Somedays you gets the bear, some days the bear gets you. The last time you saw Nostrathomas he was taking a Week 8 beating after fighting his way above the .500 mark against the spread for the 2020 NFL Season.
Real world issues kept Nostrathomas from putting up his Week 9 predictions, like lack of beer to fill the crystal mugs with among other things. However, we are back to giving you the analysis you need to pump your bankroll this weekend.
Heading into the Week 10 action, Nostrathomas is 41-42-1 against the spread and 54-28 straight-up. This week, it’s time for Nostrathomas to get the bear (and the beer).
Game of the Week
Seattle Seahawks vs Los Angeles Rams -2.5 (4:25PM ET; SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles, CA)
This is the first meeting of the 2020 season between these two division rivals and first place in the NFC West is on the line in this one.
The Seattle Seahawks have taken a tumble since coming out of their Week 6 bye. They’ve lost two of their last three games, but those losses have been against teams on the plus side of .500 for the season. The Los Angeles Rams are coming out of their bye week after being crushed by the Miami Dolphins in Week 8.
This division showdown game couldn’t have come at a worse time for Seattle. Their top two running backs, Chris Carson (foot) and Carlos Hyde (hamstring) have both been declared out. On defense the Seahawks will be without starting cornerback Shaquil Griffin (concussion/hamstring).
Los Angeles has been having problems on offense this season but they’re playing a defense that is thirtieth in points allowed. On defense, the Rams are elite, second in the NFL in points allowed.
Under normal circumstances, that defense would be tested by the second highest scoring team in the league but without his top two backs, Russell Wilson will be forced to do all the heavy lifting for Seattle’s offense.
If the Seahawks were healthy, Nostrathomas would recommend riding the road dog to victory but Russell Wilson will be running for his life from Los Angeles’ defensive line while trying to carry Seattle’s offense on just his right arm.
The Rams won and covered both matchups last season and have won four of their last five against Seattle. Take the Rams to win and cover.
Los Angeles Rams 34 Seattle Seahawks 28
Buffalo Bills vs Arizona Cardinals -2.5 (4:05PM ET; State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ)
This is the second week in a row that the Cardinals will be facing a playoff contender from the AFC East. Last week, Arizona surrendered 10 fourth quarter points to the Miami Dolphins in a 34-31 loss. This week they get the division leaders.
Buffalo would be a great bet here as road underdogs but they’ve had a rash of Covid-19 cases this week. Their two starting cornerbacks, Josh Norman and Levi Wallace, plus safety Dean Marlowe are on the reserve/Covid list and will be out against Arizona’s strong receiving corps.
Fortunately for the Bills, they’re looking at their bye week after this game which will give them time to get healthy again. In the meantime, the Cardinals will be getting healthy against them.
Arizona Cardinals 32 Buffalo Bills 27
Houston Texans vs Cleveland Browns -4 (1PM ET; FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH)
The Browns are coming off their bye week and getting starting running back Nick Chubb back in the lineup. On a day that is forecast to be muddy and windy, that’s a big edge for Cleveland.
The Texans are 0-4 against the spread on the road and 1-7 ATS overall this season. Also, the only team they’ve beaten so far in 2020 has been the Jacksonville Jaguars.
So far, Cleveland has beaten the teams on their schedule that they’re supposed to beat. The Browns will do that again this week.
Cleveland Browns 26 Houston Texans 17
San Francisco 49ers vs New Orleans Saints -9.5 (4:25PM ET; Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA)
New Orleans ran the Buccaneers out of Raymond James Stadium last week and will be working to keep their half-game division advantage over Tampa Bay at home this week.
This game has moved from an open of 6.5 to a 9.5 point spread as injury news keeps coming out of 49ers camp. With Nick Mullins starting at quarterback for San Francisco, Nostrathomas still doesn’t think that spread has widened enough to lay money on the 49ers.
New Orleans Saints 32 San Francisco 49ers 17
Baltimore Ravens -7 vs New England Patriots (Sunday Night Football; Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA)
You do not want the Patriots in this spot and Baltimore can cover that seven spot on the merits of their tough defense. Also, while the Ravens have struggled a bit on offense lately, Lamar Jackson should find opportunities against a defense that struggles to get pressure on the quarterback.
Baltimore needs to keep winning to stay within striking distance of the Steelers. They will be taking this game seriously.
Baltimore Ravens 28 New England Patriots 17
Best of the Rest
Los Angeles Chargers vs Miami Dolphins -1.5 (4:05PM ET; Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL)
Everybody had the Dolphins written off for the season when they benched veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to begin the Tua Tagovailoa era. A convincing victory over the Rams and a comeback victory last week over Arizona changed that narrative.
