Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Seattle Seahawks (Sunday, November 13)
The Buccaneers-Rams game last weekend would have been a perfect fit for the NFL’s ongoing Europe series. With no choice except to cheer for the teams shown to them, English or German fans might have been perfectly thrilled to watch a tight battle between the reigning Super Bowl champs and the greatest quarterback of modern times.
However, state-side NFL viewers more intimately familiar with the NFC standings might have regretted the contest as a glimpse of what might have been. Both storied clubs are suffering a dreary “hangover” type of campaign after starring in the 2022 playoffs.
Tampa is weirdly positioned atop the weak NFC South, while this Sunday’s overseas sparring partner is 6-3 and leading the NFC West. Nonetheless, Seattle is a (+3) point-spread underdog in the Week 10 contest. Pete Carroll’s team has proved its naysayers wrong in 2022-23. Even as the division that the Seahawks happen to play in could go from 1st-to-worst in rank by this winter … a syndrome that could help to boost Seattle’s playoff chances as much as anything. But why would the Germany game’s “weak division leader” with the far-superior record be a sportsbook’s 3-point underdog, not be favored?
The Buccaneers’ (-154) moneyline odds are a sign of enduring respect for Tom Brady. As reported elsewhere on FanDuel’s NFL blog, Tampa’s problems trying to win in 2022 are absolutely not Brady’s fault. Tom Terrific led another game-winning comeback effort in Week 9’s victory over LA, but the passing game is consistently accounting for way too much of the Bucs’ yards in a season in which Brady explicitly asked coaches for an improved ground attack to lean on. Tampa Bay has no choice but to keep plowing RBs into a shoddy OL for 2 and 3 yards per carry, lest Brady takes too much of a beating to be healthy and effective down the home stretch. As a result, Tampa is ranked in the bottom-3rd among NFL and NFC teams in scoring. Maybe bookmakers and bettors alike can’t imagine Hall-of-Fame ability and name-recognition losing to a brand that just tossed away its own superstar in Russell Wilson, but replacement Seahawks QB Geno Smith is performing well, and you’d rather be betting on the more balanced offense and confident supporting cast.
WagerBop’s Pick: Seahawks ATS (+3)
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (Sunday, November 13)
Large point spreads were a rule of thumb in the NFL as of a couple of weeks ago. With the weather turning frosty from the Pacific Northwest to the Rust Belt, both FanDuel’s spreads and Over/Under lines on Sunday football are beginning to tighten down. Only Kansas City, San Francisco, and Philadelphia are giving as many as (-7) to their underdog opponents in Week 11. Point-total lines are set in the 30s and 40s outside of Chiefs vs. Jaguars.
Lions at Bears would seem like a natural fit for a tight point spread, considering the everlasting rivalry between the 2 opponents. FanDuel hasn’t disappointed with a field-goal spread on Chicago (-3) taking few points from a Detroit team that always seems to cover against the point spread when losing another contest.
Perhaps Las Vegas is full of so much nice weather, NFL odds-makers have overlooked that this weekend will come with the first real blush of winter temperatures in the Midwest. Detroit’s indoor offense could have a hard time handling the ball, and the Bears will not be shy to tack-on insurance points after playing porous ‘D in Weeks 8 and 9.
WagerBop’s Pick: Bears ATS (-3)
Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins (Sunday, November 13)
The (-3) spread on the Dolphins against the visiting Browns is also set too cautiously, for Week 10 could be the right time for a solid club like Miami to begin asserting itself over the pretenders of the AFC. The Browns’ surprising lopsided win over the Bengals must be taken in the context of Cincinnati’s total breakdown in run blocking, and Cleveland lost by a similarly lopsided score to the Pats a fortnight prior. The Dolphins are coming off a pair of efficient running and passing days against the athletic NFC North, and without the benefits of the Dawg Pound’s noise, the Browns’ impressive edge-rush isn’t likely to dominate the game and prevent a rejuvenated Tua Tagovailoa from shining once again.
WagerBop’s Pick: Miami ATS (-3)
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (Sunday, November 13)
There is another line set too conservatively on the NFC West, but it’s not the the spread. FanDuel’s O/U (40.5) point-total market for the Rams vs Cardinals makes intuitive sense, considering that the low-scoring LA will be keen on taking advantage of sloppy visiting offense to force 3-and-outs, manufacture field position, and control the ball. Cardinals’ coach Kliff Kingsbury and QB Kyler Murray are under intense pressure to produce now or face drastic changes, as Kingsbury may be another dull loss away from getting the boot.
However, don’t sleep on Murray’s feast-or-famine style. In a desperate scenario, the QB will either come up with so many big plays or commit so many spectacular mistakes that LA’s starting “field position” could be as fine as the Red Zone. The Cardinals’ are the type of team to lose its head coach’s final game 39-21 as opposed to folding slowly in a 13-6 snoozefest.
WagerBop’s Pick: Over (40.5)
Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers (Sunday Night Football)
Could it be possible for FanDuel Sportsbook to whiff on 2 major angles in the same game? Sunday night’s (-7) line on the 49ers belies this weekend’s trend of tight betting odds, and that’s hardly where the issues with the number end.
The TD margin for San Fran would make sense if the NFC West were what it was in 2022-23. Instead, you can’t give the 49ers a ton of credit for defeating teams like downtrodden Los Angeles. The 49ers have lost to the last 2 out-of-division opponents it has faced. The Chargers not only have a superior W/L record at 5-3, but LA hasn’t lost to anyone but talented Seattle in a month’s time.
Moreover, we were once under the impression that odds-makers react to QB mismatches. Bolts’ QB Justin Herbert has had to deal with a banged-up lineup of skill players but is still a top-10 NFL signal-caller who can out-gun the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo in an up-tempo game. Christian McCaffery in a 49ers uniform makes San Fran a true favorite to win. The (-7) spread is a bridge too far for a .500 club.
WagerBop’s Pick: Chargers ATS
Washington Commanders at Philadelphia Eagles (Monday Night Football)
Jalen Hurts, the Eagles’ fantastic dual-threat QB, has enjoyed one of the longest stress-free rest periods of any team leader not on a bye week, beating Houston on TNF with 10 days to go before a Monday night kickoff.
That is hardly where the good news ends for a Philadelphia team that’s won 6 out of 8 games by more than a touchdown margin. Undefeated atop the resurgent NFC West, Philly is a (+500) pick to win Super Bowl 57 in addition to a (+185) pick to earn an NFC title. The Eagles (-10.5) betting line for Monday’s match-up against the Commanders, a team going through yet more problems on and off the field, is reasonable considering how the Eagles’ defense is matching Hurts’ excellence with big-time performances.
But it would not be a stretch to think Philly may not fly for a quarter or 2. The Eagles are not just coming off a virtual “half” bye week, but facing a divisional rival that’s facing a must-win scenario in every game if Washington hopes to achieve an unlikely Wild Card bid. Taylor Heineke’s offense isn’t likely to produce nearly enough points for Washington to win, but look for the Commanders’ occasionally stubborn defense to turn-out a streak of punting-scenario stops in an emotional opening half.
WagerBop’s Pick: Under (21.5) (1st Half Prop Bet)
Kurt has authored close to 1000 stories covering football, soccer, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, prize-fighting and the Olympic Games. Kurt posted a 61% win rate on 200+ college and NFL gridiron picks last season. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.