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Sunday, 13 November 2016

NFL Week 10 Picks 2016 (November 10-14)

For the third week in a row the NFL Picks have produced a winning record and healthy profits to keep the season rolling in a positive direction. That is all a positive, but we have so many weeks left to go and plenty of work to do before this NFL season is fully in the books and that means trying to keep things going in the way they have.

I don't want to change too much in how I am working out the games I want to pick, but of course it will be nice if the luck continues to land on my side as it has at times over the last three weeks.

There are a couple of teams I have very little interest in backing at the moment, but for the most part I have the chance to break down every game of the week and find the ones I look to produce a profit for another week.

Denver Broncos @ New Orleans Saints Pick: There were many that suggested the Denver Broncos would not be able to defend the Super Bowl they won last February through into another Play Off run because of the loss of Peyton Manning. Of course it wasn't Manning that helped them win the Super Bowl, but a strong Defensive unit although there are some key injuries to this unit before they head into their bye week.

The Broncos haven't been helped by the fact they are in one of the toughest Divisions in the NFL with three of the four teams in the AFC West at 6-3 or better, while the San Diego Chargers are much better than their record. Denver head into their bye in Week 11 and Gary Kubiak has to hope they can get through another game without more injuries adding to a long list on the Defensive side of the ball.

Playing the New Orleans Saints on the road looks to be coming at the wrong time for Denver especially as the Saints have won four of their last five games to get back into contention in the NFC South. They are still chasing the Atlanta Falcons and the Saints have a huge Thursday Night Football game against the Carolina Panthers to come, but New Orleans should be focused on this game knowing they can't afford to slip up with the Division improving.

Drew Brees and Sean Payton are long-term faces here, but the Offense has begun to work in some new names with the most prominent being Michael Thomas. The passing game has made some big plays in recent games and for much of the season, but Payton has been very vocal in wanting to run the ball and the Saints have responded with Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower churning out the yards of late.

Injuries up front has meant Denver have been giving up too many yards on the ground of late and that is big for the Saints. If the Broncos need to load the box to stop Ingram/Hightower, then Brees is going to earn some big chunks through the air and I do think the Broncos might have some difficulty stopping New Orleans with the injuries they have on that side of the ball.

It does mean Trevor Siemian and the Denver Offense have to keep up with the Saints and I do think they will have chances to do that. I am of the belief that Paxton Lynch will start at Quarter Back in Week 12, but Siemian couldn't ask for a much better match up against the New Orleans Secondary which has struggled all season with little pressure earned up front.

There is no doubting Siemian has the weapons to make plays with Virgil Green, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders all big Receiving options and I do think he will have a decent day statistically. New Orleans don't have a strong pass rush which means the Quarter Back will have time, while I also think Denver can run the ball against a Defensive Line which has surrendered some big runs.

My issue is that I don't trust Siemian to make the consistent plays and that New Orleans will make the Denver Offense a little predictable the longer the game goes on. I also think those injuries for the Denver Defensive unit hurts them against a Quarter Back like Drew Brees and the fast track inside the dome should see the Saints have a little too much for the Broncos in this one. It is a shame the game is locked on the key number of three at the moment but I still think the Saints can be backed here and can win this one by around seven to move back above 0.500 as Denver look to figure things out in their bye week.

LA Rams @ New York Jets Pick: I will begin by saying I absolutely have no idea how Jeff Fisher is still a Head Coach in the NFL and especially not with the LA Rams with a continuous run of poor seasons behind him. The one thing Fisher does know is how to finish with a losing record and he has not finished with more than seven wins in his time with the Rams which doesn't look like changing.

The fact that he is also not willing to make the change at Quarter Back from Case Keenum who most know will be a backup at best going forward to Jared Goff, the Number 1 overall pick in the last Draft is baffling. It certainly puts the pressure on Fisher as Head Coach and losing to the hapless New York Jets might just make up the mind of the owner that there has to be a change in the Head Coach office this summer.

