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DraftKings is offering up a new free-to-enter pool for the 2022 NFL season. It runs for the first 17 weeks of the season, and users are allowed to pick their five favorite spreads each week. You’re also allowed one self-appointed bye week, meaning each player will pick 80 games by the end of Week 17. The players who do the best will have a chance to take home part of a $100,000 prize pool, plus millions in bonus prizes.
Let’s take a look at my five favorite picks for NFL Week 10.
The Pick: Browns +3.5
The Dolphins have started to gain some traction among the public. They advanced to 6-3 with their win over the Bears last week, and they’re now 6-0 in games started and finished by Tua Tagovailoa. Tua has moved up to fourth in the MVP odds, while the Dolphins have the fourth-best odds to win the AFC.
The Dolphins might be better than the public initially thought, but that doesn’t actually make them a good football team. They managed to win a game vs. the Bears by just three points – surrendering 178 yards to Justin Fields in the process – and they beat the Lions by four the week prior. Neither of those wins really move the needle for me.
The big issue with the Dolphins is their defense. They’re giving up points almost as quickly as the offense can score them. They rank 26th in points per game and 24th in yards per game, and they’ve fallen all the way to 27th in Football Outsiders defensive DVOA.
The Browns don’t represent a huge step up in competition, but they’re clearly a better team than the Bears and Lions. Their offense has been surprisingly effective with Jacoby Brissett under center, and they actually own a slight edge in overall DVOA compared to the Dolphins. I’ll take my chances with the points.
The Pick: Steelers +2.5
This line has come down slightly, but the Steelers are still one of my favorite bets of the week. I’ve written previously about how good Mike Tomlin is as an underdog, and the Steelers will get a couple of points at home vs. the Saints. However, the big reason for liking the Steelers is the return of T.J. Watt.
Watt is an absolute game-wrecker on the defensive side of the ball. He’s led the league in sacks in each of the past two seasons – including an NFL record-tying 22.5 last season – and he had a huge performance before getting hurt in Week 1. He racked up one sack, three tackles for a loss and one interception, propelling the Steelers to an upset win over a potent Bengals offense.
With Watt back in the fold, the Steelers are going to be vastly improved on defense. They’ve had a pedestrian year rushing the passer, ranking just 22nd in adjusted sack rate, but adding Watt should get them near the top of the leader board.
The Saints are a decent football team, but they’re not the type of team that deserves to be road favorites over basically anyone. They were embarrassed by the Browns in their own building last week, and I like the Steelers’ chances of pulling off the upset.
The Pick: Vikings +4.5
The big headline in this game involves the status of Josh Allen. He suffered an arm injury during the Bills’ surprising Week 9 loss vs. the Jets, and he hasn’t suited up at practice all week. The team has listed him as questionable vs. the Vikings, but I don’t expect him to be in the lineup. There’s simply too much to lose to risk playing him at less than 100%.
I’ve been a frequent fader of the Vikings this season, but it’s hard to argue about their ability to win football games. They seem to know how to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, something they did again last week vs. Washington. They were trailing by 10 points in the fourth quarter, but they were able to score 13 unanswered points to win their sixth-straight one-possession game.
This line has already dropped to +3.0 on DraftKings Sportsbook after opening at +7.5, but we should still get plenty of value if Allen is ruled out. I would expect something like Vikings -1.0 in that situation, so I’m happy to grab the +4.5.
If Allen does surprisingly suit up, this line should go back to at least a full touchdown, so there’s plenty of value to pivoting in the Bills in that situation. As long as you’re paying attention to the updates, there’s good value to be had in this spot.
The Pick: Texans +6.5
This is another game where we’re picking up some spread value. The Texans are down to +4.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook, and while there isn’t a monumental difference between +6.5 and +4.5, I’m very rarely going to say no to free points.
The bigger reason to side with the Texans is that the Giants are clearly due for some regression. They’ve been a mediocre team this season, ranking 21st in yardage differential and 19th in DVOA, yet they’ve managed to win six of their first eight games. They have also just barely outscored their eight opponents, giving them a Pythagorean win expectation of just 4.2-3.6.
However you slice it, this team is simply not as good as their current record suggests. The Texans should be able to keep this game competitive, which is why the sharps have driven this number down throughout the week.
The Pick: Rams -3.5
Unlike most of my other choices this week, I’m actually giving some spread value away in this spot. The Rams are listed as 2.5-point favorites currently, but we have to lay 3.5 in this pool. Three is undoubtedly the most important number in NFL betting, so that’s a big sacrifice.
Still, Sean McVay’s history against Kliff Kingsbury cannot be ignored. Since Kingsbury took over in 2019, the Rams are 6-1-1 against the Cardinals. That includes three straight victories, each of which has been by at least a touchdown. They beat the Cardinals by eight points in Arizona earlier this season, so they should be able to do it again at home.
The only real issue is that Matthew Stafford is currently in the concussion protocol. However, it seems as though he will be cleared by the time this game rolls around on Sunday. There’s also a chance that Kyler Murray could sit, so this is another spot that will be advantageous to monitor. If one quarterback is out and the other is in, it will be another way to pick up some serious line value.
Year-to-Date Results: 35-10 (4-1 last week)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.