooper, who’s a high-caliber deep threat.

Between the competent Watson, a characteristically determined ground game, and a play-maker like Cooper, Cleveland’s offense will make enough plays to win, though it won’t have to make many thanks to its elite defense.

NFL Pick: Browns +6 (-110) at Bet365

NFL Pick: Browns ML (+220) at Bet365


Washington Commanders vs. Seattle Seahawks

Sunday, November 12, 2023 – 04:25 PM ET at Lumen Field


Washington’s Pass Defense

The Commanders’ pass defense gets a lot of criticism, which is fair given its start to the season, but this defense always starts slow, and it always turns things around.

After their embarrassing loss to Chicago, they promised to take fewer risks and, instead, to focus just on being solid.

Since losing to Chicago, Washington has had only one hiccup, which came against Philadelphia and its dangerous quarterback and high-caliber pass-catching crew. Otherwise, the Commanders held the Falcons to 16 points, the Giants to 14 points, and the Patriots to 17 points.

As measured by passer rating, Atlanta’s quarterback had his second-worst game of the season and New England’s his third-worst.

Seattle’s Offensive Outlook

The Seahawks lack sufficient quality in their pass attack to do well on Sunday, because they have a bad quarterback. Geno Smith ranks 18th in quarterback rating.

Smith is inaccurate, impotent in the red zone, and throws a lot of interceptable passes – he almost has as many interceptions as touchdowns this season. He is critically reliant on play-action passing, which makes his offense’s outlook negative on Sunday because play-action passing requires a good run game to work.

However, the Commanders’ run defense has improved. It reliably locks down strong running backs, holding the Eagles to 2.7 YPC and Atlanta’s stud running back Bijan Robinson to his worst rushing performance of the season.

Seattle’s failure to run the ball well will hold back its quarterback. 

Sam Howell

Helped by a well-reputed offensive coordinator in former Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and by guys like resurgent big-play threat Jahan Dotson at wide receiver, Commanders quarterback Sam Howell is growing into a stud who throws for a lot of yards, is efficient as a passer, and frequently finds the end zone. Howell will continue thriving against a Seattle pass defense that ranks well in the bottom half.

NFL Pick: Commanders +6 (-105) at Bet365

NFL Pick: Commanders ML (+220) at Bet365

*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.

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