The biggest upset of Week 9 in the NFL was the 6-point underdog Miami Dolphins toppling Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals.
Favorites are covering spreads just 42.1 percent of the time in 2020, and underdogs are defying odds in big games; they're 29-16 against the spread versus divisional opponents.
But with big divisional matchups once again on the card in the NFC South, AFC South and NFC East, it's important to look at each line to pick the best bets, and most valuable odds, of Week 10.
3. Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
UNDER 45.5 (Odds: -110)
The AFC North's best defense and its worst offense match up in Week 10 in a recipe for a low-scoring affair. The Steelers have allowed just over 20 points per game in 2020, and the Bengals are scoring just 24.3 points per game. Though the Over/Under odds reflect a defensive matchup (the fourth-lowest total on the Week 10 slate), the injury status of key players on both sides of the ball gives confidence the score can and will be even lower.
Bengals running back Joe Mixon will remain out for Week 10, while offensive linemen Jonah Williams, Try Hopkins, and Bobby Hart will all miss their first games of the season Sunday. For the Steelers, QB Ben Roethlisberger was added to the COVID-19 reserve list (along with three other players) and will be unable to practice in-person this week. Though Roethlisberger could return for Sunday's game (if backup QB Mason Rudolph starts, the total odds will likely plummet), he will have had no practice time to recover from knee injuries he suffered in last week's win over the Cowboys.
Key stat: Steelers have allowed over 25 points just once in 2020
2. Buffalo Bills at Arizona Cardinals
OVER 56 (Odds: -115)
Only two of the Buffalo Bills' 2020 games have not surpassed the over/under total through nine starts. And though the Arizona Cardinals over has hit just twice this year, those two instances have come in the past two weeks, beating the odds by 10+ points in each. The Cardinals have surpassed 30 points scored in four consecutive games, have the sixth-ranked scoring offense in the NFL, and have played in consecutive 60+ point affairs.
Josh Allen and the Bills are coming off a passing showcase against the 6-2 Seattle Seahawks where Allen threw for 415 yards and three touchdowns and the game total nearly reached 80 points. With one of the worst run games in football, the Bills are forced to let Allen throw 35+ passes a game, and Buffalo will continue to play in high-scoring games.
The only potential issue with these total odds are if the Cardinals get a multi-possession lead early and, as one of the most run-heavy offenses in football, hand the ball off to Chase Edmonds and Kenyan Drake over 40 times to milk the clock.
Key stat: 75% of the Bills games in 2020 have gone over
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -4.5 at Carolina Panthers
A confluence of events has combined to produce single possession, the best odds value on the board. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffered an embarrassing primetime loss to the New Orleans Saints, and the Carolina Panthers held close with the reigning Super Bowl champs. But, with a clean slate and a new week, the Buccaneers have something to prove (and an easy spread to cover).
All signs point to a Buccaneers rebound — Tom Brady has not lost consecutive games since Dec. 2019, and the Panthers haven't won a game in over a month. Tampa Bay is 6-2 in their last eight games, and equally impressive in their last eight road matchups. On his career Brady has won over 75% of games coming off a loss, and the last time he faced Carolina the Buccaneers won 31-17 (without a healthy Chris Godwin or active Antonio Brown).
Panthers star running back Christian McCaffrey torched the Kansas City Chiefs last week for 151 yards and two touchdowns in his first game back from injury, but he finds himself back on the injury report with a hurt shoulder. If McCaffrey is officially ruled out, the odds will move further in the Tampa direction.
Key stat: Tom Brady has lost consecutive games just three times since 2015Published 12 Nov 2020, 06:18 IST