Perhaps more baffling than the non-change at Quarter Back is the decision to not give the ball to Todd Gurley at Running Back in the critical Fourth Quarter. That is supposed to be changed this week but Gurley has a tough match up against the New York Jets who have one of the best Defensive Lines in the NFL.

You would think Gurley is able to make some big plays, but the Offensive Line hasn't opened the holes that you would expect and it could be down to the beleaguered Keenum to make the plays at Quarter Back to help the Rams move the chains. Keenum has been able to throw the ball effectively at times, but he can't escape the big Interceptions and that is going to be important in this game.

There will be time times that the Rams will fail to stay on the field, but avoiding turnovers is important for them and punting can't be seen as a negative. It is especially the case when you think the New York Jets are Offensively challenged themselves and could be down to a third string Quarter Back this week with Ryan Fitzpatrick banged up and Bryce Petty perhaps getting the ball behind Center.

With a strong Defensive Line of their own, the Rams will feel they can shut down Matt Forte and the New York Jets and force the Quarter Back, whoever that may be, to beat them through the air. The Rams are also getting healthier on the Defensive Line which will give them a chance to put pressure on the Quarter Back with a pass rush capable of getting the better of this Offensive Line and pressurising the QB into mistakes.

It just makes it tough for the Jets to make too many plays too and that is why turnovers are going to be important in this game. Field Goals will also play a big part in things and I do think the Rams can win this game as the small underdog with perhaps a little better play coming from the Quarter Back position.

Going across the country for an early start is very difficult for any team, but I think the Rams can have a rare success in this spot and I am going to take the points that are available here.

Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles Pick: The Philadelphia Eagles look to be heading in the wrong direction and their 3-0 record has quickly become 4-4 in a loaded NFC East. That puts them in a difficult spot going into Week 10 and a defeat at home to the Atlanta Falcons could really increase the pressure on them.

The Eagles are 3-0 at home and need to be respected here having beaten previously unbeaten Minnesota and also Pittsburgh but the loss of Lane Johnson has come at the same time when Carson Wentz has hit a rookie wall of sorts at Quarter Back. He hasn't been helped by the absence of Johnson which has also affected the run game with Ryan Mathews in the doghouse for most intents and purposes.

It has meant Darren Sproles taking the majority of carries and while he is a very good football player, he is also not the biggest body and has found it difficult to establish the run fully to ease pressure on the rookie Quarter Back. It will be tough against the Atlanta Defensive Line which has shown toughness up front all season and the Eagles will need Wentz to get back to his early season form to get the chains going in this one.

The Falcons have also got a really good pass rush going with Dan Quinn being able to bring some of his philosophies to the Falcons up front. He might not have the Legion of Boom in the Secondary, but Quinn should be able to help Atlanta generate pressure on Wentz and contain some of the running lanes which should help the Falcons get off the field.

If Wentz does have time I do think he can make plays against a Secondary that has had problems all season and missing their best Corner Back in Desmond Trufant for this one. Finding that time consistently from third and long will be tough though and the Falcons will feel they can make enough stops on that side of the ball to give Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Offense the chance to pull away.

Some might think the Atlanta Falcons are going to be able to have an easy day on the Offensive side of the ball as they have had for much of the season. That might not be the case this week though with the Eagles Defensive unit perhaps a little underrated and I do think they can at least give Atlanta something to think about.

Devonta Freeman could have a few issues running the ball against a Defensive Line which has shown improvements in that regards in their recent games although he will be a threat catching the ball out of the backfield. With the pressure they have up front the Eagles will feel they can also get a few hits on Matt Ryan and force mistakes from the Quarter Back or at least keep the Falcons from moving the ball easily.

If Ryan does have time he should be able to make a few plays against the Secondary with his big Receivers even if Julio Jones is banged up. Even using Freeman as a blanket should help Ryan and I do think the Falcons are the better team in this one and can show up better.

