Two of the three teams we highlighted in our Luck Rankings last week covered the spread, and we’re back with three Week 10 matchups to keep an eye on.
Overall, the more unlucky teams from the Action Network Luck Rankings are 57-45-2 (55.8 percent) against the spread (ATS) overall. That improves to 31-22 (58.5) when teams differ by at least 10 places and 16-9 (64.0) when the difference is 16 or more since we started tracking in Week 3.
Here are the matchups we’re targeting for Week 10. (Each team’s luck rating in parentheses with unluckier team listed first).
Browns (29) vs. Dolphins (10)
Giffen: This is a great situation for the Browns: coming off a bye week after crushing division rival Cincinnati the week before.
Meanwhile, Miami is coming off an underwhelming win against the Bears, with Chicago covering in a three-point loss.
I love how this matchup plays out for the Browns. Nick Chubb has been a monster on the ground, racking up at least 4.4 yards per carry in every game to go along with 87 yards or more in all but one.
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In other words, the ground game has been solid all year, so Miami’s seventh-ranked rushing defense by DVOA doesn’t worry me.
What really helps is that the Dolphins struggle against the pass, ranking 31st in defensive pass DVOA. That should help Cleveland’s passing attack more than its rushing game will be harmed.
Grab this at +3.5, as the most likely outcome is Miami by a field goal.
Pick: Browns +3.5.
Jaguars (31) vs. Chiefs (9)
Koerner: The Jags were written off by many people after their five-game losing streak in Weeks 4-8, but all of those losses were by one score.
In fact, all six of their losses have come by one score this year. That makes +9.5 a very enticing number.
The Jaguars should be able to employ a similar recipe as the Malik Willis-led Titans did last week, by relying on the ground game.
Travis Etienne Jr. has looked like one of the more dynamic runners in the league, and should the Jaguars fall behind, Trevor Lawrence is more than capable of getting a backdoor cover.
Pick: Jaguars +9.5.
Packers (32) vs. Cowboys (3)
Giffen: This game between the Packers and Cowboys is the biggest luck ranking differential of the year, at 29 places. The 54.8 percent Luck Gap also represents the biggest gap since Week 7.
Green Bay was the NFL’s unluckiest team this past weekend, following the same designation back in Week 6.
The public is down on the Packers after five straight losses. Three of those, however, were by one score, with one by less than a field goal.
On the flip side, perception of Dallas is quite strong, especially since Dak Prescott’s return from injury, after the Cowboys scored two blowout wins against NFC North opponents.
This results-oriented thinking needs to be reframed with some context. My expected score metric shows that during Green Bay’s five-game losing streak, the Packers were expected to score 99.3 points to their opponent’s 100.7 based off their on-field performance. That’s much closer to a 50/50 team than an 0-5 team during that stretch.
Instead, they scored just 79 points while allowing 119.
Pick: Packers +4.5.