NFL

NFL Week 10 tips & mid-season awards specials: Mahomes for MVP?

Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen
Patrick Mahomes can beat Josh Allen to the MVP award

Paul Higham is back with his weekly NFL tips but also has some bonus mid-season specials with a couple of Super Bowl value plays and MVP shouts.

  • Expect a big second half of the season for the 49ers
  • Mahomes the worthy MVP favourite
  • Falcons to flatten the Panthers in Week 10

We're halfway through one of the most exciting and unpredictable NFL seasons on record, so as well as this week's game picks taking in a historic first trip to Germany, we'll pick out some selections for the rest of the season.

We'll look at any decent play-off value, the MVP and a few other major player awards, the coach of the year and of course the all-important Super Bowl odds and fancies.

Niners and Ravens the Super Bowl value picks

Latest odds: 3/1 Bills | 5/1 Eagles | 11/2 Chiefs | 10/1 Ravens, 49ers | 12/1 Cowboys | 25/1 Bengals

No real surprises in the betting, although the unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles still aren't favourites despite QB Jalen Hurts now riding an 11-game winning streak and no obvious holes on the roster. They're also brilliant at taking care of the ball and turnover differential is always key.

Their sternest tests of the season will come in their own division against the Giants and Cowboys, while the San Francisco 49ers could be a major threat with players getting healthy and the big-name addition of Christian McCaffrey.

The Niners also have five homes games in the next six, with the other a neutral game in Mexico, so could make a big surge just at the right time - they're a good each-way shout at this stages that's for sure.

San Francisco 49ers to win the Super Bowl

10/1

The AFC side looks a lot tougher, and while I do think the Bills are the best all-round team in football, they've got a tougher path to glory with a rock-hard AFC East division giving them all they can handle before you ever get to the play-offs!

Kansas City will always have a chance while Patrick Mahomes is working his magic, while the dark horses here are the Baltimore Ravens - who've held a double-digit lead in EVERY game so far, with only a few late collapses costing them a perfect record.

A lot of teams could catch fire and make a run, but last season's beaten Super Bowl side the Cincinnati Bengals are perhaps the most unpredictable side in the league - a team well capable of taking any team to the cleaners, but also losing to almost anyone on the wrong day.

It sill feels like it'll come down to the Chiefs or Bills, but if the play-off places fall just right it could open the door for Baltimore as the value play.

Baltimore Ravens to win the Super Bowl

10/1

Coach of the year

Latest Odds: 4/6 Nick Siriani | 7/1 O'Connell/Carroll | 8/1 Saleh/Daboll

This is the most wide-open coach of the year market for years, with so many bad teams turning things around, so unless they go unbeaten I think Philly's odd-on favourite Nick Siriani will miss out, as coaches of top teams with top talent usually do.

So he's worth taking on right now with one of the miracle workers in the league, including Pete Carroll of Seattle - who should be wearing masks after what looks like the daylight robbery of a trade in unloading Russell Wilson yet having a storming season under the rejuvenated Geno Smith.

Kevin O'Connell's 7-1 Vikings are also a surprise, but not as surprising as the two teams in New York who have been woeful for years but look to finally be heading in the right direction.

Robert Saleh has done some job turning around a Jets franchise that's been, to borrow a Jose Mourinho phrase "a specialist in failure" over the last few years - with exciting rookies and solid defence battling hard in a tough AFC East.

Saleh is in his second season though, and Brian Daboll is doing something similar in his debut campaign with a New York Giants squad with far less talent than their Big Apple neighbours - yes Saquon Barkley helps but Daboll is still getting performances way above their overall skill level.

Bet: Brian Daboll to win Coach of the Year

8/1

Two-horse race for MVP

Latest odds: 9/5 Mahomes | 5/2 Hurts | 7/2 Allen | 13/1 Tua

This is basically the best QB award, and it's also a popularity contest so while the likes of Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa are playing lights out, it'll be between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.

Both are special, special talents, but Allen's injury could see him miss some time or at least lean on the run game and something of a back seat in games, whilst Mahomes has been in full-on magic man mode of late.

Patrick Mahomes to win the MVP

9/5

Offensive Player of the Year

Latest odds: 5/2 Hill | 10/1 Henry | 14/1 Barkley | 22/1 McCaffrey

Six of the last 14 winners of this award also won the MVP, but four of the last five didn't and if that trend continues then we could have some juice in this market.

I want to swerve the QBs here and we've got some options at bigger prices - with Tyreek Hill on record pace for receiving yards and just looking impossible to cover - and while I'd like him to score a few more TDs, if he smashes a record then he'll be rewarded.

I like Saquon Barkley's chances as he IS the Giants offence so if they make a surprise play-off spot then he'll be the reason, and in a similar style Christian McCaffrey could explode with the Niners over the second half.

It'll have to be some effort from Run CMC but he ran in, caught and passed for a TD in his last game and that kind of all-action display gets you noticed. Derrick Henry is a beast again for the Titans but I think these other guys will be a more 'sexy pick' in the voting.