A road favourite who the public are backing is the biggest concerns for me, but the Falcons are a team on the up and the Eagles are on the slide and I can see Atlanta winning this by at least three points. The comments made by Jim Schwartz, the Philadelphia Defensive Co-Ordinator, about the Atlanta Offense should have fired them up all the more to prove they can win these big games and keep in control of the NFC South which suddenly has a couple of potential challengers in it.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Carolina Panthers Pick: The Carolina Panthers might have started magnificently last season, but this is a team that has improved under Ron Rivera after slow starts a couple of times already. There are signs the Panthers are looking capable of doing that again and a couple of wins in a row will have encouraged this fan base.

They are 2.5 games behind the Atlanta Falcons at the top of the NFC South, but the bigger issue might be that Carolina are 0-3 in the Division and so they cannot overlook any opponent if they are going to get back in contention. The Panthers are on a short week when they face the New Orleans Saints, but they have to give the Kansas City Chiefs full respect with their 6-2 record and their chase for the lead in the AFC West.

There have been some improvements Defensively from the Panthers which has sparked their couple of wins, although there is still a lot of room to go before they are considered elite. Importantly they have remained stout against the run for much of the season and being able to limit what Spencer Ware and the Kansas City Chiefs are able to on the ground is going to be a key to their success in this one.

Alex Smith should be back behind Center which is huge for Kansas City as a marked improvement on Nick Foles who struggled against Jacksonville. Smith has mobility and the smarts to know when to use that, but he will need it all against the Panthers who have suddenly found an effective pass rush. However Smith will get the ball out of his hands quickly and it will be up to the Panthers to prevent the yards after the catch which has been an issue for them.

If Carolina can do that they will feel they can get the ball back in the hands of Cam Newton and the Offense which looks to have a decent match up against the Chiefs. The Panthers have not been as strong running the ball as you may imagine, but Newton and Jonathan Stewart could find some big lanes against the Chiefs who have given up 5.5 yards per carry over their last three games against teams you might not consider strong running teams.

Running the ball effectively is the entire key for Carolina to ease the pressure on Newton that has been an issue for them all season. Newton is a big man to take down, but he has taken too many Sacks and being under pressure makes it difficult to throw the ball downfield to big targets like Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen. However running the ball will ease that pressure and Newton could have a huge game throwing the ball too against a Secondary that have given up plenty of yards through the air.

The game with New Orleans is a concern coming just four days after this one, but the Panthers are focused on trying to run the table so I don't believe they will be distracted. I do think they will get the run game going behind Newton and Stewart and that should give them a considerable edge with the pass rush likely to force Smith to keep throwing underneath the coverage.

It should give the Panthers enough of an advantage to pull away from the Kansas City Chiefs and I do think the latter have a record which is padded by games they shouldn't have won. While it will be tight for a while, I think the Carolina Panthers score Touchdowns where the Chiefs settle for Field Goals and that can see the home team win and cover this number which is sitting on the key number three.

Green Bay Packers @ Tennessee Titans Pick: There have to be some serious concerns for the Green Bay Packers fans now that their team has yet to hit the overdrive button to take control of the NFC North like usual. Even the usually relaxed Aaron Rodgers has called out some of his teammates following the disappointing home loss to the Indianapolis Colts and you have to think there has been a big week of practice that has taken place.

Injuries haven't helped but Rodgers was most concerned by how 'flat' his fellow players seemed to be and the Packers have to show they are determined to get into the Play Offs and make some noise in January. A trip to the Tennessee Titans is far from an easy proposition for teams these days and the home team will be encouraged in the weak AFC South in which they are only 1.5 games from the lead in the Division.

That should keep them focused despite the big trip to Indianapolis upcoming and the Titans know they need to really win out at home if they are going to have a shot to make the Play Offs.

It all begins with DeMarco Murray at Running Back for Tennessee, but this might be a big test for the Running Back against a Packers Defensive Line that has managed to hold up well enough. Derrick Henry is unlikely to suit up so Murray should have plenty of chances to try and break a few big runs, although Tennessee can also use the read option to get Marcus Mariota out in space.

