NFL straight-up picks, Week 10: The worst primetime games in NFL history (2024)

NFL straight-up picks, Week 10: The worst primetime games in NFL history (1)

Christian D'Andrea

November 9, 2023 7:01 am ET

Look, you don’t have to watch this week’s primetime NFL games.

I don’t mean that in a snarky “oh, you don’t like it, well don’t watch it” kind of way. I mean that in a “skipping these games may genuinely improve your life” way.

What are you going to learn from a Thursday Night Football game between the Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears, other than the fact the world is a cold, uncaring place? What thrills will you get from a Sunday Night Football showdown between the New York Jets and Las Vegas Raiders outside of seeing Zach Wilson run 26 yards in the wrong direction in the futile hope of avoiding a Maxx Crosby sack? Do you really need to see more Russell Wilson, whose Denver Broncos play the slumping Buffalo Bills on Monday night, in this, the year of our (clearly indifferent to the NFL schedule) lord, 2023?

No, friends. These games are butt. Even the fine folks of Germany, fresh off behind underwhelmed by the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs, have to deal with a Gardner Minshew-Mac Jones showdown in Frankfurt. But between the hours of 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET, we’ll have a few games capable of making up for that.

The San Francisco 49ers travel to Florida for a game against a Jacksonville Jaguars team dying to prove its legit. CJ Stroud will fight to keep the Houston Texans’ playoff hopes alive against the streaking Cincinnati Bengals. The Dallas Cowboys play Tommy DeVito’s New York Giants and yep, OK, they’re not all winners.

But still. Here’s how our panel of experts — 65-19 as a whole last week! — see Week 10 unfolding.

GameChristianRobertCharles
Panthers at BearsBearsBearsBears
Colts at PatriotsColts?ColtsColts
Browns at RavensRavensRavensRavens
Packers at SteelersSteelersSteelersSteelers
Texans at BengalsBengalsBengalsBengals
Saints at VikingsSaintsSaintsSaints
Titans at BucsBucsTitansBucs
49ers at Jaguars49ersJaguars49ers
Falcons at CardinalsFalconsFalconsFalcons
Lions at ChargersLionsLionsLions
Giants at CowboysCowboysCowboysCowboys
Commanders at SeahawksSeahawksSeahawksSeahawks
Jets at RaidersRaidersRaidersRaiders
Broncos at BillsBillsBillsBills
Last week:12-210-412-2
Year to date:95-4184-5290-46

and:

GamePrinceMaryMeghan
Panthers at BearsBearsBearsBears
Colts at PatriotsColtsColtsColts
Browns at RavensRavensRavensRavens
Packers at SteelersSteelersSteelersSteelers
Texans at BengalsBengalsBengalsBengals
Saints at VikingsSaintsSaintsSaints
Titans at BucsBucsTitansBucs
49ers at Jaguars49ers49ers49ers
Falcons at CardinalsFalconsFalconsFalcons
Lions at ChargersLionsLionsLions
Giants at CowboysCowboysCowboysCowboys
Commanders at SeahawksSeahawksSeahawksSeahawks
Jets at RaidersRaidersRaidersRaiders
Broncos at BillsBillsBillsBills
Last week:8-612-211-3
Year to date:84-5279-4171-33

Here are those selections in a better-formatted screenshot of our actual picks sheet, which can struggle to translate to our editing software.

NFL straight-up picks, Week 10: The worst primetime games in NFL history (2)

Easiest game to pick: Dallas Cowboys (-17) over the New York Giants

NFL straight-up picks, Week 10: The worst primetime games in NFL history (3)

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

SEVENTEEN POINTS! I believe this is the most lopsided spread since 2020, when the Jets were a 20-point underdog against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 8 (they lost, 35-6). Folks across the country looked at the Cowboys as two-touchdown favorites and said “nah, I’m not concerned about Dallas until this becomes a three-possession spread.”

Look, this section has fallen apart lately with three straight losses. If Tommy DeVito somehow makes it four in a row, I will rename it the “DeVito thinks I’m an idiot game I’m horrifically overconfident about.”

Last week: 0-1 (.000)
Season to date: 6-3 (.667)

Hardest favorite to back: Indianapolis Colts (-1.5) vs. the New England Patriots

NFL straight-up picks, Week 10: The worst primetime games in NFL history (4)

USA Today Sports

I dunno, maybe it’s cognitive dissonance. Everything I see from the Patriots suggest this team is dog rockets. But I still hesitate when it comes to picking against them versus a mediocre quarterback.

Granted, this team let Sam Howell throw for 300-plus yards against it, but I don’t love the idea of an inconsistent Gardner Minshew facing a defense that will toss a menagerie of different sets and blitzes at him in order to discombobulate him. On the other hand, I do enjoy the idea of the mustachioed Saints Row character come to life balling out and turning himself into a cult figure in Germany.

That’s a possibility, but the much more rational outcome is that Minshew plays fine and a defense that’s forced at least one turnover every game this season finds a way to devastate Mac Jones right when it seems he might be turning a corner. That seems like the only given between two untrustable teams. It has forced me to lean against Bill Belichick in Week 10 and toward the impending high value draft pick he’ll no doubt use to take a deeply unsexy offensive lineman.

Last week: 1-0 (1.000)
Season to date: 8-1 (.889)

Upset pick of the week: Las Vegas Raiders (+1.5) over the New York Jets

NFL straight-up picks, Week 10: The worst primetime games in NFL history (5)

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t love the idea of picking Aidan O’Connell against this Jets defense. While the Raiders have an above average offensive line and he’s been good about getting the ball out quickly, there are going to be moments where New York’s sheer talent overwhelms him and forces him into some very rookie mistakes.

But, my god man, I cannot in good conscience trust this Jets team. Without the benefit of multiple turovers and short fields, New York’s high score in regulation in a single game is a whopping 10 points. New York is coming off a demoralizing loss and Las Vegas just had the exact opposite while crushing a different inept northern New Jersey offense (a 30-6 win over the Giants).

The Jets have the best unit in this game thanks to the defense that ranks sixth in total DVOA (the Raiders clock in at 20th, while neither offense cracks the top 28). That would typically be enough to get my support, and I imagine there will be a fair amount of sharp money coming in on the Jets as kickoff approaches at this number. Still, though. Zach Wilson.

Sigh. Give me the Raiders, for now.

Last week: 1-0 (1.000)
Season to date: 7-2 (.778)

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NFL straight-up picks, Week 10: The worst primetime games in NFL history (2024)

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