NFL Betting Predictions: Week 10 Opening Line Report and Picks
I just assume all NFL owners are much smarter (or luckier) than I am because, you know, they are all worth at least a billion dollars. That said, I'm not so sure about Bengals owner Mike Brown, who really didn't do anything to deserve ownership of an NFL franchise other than be the son of the late Paul Brown, who founded the Bengals, then an American Football League team, in 1968.
The Miami Dolphins are tanking this season and we all know that. But at least the Dolphins have a plan (and now a victory) and they are stockpiling draft picks like no other team. They might be good in a couple of years if they hit on most of those picks.
Cincinnati is winless coming out of its bye week and appears to have no plan whatsoever. How could the Bengals not trade some of their assets ahead of last Tuesday's deadline? In a sign of how dysfunctional that franchise is, long-time starting quarterback Andy Dalton was informed just three hours before the trade deadline that he was being replaced as the starter by fourth-round rookie Ryan Finley. OK, that's fine as it's time to see if Finley is any good. But why would you make that decision so close to the deadline when by that point it's too late to try and trade Dalton?
While the "Red Rifle" isn't Patrick Mahomes, some contender surely would have given up a draft pick for him because Dalton's $17.5 million deal for next season has no guaranteed money so any team can walk away from him (and Cincinnati will be doing that). Dalton rightly ripped the Bengals publicly over the timing of the benching. They should have done it right after their Week 8 loss or waited until after the trade deadline.
"If [Coach Zac Taylor] was thinking about it, at least let us try to see if I could end up somewhere else or at least see if there was interest in possibly getting traded at that point," Dalton said. "The way it was all handled, there wasn't enough time to even have that happen."
The Bengals also held on to guys like receiver AJ Green (a pending free agent), tight end Tyler Eifert and defenders Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap and Dre Kirkpatrick when all would have brought back solid draft picks. Here could be one reason why the team did nothing according to one report: Some key members of the Brown family were on vacation in Switzerland during the trade deadline (to be fair, Mike Brown wasn't).
As for Finley, I have seen some scouting reports comparing him to Ryan Tannehill. Finley was an excellent player at NC State and is considered very accurate with good mobility but perhaps lacking arm strength. At least the Bengals get eight games to see if he's worth anything or if they need to take a quarterback very high at the top of the 2020 draft.
The Bengals are home to Baltimore this week, and it could be a huge trap for the Ravens off their big home win against the previously unbeaten Patriots on Sunday night. From playing an 8-0 team to 0-8 one. Interesting. Cincinnati is a 10-point underdog . Here are some other Week 10 early lines that caught my eye. We won't touch on Thursday's game (Chargers at Raiders) or Monday's (Seahawks at 49ers) because we will be previewing them individually here at Doc's. Picks are ATS.
Lions at Bears (-3, 43.5): The pressure continues to build on Bears coach Matt Nagy and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky as the offense keeps regressing. Chicago lost its fourth in a row Sunday - it had four losses the entire 2018 regular season - 22-14 in Philadelphia. The Bears had nine yards of offense in the first half, which is freaking impossible. That was Chicago's fewest yardage in a first half in more than 40 years. Trubisky was 10-for-21 125 yards and was sacked three times overall. The Lions lost for the fourth time in five games Sunday, 31-24 in Oakland. Matthew Stafford threw for 406 yards and three scores but couldn't connect with his receiver on fourth-and-1 from the Oakland 1 with three seconds left. How do you not run the ball there? If you can't get 1 yard, you don't deserve to win. Chicago swept Detroit last season. Pick: Bears (at -2.5).
Falcons at Saints (-12, 51): Both come off their bye weeks with the franchises essentially in polar opposite situations. The Falcons are 1-7 and on a six-game losing streak, and I'm frankly stunned that Dan Quinn is still the team's coach. Sure, one argument is to simply let Quinn coach out the season because you are paying the guy and then you dump him. However, I would argue you dump Quinn now because then you can get a head start on contacting agents of potential replacements -- that may well be happening already behind the scenes, but if that were to get out publicly it's an embarrassment for the Falcons. New Orleans is 7-1 and on a six-game winning streak. The Saints have to keep winning, though, because we could see a 13-3 team not get home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs the way things are going with Seattle, Green Bay and San Francisco also having terrific seasons. The Saints host the Niners in Week 14 but don't play the Packers. New Orleans swept Atlanta in 2018. Pick: Falcons as long as Matt Ryan plays. He missed Week 8 with an ankle injury.
Rams at Steelers (+4.5, 45): The Rams come out of their bye at 5-3 and on a two-game winning streak but third in the division and very unlikely to catch San Francisco for first in the NFC West so it's likely Wild Card or bust because L.A. is already 0-2 int the division. L.A. has to be considered the winner of the trade deadline in landing the best player dealt in Jalen Ramsey. The team made a move ahead of last Tuesday's deadline as well in dumping very good cornerback Aqib Talib on the Dolphins along with a fifth-round pick. That was essentially a salary dump so the Rams can sign Ramsey to an extension this offseason. Talib is currently on injured reserve but could return by Week 15, so why wouldn't L.A. just keep him since the Rams are all in? Apparently, they wanted to save the $4.3 million remaining on Talib's deal this year and it cost them a fifth-round pick to make Miami take it on. Pick: Steelers.
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