It may seem easy to pick winners when teasing the line in your favor, but it isn’t. We came close again last week hitting on three of our four picks and needed only a Monday night win from the Cowboys to cash the winning ticket. I was as frustrated as the 90,000 fans at Jerry World when the Boys laid an egg and I came away a loser. Not sulking in what might have been, I’m moving on to Week 10 to give it another shot. We should do better by moving the spread or total by as many as six-points in our favor, and I’ll pick the best options to tease with the hopes of beating the house with the top teaser picks of Week 10.
Atlanta Falcons at Cleveland Browns
Current Total: 51
Teaser Total: 45
The Falcons have hit their stride offensively and Julio Jones snapped his touchdown drought with a scoring grab last week. The good times should continue to roll against the Browns, who could be down several defensive starters for this matchup. Atlanta dropped 38 points on the NFC East leading Redskins last week and showed what the offense is capable of when operating on all cylinders. Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith reinvigorated a ground game that had been absent since Devonta Freeman went on the shelf. The Falcons stopped feeling sorry for themselves after major injuries impacted their roster, and they’ve been playing football over the last few weeks with three straight wins. The coaching change in Cleveland was done with Baker Mayfield’s best interest in mind, and he performed better last week. The upswing should continue and I expect points to be scored, making the over a winning pick on my teaser card.
New Orleans Saints at Cincinnati Bengals
Current Total: 54
Teaser Total: 48
With the Saints dynamic offense and the Bengals horrific defense, this game has a good chance of going over even if we don’t tease the total. But to be safe we’re going to go ahead and do it anyway. Cincinnati has surrendered a lot of yards – over 500 in each of their last two games to be exact – and the Bengals are dead last in pass defense and total defense. Not areas you need to significantly improve with Drew Brees and Co. paying a visit. We watched Brees and the Saints hang 45 on a decent Rams defense last week with the veteran signal-caller tossing four touchdown passes. The offense is as balanced as any in the league with a strong running game led by Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. The Bengals will need to score a few points to get this one over the total and Saints have improved defensively, but they still have holes that Andy Dalton can slither through.
Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders
Current Line: Chargers -10
Teaser Line: Chargers -4
If you thought the Raiders were a mess before last week’s game, their performance in Thursday Night Football’s 34-3 loss just confirmed it. Making his first career NFL start, San Fran’s Nick Mullens had a game for the record books, shredding the Raiders for 262 yards and three touchdowns while completing 16 of 22 passes. Imagine what Philip Rivers and his group of pass-catching specialists will do. Jon Gruden may have a plan for the silver and black, and he has another nine years left on his deal to implement it, but right now they are a complete dumpster fire and teasing the line to Bolts -4 is an easy choice.
New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers
Current Line: Giants +3
Teaser Line: Giants +9
Speaking of Mullens, it’s hard to gauge last week’s performance against a defense that rolled over and played dead. The numbers were startling, but the rookie did nothing during the preseason to show he was capable of what he did. I expect the rookie won’t have as much success and the Giants get a full week to prepare for him. Mullens was a late addition to the starting lineup after C.J. Beathard was unable to go due to injury. There will be no sneak attack this week. And there is pressure mounting on Pat Shurmur and Eli Manning in the Big Apple. Eli remains the starter and we’ll see plenty of Saquon Barkley as the Giants look to avenge a loss in Santa Clara last season. They may not get it, but they will be within the teased line of 9-points.
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