The Chargers also have a talented rookie quarterback in Justin Herbert and there’s no doubt that he and Tagovailoa are going to be having some epic battles against each other in future years.
Unfortunately, one of those battles won’t be this week. It’s difficult to think of another team, at least in Nostrathomas’ eternal lifetime that has lost more one-score games than head coach Anthony Lynn’s Chargers.
The difference in this game is that Miami has more than “Tua Time” in their arsenal. This team can also play pretty good defense. That’s what moves the Dolphins to a 6-3 record when the clock runs out.
Miami Dolphins 26 Los Angeles Chargers 20
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -6 vs Carolina Panthers (1PM ET; Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC)
The Buccaneers got “pantsed” at home last week against the New Orleans Saints. Nostrathomas doesn’t see another embarrassment like that befalling them this week though.
The Carolina Panthers have lost four straight games. What’s worse, Pro Bowl running back Christian McCaffery and tackle Russell Okung have been declared out for this game.
The last time the Buccaneers lost, in Week 5 against the Chicago Bears, they came back in Week 6 and blew-up a red-hot Packers team. Carolina could be in for a long afternoon today.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30 Carolina Panthers 17
Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Giants +4 (1PM ET; MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ)
Three weeks ago, Philadelphia edged the Giants when Carson Wentz connected with Boston Scott for a touchdown with 46 seconds left on the clock.
The difference between that game and today is that the Eagles are getting running back Miles Sanders, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and tight end Dallas Goedert back into the lineup. That means Wentz has no excuses if he still can’t move Philadelphia’s offense.
Can anyone in the NFC East play football? Let’s look at trends. The Giants are 5-0-1 against the spread in their last six games and 6-1-1 in their last eight. Philadelphia is 1-5 in their last six games as favorites. The road team in this series has covered five times in the last six games and in six of the last seven.
The Eagles have won the last five games in this series. Take them to win and pull their division leading record to 4-4-1 but take New York if you want to add an upset to your Sunday parlay.
Philadelphia Eagles 22 New York Giants 21
Washington Football Team + 3.5 vs Detroit Lions -3.5 (1PM ET; Ford Field, Detroit, MI)
Alex Smith against Matthew Stafford three or four years ago, that was a matchup that would draw attention. Now, it’s a yawner that helps television fill out their slate of early Sunday games.
The Football team can play quality defense. Can they put up enough offense to win? They didn’t last week at home against the Giants. Here’s saying they can take care of business today as a road dog.
Washington Football Team 26 Detroit Lions 18
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Green Bay Packers -13.5 (1PM ET; Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI)
Jake Luton staying within two scores of Aaron Rodgers? Not in this prediction article.
Green Bay Packers 33 Jacksonville Jaguars 16
Denver Broncos vs Las Vegas Raiders -3.5 (4:05PM ET; Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV)
Denver can beat bad teams but can’t keep up against good teams. The Raiders are 5-3 and have a 3-1 record against teams that are currently over .500. Las Vegas can also put points on the board, something the Broncos struggle with.
Take the Raiders in a rivalry game that used to set the NFL world on fire.
Las Vegas Raiders 29 Denver Broncos 23
Cincinnati Bengals +7.5 vs Pittsburgh Steelers (4:25PM ET; Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA)
This game opened with the Steelers favored by 10 but that spread has been bet down to -7.5 as of this writing. Cincinnati seems to be favored by both the public and sharps as rookie quarterback Joe Burrow leads his team out of their bye week.
Pittsburgh holds heavy statistical advantages on both sides of the ball in this game which is why Nostrathomas is picking them to win here but this promises to be a tighter game than most think.
Cincinnati is 6-1-1 against the spread this season and 5-1-1 as the underdog. The Steelers are 8-0 on the season but the only game in 2020 that they’ve truly dominated has been in Week 6 against the Browns. Opponents of all qualities have been able to play Pittsburgh close.
Take the Steelers to win but pick Joe Burrow and company to keep this game within one score.
Pittsburgh Steelers 29 Cincinnati Bengals 26
Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears -2.5 (Monday Night Football, Soldier Field, Chicago, IL)
Dalvin Cook has run wild against Green Bay and Detroit. This week he faces a defense that held Derrick Henry to 68 yards on 21 carries last week.
Chicago has also changed play callers this week. Head Coach Matt Nagy has given way to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Nagy needed the play calling taken off his plate so he can concentrate on the entire game in front of him. The move should be a breath of fresh air for the Bears offense.
This is a stretch but Nostrathomas is predicting that the Bears will get back into the win column against a team that struggles at Soldier Field.
Chicago Bears 25 Minnesota Vikings 21