2016 NFL Week 11 Bettor’s Guide (Audio Embedded)
We’ve settled in nicely with picking money lines in recent weeks, but we still have more ground to catch up with on the spreads. However, a week above .500 ATS is always a plus in today’s NFL.
Week 11: (CAR -3, OVER 52).
Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts
Lucas Oil Stadium
My Call: TEN +3
Over/Under: Over 52.5
The Colts are coming off a bye week, which they hope will help them get back some of the legions of players who were banged up in the first half of the season for them. They will need it. The Titans have found something with their offense, and it will continue to be difficult to slow them; particularly a weak defense like the one the Colts possess. However, the Titans’ pass defense is sometimes ghastly — although this is specifically the secondary — as such, you can pretty much bet that the over will hit. The spread is a different story. Given the Titans’ propensity for critical late-game turnovers in close games, it would be wise to stay away from the spread in this one, although we think the Titans pull off a pivotal road win with the potential to pull into a first place tie with Houston (should the Texans lose to the Raiders in Mexico City on Monday Night).
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Detroit Lions
My Call: JAX +6.5
Over/Under: Under 47.5
The Jaguars are in flux. Their coach is hanging by a thread in terms of keeping his job. LB Telvin Smith lost his brother last week, and welcomed a new son during the week, which naturally inclined him to take a brief leave from the team, before returning to practice on Friday. We have seen players lose a loved one and come out extra inspired to play at their absolute zenith. Smith plays this way as it is, and if he plays Sunday, it will be interesting to watch. The Lions have trailed in the 4th quarter in every game this season, winning five. They seem to have more balance offensively, but their defense is dodgy.
Blake Bortles just cannot be trusted, period. Home or away.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City, Missouri
My Call: TB +7.5
Over/Under: Over 44.5
Tampa’s offensive line cannot hold up against the Chiefs, and Justin Houston may be back for this game, as well. The question here is will Jameis Winston pull rabbits out of his hat against this stifling defense or will the Chiefs turn over the Bucs repeatedly, only for the Bucs to fight back to earn a backdoor cover late?
Tampa Bay 23
Kansas City 26
Chicago Bears vs. New York Football Giants
East Rutherford, New Jersey
My Call: NYG -7.5
Over/Under: Over 44
The Giants’ pass rush has come alive of late, and the Bears offensive line is in shambles. Pernell McPhee’s midweek chatter reeks of someone who knows they will lose and is looking to psyche out his opponent and convince himself of something that likely will not happen.
NY Giants 31
Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings
U.S. Bank Stadium
My Call: ARZ +2.5
Over/Under: Under 40
The Vikes will be lucky to find the end zone in this game.
Buffalo Bills vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Paul Brown Stadium
My Call: BUF +2.5
Over/Under: Under 47.5
This game may very well be a mirror image of the Bengals’ last game in East Rutherford on Monday night. Percy Harvin will start for Buffalo, and the Bills have all but said that they are going to make sure he gets the ball as frequently as possible. Unlike Eli Manning, Tyrod Taylor can evade Geno Atkins, who will have a field day with Eric Wood out for season for Buffalo at center. Both teams are playing for their playoff lives, so expect an intense game. Whose moxie do you trust more? Taylor’s against the plethora of zone looks that the Bengals employ all game, or Dalton’s against Rex Ryan’s constant exotic blitzes?
Baltimore Ravens vs. Dallas Cowboys
My Call: BAL +7
Over/Under: Under 45
Why are the Ravens getting this many points? Timmy Jernigan is iffy for this game, but it appears that Elvis Dumervil and Jimmy Smith will return. The Ravens have the best run defense in the NFL. Other than the Giants earlier this season, the Ravens haven’t faced this stiff of a front seven capable of stifling Ezekiel Elliott. The Ravens will force Dak Prescott to make plays downfield, and not on roll outs waiting for Cole Beasley and Jason Witten to outflank a defender.
The question is can the Ravens do enough offensively? Joe Flacco has been so up and down the past three seasons that it is impossible to gauge how he will play one week to the next. The Ravens have some questions on their offensive line, despite a pretty mediocre pass rush from Dallas (although DeMarcus Lawrence has re-emerged after returning from his suspension).
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns
My Call: PIT -8
Over/Under: Over 46
As bad as the Steelers have been on the road, not even they will lose to the Browns.
Miami Dolphins vs. Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles, California
My Call: MIA -1.5
Over/Under: Under 40
So you’re going to throw Jared Goff — who was seeing ghosts all preseason, and has had no regular season game action all season — into the fire behind an offensive line that cannot block for Todd Gurley (which is a glaring concern, considering Gurley’s immense talent), couldn’t protect Case Keenum, and against a Dolphins defense that ate Philip Rivers alive last week, and has had a resurgence overall of late? Vintage Jeff Fisher. Considering the issues the Rams have, and how they’ve mortgaged the rest of this decade in terms of draft picks, for all intents and purposes, the Rams should have sat Goff all season until they shored up their massive shortcomings.
Los Angeles 3
New England Patriots vs. San Francisco 49ers
Santa Clara, California
My Call: NE -13
Over/Under: Over 51
We know the 49ers took the Cards to the final second of the game last week, and we know the Patriots defense isn’t really that good (some of us knew this all along), but don’t get crazy here.
New England 34
San Francisco 20
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Seattle Seahawks
AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK
My Call: SEA -6.5
Over/Under: Under 43
This should be fun. Carson Wentz should be glad that Michael Bennett isn’t playing, but “Uncle” Cliff Avril and Frank Clark are going to give him no relief, either. “Armed” with arguably the worst secondary in the NFL, the Eagles are in deep trouble.
Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Redskins
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
My Call: WSH -2.5
Over/Under: Over 50.5
We just do not think the Packers can stop the efficient Redskins offense. None of the other platitudes really matter.
Green Bay 27
Houston Texans vs. Oakland Raiders
Estadio Azteca/Azteca Stadium
Mexico City, Mexico
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
My Call: OAK -6
Over/Under: Under 46
The Raiders defense has been spotty all year, and they still have not gotten Aldon Smith back in reinstatement from his season-long suspension, or Mario Edwards, Jr. The Raiders will need both of them if they hope to win the AFC in the end. For now, they may not need these guys against a stodgy Texans offense. The Texans defense may slow the Raiders for a while, but they cannot consistently stop Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper and Seth Roberts, while stifling the Raiders’ three-headed rushing attack. The Raiders also have the best offensive line in the NFL, which has kept Derek Carr clean all season.
BYE: Atlanta (6-4), Denver (7-3), NY Jets (3-7), San Diego (4-6).