Week 10 Football Pick’em Contest Strategy & Advice (2022)

Week 10 of the 2022 NFL season is here, and we have several value favorites showing up in your pick'em pools.

The Buccaneers face the Seahawks in Germany (Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

Week 10 in NFL pick’em contests is here, and it features plenty of big news and big matchups. Bills QB Josh Allen’s elbow is a problem, which will be a big factor in this week’s outlook.

In these columns, we explore strategies to maximize your edge in NFL and college football pick’em contests. We also provide some of the rationale behind picks potentially recommended by our premium product.

We plan to periodically update to this post through Sunday of Week 10, so check back for updates. Here’s what’s available now:

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Tuesday 11/8

NFL Week 10 Early Value Picks

Here are the value picks we are seeing as of Tuesday early afternoon.

Here are the value picks we are seeing as of early afternoon on Tuesday.

Las Vegas Raiders (vs. Indianapolis Colts)

Spread: -6.5
Win Odds: 72%
Pick Popularity: 80%

The Raiders are only 2-6, so you can understand why there is some hesitance to pick them this week and why more entries are willing to go with a Colts upset. However, Las Vegas is 0-5 in close games, which is notoriously fickle. The Raiders are also playing a Colts team that just fired head coach Frank Reich and replaced him with Jeff Saturday, who has no head coaching experience in college or the pros and has never been on an NFL staff as a coach.

Just as importantly, the Colts are sticking with Sam Ehlinger at QB. So far through two starts, Ehlinger has been sacked on 17.5% of his dropbacks and is averaging only 5.8 yards per pass attempt. The 2021 sixth-round draft pick does not look like the second coming of Tom Brady, and the line reflects that.

The Raiders still have decent popularity, but it’s relative. The Giants are being picked by 97% of the public at the same point spread. Miami, as a 3.5-point favorite, is being picked 93% of the time. Las Vegas is only the 10th-most popular pick this week to win despite being tied as the fourth-largest favorite.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Seattle Seahawks)

Spread: -2.5
Win Odds: 56%
Pick Popularity: 48%

Tampa Bay came within a late dramatic rally of losing its fourth straight game, but it was able to score a late touchdown to beat the Rams. Meanwhile, Seattle just won its fourth game in a row.

It’s understandable that the public would be leaning toward the Seahawks here. This game is being played on a neutral field in Germany, though, and the Buccaneers are still the slight favorite.

Denver Broncos (at Tennessee Titans)

Spread: +3.0
Win Odds: 38%
Pick Popularity: 9%

Cleveland Browns (at Miami Dolphins)

Spread: +3.5
Win Odds: 36%
Pick Popularity: 7%

We’ll talk about these two together since they represent two very unpopular slight underdogs that can provide excellent contrarian value in weekly pick pools.

If you look at the win odds for each, you would expect about a 14% chance of both winning (and about a 46% chance they split, and 40% both lose). But the potential pot-odds edge in a weekly pool is notable in a larger pool.

Based on their pick popularities, you would expect only about six out of every 1,000 entries to pick both. If you are in a pool where your chances of cashing the pot are 1% or lower because of the number of entries, that provides a massive leverage play on that two-team parlay.

You can win weekly contests by picking unique combos and being one of the few entries that get those wins if they hit.

Detroit Lions (at Chicago Bears)

Spread: +3.0
Win Odds: 41%
Pick Popularity: 18%

The payoff for a Detroit upset of Chicago may not be quite as high, but the Lions are still fairly unpopular and have slightly higher win odds. The Bears offense has been playing better in recent weeks, but they cannot stop anyone and recently traded away their two top defenders.

Taking a moderate chance here on Detroit is a decent value play in weekly pools.

Tuesday 11/8

Week 9 Results Summary

The public has been getting the best of it recently after a cold start for them (and a hot start for us).

Game-Winner Pools

In game-winner pools, the public averaged 9.0 wins out of 13 games in Week 9, easily the best win percentage in a week for the public this year.

