NFL Betting Odds: Week 10 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
Suppose we have to address the big news in the NFL this week, although not as big as outlets like ESPN are making it: Dez Bryant has signed with the New Orleans Saints.
Of course, the Cowboys cut Bryant after last season when it looked like the now-31-year-old was trending down as he caught 69 balls for 838 yards and six scores. Decent numbers, but the yards per catch were a career low. In addition, Dez can be a bit of a headache as most diva receivers are.
Bryant stupidly turned down a reported three-year, $21 million offer from the Ravens in the summer and was seen on "Hard Knocks" visiting the Browns and confident he would sign there, but apparently Cleveland low-balled him.
Is Dez a No. 1 receiver at this point in his career like he was from 2012-15? No chance. But he could be a solid, dependable No. 3 and he's going to a perfect spot where anything Bryant provides would be gravy for the Saints, who are clearly all-in for the Super Bowl. Remember, the Saints traded a 2019 first-round pick to move up in the 2018 draft and take pass-rusher Marcus Davenport, traded another 2019 pick to the Jets on the eve of the season for backup QB Teddy Bridgewater, and then just a few weeks ago another pick to the Giants for cornerback Eli Apple.
Drew Brees already has maybe the best receiving back in the league in Alvin Kamara, a true superstar No. 1 receiver in Michael Thomas and a big-play No. 2 in rookie Tre'Quan Smith. Thomas is the only Saints receiver with more than 12 catches this season. Bryant can be a possession receiver, and he has 16 career touchdown catches in the fourth quarter or overtime and the game within one possession. That's the fifth-most in league history (Terrell Owens No. 1 with 25), and the four ahead of Bryant are all in Canton.
The Saints were a bit thin, too, after Thomas and Smith with Ted Ginn Jr. going on injured reserve earlier this season and Cameron Meredith just joining him. The Meredith news was the final straw to go sign Dez. Because the Saints have a true leader in Brees, one would assume Bryant is on his best behavior; plus, if he's not then no team will sign him next season. Bryant also has the carrot of potentially playing in his first Super Bowl.
New Orleans has a potential trap game this Sunday in Cincinnati, which is a 5.5-point underdog . The Bengals are off their bye but won't have their star receiver, A.J. Green, for at least a couple of games due to injury. Sean Payton, who spoke to Bryant about potential interest before this year's draft, said he wasn't sure yet whether Bryant will debut in Cincinnati.
Here are some line moves or potential game-changing injury notes for Week 10.
Bills at Jets (-6.5, 36.5): The spread and total have both dropped a point since I addressed this game Monday. I had no intention of coming back to this abomination again, but we got some surprising news this week that the Jets would be without starting quarterback Sam Darnold. He's dealing with a significant foot strain yet never showed any indications of an injury last Sunday in Miami. Makes some sense to sit him now since New York is on the bye next week, and it's not like the Jets are going anywhere. Veteran Josh McCown will get the start, and that's probably a good thing for the Jets in terms of this week. Davis Webb, currently on the practice squad, will be the No. 2 quarterback for the game after he's promoted to the 53-man roster. As for Buffalo's starter? Good question. It does seem to be trending that rookie Josh Allen will return from his elbow injury. Derek Anderson will go if Allen can't. Bovada has a special on "over/under" total picks in this game at 2.5 (under is -130 favorite).
Cowboys at Eagles (-7, 43): Some books open a line even when a team is playing Monday night, and Dallas was as low as +4 vs. Philadelphia before it took the field this past Monday against the Titans. I had a feeling that number would skyrocket after how bad the Cowboys looked in the second half of that loss. More bad news: Linebacker Sean Lee, the heart and soul of that defense, will miss 4-6 weeks with a hamstring injury. Guy is a great player but can't stay on the field and his Dallas career might be over. Coach Jason Garrett is under siege but said after Monday's loss he will let Scott Linehan continue to call the offensive plays. We'll see how long that lasts. Meanwhile, the Eagles, off their bye, were hoping to see the return of third-down back Darren Sproles this week. He hadn't played since injuring his hammy Week 1, was on track to return but then aggravated the problem. Good thing the 35-year-old is retiring after the year. Bovada offers a prop on Carson Wentz this week: -350 that he throws at least one TD pass and one or fewer picks (+225 that he doesn't). Wentz has had at least one TD and not more than one pick in every game this season and did in every game last year.
Cardinals at Chiefs (-17, 49.5): Will this get to the highest line of the season? That was Vikings -17 in Week 2 vs. Buffalo, and of course the Bills won that game. Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes is the -140 MVP favorite at Bovada and the site has an O/U of 299.5 passing yards for him (over is -175 favorite). Mahomes threw for 256 in the season opener at the Chargers and has topped 300 in every game since. With 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes on Sunday, Mahomes would tie Steve Young (five games in 1998) as the only QBs in league history to record at least 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes in five consecutive games. You can also bet on whether the Chiefs win by at least 20 (+135), 25 (+225) or 30 (+300). I wouldn't recommend any of those and will in fact be taking the points (at 17.5). I just hope Patrick Peterson guards Tyreek Hill the entire game! Now that will be fun to watch. Fellow Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins is questionable with a foot injury.
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