Tyreek Hill Offensive Player of the Year

5/2

NFL Week 10 Previews & Picks

Atlanta Falcons (4-5) @ Carolina Panthers (2-7)

Match Odds: 7/10 | 6/5
Spread: Falcons -2.5
Over/Under: 42.5

You know the drill on Thursdays by now, which is usually go low on the points totals, but these two combined for 71 total points just a couple of weeks ago and they both allow over 25 points a game.

That shouldn't happen again as familiar foes with two game so close together will mean they'll know how to slow each other down, and after getting the snot beaten out of them by the Bengals Carolina will want a response at home.

I think they'll get one, but not enough to stifle Atlanta's pretty beefy running attack, which is fourth-best in the league and now Cordarrelle Patterson back and firing. It's a grinding Falcons win for me.

Bet: Patterson TD & Falcons win

21/10

Seattle Seahawks (6-3) v Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5)

Match Odds: 23/20 | 7/10
Spread: Bucs -2.5
O/U: 44.5

These two have flip-flopped from what we thought would happen before the season, with Tom Brady playing more like Geno Smith and Geno Smith playing like the GOAT through nines games.

One big question is whether last week's game-winning Brady drive can resuscitate this Bucs side, the other is how both teams will handle making history in the first ever regular season game in Germany - in what will be a vibrant Super Bowl atmosphere in Munich.

Everything we've seen so far from these two suggests Seattle should win this, yet the Bucs are favourites - that's all down to Brady - if it's a Super Bowl atmosphere then nobody plays better in those than Tom Terrific.

Bet: Bucs to win by 1-13pts

9/5

Dallas Cowboys (6-2) @ Green Bay Packers (3-6)

Aaron Rodgersat scrimmage 1280.jpg

Match Odds: 4/9 | 9/5
Spread: Cowboys -5
O/U: 43

This could be an ugly one for the Packers, who have lost five straight, have more injuries, and have their former Super Bowl winning coach Mike McCarthy returning to Lambeau to prove a point.

It certainly looks like the beginning of the end for Aaron Rodgers, who is having worst season of his career, and he and his desperate Packers will get no mercy from McCarthy - who may have a street named after him in Green Bay after his efforts but will be going all-out to stick another nail in their play-off coffin.

Micah Parsons will give Rodgers fits, while Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard will ground and pound them into submission. The Packers could be done before Thanksgiving.

Bet: Cowboys win by 1-13pts

7/5

Los Angeles Chargers (5-3) @ San Francisco 49ers (4-4)

Match Odds: 5/2 | 3/10
Spread: 49ers -7
O/U: 45.5

I really like the Niners for the second half of the season, and it starts here with Deebo Samuel returning and Christian McCaffrey fully settled in to what should be a dynamic and unique offence.

It'll certainly be too good for the Bolts, who are a good team with a fine QB in Justin Herbert but he won't have nearly enough time under pressure from San Fran, or nearly enough of the ball to win this one.

Bet: 49ers (-4.5) to win & over 38.5pts

11/10

Minnesota Vikings (7-1) @ Buffalo Bills (6-2)

Match Odds: 6/4 | 8/15
Spread: Bills -3.5
O/U: 43.5

Josh Allen will likely miss this with injury and that's a worry going forward, but this Buffalo defence can step up and win this one against the flying Vikings who've won six straight.

Facing Buffalo's back-up Case Keenum, the former Vikings QB, adds some extra juice for Minnesota too and certainly gives them a much better chance, but they'll fall just shot.

Bet: Bills to win by 1-13pts

7/5

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Denver Broncos (3-5) @ Tennessee Titans (5-3)

Match Odds: 23/20 | 7/10
Spread: Titans -2.5
O/U: 36.5

The Titans are still a bit undervalued for me, they've got a proper defence and of course Derrick Henry is back to being a beast. They'll give Russell Wilson all kinds of trouble and I'm just not sure he can handle it.

Bet: Titans to win & under 36.5pts

11/5

Cleveland Browns (3-5) @ Miami Dolphins (6-3)

Match Odds: 8/5 | 1/2
Spread: Dolphins -3.5
O/U: 49.5

We've not had too many shootouts of late but the Miami Dolphins and their combination of Tyreek Hill and Jalen Waddle in their high-powered offence along with a dodgy secondary that struggles to stop the pass.

All the ingredients you need for points.

Bet: Dolphins to win & over 48.5pts

9/5

Detroit Lions (2-6) @ Chicago Bears (3-6)

Match Odds: 5/4 | 13/20
Spread: Bears -3
O/U: 48.5

The Lions defence just stifled Aaron Rodgers, while the Bears offence went toe-to-toe with Miami and only just came up short - truly anything can happen in the NFL this season!

Justin Fields was immense last week so we'll back him to get the 'W' this week as Chicago, having traded away their best defenders, have to win another high scorer.

Bet: Bears to win & over 48.5

11/5

Arizona Cardinals (3-6) @ Los Angeles Rams (3-5)

Match Odds: 11/10 | 3/4
Spread: Rams -1.5
O/U: 40.5

It's a pick 'em between these two woefully underperforming sides, but even if the champs are without Matt Stafford with concussion, we're backing their defence, which seems to be the only consistent unit in this match-up, to continue LA's dominance over their divisional rivals.

Bet: LA Rams to win

3/4

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