Overall, our season-long “Max Profit” picks finished just below the public at 8.1 wins. Weekly picks finished down this week at 6.6 wins, barely over .500, so there won’t be many weekly prizes claimed for Week 9.

The biggest swing results were Jacksonville over Las Vegas, Seattle over Arizona, and Baltimore over New Orleans, while only Tampa Bay over the Rams went the other way among higher-leverage games. The public picked up 2.6 wins on average across those four games, compared to 1.4 wins on average for our Max Profit season-long picks and 1.1 wins on average for the top weekly recommendations.

Spread Pools

The public finished above .500 in Week 9 in spread pools, averaging 7.1 wins in 13 games. Baltimore, Minnesota, Philadelphia, New England, and Miami were the five most popular picks, going 3-2 ATS.

Our pick recommendations in season-long pools were down, averaging 5.7 wins in season-long max-profit picks. Meanwhile, weekly picks, which tend to also account for public pick popularity more to differentiate, finished just ahead of the public at 6.6 wins.

Some costly results included Cincinnati covering against Carolina, Minnesota covering against Washington, Baltimore beating New Orleans, Jacksonville over Las Vegas, and New England covering against Indianapolis. Positive results included the Jets’ outright win and Chicago covering against Miami.


Important Notes About Picks We Highlight

Keep in mind three things about picks we highlight in this article:

  1. Optimal pick’em contest strategy balances risk and potential reward.
    Maximizing your odds to win a pick’em pool generally requires exploiting the best opportunities to differentiate your picks from your opponents’s picks. Ideally, you want to fade the public while taking on minimal additional pick risk to do so. For example, taking a betting market favorite being picked by less than 50% of your opponents is usually a great opportunity.
  2. Not all of the picks we highlight are suitable for all pools.
    Don’t be surprised if our Football Pick’em Picks product doesn’t recommend several of the picks we mention in this post for your pool specifically—especially the upset picks. The best pick strategy for you depends on a number of factors such as your pool’s size, rules, and prize structure (a concept that’s covered in part by our article on season vs. weekly prize strategy).
  3. Picks we highlight may no longer look compelling by game day.
    We analyze and write about picks using data (e.g. win odds and pick popularity) current at the time we publish this article, but that data can change before kickoff. For example, key player being ruled out or a shift in public sentiment about a team can erase the differentiation value that a pick initially offered.

We’ll provide periodic updates in this post if major data changes occur for picks we’ve mentioned, so make sure to check back. However, there’s a much better way to stay on top of changing data trends throughout a week, which all sharp players need to do.

Our Football Pick’em Picks product automatically imports the latest win odds and pick popularity data multiple times per day. You can see the latest information in the Data Grid.

After you generate customized picks for your pool, you can also update those pick recommendations whenever you want via the My Pool Picks screen. The updated picks will incorporate the most recent data we have.


About Our Pick’em Pool Advice

What makes pick recommendations from our Football Pick’em Picks product different from other sites is that it isn’t generic.

In any given week, the best picks for your football pool depend on a number of variables. Your pool’s size, rules, and prize structure all influence strategy, as do factors like your current place in the standings and how many weeks are left.

So many different scenarios exist that it’s impossible to give pick advice that makes sense for every one. An underrated 6-point underdog could be a great pick in a big weekly prize pool and a terrible pick for a small season-long pool where you’re currently in the money.

Technology to the rescue

As far as we know, we’re the only site that has built algorithms to evaluate all these strategy factors and provide you with customized pick recommendations every week.

The result? Every year, an average of 71% of our subscribers win a prize (season-long or weekly) in a football pick’em contest.

If you want to see all the Week 1 picks we recommend for your football pick’em contest, use our Football Pick’em Picks product.

Why we write this column

At the same time, we know our subscribers like to understand the rationale behind picks our product may recommend, especially when those picks go against the grain. So over the years, we’ve started to write more about the “whys” behind our approach.

This column can also help educate our readers with pick’em pool strategy. We highlight tactics proven to result in more pick’em pool wins over the long term and point out common pitfalls to avoid.

We hope you enjoy reading, and we encourage you to check out more of our football pick’em strategy articles.

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