We waited seven weeks for carnage in this league. We got a taste of it in Week 8 when the Cincinnati Bengals lost to the New York Jets as an 11.5-point favorite. Last week, it hit even harder. Both the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys lost their games straight up as a double-digit favorite. We also saw the Falcons, Cardinals and Titans win as sizable underdogs.
In Week 10, we have seven sizable favorites that are currently laying at least -375 on the moneyline. It seems like there are fewer mid-range underdogs this week. The games are projected to be either very close or very lopsided. Let's take a look at this week's big favorites. All betting lines are as of Thursday afternoon and courtesy of BetMGM.
Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins
The week gets underway on Thursday night, when the Ravens travel to Miami where Baltimore is a -375 favorite over the Dolphins. I find it hard to believe just how badly the Dolphins have underperformed. They were a 10-win team last season, almost made the playoffs and then had four picks in the top 42 of this past draft. Yet somehow, they are 2-7. The Ravens have a 6-2 record but it hasn't been easy or pretty. They've needed late-game heroics to pull out wins against the Chiefs, Colts, Lions and Vikings. Both teams rank in the bottom third of the league in terms of defense. With the short week and home-field advantage, maybe the Dolphins can hang around and make this a game.
Atlanta Falcons @ Dallas Cowboys
These two teams were in the same exact role last week, and things didn't go as expected. The Falcons were sizable underdogs against the Saints and won the game. The Cowboys were huge favorites over the Broncos, and they fell behind 30-0 before some garbage-time scores made the score respectable. In this game, the Cowboys are -400 favorites over the Falcons. Atlanta has been a Jekyll & Hyde team this season. Dallas surprised everyone this season, covering their first seven games of the season. Dak Prescott didn't look overly comfortable last week, and he might still be dealing with his injury. Arthur Smith has been doing a good job scheming players open and maybe Atlanta can hang with Dallas offensively in a repeat of last week.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
The Jaguars just beat the Bills and the Bills are better than the Colts. That's my handicap. Nevertheless, Indianapolis is a -500 favorite on the moneyline at home against Jacksonville. This is an intriguing matchup because Indianapolis absolutely wants to run the ball down your throat behind their offensive line with Jonathan Taylor. The issue is that Jacksonville allows just 3.8 yards per rush, which is the third best mark in the league. If Jacksonville stops the run, they could force Carson Wentz into having to beat them and we know that could be a risky proposition. Maybe the Jaguars ugly up another game and find themselves as improbable winners for the second week in a row.
Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets
I'm going to say it, the Buffalo Bills are being a tad bit overrated. They blew out Houston, Miami and Washington in three straight weeks and then they beat the Chiefs. That win looks a lot less impressive now. Since then, they lost to Tennessee, struggled offensively against Miami and then lost to Jacksonville without scoring a touchdown. Josh Allen is a co-favorite to win the MVP at +350, and I'm not sure why. Buffalo's defense is very good, but its offense leaves a lot to be desired, especially in recent weeks. Mike White gets another start for the Jets and there's no denying their offense has been a lot better since the acquisition of Joe Flacco allowed Mike Lafleur to start calling plays from the box upstairs rather than the sidelines. Will the Jets beat Buffalo? Probably not, but I just needed to make a case for New York here.
Detroit Lions @ Pittsburgh Steelers
You don't want to mess with Dan Campbell coming off a bye. Seriously, I've liked what I've seen from Campbell in his first year despite the 0-8 record. He's got no talent, but his team is competing hard. Despite that, the Steelers are -400 favorites over the Lions. We all know the limitations of the Steelers offense with Ben Roethlisberger under center. If Detroit comes to play, they can ugly this game up to a ridiculous level. Jared Goff is awful, but is he that much worse than this version of Ben Roethlisberger? He underthrew a wide-open 40 yard pass by 10 yards last week. If this game is as ugly as I expect it to potentially be, it might just take a few plays for Detroit to get its first win.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Football Team
Earlier, we talked about how disappointing the Miami Dolphins have been. The level of disappointment might be best matched by the disappointment we have in the Washington Football Team. The Buccaneers are -450 favorites against the Football Team. Washington made the playoffs last season, but it's off to a 2-6 start this year. Washington's defense was supposed to be its strength. Its secondary has been especially bad, ranking 32nd in passing yards allowed per game and 26th in yards per pass allowed. In usual circumstances, this would be a death sentence against the Buccaneers. However, Antonio Brown is likely out and Chris Godwin is dealing with a foot injury, which might cause Tampa Bay to roll out a depleted receiver unit. Is that enough of a reason to believe in the Football Team? Probably not, but it lessens Tampa Bay's biggest advantage.
Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are -550 favorites at home over the visiting Carolina Panthers. Sam Darnold is out with an injury and the Panthers just signed Cam Newton, but it still looks like they'll be rolling with P.J. Walker on Sunday. There are also question marks for Arizona, where it's uncertain if Kyler Murray will return at quarterback. From the Carolina perspective, P.J. Walker probably cannot be worse than Darnold has been in recent weeks. This might be a case of -1 being a bigger number than -7. If Murray can't go, that's obviously a negative for the Cardinals. Each game a backup quarterback plays, the more he gets exposed for what he is. At this point of his career, we know Colt McCoy ain't it.
Below are my rankings of this week's favorites and their likelihood of winning, ranked in descending order.