Last week’s NFL action proved that the phrase “Any Given Sunday” is more than simply a tired mantra or a cult classic sports movie. The previously winless Miami Dolphins (1-7) – who have put on a master class of tanking for future draft picks – managed to upset the accidentally just as awful New York Jets (1-7), easily notching their first victory of the season as (+3) home underdogs.
And the previously undefeated defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (8-1) – owners of the league’s stingiest defense – were shellacked in a 37-20 road rout at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens (6-2).
Home Teams Ruled in NFL Week 9 Betting
Even weirder, on Sunday home teams put up a spotless record by going 11-0 straight up and against the spread (ATS) in Week 9. Road teams are still dominating the ATS race over the entire season, however, boasting a 73-56-2 record to cover at a scorching 56.6 percent clip.
Nonetheless, watching an entire day of football go by without a single road team covering the spread shows that anything really can happen come Sunday.
With that in mind, remember to expect the unexpected when checking out the latest odds and lines for Week 10 posted by online sportsbook Bovada.
NFC Contenders Take Monday Night Football Stage
The centerpiece of Week 10’s schedule takes place on Sunday Night Football, when the Dallas Cowboys (5-3) host the Minnesota Vikings (6-3) in what should be a pivotal point in the NFC playoff chase.
Dallas demolished the New York Giants (2-7) on last week’s edition of Monday Night Football, so they’ll be on slightly shorter rest heading into this one. As for Minnesota, the well-documented struggles of quarterback Kirk Cousins when faced with quality competition reared their ugly head once again last Sunday.
After tossing a touchdown pass to give the Vikings a 23-20 lead in the fourth quarter, then watching his defense force a quick three and out, Cousins proceeded to orchestrate the following production on two subsequent drives – six plays, -7 yards, and a pair of punts. Backup QB Matt Moore capitalized on Cousins’ inability to salt away the win, directing two efficient field goal drives to cap off the Chiefs’ last-minute comeback.
Dallas Cowboys-Minnesota Vikings Game Analysis
Cousins threw for three touchdowns and no interceptions in the game, but his 19/38 for 220 yards stat line belies the highly paid QB’s inability to perform when it matters most. During his career, Cousins has posted abysmal straight up numbers against winning teams (7-27) and while playing on the road (14-35-2).
Add in the highly paid signal-caller’s similarly distressing straight up statistics on the primetime stage (6-13) – as well as the Vikings’ struggles on the road when playing winning teams (2-14-1 straight up and ATS) – and the Cowboys look like a steal as slight (-3) home favorites.
Bettors should note that the Dallas Cowboys have stuggled against better competition this season. While the Cowboys started with a 3-0 record, those wins were against the lowly Dolphins, Redskins, and Giants. After a three-game losing streak, the Cowboys now have won 2 games in a row, but again, one of those games was against the New York Giants.
Arguably the only quality win of the season so far was against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7. The Cowboys-Vikings game on Sunday night should be pivotal for both teams’ playoff hopes.
Several Divisional Rivalries Set for Sunday Slate
While the Sunday Night Football matchup is Week 10’s main course, the early schedule features a slew of divisional rivalries to serve as appetizers.
Detroit Lions (+3) at Chicago Bears
The Detroit Lions (3-4-1) visit the Chicago Bears (3-5) in a “Most Disappointing Team in the NFC North” grudge match, with the Bears listed as slim (-3) home favorites.
New Orleans Saints (-13) vs. Atlanta Falcons
The New Orleans Saints (7-1) can close in on the NFC South title – and make inroads towards a first-round playoff bye in the process – by defeating the dreadful Atlanta Falcons (1-7) as huge (-13) home faves.
Baltimore Ravens (-10) at Cincinnati Bengals
Fresh off their impressive win over the Patriots, the Ravens face an AFC North “layup,” as Baltimore visits the Cincinnati Bengals (0-8) laying (-10) against the NFL’s lone remaining winless squad.
Seattle Seahawks (+6) @ San Francisco 49ers
And to cap off the football festivities, the San Francisco 49ers (8-0) – the NFL’s lone remaining undefeated team – are laying (-6) hosting the Seattle Seahawks (7-2) in a game which just might decide the NFC West pecking order.