There’s a lot of bad blood heading into Sunday Night Football in Week 10 of the NFL schedule.
The New Orleans Saints play host to the Dallas Cowboys in the marquee matchup Sunday, with books opening the Saints as high as 7.5-point home favorites against a team with a dark history involving two of New Orleans' coaches.
Head coach Sean Payton was rumored to be snubbed when it came to the Cowboys’ head coaching job back in 2006 and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was fired – unjustly according to many – after Dallas fell apart late last season, serving as a sacrificial lamb to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. There’s plenty of extra motivation for the Saints to bury the Boys on Sunday night.
“Any factor involving coaches, we generally dismiss,” Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada-based odds service The Sports Club, tells Covers. “The coaches aren’t performing, the players are. (The coaches) can say all they want but it’s the players we’re looking at (when setting odds).”
Korner is suggesting his clients should keep the spread for this Sunday finale high, as the public loves to bet the favorite and the Over in these standalone primetime games. The total for Sunday night’s contest was sent out at 55 by Korner’s oddsmakers, but most shops are dealing 52.5 points.
“We didn’t want to be low,” says Korner. “And I think we’re going to be just about right on this. No one is betting this game Under.”
Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers (-6.5, 41.5)
This Week 10 East vs. West contest could be the most entertaining game on the board, with dynamic quarterbacks under center for both sides. However, despite having Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick making plays, books have opened this total at the low number of 41.5 points.
“Wow, I think that’s really low,” says Korner. “We sent out 47 and it’s down to 41 and 42. I realize they’re good defenses but we had one guy with this (total) as high as 50. We could be wrong. But I’d rather error on the high side.”
Some people may think this spread is too high, especially with some shops trimming the line from San Francisco -7 to -6 with early money on the Panthers. Korner notes that while Carolina is winning games it should, it hasn’t faced competition like the Niners during its four-game winning streak.
Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (+6, 44)
Rarely do you see the Falcons as home dogs, especially as big as 6-point pups. That’s the line books are dealing on Atlanta, hosting the Seahawks Sunday.
The last time the Falcons were home underdogs this big, they lost 25-14 to Green Bay on Sunday Night Football in Week 5 of the 2011 season. Atlanta blew a 14-6 lead in that game, getting outscored 19-0 in the second half.
“It’s well deserved,” Korner says of the Falcons’ 6-point spread. “They haven’t played well. They just don’t deserve anything less. I recommend that books should keep it on the high side and expect Seattle money. Why would anyone bet Atlanta right now?”
Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers (-9, 55 / -2.5)
Before Aaron Rodgers went down with a shoulder injury on Monday Night Football, the Packers were going to be 9-point home favorites hosting the Eagles in Week 10. But now with Rodgers' status is up in the air, most shops have this game off the board.
According to Michael Stewart of CarbonSports.ag, Rodgers is worth as many as seven points to the spread. If he's out for Sunday's game, the Packers could be as low as 2.5-point favorites.
The Eagles' offensive eruption has oddsmakers smiling heading into this Week 10 matchup. Nick Foles and the Eagles scored 49 points against Oakland Sunday and have bettors, who would have normally sided with the Packers, thinking twice about Philadelphia.
“It gives us a little bit of an advantage,” Korner says of the Eagles’ blowout win. “That sort of result will weigh in for a lot of people. It will temper the spread from going any higher than it should... It helps us out as oddsmakers.”