This week in the NFL has been a perfect microcosm for the season: There’s more drama off the field than on the gridiron.
But come Sunday, we’ll turn our attention back to the field in a potentially pivotal Week 10. It’s also a big week for Mike Cole and Ricky Doyle who are representing NESN.com as part of Team OddsShark in the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest, the premier NFL handicapping contest.
They’re looking to build on a decent-ish Week 9 with hopes of climbing the OddsShark standings.
Here are their Week 10 picks.
New York Jets (-2.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
The Jets, improbably, just look like the better team. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been incredibly accurate this season (completing 70 percent of his passes), and now he gets a banged-up defense that’s been woeful all season and allowing opposing QBs to have the third-highest completion percentage against.
New Orleans Saints (-3) vs. Buffalo Bills
New Era Field, Orchard Park, N.Y.
Winning at Orchard Park is never easy, but the Saints have looked good on both sides of the ball, and once again, it appears they’ve gotten a little lucky. Buffalo will be shorthanded on offense, as both wide receiver Zay Jones and left tackle Cordy Glenn were ruled out for Sunday’s tilt.
Atlanta Falcons (-3) vs. Dallas Cowboys
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
The line held steady around a field goal all week, as it became increasingly clear Vegas didn’t expect Ezekiel Elliott to play. That proved to be the right call as it appears the Cowboys running back’s suspension will start Sunday. Without Elliott, it’s going to be harder for the Cowboys to control the pace of the game, which is of utmost importance on the road against an offense with the big-play potential Atlanta possesses.
San Francisco 49ers (+2.5) vs. New York Giants
Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.
The Giants already have their sights set on 2018, and the players reportedly have quit on head coach Ben McAdoo. The 49ers, meanwhile, have kept it close with teams all season, so we’ll take the points at home.
Miami Dolphins (+9) vs. Carolina Panthers
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
On paper, this looks like a brutal matchup for Miami. Statistically, the Dolphins have the NFL’s worst offense, and the Panthers have the best defense. But Carolina hasn’t lit the world on fire offensively, and Cam Newton hasn’t protected the football well enough all season. It’s just too many points for such an unpredictable offense.
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