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Week 10 NFL picks: Seahawks-Buccaneers and playoff rooting guide

Yes, we’re talking about playoffs!

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

It is now Week 10 and we are past the midway point of the season. The NFC playoff picture is starting to take shape, and the Seattle Seahawks are very much in the driver seat in the NFC West at this point. They currently hold a 1.5 game lead over the 4-4 San Francisco 49ers, and their 6-3 record is good enough for the 3-seed in the NFC — behind the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles and the 7-1 Minnesota Vikings.

DraftKings Sportsbook has the Seahawks as 2.5-point underdogs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who will be playing bright and early by Pacific Time standard at 6:30 in the AM.

Every other NFC team who currently has a playoff spot penciled will also be playing this week, and it is time to start taking playoff implications into account. With this in mind, it is now time to kickoff the weekly rooting guide! You can see the full postseason picture as it stands at this moment below, courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

Seattle Seahawks @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers — 6:30AM — NFL

The Seahawks are currently 2.5-point underdogs to Tom Brady and the 4-5 Buccaneers. Few would have predicted the divergent fortunes of these teams heading into this season, but the Seahawks are currently the much more complete team than the Bucs. Still, both teams are very much in the playoff hunt, as the Bucs currently lead a struggling NFC South. But after starting 2-0, Tampa Bay has struggled; Seattle, conversely, has soared following an uneven start to the season. The Buccaneers defense is still a tough match up, but the Seahawks haven’t backed down against tough defenses, and I don’t think they will start this week.

The Pick: Under 44.5 points, Seahawks win straight up and cover the spread

Minnesota Vikings @ Buffalo Bills — 10 AM — FOX

This is an obvious one; The 7-1 Vikings are currently the next team up in the NFC playoff picture, so we definitely want to see them lose. And we are in luck! They are 3.5 point underdogs and have a road date with the Bills, who are coming off their second loss of the season and are hoping to see a return to form on Sunday, albeit with Josh Allen potentially out with injury. Prior to this news, I would have said the Bills are the clear favorites; the Vikings may be a one-loss team, but they are middle of the pack in both Offensive and Defensive DVOA, according to Football Outsiders, and the toughest team they have played — the Philadelphia Eagles — handled them. I think the Bills’ defense keeps it competitive, whether or not Allen is in the lineup, but a hobbled QB coming off his worst game of the season may just be too much to overcome in this one.

The Pick: Under 43.5 points, Vikings win straight up and cover the spread

Houston Texans @ New York Giants — 10 AM — CBS

The New York Giants trail the Seahawks in the playoff hunt, but by no means should we count them out. They open as 4.5 point favorites as they will be hosting the hapless one-win Texans this weekend. The Giants are fresh off a bye and should be out for some redemption and to prove that they didn’t get exposed in their loss to Seattle. While I do think they have more cracks in their game than they are outwardly letting on, the Giants should be able to get a home win over a bad team.

The Pick: Under 41 points, Giants win straight up, but Houston covers the spread

Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers — 1:25 PM — FOX

Unless you expect Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to completely flip a hard 180 and start winning on a weekly basis, this one is simple; the 6-2 Cowboys open as 4.5 point favorites and have their hands on the 5th seed in the NFC playoffs at this moment, as they trail the undefeated Eagles in their division. We want to see Dallas go down in this one, and fortunately the Packers seem to have the Cowboys’ number; Aaron Rodgers is 5-2 against Dallas since taking over as QB1 in Green Bay well over a decade ago. I’m hoping for a little Lambeau Magic in this one.

The Pick: Over 43 points, Packers win straight up and cover the spread

Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams — 1:25 PM — FOX

This game is a challenge to pick; one one hand, the Rams have had one of the most disappointing starts that you could imagine following their Super Bowl campaign, which is part of the reason that they open as only slight 1.5 favorites at home. The Cardinals are similarly struggling, and have already lost once to the Rams this year. Still, both have only mustered 3 wins so far and and the separation between the two is looking much less substantial than I would have imagined heading into the season. At this point, both teams are looking up at the playoff picture, but I would prefer to see the Cardinals win since Seattle has already swept them this year. However, as much as I want to pick the Cardinals, I’ll take the home team in this unlikely tossup.

The Pick: Over 41 points, Rams win straight up and cover the spread

Los Angeles Chargers @ San Francisco 49ers — 5:20 PM — NBC

The 49ers get the Sunday Night Football match up this week as they host the Los Angeles Chargers. They open as 7-point favorites in this one, even though the Chargers have gone 4-1 since the start of October. I think that they have plenty of options to keep the 49ers on their toes in this one, and a win over San Francisco would be great for the Seahawks, as the Niners currently have the best shot at dethroning Seattle in the NFC West. Unfortunately, I don’t see Justin Herbert and the Chargers pulling out a road win in prime time over a talented 49ers squad.

The Pick: Under 45.5 points, 49ers win straight up, but the Chargers cover the spread