Earlier in the season Mariota did have some signs of regressing as a passer, but the young Quarter Back has been improving and could have some success in this one. He doesn't have a lot of big time targets and the Green Bay Packers Secondary have managed to steady the ship despite the injuries, but Mariota can also scramble and make some plays which gives Tennessee a chance.

That chance will depend on how much the Titans can impose themselves Defensively on the Packers. With Rodgers calling out his teammates, you have to think the Offense felt the words the most and will be looking to respond this week and I do think they have a chance to do that. James Starks could be back in the mix at Running Back this week, but Ty Montgomery has played well and they could give Green Bay a rushing punch that can open things up for Rodgers for another decent game at Quarter Back.

Green Bay should be able to establish the run and that should ease the pressure Rodgers is given up front, while the Quarter Back has played better in recent games to ease doubts about whether he is still up at elite level. Rodgers hasn't been protected as well as he has liked, but he is throwing into a Secondary that have struggled and I can see the Quarter Back having a big game through the air which will give the Green Bay Packers the edge in this Week 10 game.

I hate the fact that the public are absolutely pounding Green Bay this week especially as the layers are not moving from this line. But I do think the Packers are the team more likely to win this one and it will be tough for Tennessee to keep up Offensively with the Aaron Rodgers led Packers who are surely going to respond to their Quarter Back going public with his disappointment in the effort in Week 9. The problem for Tennessee is they are being dragged into too many shoot outs of late and I can only see the Packers winning by a Touchdown or more at this moment despite their setback against the Colts last week.

San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals Pick: It isn't that long ago that the NFC West might have been considered the best in the NFL with their top teams expected to challenge for the Super Bowl. Things have changed with over half the 2016 gone and only one team above 0.500 and the chances of more than one team entering the Play Offs diminishing on a weekly basis.

The Arizona Cardinals might actually be one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL with their 3-4-1 record coming out of the bye week, but they still have a chance to chase down the Seattle Seahawks. Anything other than a dominant win over the San Francisco 49ers are going to continue the questions of the Cardinals and Carson Palmer in particular.

It doesn't need to be a vintage Palmer performance for the Arizona Cardinals to not only win, but win easily. The loss of Navarro Bowman at Linebacker has taken away the influential leader of the 49ers Defense and their run Defense has really suffered without him. They just gave up huge numbers to Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower in their home blow out loss to the New Orleans Saints and now San Francisco face one of the most dynamic Running Backs in the NFL in David Johnson.

Johnson should rip off big gains against a Defensive Line which has allowed a vomit inducing 270 yards per game on the ground in their last three games at 6.4 yards per carry. Palmer will likely be handing off a lot to Johnson, but he should also be able to work play action to earn big gains down the field when throwing against a Secondary that has also allowed over 250 passing yards per game over their last three games.

Either way the Arizona Cardinals should have loads of success when they have the ball in their hand and only mistakes from Palmer at Quarter Back will prevent them from moving the chains consistently. That shifts the pressure onto the San Francisco 49ers and Colin Kaepernick to stay with them which won't be easy against one of the better Defensive units in the NFL.

Having Kaepernick behind Center does give San Francisco the chance to threaten to run the ball, but they are going to be challenged by a strong Defensive Line which has limited the damge teams have been able to do against them on the ground. Not being able to run the ball as they will like to will mean it is up to Kaepernick to move the chains with his arm and he has struggled for the consistency when it comes to the pass to believe he will be that successful in this one.

The Cardinals do have a couple of injuries in the Defensive unit that might encourage Kaepernick, but it is hard to see how San Francisco can find the consistency to end with Touchdowns in this one in the only way they are going to keep up with the Cardinals. The 49ers gave up 33 points when they played Drew Stanton earlier this season and Arizona are much stronger inside their dome at home and I think it is going to be very difficult for their visitors to keep up with Arizona.

