Week 10 in the NFL features a mix of games that seem all too easy to predict on paper along with some that are a better's nightmare. Ultimate Autographs' Adam Johnson attempts to provide some clarity with this week's Ultimate Pick 6.
Oakland Raiders (+1.5) vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Adam was able to get his picks in before Thursday's game so we'll give him credit for it this week. He even picked this game as his Lock of the Week. The Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland Raiders played a very close game that came down to the final few minutes with the game-winning score coming from Raiders star rookie RB Josh Jacobs. Philip Rivers was under duress for much of the game and made a number of mistakes that doomed the Chargers.
Although they're just barely above .500 at 5-4, Jon Gruden and the Raiders organization deserve a lot of credit for getting this team to where they're at considering everything they've been through.
Kansas City Chiefs (-4) vs. Tennessee Titans
Adam was riding the Tennessee Titans early on but as we've seen, he hopped off that bandwagon once the season started to turn for the worst. They're a team that has good pieces on both sides of the ball but they never seem to be able to put everything together to be a well-oiled machine. The Titans have seemingly thrown in the towel on Marcus Mariota and despite Ryan Tannehill performing well, it's safe to assume the organization is already looking towards the 2020 NFL Draft.
That's not a mentality to have when facing one of the AFC's best teams, the Kansas City Chiefs. Even without Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs have been able to not only be competitive but also add to their win column. Andy Reid deserves a ton of credit for making Matt Moore look like a competent quarterback despite Moore not even playing football last season (and earlier this season). It helps when you have playmakers like Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman and others around you, but Moore has done more (no pun intended) than was expected to keep the Chiefs' playoff hopes alive.
The Chiefs have playmakers on offense that should prove to be a problem for the Titans defense and I expect the 6-3 Chiefs will be able to create separation from the Titans in this one. Roll with the away team here at -4.
Baltimore Ravens (-10) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Any time a line is double digits, it causes people to second guess putting money on the favorites. Don't overthink it here. The Baltimore Ravens are one of, if not the best team in the AFC right now and the Cincinnati Bengals are a dumpster fire right now.
The Bengals are turning to rookie Ryan Finley to see what they have which combined with their inept offensive line play this season, is a recipe for disaster. Expect to see a lot of Joe Mixon in this game but the Ravens defense has been improved in recent weeks.
The Ravens only won by 6 points in their earlier matchup but considering the way these two teams are heading, a 10 point spread doesn't sound so unrealistic. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens put up enough points in this one to cover at -10.
Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions (Over 41.5)
I really had to stop and think about this one when Adam sent it over. I asked him, "What's your reasoning behind this one?" because I didn't think I could believably say this game would exceed the over.
But after talking with the gambling man himself, maybe it makes sense. For one, it's a very low over for today's pro-offense NFL and Adam believes both defenses could play a role in pushing this past the over. Matthew Stafford has played very well this season but his success has been hindered by the Detroit Lions defense. Despite having defensive-minded Matt Patricia at the helm, the Lions defense has not improved the way many expected them to.
However, if there's one cure for a struggling defense, it's the Chicago Bears offense. Put simply, the Bears offense has looked awful/dreadful/terrible/any variation of these words for almost all of this season. Mitchell Trubisky has regressed from last year to be one of the worst statistical starting quarterbacks this season, but the team continues to put him in a starting role. This despite the offense having 9 total yards of offense in a half last week.
Unless something drastically changes, the Bears defense will have to continue to try and win games on their own. That's not a recipe for success in the NFL in 2019.
So, with a struggling offense facing a struggling defense, one of those has to give. Points will be scored by a reinvigorated Bears offense or the Lions could force some turnovers and give their offense great field position. With such a low over/under, take the over here and look for some defensive/special teams scores.
New York Giants (-2.5) vs. New York Jets
Both teams have struggled for much of the 2019 season and luckily for New York fans, they don't have to sit through 2 individual games on Sunday since they're playing each other.
Out of the two, it seems like the New York Giants have the most to look forward to this season and beyond. Daniel Jones has shown some promise since taking over for Eli Manning but he's also made some rookie mistakes along the way. He'll be without starting WR Sterling Sharpe (again) and now Evan Engram but with Golden Tate and ultra-talented Saquon Barkley, expect the G-Men to move the ball against the New York Jets defense.
The Jets are a team that's in the middle of a tailspin. Hiring Adam Gase as the head coach looks like a complete failure and despite being tabbed as a quarterback guru, Sam Darnold has regressed this year. Not only that, but it sounds like there are disconnects between some of the Jets superstars and the coaching staff.
Luckily for Darnold and the Jets offense, they'll face off against a Giants defense that has been allowing over 30 points per game during their recent losing streak. But, the team couldn't beat a tanking Miami Dolphins team so it's tough to expect them to compete with a slightly better Giants defense. Expect to see former Jets first-round pick, Leonard Williams, to make some impact plays in a revenge game because that always seems to happen. Giants take the battle of New York.
Dallas Cowboys (-3) vs. Minnesota Vikings
Much like the aforementioned Baltimore Ravens x Cincinnati Bengals game, don't overthink it with this one.
Both teams are looking to start a playoffs push heading into the back half of the NFL season but one of these teams has Kirk Cousins as their starting quarterback. Cousins' struggles in prime time games and against teams with winning records are well-noted and it's tough to not stick with that trend here.
The Dallas Cowboys will be playing in front of a home crowd and have shown improvements on defense in recent weeks. There's no question about the offensive firepower with the 2019 Triplettts Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott, but for the Cowboys to become a true contender, their defense needs to continue to get better. They looked to be well on their way to becoming a top defense by forcing three turnovers and sacking Daniel Jones five times during their Monday Night Football contest. The Vikings will be without star wide receiver Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook is coming off a terrible game against a (statistically) worse defense last week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Take the Cowboys here as Minnesota Vikings fans will once again get their Kirk Cousins memes going on social media.
Season Record: 19-29
Lock of the Week: 5-2