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NFL Pro Football 2010 Week 10 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 10 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | November 11-14

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, November 11

Baltimore Ravens at Atlanta Falcons (-1, 43 1/2) 8:20 pm - A key game for both teams even though it's a cross-conference match-up. These two have identical 6-2 records and lead their respective divisions, so winning keeps them in a favorable position. Atlanta has a slight statistical edge on both sides of the ball, but their best advantage would appear to be running the ball against the Ravens, who specialize in stopping passing teams quite well.

Expect the Falcons to pound Michael Turner about 20-24 times and establish tempo, setting up play action for Matt Ryan. Defensively, their front line should be able to pester Baltimore QB, Joe Flacco and maybe record some key sacks. Scoring will be at a premium, but the Falcons should improve on their 4-0 home record.

Prediction: Falcons 17 Ravens 14

Sunday, November 14

Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills (-3, 43) 1:00 pm - The Bills have been on the verge of winning for four weeks, though they have nothing but a goose-egg to show for their efforts. Consecutive close calls to New England, Baltimore, Kansas City and Chicago have left the poor Bills as the only winless team in the league, but the news that Lions' QB Matthew Stafford is out for the season has to be encouraging. Backup Drew Stanton is reliable, but hardly impressive. Still, the Bills' secondary will have to contend with the likes of Brandon Pettigrew and Calvin Johnson, two of the biggest targets in the league.

Buffalo isn't a bad, team, just horribly inconsistent and that's not helpful against the 7th-highest scoring team in the league, with or without Stanton. The Lions haven't won a road game since 2008, but that could end here.

Prediction: Lions 31 Bills 28

Minnesota Vikings (-1, 40 1/2) at Chicago Bears 1:00 pm - The Vikings improved to 3-5 with a desperate, come-back win over the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. The fact that the Vikings trailed in that game, 24-10, should not be overlooked, nor should the Bears' solid 5-3 record. That being said, don't believe for a moment that the Vikings are not a solid franchise, despite the daily drama from the likes of Favre and coach Brad Childress. None of the players are happy being 3-5, but the team remains - talent-wise - one of the best in the league, without a doubt.

The Bear defense has been their rock this season, currently ranked 4th in the league in points allowed, at 16.6 per game, a favorable comparison with the Vikings' 21.0, though nobody doubts that the Viking defense, at its best, is on par with the Bears. A short line and the obvious need for Minnesota to win this key road game make the Vikings the hold-your-nose choice.

Prediction: Vikings 20 Bears 16

NY Jets (-3, 37 1/2) at Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm - The shocker of last weekend was the Browns' stunning 34-14 win over New England, a completely unexpected win over one of the top teams in the AFC. Prior to that, though, they dumped the Saints, in New Orleans, by a similar, 30-17, score. There's something good happening in Cleveland, and a lot of it has to do with Colt McCoy at QB and plenty of trickery on offense. The players seem to have tuned into coach Eric Mangini's positive message and have found ways to win. They're getting a little respect in Las Vegas as well, installed as only minor underdogs to the Jets, OT winners last week at Detroit.

Give the Browns a touch of an edge here as the Jets have to travel for the second straight week, usually a tough grind. Cleveland's defense is also improving by the week, so this is no easy spot for the kids from Gotham. Could be one of the best games of the week.

Prediction: Browns 23 Jets 20

Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts (-7, 47) 1:00 pm - The Bengals came within one play of upsetting the Steelers on Monday night, failing within yards of the end zone in 27-21 loss after falling behind 10-0 early on turnovers. Cincy has only lost once by more than eight points and that was in week one, at New England. Their five-game losing streak has been by margins of 3, 3, 7, 8 and 6. They're going to play right until the final gun, and,given Indy's issues on closing out games with battered running backs, the Bengals deserve a close look here.

These two don't play each other that often, but the QB match-up of Carson Palmer and Peyton Manning on the fast Indy turf should provide plenty of offensive entertainment. The Indy defense will be hard-pressed to slow down the Bengals throughout, but the Bengals' secondary should be able to limit the Colts to a degree, making this a close call. Indy will likely win, though OT is a distinct possibility.

Prediction: Colts 34 Bengals 31

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Tennessee Titans (-1, 43) at Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm - At issue for the Dolphins is their incredibly rugged schedule. They've already played the Vikings, Jets, Patriots, Packers, Steelers, Bengals and Baltimore; their only soft spot being week one, when they beat the Bills in Buffalo. Despite having to play most of the top teams in the league, the Dolphins are still 4-4 and still looking for their initial home win (0-3).

Hosting the Titans is not quite the recipe, especially with the visotors coming off a bye week and looking to stay on pace with the Colts in the AFC South. The Titans will be without Kenny Britt for this game and the foreseeable future, out with a hamstring, but they'll welcome Randy Moss to the offense. Vince Young will likely start at QB, though Kerry Collins has proven reliable in the past.

Perception is that the Dolphins have equal talent to compete here, but reality is that the Titans are scoring 10 points more per game than Miami and the defenses are about equal. Make Miami 0-4 at home.

Prediction: Titans 27 Dolphins 17


Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6 1/2, 36 1/2) 1:00 pm - After being stoned at the goal line in the final seconds last week at Atlanta, the Bucs would like to return to their winning ways and there's almost no better team to do that this season than against the sad, sad Panthers, last in the league in scoring at 11 points per game and 22nd on defense, allowing 23 points per outing.

Tampa already has a 20-7 win over 1-7 Carolina in the books from week three, so this one should be a no-brainer at home.

Prediction: Buccaneers 31 Panthers 10

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-1 1/2, 50) 1:00 pm - This one looks like the undercard in the AFC South, where Tennessee and Indy are tied at 5-3, and these two are trying to keep up, both 4-4, so this is about as important as a game can get in week ten for both squads. Statistically, these are two of the worst defensive teams in the league, both allowing 28.3 points per contest.

The edge goes to Houston, with a balanced attack and Matt Schaub arguably a better pocket passer than Jacksonville's David Garrard, who's been inconsistent this season and doesn't have the assortment of weapons Houston does.

Another interesting condition is that all of Jacksonville's losses have been by 22 points or more, whereas Houston has lost by more than 14 points just once, to the Giants. If Houston gets going early, the jags will find it hard to keep up.

Prediction: Texans 38 Jaguars 24

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2010, 2011, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.


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