San Francisco have allowed at least 33 points in four straight games and this is the second time this season I will take a team to cover a double digit threat in a NFL game. The first was backing Carolina to beat this 49ers team at home and I like the Cardinals to score on enough possessions to pull away from the San Francisco team that might make a couple of big turnovers to fall away.

Dallas Cowboys @ Pittsburgh Steelers Pick: If the Play Offs were to begin this week, the Dallas Cowboys would be the Number 1 Seed in the NFC in a season where they have surpassed all expectations to this point. 'To this point' is a critical part of that sentence because Jerry Jones will be the first one to tell you that the Cowboys want to win the Super Bowl before they consider this a successful season.

Much of the credit has to be given to a couple of rookies in key Offensive positions as Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott continue to impress. Elliot at Running Back was expected to be a big part of the Dallas Cowboys Offense as a First Round selection, but Dak Prescott at Quarter Back was perhaps considered a potentially good player who could be developed behind Tony Romo.

An injury to Romo sent Prescott in, but it is the rookie who is keeping what sounds like a healthy Romo from the starting job. Having won in Lambeau Field, a win in Heinz Field might mean Dallas will not decide to bring back their veteran behind Center and Prescott could become the latest Quarter Back who won the job through injury but kept it thanks to his own big play.

This is a big test for Prescott who perhaps has not been at his best in recent games as Dallas hopes he can avoid hitting the rookie wall that may have affected Carson Wentz. Prescott is luckier that he can rely on Elliot and the best Offensive Line in the NFL to make big plays on the ground and ease the pressure on his shoulders and that is going to be important here against the Steelers.

The Steelers Defensive Line is not as strong as it used to be and there is going to be some room for Elliot to make plays and I have little doubt that he is going to have some big gains. That should keep Dallas in third and manageable for much of the day unless Pittsburgh sell out to stop the run, but even that will just mean Prescott being able to make some big plays through the air as he has shown he can do.

It looks like a game where Dallas can make some big Offensive gains, but they are playing a Pittsburgh team that should be angry with their performance last week in Baltimore. Mainly it is the Offensive unit and Big Ben Roethlisberger who will have something to prove this week and I do think the Steelers will have a much improved game on that side of the ball.

Roethlisberger might be put under some pressure by a surprisingly effective Dallas pass rush, but I have to think he will be much better with the long ball especially with the Cowboys missing Morris Claiborne in the Secondary. Antonio Brown and Big Ben were a little out of sync last week but that connection should be better too, while the pass rush might be slowed down if Le'Veon Bell can make a few plays at Running Back.

It is not the best match up for Bell, but he is an effective pass catching Back and can sneak out of the backfield for some solid gains. Pittsburgh will also line him up in the slot and will be hoping Sammy Coates can make some big plays without the big drops this week.

You can understand why Dallas are being backed by the public as the underdog this week with the match up Offensively meaning they should have some success moving the chains. However the Steelers are a much different proposition at home and they have been dominant with Roethlisberger starting at Heinz Field. I also have little doubt we are going to see a big game from the Quarter Back having historically bounced back from his first game returning from an injury when he has usually struggled.

Dallas have been money for me this season having failed to cash for me for the first time last week, but that was my own fault for backing against them. Even with that in mind, I do think the Steelers show up big this week and they might be fired up after a poor showing in Week 9. With the public looking to go against them, I am backing Pittsburgh here and looking for them to earn the narrow win over Dallas and get back into the AFC North fight after dropping three games in a row.

Seattle Seahawks @ New England Patriots Pick: The return of Tom Brady has sparked the New England Patriots Offense although they were a 3-1 team when their starting Quarter Back returned from his four game suspension. They have won all four games since Brady returned to the team and all of those wins have come by at least eleven points while the Patriots also have the best record in the AFC.

They are playing at home this week in a rematch with the Seattle Seahawks from the Super Bowl which was played less than two years ago. That Super Bowl will always be remembered for Seattle overcomplicating things on the one yard line and throwing the ball instead of running with Marshawn Lynch, the pivotal moment of that game that cost the Seahawks back to back Super Bowl wins.

