Football bettors can usually draw a line through the schedule to indicate the exact week when Super Bowl contenders pull away from the Super Bowl pretenders. And Week 10 may be that week.
There are three double-digit spreads on the board in early November, with Buffalo getting 11 points in New England, St. Louis set as an 11-point pup in San Francisco, and Pittsburgh handing lowly Kansas City 11.5 points on Monday Night Football.
“The midway part of the season is when the teams start separating,” Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada-based odds service, The Sports Club, told Covers. “The good teams win, the bad teams lose, and that’s how the public bets them.”
Those double-digit spreads prove a certain divide between the top and bottom of the league. New England, San Francisco and Pittsburgh have a combined 16-8 record while their three opponents boast a collective 7-17 SU mark.
And while those spreads are some of the highest NFL gamblers have dealt with this season, Korner says those early lines aren’t high enough. His service sent out suggested spreads of 13 points for all three of those contests.
“Why wouldn’t you be high on these games if you were a sportsbook?,” Korner says. “Why would you want to have to cheer for the underdog come Sunday? I can explain why our lines are so high on these games. I can’t give any reasons to go lower.”
Houston Texans at Chicago Bears (-1, 41.5)
This is the main event of Week 10’s Sunday slate, pitting two 7-1 heavyweights against each other in the Windy City.
But while this Sunday Night Football slugfest has all the makings of a classic bout, Korner says it may be a bit overhyped. A win Sunday night would be a nice feather in the cap for either team, but with this being a non-conference contest between two division leaders, it probably won’t have much say in the grand scheme of things.
“It doesn’t really mean much. There isn’t anything at stake,” he says. “Although, it’s going to be a good game, it might be just that – a good game – and nothing else.”
Korner says his team of oddmakers brought spreads between a pick and Chicago -3 to the table, eventually sending out a suggested spread of Bears -2.5. Most online shops opened this game at -1 with some moving to -1.5.
San Diego Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3, 48)
This AFC-versus-NFC matchup is one of the toughest spreads to get a grip on during Week 10.
The Chargers snapped a three-game losing streak against the Chiefs Thursday, thanks to a 21-point fourth quarter explosion. The Bucs continued their solid play, picking up their second straight “W” in a shootout with Oakland.
The Sports Club sent out a suggested spread of Tampa Bay -1.5 and plenty of online books opened with similar odds. But instant action on the Buccaneers took the spread all the way to the key number of -3.
“San Diego is notorious for being a second-half team,” says Korner. “They start slow and then come on strong.”
“This is a pretty close game, not as high profile as some others and with two teams looking towards the playoffs,” he adds. “But it will not land on three, I can guarantee that.”