Three NFL Week 10 Upset Picks To Consider (2022)
These NFL Week 10 upset picks stand out as moneyline value plays based on our algorithmic prediction models, data angles, and/or recent news.
November 9, 2022 - by Jason Lisk
Can the Vikings move to 8-1 against a Bills team with an injured Josh Allen? (Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)
Everybody loves an NFL upset pick, especially when it turns into a winning bet.
In this article, we pick three NFL Week 10 underdogs to win outright. We also keep track of our overall season performance, using the moneyline odds for each pick at publication time.
Last season, upset picks we highlighted in this column went 22-25-1 straight up, good for +17.0 units of profit if you had flat-bet one unit on each pick.
(To see our favorite NFL betting picks each week, including point spread, over/under, props, and other picks, check out our Staff Betting Picks.)
Upset Picks Results to Date
Last Week: 0-3 for -3.0 units
2022 Season: 10-17 for +2.1 units
We are on a four-week drought in upset picks. Sheesh.
Last week’s results again came up short, with one game looking like an upset in the making…until it wasn’t. That leaves us crying into our coffee whispering “but at least we got closing-line value on all of them.”
- Washington had a 17-7 fourth-quarter lead against Minnesota, but lost 20-17 after a costly late penalty.
- New Orleans had its worst offensive game all season against undermanned Baltimore and lost 27-13.
- Carolina laid an egg at Cincinnati as the Bengals cruised to a 42-21 win.
Over the first five weeks of the season, our upset picks went 8-3 when a game was decided by a single score. Over the last four weeks, they are 0-6 in such games.
While the picks haven’t performed well lately, the close-game performance earlier in the season versus recent weeks is impacting the extent of the split.
Week 10 NFL Upset Picks
Minnesota Vikings (at Buffalo Bills)
Point Spread: +4.0
Our Ensemble Forecast model currently has only one playable upset pick this week (read below for that one), but we are using info from all of our models to make decisions.
This pick is largely about the uncertainty of Bills QB Josh Allen. Even if Allen does play through his injured elbow Sunday, the line doesn’t fully reflect the degree to which his performance could be impacted. If Allen doesn’t play, this pick should have solid closing value if QB Case Keenum ends up starting for the Bills.
We got this game in as a Staff Pick this week when the line was +6.5 and it continues to drop.
Also of interest here is the fact that when our Predictive Power Rating model shows value of -10% or worse on an underdog moneyline of +299 or shorter this year, that team is 17-9-1 straight up. (All other underdog ML picks at +299 or lower are 27-49 this year.)
Translation: When our power ratings are far off the betting markets in these cases, it’s usually a sign to fade the ratings. That’s often because of injury news and impacts, as is the potential case here.
Houston Texans (at New York Giants)
Point Spread: +5.0
This line has been dropping despite the Giants being a popular pick in our spread pool pick data. The Giants have over 70% pick popularity in pick’em contests at the previous -6.5 line.
The Giants have been great as underdogs this year, going 5-1 SU in that role. But they are only 1-1 as a (shorter) favorite than this game, losing to Dallas and beating the Bears by eight.
The Giants don’t seem to profile as a great favorite primarily because of their low efficiency in the passing game. While they have been riding the legs of RB Saquon Barkley (and QB Daniel Jones), they are 30th in net yards per pass attempt this season. They don’t have any outside weapons of note. Every game they have played this year has been close, with the exception of their 14-point loss to Seattle in their last game. They just so happen to have gone 6-1 in close games.
Getting a non-dominant Giants team that struggles to pass, and a team that has tended to get into close games, is a good opportunity for the upset play if things break right for Houston.
This game also meets the criteria noted above about our Predictive Ratings Model and moneyline upset picks. By our predictive power ratings, you would expect the Giants to win this game by six points even before accounting for home-field advantage, yet the line is moving the other way.
One other factor of note: Houston should get both its starting WRs, Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins, back this week. Collins returned to practice today after missing the last two games, and Cooks rejoined the team after he was excused for last Thursday’s game against Philadelphia because he was upset about not being traded at the deadline.
