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NFL Week 10 Picks: Steelers Vs. Bengals And More

Week 10 features two divisional games with first place at stake, including the Steelers - Bengals matchup in Cincinnati. In the AFC, 11 of 16 teams are in or within one game of first place, the most ever through Week 9 since conference realignment in 2002.

All 32 NFL teams have played at least half of their 2011 schedule. The Pittsburgh Steelers have one more game before their bye week, and it sure is a big one. The Steelers (6-3) travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals (6-2), winners of their past five. The winner stays right on the heels of Baltimore in the AFC North, with a first round bye very much a possibility.

That's just one of several interesting matchups across the league this Sunday. 11 teams in the AFC are either in or within one game of first place in their respective divisions though Week 9, the most ever since realignment in 2002. Let's take a look at the lines and make some picks. 

New Orleans Saints (-1) at Atlanta Falcons (-115)

  • Great game in the NFC South, with the winner rewarded with a spot atop the divisional rankings through ten weeks. I certainly wouldn't take a position on this one with real money, but perhaps I'd tease it seven points in either team's favor. No way this one's not going to be decided by less than a touchdown.  Pick: New Orleans

Tennessee Titans (+3.5) at Carolina Panthers (-115)

  • That half point makes me lean towards Tennessee. I can't see how anyone thinks that the Panthers are a more complete, talented football team than the Titans. They're not. Pick: Tennessee 

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) at Cincinnati Bengals (-105)

  • I've spent the entire week talking and writing about this matchup on Behind the Steel Curtain and the site's podcast. So I won't rehash here, but provided the Steelers don't turn the ball over more than once, I like them to win by ten or more. Dalton has been outstanding, particularly in the red zone and when trailing, but outside of the 49ers, he really hasn't faced anything like what Dick LeBeau's unit will throw at him. Pick: Pittsburgh

St. Louis Rams (-120) at Cleveland Browns (-3)

  • Just when I thought St. Louis was going to go on a mini-run in the second half of the year, they go out and lay an egg against a mediocre Arizona Cardinals team. So there goes that. Still, Cleveland's offense has been so impotent this past month that it's hard to feel comfortable picking them even at home. Pick: St. Louis

Buffalo Bills (-115) at Dallas Cowboys (-5.5)

  • The beginning of the end is already underway in Buffalo, and will be fully confirmed this Sunday in Big D when the Cowboys handle them easily and send the Bills to their third consecutive loss. Pick: Dallas

Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at Indianapolis Colts (-105)

  • Game of the century! Not sure anybody has any fantasy players on either of these teams. Maybe Maurice Jones-Drew? I guess that's the only reason someone outside of these two fanbases would tune in. If there ever was a week for Indy to get in the win column, it's here. I think they will and still finish with the worst record in the league.  Pick:  Indianapolis

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-3)

  • It's hard to believe, but the Denver Broncos can play their way within one game of the AFC West with a win in Arrowhead Sunday afternoon. Tim Tebow's first win over the Dolphins was really not very impressive despite the late-game magic. His second win this past Sunday against Oakland was much better. Tebow threw the ball better despite the occasional misfire, and his 100-plus yard rushing performance was the first by a quarterback this season. As for the Chiefs? I don't know what to think. They're neither horrible nor very good whatsoever. I sure would love to see the Chiefs sputter again at home, and because I can't come up with any sort of real reason to lean one way or another, I'll pick with my heart here. Pick: Denver

Washington Redskins (-115) at Miami Dolphins (-4)

  • Love the Dolphins here. Perhaps my 'lock' of the week. Miami finally got in the win column and reportedly is having a great week of practice now that the monkey is lifted off their backs. The Redskins meanwhile are in full-on free fall mode and I'm not sure they've come close to hitting rock bottom yet. Pick: Miami

Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles (-14)

  • Arizona is not a good football team but is Philadelphia? They've looked good at times this year, and when they are on, they look as tough as anyone. But at 3-5, the Eagles know their backs are against the wall, and I think that's going to force them to press on Sunday. It's hard to cover 14 points with one or two turnovers, and I see Philly coughing it up at least that many times. Pick: Arizona

Houston Texans (-3.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

  • Because it's an out-of-conference game, it's hard to characterize this as a make-or-break game for the Buccaneers. But at 4-4, the Buccaneers' margin for error is fairly small. That's why I like them to play a spirited game Sunday against the Texans. Effort alone won't be enough though. Houston's playing too well for that. Still, I like the Bucs to, at worst, keep this one within a FG. Pick: Tampa Bay

Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) at Seattle Seahawks

  • This line started at 7.5 and has since moved down under a touchdown. One has to assume the Seahawks' very real home field advantage is partly responsible, as is the fact that Baltimore might be due for a letdown after such an important, hard-hitting win over the rival Steelers Sunday might. I would probably take Seattle at 7.5, but at under a touchdown, I'm inclined to take the Ravens.  Pick: Baltimore

Detroit Lions (+2.5) at Chicago Bears (-125)

  • So maybe it's time to start taking the Bears seriously? One has to think just that after they handled Philadelphia rather easily Monday night. This is a somewhat tough spot though for Chicago when you consider Detroit will be coming off two weeks rest while they'll be playing their second game in six days. Still, I think a win like that over the 'Dream Team' will have them energized. Pick: Chicago

Minnesota Vikings (-120) at Green Bay Packers (-13.5) at 

  • That's a big line but considering the Vikings have Christian Ponder, a rookie, at quarterback, I don't see how they put up enough points to keep up with the Packers unless Adrian Peterson has a 175-plus yard game. 9-0 go the Packers. Pick: Green Bay


Last Week: 6-6-1 (Week 8)

Season to Date: 44-44-2 (no picks made in Week 6,7,9)

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.