It has been the talking point this week for the Seattle Seahawks but they are trying to focus on the task at hand and making sure they can maintain the lead in the NFC West. Running the ball might not be an option like it was in the Super Bowl either as 'Beast Mode' is now retired and the Seahawks have not been able to move the chains effectively on the ground.

Christine Michael has been the starting Running Back, but Seattle will be hoping Thomas Rawls can return shortly to give them a boost running the ball. It has been a long time since Seattle were averaging just 75 yards per game on the ground, but part of the issue had ben the injuries suffered by Russell Wilson which limited the Quarter Back in running the read option play.

Had is the operative word as Wilson looked much healthier coming out of the bye in Week 9 and there might be a few lanes against the New England Patriots Defensive Line who have allowed 4.8 yards per carry in their last three games. The decision to trade away Jamie Collins takes away a huge Linebacker who could fill some gaps and Wilson and Michael might actually help Seattle have a better day on the ground than they have for much of the season.

That is important to keep Seattle in third and manageable spots as well as trying to control the clock and keep Tom Brady on the sidelines. Russell Wilson will also feel he can convert those third down plays with the Patriots not getting the effective pass rush in recent games as they had earlier in the season and Wilson's improved mobility protects his Offensive Line too. There are some holes to make plays in the New England Secondary and Jimmy Graham could be a huge target for a second week in a row.

Graham will try to steal the show from Rob Gronkowski who is the other big pass catching Tight End on the field. He has got back on the same page as Brady very quickly and the Patriots have to be encouraged that they can throw the ball against the Legion of Boom who have given up bigger numbers than we are used to seeing. The key for Seattle is the pressure they have still managed to get up front even without Michael Bennett and that is the only way to really try and slow down Brady although he will make the quick, short passes and look for Receivers to make their yards after the catch.

Much will come down to how Brady deals with the pressure brought by the Seattle Defensive Ends because it remains a difficulty to establish the run against the Seahawks. There are bigger holes in the Secondary for Seattle but the return of Kam Chancellor is huge in that regards as it looks like he will be back in the line up this week. The negative numbers have come during his absence and I think this might be too many points for the Seattle Seahawks to be given when you consider they should be stronger Defensively.

Russell Wilson is more than capable of making a few big plays here to keep Seattle close to New England and I am going to take more than a converted Touchdown worth of points here. Going across the country is difficult, but Seattle are playing in the Sunday Night Football primetime spot and that should make it easier for the players to adjust and I will take the points in this one.

MY PICKS: New Orleans Saints - 3 Points @ 2.00 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Los Angeles Rams + 1.5 Points @ 1.91 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Atlanta Falcons - 1.5 Points @ 1.95 Bet365 (2 Units)
Carolina Panthers - 3 Points @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)
Green Bay Packers - 3 Points @ 2.05 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Arizona Cardinals - 14 Points @ 1.95 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Pittsburgh Steelers - 2.5 Points @ 1.91 Coral (2 Units)
Seattle Seahawks + 7.5 Points @ 1.86 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Week 9: 5-2-1, + 5.54 Units (16 Units Staked, + 34.63% Yield)
Week 85-2, + 5.34 Units (14 Units Staked, + 38.14% Yield)
Week 75-3, + 3.36 Units (16 Units Staked, + 21% Yield)
Week 63-3, - 0.46 Units (12 Units Staked, - 3.83% Yield)
Week 52-3-1, - 2.36 Units (12 Units Staked, - 19.67% Yield)
Week 45-5, + 0.26 Units (19 Units Staked, + 1.37% Yield)
Week 32-3-1, - 2.27 Units (10 Units Staked, - 22.70% Yield)
Week 25-5, - 0.70 Units (20 Units Staked, - 3.50% Yield)

Week 14-3-1, + 0.29 Units (15 Units Staked, + 1.93% Yield)

Season 2016: 36-29-4, + 9 Units (134 Units Staked, + 6.72% Yield)

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