Arizona Cardinals (at Los Angeles Rams)
Point Spread: +3.0
This is our lone playable Ensemble Forecast model moneyline value pick among underdogs this week.
The Rams are also a “play against” in the favorite role because of their continued offensive line struggles. We are now eight games into the 2022 season and can fairly say that this year’s Rams are a shell of last year’s version on offense. Whether it’s the lingering effects of QB Matthew Stafford’s elbow injury, the offensive line problems, or the lack of any reliable WR options other than Cooper Kupp, this team has not been good so far.
The Rams rank 31st in total yards, 31st in rushing yards per carry, 31st in rushing yards, and 29th in points scored. And while Arizona hasn’t been great (3-6), the Cardinals are averaging nearly 30 points per game over the last three weeks since WR DeAndre Hopkins returned from his suspension.
[NOTE: Shortly after we published this article, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Stafford was in the NFL’s concussion protocol. As a result, the line has been pulled or changed at most books.]
2022 Upset Pick History
Below is a full list of the picks we’ve made in this column so far in 2022. We list the moneyline odds at the time we made the pick (“WED ML”), the closing line (“CLOSING ML”), and result.
So far this season, 19 of the picks we’ve made have gotten positive closing-line value (CLV), where the moneyline odds moved in favor of our Wednesday pick by kickoff time. In comparison, eight picks had negative CLV.
|WEEK||PICK||OPPONENT||WED ML||CLOSING ML||CLOSE VALUE||RESULT|
|1||Minnesota||Green Bay||105||-130||Yes||W, 23-7|
|1||NY Giants||Tennessee||210||200||Yes||W, 21-20|
|2||New Orleans||Tampa Bay||125||124||Yes||L, 20-10|
|2||NY Jets||Cleveland||215||220||No||W, 31-30|
|2||Atlanta||LA Rams||400||372||Yes||L, 31-27|
|3||Carolina||New Orleans||135||115||Yes||W, 22-14|
|3||Indianapolis||Kansas City||228||190||Yes||W, 20-17|
|4||New York Jets||Pittsburgh||150||140||Yes||W, 24-20|
|5||Dallas||LA Rams||180||198||No||W, 22-10|
|6||New Orleans||Cincinnati||113||148||No||L, 30-26|
|6||Denver||LA Chargers||203||165||Yes||L, 19-16|
|6||Carolina||LA Rams||380||345||Yes||L, 24-10|
|7||San Francisco||Kansas City||131||-103||Yes||L, 44-23|
|8||NY Giants||Seattle||135||145||No||L, 27-13|
|8||Carolina||Atlanta||182||177||Yes||L, 34-31 (OT)|
|9||New Orleans||Baltimore||125||112||Yes||L, 27-13|
Upset Pick Expectations
Whenever you read about upset picks from a betting perspective, it’s important to understand the implications. Individually, neither the betting markets nor our models give any of these three teams better than a 50-50 chance to win.
If you bet an underdog on the point spread, that isn’t such a big deal to you. You’re just hoping for the pick to at least keep it close and cover the number.
If you bet an underdog on the moneyline, though, you need them to win the game outright. When that happens, you get an outsized return on your bet. Given that context, we expect to get most of these picks wrong, and we also expect to see big swings in results from week to week—including losing all three picks in some weeks.
Depending on the payout odds, you can still turn a profit by winning, say, 30 or 35 out of every 100 moneyline bets that you make on underdogs. However, you need to manage your bankroll carefully to weather what could be long losing streaks along the way.
Week 10 Betting Picks & Models
If you’d like to find your own trends and angles for NFL betting, check out our custom NFL betting trends tool.
If you’d like to see all of our model-based picks for this week (game winner, point spread, over/under, and moneyline value), you can visit our NFL picks page on TeamRankings.
And if you’d like to see a curated list of some of our favorite betting picks that this week, along with the rationale behind each pick, check out our Staff Betting Picks.