Mike Ivcic’s Week 10 NFL Preview and Free Picks

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Mike Ivcic’s Week 10 NFL Preview and Free Picks ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>

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By Mike Ivcic, UltimateCapper Contributing Writer

Arizona Cardinals @ Philadelphia Eagles
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Eagles by 14
This is a must-win for Philadelphia, but Arizona is playing much better lately, so 14 is way too high. The Eagles are the more desperate team, so take the road cover and pretend I said something different if Philly blows them out.
Pick: Philadelphia 31, Arizona 24

Buffalo Bills @ Dallas Cowboys
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Cowboys by 5.5
In the “who’s more desperate” category, there’s no real clear winner. Dallas needs every win to keep pace with the Giants and any potential wild card teams, while the Bills can remain tied for first (thanks to the Jets/Pats clash on Sunday night) if they can win this on the road. I’m still not buying the Bills, but it’ll be close, so I’ll take the points.
Pick: Dallas 28, Buffalo 24

Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Chiefs by 3.5
The Chiefs battled all the way back into the AFC West race, then got torched at home by a previously winless Miami team. They’ll be ready for this one, but just remember that a Denver win means the Broncos, Chiefs, and Chargers will all be 4-5 and just one game back of the Raiders. I’m not sayin’… I’m just sayin’…
Pick: Kansas City 21, Denver 10

Houston Texans @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Texans by 3.5
Tampa’s another team in a must-win, especially since they’re guaranteed to pick up a game against either the Saints or Falcons. But Houston is more talented and has been playing much more consistently, and they have a chance to really salt away the division with a win and a Titans loss to Carolina. It’s a long shot, but Gary Kubiak should be drilling that message into his team all week long.
Pick: Houston 34, Tampa Bay 22


Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Jaguars by 3
The last two weeks have seen one winless team get that elusive first victory, as St. Louis and Miami have left the Colts as the lone team with a goose egg in the win column. If Indy has any hope of changing that, they will have to win this game against a pretty putrid Jaguars team. Just because I don’t want to see anyone go through a whole season without winning a game, I’ll take Indy here and hope guys like Freeney, Wayne, and Mathis come to play.
Pick: Indianapolis 17, Jacksonville 14

New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Saints by 1
Even as a Jets fan, this could be the best game of the week. These two teams have developed a nice rivalry, since as dome teams they’re built in a fairly similar fashion. The difference has been quarterback play – Brees was a monster two years ago when the Saints won the division, while Ryan was a breakout star last year in Atlanta’s 14-2 campaign. Brees is back to being the better QB, so in a virtual pick’em, I’m taking New Orleans.
Pick: New Orleans 32, Atlanta 28

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Steelers by 3
Welcome to the four weeks known as “The Test” for Cincinnati. To prove they’re legitimate contenders, they’ll have to go no worse than 2-2 with a schedule that reads Steelers, at Ravens, Browns, at Steelers – all division opponents. It would go a long way towards that 2-2 mark if they can win the first one at home, but expect Pittsburgh to be quite unhappy after getting swept by Baltimore in the season series. What better way to take out their anger than on a rookie QB who has yet to see any of the three best defenses (Steelers, Ravens, Jets) the AFC has to offer.
Pick: Pittsburgh 20, Cincinnati 7

St. Louis Rams @ Cleveland Browns
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Browns by 3
Until the Rams get everyone healthy, it will be rather difficult to project just how well they’ll actually play. Assuming 3 points for playing at home, Vegas is essentially calling this an even matchup, so I’ll just take the home team and watch something else.
Pick: Cleveland 16, St. Louis 10


Tennessee Titans @ Carolina Panthers
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Panthers by 3.5
The season is basically on the line for Tennessee in this one. If the Titans believe they can make a run at a playoff spot, either by winning the AFC South or claiming a wild card, then these are the games they have to win. They already coughed away a winnable road game in week one against Jacksonville, which isn’t as good as Carolina. But I think the Titans are still a year away from returning as legitimate contenders in the AFC and this will be a game to prove that theory.
Pick: Carolina 24, Tennessee 17

Washington Redskins @ Miami Dolphins
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Dolphins by 4
Really? Vegas is going to favor a terrible, one-win Dolphins team simply because Kansas City no-showed last week? I know the Redskins have stunk lately, but still… give me Washington.
Pick: Washington 24, Miami 20

Baltimore Ravens @ Seattle Seahawks
Sun, 4:05pm, CBS
Line: Ravens by 7
This could be a bit of a let-down game for Baltimore, coming off their big win in Pittsburgh last Sunday night, especially since they play down to their competition (see Arizona in week 8). Seattle shouldn’t even come close to covering this game, let alone winning, but I just think the Ravens, who will have to fly across the country, will bring enough of a sub-par game to make this one a gambler’s nightmare.
Pick: Baltimore 20, Seattle 17

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears
Sun, 4:15pm, FOX
Line: Bears by 3
This matchup could not come at a worse time for Detroit, who have to deal with a Bears team that’s suddenly figured out how to protect their QB. Cutler was ripped apart by the Lions D-line on the Monday nighter a month ago, but if the Bears can keep him upright this time around, the result could be much different.
Pick: Chicago 27, Detroit 20

New York Giants @ San Francisco 49’ers
Sun, 4:15pm, FOX
Line: 49’ers by 3.5
Let’s just deal with facts here. Despite a wonderful start, the 49’ers have beaten two teams with a winning record – the Bengals and Lions. Neither team has won a playoff game in this century. Meanwhile the Giants just went into Foxboro and outplayed the Patriots for 60 minutes – not 58 or 59 like so many teams in the past. The Niners will still likely wind up with the 2-seed in the NFC at the season’s end, but they haven’t really played the big boys yet. Expect New York to show them what it’s like to play a tested, veteran team. Now I just have to hope against one of those “Eli” games…
Pick: New York 23, San Francisco 17

New England Patriots @ New York Jets
Sun, 8:20pm, NBC
Line: Jets by 1
The third of four great Sunday night games gives the Jets a chance at redemption against the Pats. They gave themselves a chance to win the game in Foxboro, and now are playing much better. Meanwhile New England is in danger of losing three in a row for the first time since 2002. I know Belichick will have his team prepared, I just think the Jets are better right now.
Pick: New York 24, New England 21

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
Mon, 8:30pm, ESPN
Line: Packers by 14
The Vikings kept this game close in Minnesota. After a nail-biter last week in San Diego, expect the Packers to put on a show at home on Monday night and show the Vikes that the last game was more of a fluke than anything else.
Pick: Green Bay 42, Minnesota 13

Straight Up: 88-41
Against Spread: 65-54-10

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