After getting burnt by the Chiefs multiple times this season, it appears that the oddsmakers in Las Vegas have finally learned their lesson.
Through nine weeks, no team in the NFL has been a safer bet than the Chiefs. Not only have they covered in eight of nine games this year, which is the best mark in the NFL, but they’re 12-1 against the spread (ATS) in their past 13 games dating back to 2017.
So how do you slow them down? If you’re the oddsmakers, you give them a monstrous number to cover and that’s exactly what’s happening this week.
In the early odds for Week 10, the Chiefs have opened as a 17-point favorite over the Cardinals, which is the largest spread for any game this season. Before this week, the largest point spread of the year came in Week 3 when the Vikings were favored by 16.5 over the Bills in a game where Buffalo pulled off one of the biggest point spread upsets in NFL history.
Being favored by 17 or more points is actually pretty rare. This game will mark just the 23rd time it’s happened since 2000. Of those 23 games, the Patriots have been the favored team in nine of them. The good news for the Chiefs is that NFL teams are 22-0 straight-up since 2000 when favored by 17 or more. However, they’re not as impressive against the spread, going just 8-12-2.
The Cardinals aren’t the only big underdogs in Week 10. The Rams are favored by so much over the Seahawks that Russell Wilson will be going into Sunday’s game as the biggest underdog of his career. We also have a 6-2 team opening as a 6.5-point underdog.
Let’s get to the odds for Week 10 and find out who else is an underdog.
NFL Week 10 early odds
(All lines from Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, all games on Sunday unless noted. Keep in mind, the point spreads you see below represent the opening odds for Week 10. For the most up-to-date line on each game, you can click here)
Panthers (6-2) at Steelers (5-2-1), Thursday
Opening line: Steelers, -6.5 points
If there’s one time you don’t want to bet against Cam Newton, it’s when he’s a big underdog. In the past five games where the Panthers have been an underdog of six or more points, Carolina has gone 4-1 both straight-up and ATS. The Panthers have also won seven straight against the AFC, a record that includes a 6-1 mark ATS. As for the Steelers, they’ve covered in four straight games this year, but they’re just 1-4 ATS in their past five primetime games, including a 26-14 Sunday night loss to the Ravens in Week 4. Of course, the one thing the Steelers will have going for them is that they’ve covered the spread in every game they’ve ever played against the Panthers (6-0). Ben Roethlisberger is also 3-0 all-time against Carolina in his career. The Panthers and Steelers are both 5-3 ATS on the season.
Lions (3-5) at Bears (5-3)
Opening line: Bears, -6 points
The Lions are in a rut, but if there’s anything that can fix it, it’s a game with the Bears. Since the beginning of the 2013 season, the Lions have gone 9-1 straight-up against Chicago (5-3-2 ATS), including a season-sweep in 2017. The Lions are also 3-1 ATS on the road this season with Sunday’s loss to the Vikings marking the first time they didn’t cover. As for the Bears, they’re not a team you want to bet on when they’re favored big. Over the past five years, the Bears are 3-3 straight-up and 1-5 ATS when favored by six or more points. One thing to keep an eye on in this game is whether or not Khalil Mack plays. The Bears’ star has missed the past two weeks with an ankle injury.
Saints (7-1) at Bengals (5-3)
Opening line: Saints, -4.5 points
The Saints have been on a roll over the past few weeks. Not only do they have the longest winning streak in the NFL at seven games, but they’ve also covered in six straight games. The Saints 6-2 ATS mark this year is the second best in the NFL, behind only the Chiefs (8-1). The Saints also have a five-game winning streak against AFC teams (3-2 ATS). As for the Bengals, they’ve struggled against good teams this year. So far in 2018, they’ve played three games against teams that currently have a winning record (Carolina, Pittsburgh, Kansas City) and they’ve lost all three, going 0-3 ATS. One thing the Bengals will have going in their favor is that they’ve covered in their past five games against the Saints with three of those coming against Drew Brees and Sean Payton.
Falcons (4-4) at Browns (2-6-1)
Opening line: Falcons, -3.5 points
Betting on the Browns is never a good idea, but it’s almost always a bad idea when they’re playing a team from the NFC. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, the Browns have gone 1-13 straight-up and 3-11 ATS against NFC teams. However, we should probably note that two of those three covers came this year against NFC South teams (Buccaneers, Saints). Oh, and the Falcons might actually be even worse in inter-conference games. The Falcons are 0-8 ATS in their past eight games against the AFC and just 1-7 straight-up.
Patriots (7-2) at Titans (3-4)
Opening line: Patriots, -6 points
When the Patriots are favored by six or more points, they almost always end up being a smart bet. The last 10 times this has happened, the Patriots have gone 8-2 both straight-up and ATS. Also, if there’s one team the Patriots have owned under Bill Belichick, it’s the Titans. The last five times these teams have played, including the playoffs, the Patriots have gone 5-0 both straight-up and ATS and the’ve won those five games by an average of 29 points. The Patriots have also scored at least 33 points in each of those five games. Of course, this time around the Titans will have a coach who’s pretty familiar with the Patriots. Mike Vrabel was a linebacker in New England for eight seasons (2001-08) and may know how to attack the Patriots better than most coaches.
Jaguars (3-5) at Colts (3-5)
Opening line: Colts, -3 points
The Jaguars season has been slowly falling apart over the past few weeks with four straight losses where they’ve gone 0-4 ATS (They’re also 1-5 ATS in their past six games). Of course, if there’s one team the Jags might actually be looking forward to facing, it’s the Colts. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, the Jags have gone 6-0 ATS against the Colts (4-2 straight-up). On the Colts’ end, they’ve won and covered in two straight games. They’ve also averaged 34.2 points over their past five games, which is more than double what the Jaguars have averaged (15.4) over that same span. Basically, if this turns into a shootout, the Colts would seemingly be in the driver’s seat.
