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NFL Picks, Week 10: Saints-Falcons, Lions-Bears, Patriots-Jets And More

It's an amazing NFL week, with nine match-ups seeing a point spread of four or less, and five that could legitimately claim "Game of the Week" status. Tread wisely, young gambler.

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NFL odds found here.

The picks:

New Orleans @ Atlanta (-1). Yeah, it's a big one - no getting around that. Win, and the road to a playoff bye becomes less bumpy, lose and the wild card seems a heckuva lot more realistic. I'm hoping for a little more manifestation of what I've been saying this season, that the Saints are coasting on the good-will of the last few years and aren't a top 10 NFL team. Atlanta should take care of the home field, and I wouldn't be shocked if it gets a little out-of-hand. In fact, locking down the double-digit victory prediction NOW. PICK: Atlanta

Tennessee @ Carolina (-3 1/2). Aww, aren't they cute? Widdle baby blue warriors? (I'm taking every opportunity to condescend to the Panthers now, because I don't think there will be many chances in the next few years). PICK: Carolina

Pittsburgh (-4) @ Cincinnati. It's the 6-3 Steelers at the 6-2 Bengals - a real contender for game of the week, huh? Just don't look at the numbers too closely. Sure, each team has half-a-dozen W's on its ledger, but Pittsburgh's victories came against teams with a combined 15-34 record. Cincinnati is only slightly better than that at 16-32. These might be a couple of default playoff teams, but there isn't really a lot to like. PICK: Cincinnati

St. Louis @ Cleveland (-2 1/2). I can only assume fans at this game will watch Jack & Jill on the jumbotron, listen to the new Nickelback album at halftime, eat peppermint and squash pork rinds, shave their legs with dead squirrels, read the Penn State grand jury report in a German accent - anything to distract from the unending misery of what they'd otherwise see on the field. PICK: St. Louis

Buffalo @ Dallas (-5 1/2). Props to Buffalo, y'all - they've been a cute story and have selflessly entertained us all. And players, as a thank you, please accept four out of your next five games on the road, culminating in a sub-.500 record and another playoff miss. But it's been fun, you guys. PICK: Dallas

Jacksonville (-3) @ Indianapolis. The Colts have lost their last three games 120-24. The Jags have gone 1-2 in their last three, by a combined total of 39-48 - and all three teams are likely playoff-bound. It just shows while the Colts have accepted their Andrew Luck future, the Jags are still fighting. Not a hard call. PICK: Jacksonville

Denver @ Kansas City (-3). TebowTebowTebowTebowTebow. PICK: Kansas City

Washington @ Miami (-4). Through some bizarre fart-stain in the universe, I've ended up friends with several Redskins fans over the years. I made sure to speak to most of them this week, starting the conversation under some false pretense, asking about their kids, their wife, their happiness, a lot of other things I could care less about. Of course, it was just as a long, drawn-out preamble to breaking off mid-sentence and yelling, "UNDERDOG TO A 1-7 TEAM! JOHN BECK! JOHN BECK! UNDERDOG TO MATT MOORE!" I'm telling you, in the right circumstance, a phone getting vomited into can sound like a harp on Sunday, man. PICK: Miami

Arizona @ Philadelphia (-13 1/2). The Eagles were my pick in this week's "suicide pool" (where you have to pick one winner per week, not against the spread). Most any other time I see a spread that big, I'm fairly confident in the result - but does anybody really have a reading on this Philly team? Win by 30, lose by 30 - anything is possible. PICK: Philadelphia

Houston (-3 1/2) @ Tampa Bay. PICK: Tampa Bay

Baltimore (-7) @ Seattle. The Ravens have won back-to-back close games, and have both Cincinnati and San Fran (13-3 combined) coming up in the next eleven days. A west coast trip is a prime candidate for a stumbling sleepwalk effort, isn't it? This will be closer than it should be. PICK: Seattle

Detroit @ Chicago (-2 1/2). Detroit's "go down by three touchdowns and stage a miracle comeback" strategy from earlier in the season seems to have dissipated. And no wonder, because while Luck may be the name of Indianapolis's game next year, the lower case-version can only go for so long in the NFL. There may be one more piece of good fortune to befall them, though: the Lions are coming off a bye week, while Chicago just played a tough game on Monday. It could be enough to swing victory to the visitors. PICK: Detroit

NY Giants @ San Francisco (-3 1/2). After a couple weeks of facing off against scrubs, the 49ers finally arrive to the game they've been circling for a month. Eli's comin' - but he won't feel welcome for very long. PICK: San Francisco

New England @ NY Jets (PICK). PICK: New England

Minnesota @ Green Bay (-14 1/2). I have an odd feeling something odd happens here - maybe not odd in the sense of Vikings-megaupset, but odd nonetheless. Bad huju to bet on this one, methinks. PICK: Minnesota

For the rest of the season, the Thursday game pick will be posted that day to Twitter: follow @joshmassey1

Last week: 7-7-0
Thursday's game: 1-0

Yearly total: 74-54-3

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.