Last week was a tough one for Coach Rick. Trying to find solid moneyline underdogs turned out to be pretty difficult in Week 10. Of the 13 NFL games last week, the favorite won 11 times (Read our NFL game recaps).
Are there any valuable moneyline underdogs in Week 10? Coach Rick does his best to find them for you.
Tennessee Titans vs. Baltimore Ravens Picks
The 6-3 Titans are a flawed football team. We knew that from the start of the season when they needed last-minute field goals to win their first three games against Jacksonville, Denver, and Minnesota. Those three are not exactly the cream of the NFL crop.
Now, the Titans look to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since September of last season. Tennessee will attempt to do so as a six-point underdog to the same Baltimore team it destroyed in last season’s playoffs.
Derrick Henry rushed for 195 yards as Tennessee beat Baltimore handily 28-12 in the AFC postseason. Fast forward and the Titans are coming off a bad 34-17 loss to Indianapolis. Henry, who still leads the league in rushing yards, only averaged 89.5 yards a game over the Titans last four three of which have been losses.
Road underdogs coming off a loss this season are 27-20 against the spread. The Titans need their defense to step up, slow down the Ravens run game, and keep this one close. Then, they can win it on a late field. They’ve done it before this season.
Green Bay heads to Indianapolis as a 2.5-point underdog in a showdown of veteran quarterbacks – the Packers Aaron Rodgers and the Colts Philip Rivers. Both teams are coming off wins last week and the Colts, having played last Thursday, get an extra three days of preparation.
They will need it. Indianapolis is 6-3, but look at their wins. Before finally beating a true contender last week in Tennessee, the Colts had wins over Minnesota, the Jets, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Detroit. None of those teams have a winning record.
The Colts defense is stout and the Packers do not have a great track record playing in Indy. In their last five trips to face the Colts, Green Bay is 0-4-1 straight up. Rodgers and the Packers know that and, more importantly, they want a shot at the NFC’s No. 1 seed in the postseason.
With Drew Brees likely out for the Saints, Coach Rick likes the veteran QB Matt Ryan over the guy that threw 33 interceptions last year as Tampa Bay’s starter. That would be Jameis Winston and that is why taking the Falcons on this one is worth it.
Winston will likely be asked to do much less as he has talent like Alvin Kamara around him, but still the guy just makes too many mistakes. Some like to point to last year’s 5-0 Saints record with Brees out of the lineup. If your memory fails you, remember the Saints did that with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback. Winston is no Bridgewater.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.