Jimmy McGinty previews Week 10 of the NFL and he is keen on the Chiefs, Saints and Falcons on the handicap.
Kansas City Chiefs at Carolina Panthers
We’ve had some success with the Chiefs recently and I’m eager to keep them onside again this week. They’ve won their last 4 in a row to sit on 6-2 and should be able to dispatch the 3-5 Panthers.
The Chiefs were not very impressive last week when beating the Jags but with hindsight they were without their starting QB Alex Smith and best RB Spencer Ware, whilst their generally unused but still no.1 wideout Jeremy Maclin went off injured early. Ware and Smith are due to return, Maclin will miss out.
The Saints have won 4 of their last 5, the loss was to Kansas City. The Raiders have won 6 out of their last 7, the loss was to Kansas City. The Colts have won 2 out of their last 3, the loss was to Kansas City. The Chiefs have been beating decent in-form sides.
Meanwhile the Panthers were in a great position, off a bye against tired rival, when beating Arizona. And they only limped past the miserable Rams last week. I’d rather rate them on the previous four loses than on their most recent wins. They’re a long way removed from last year’s dominant NFC South side. This isn’t fully factored into their price however.
There’s plenty to like about the Chiefs this week. They’re good against tight-ends so Greg Olsen is in bother and in Marcus Peters they have a star QB to cover Kelvin Benjamin. The Chiefs also have a dominant pass-rush facing off against an average at best Panthers offensive line.
The Panthers are better at defending the run than pass so I’m going to have a small play on the first touchdown scorer market, looking at it coming through the air for the Chiefs. With Maclin out and Kelce likely to attract plenty of defensive attention, Chris Conley is worth a small nibble. Yet to score this season he sits third in targets and receptions and should be able to beat the miserable Panthers secondary if given the opportunity.
2pts Kansas City Chiefs +3pts at 10/11 generally.
Denver Broncos at New Orleans Saints
As I touched on above the Saints are in decent form. They’ve won 4 of their last 5 and losing on the road to the Chiefs is fair enough. They beat Seattle and hammered San Fran in their last 2, they’re a serious outfight. The defense is still a worry but they face a struggling Denver offense. The Broncos have averaged just 20pts per game over their last 5. Trevor Siemian is not a top QB and he faces a decent pass-rush this Sunday.
Another reason I like the Saints is they ran all over San Fran last weekend, ok so has everyone else, but the Broncos are nearly as bad lying 30th in run defense yards. The Bronco’s running game itself struggled last week also with Devonte Booker not shining when asked to take over from the injured CJ Anderson.
The Broncos also struggled against the Raiders passing attack last weekend. Well the Saints sit just ahead of the Raiders on passing/receiving stats this year. The only team ahead of both, the Falcons, beat the Broncos in week 4.
This is a good matchup for the Saints. It’s also one of the league’s form teams against one on a downward curve that may be overrated and overpriced based on last season and early season form.
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
The basis for this pick is simple – the Falcons are a far superior team. The Eagles have won just 1 of their last 5 and that was against the Vikings who have since shown to be in freefall themselves. Meanwhile the Falcons continue to put up big scores, yardage and wins. They’ve lost just two this season, in Seattle and an overtime defeat to the Chargers.
The Falcons lead the league on almost any passing/receiving stat you could find and here they face an Eagles secondary that the out of sorts Eli Manning just abused for 4 TDs last weekend. Julio Jones and co. will put up big numbers again.
Carson Wentz has been playing like a true rookie recently (he started the season looking like a veteran) and facing a decent pass-rush here (Vic Beasley sits 5th on the sack list) he’ll likely struggle again. The Eagles rushing attack isn’t good enough to bail him out either.