Cardinals (2-6) at Chiefs (8-1)
Opening line: Chiefs, -17 points
Not only are the Cardinals a monstrous underdog, but they have to play in a city where they’ve never won. In their franchise history, the Cardinals are 0-4-1 playing in Kansas City. As bad as the Cardinals have been this year, they’ve actually done a good job of covering over the past few weeks. Since Week 3, the Cards have gone 4-1-1 ATS (2-4 straight-up).
Bills (2-7) at Jets (3-6)
Opening line: Jets, -8 points
You know the Bills quarterback situation is a total disaster when the Jets open as an eight-point favorite. This game will mark just the second time in the past five years that the Jets have opened as a favorite of eight or more points. The other time it happened came in 2015 in a game where the Jets won, but didn’t cover. Over the past two seasons (2016-17), the Jets are 3-1 both straight-up and ATS against the Bills. Neither of these teams have been safe to bet on this year: Both the Jets and Bills are 3-6 ATS, which is tied for the second worst mark in the NFL. The Bills are surprisingly good when they’re a big underdog. Since the beginning of the 2017 season, the Bills are 3-4 straight-up (4-3 ATS) when they’re an underdog of eight or more.
Redskins (5-3) at Buccaneers (3-5)
Opening line: Pick’em
It’s not clear if Jameis Winston or Ryan Fitzpatrick will be starting in this game, but no matter who’s playing quarterback for the Bucs, you probably don’t want to bet on them. Over the past six weeks, the Bucs have gone 1-5 both straight-up and ATS. On the other hand, the Redskins are 4-2 both straight-up and ATS in their past six games. Overall, the Redskins are 5-3 ATS on the season, which is tied for the third best mark in the NFL. The Redskins are also 16-7 ATS after a loss since 2015, which is the third best mark in the league over the span (The Bucs are 11-19-1 ATA after a loss in that same timeframe).
Chargers (6-2) at Raiders (1-7)
Opening line: Chargers, -10 points
When it comes to covering the spread, the Raiders are 2-6 this season, which is the worst mark in the NFL (The Chargers are 4-4). They’ve been even worse in their past 10 games dating back to last season, going 1-9 both straight-up and ATS. The good news for the Raiders is that they seem to do a pretty good job of covering when they’re a huge underdog. In the past 10 games where they’ve been a dog of 10 or more points, the Raiders have gone 6-4 ATS (1-9 straight-up). As for the Chargers, they’ve only been favored by 10 or more a total of 14 times since 2008 and although they’ve gone 13-1 straight-up in those game, they’re just 4-10 ATS. One thing to note about the Chargers is that they’re 3-0 both straight-up and ATS against the Raiders since moving to L.A. That includes a game earlier this year where the Chargers covered as a five-point underdog in a 26-10 win.
Dolphins (5-4) at Packers (3-4-1)
Opening line: Packers, -7.5 points
This might seem like a huge point spread until you realize how bad the Dolphins are on the road. In their past 10 games away from Miami, the Dolphins have gone 2-8 both straight-up and ATS. On the Packers’ end, they seem to struggle when they’re a big favorite. The past 10 times they’ve been favored by seven or more points, the Packers have gone just 3-6-1 ATS (7-3 straight-up). One odd stat to keep in mind for this game is that the Packers have lost five straight November home games. Apparently, the frozen tundra at Lambeau Field isn’t quite frozen yet.
Seahawks (4-4) at Rams (8-1)
Opening line: Rams, -9.5
This game will mark the largest point spread that the Seahawks have ever faced in Russell Wilson’s career. Since his rookie year in 2012, the Seahawks have been an underdog of 7.5 points a total of three times and they’ve covered in all three games (1-2 straight-up). One of those games came earlier this year when the Seahawks covered as a 7.5-point underdog in a 33-31 home loss to the Rams. The 7.5-point spread is the largest number Wilson has ever faced. Although the Rams have been nearly unbeatable this season, they’re just 4-5 ATS. However, they are 2-0 ATS under Sean McVay when favored by nine or more points.
Cowboys (3-4) at Eagles (4-4)
Opening line: Eagles, -6 points
The Cowboys aren’t big underdogs often, but when they are, they almost never cover. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, the Cowboys are 0-5 both straight-up and ATS when they’re an underdog of six or more points. On the other hand, the Cowboys have been pretty good in primetime over the past few years, going 10-3 straight-up since the start of the 2016 season. Of course, the Eagles are also pretty good in primetime, going 6-2 ATS (7-1 straight-up) in their past eight night games. The Eagles also have the advantage of Carson Wentz, who is basically a lock to win when favored big. Since his rookie year in 2016, the Eagles are 9-0 in games where they’re favored by six or more points (6-3 ATS).
Giants (1-7) at 49ers (2-7), Monday
Opening line: 49ers, -2.5 points
If there’s one time you want to bet on the 49ers, it’s when they’re playing on Monday night. Over the past 10 years, the 49ers have played 13 Monday games and they’re 12-1 ATS in those games (10-3 straight-up). On the other hand, you might not want to bet them because they don’t ever seem to ever cover as a favorite. In their past 10 games as a favorite, the 49ers are just 1-9 ATS and 4-6 straight-up. Also, the 49ers are just 3-6 ATS in 2018, which is tied for the second worst mark in the league. As for the Giants, they’re 4-16 straight-up in their past 20 games and they’re just 2-5 ATS in primetime games since the beginning of the 2017 season (1-6 straight-up).
BYE: Ravens, Broncos, Texans, Vikings
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