NFL Week 11 first-look betting preview

Dropping Dimes

Week 10 may have been a bit of an eye-opener for a few teams. Chicago officially cemented their status as one of the worst teams with a winning record through 10-weeks as their offense yet again failed to move the ball in any timely or orderly fashion. The Bears lost by six points as +3 underdogs to the Vikings, and also saw their starting QB get injured. Mitch Trubisky going back as a starter in Week 12 may be a thing. 

The AFC East may have seen the most dramatic shakeup as the once front running Bills were stunned in multiple ways in Week 10. First they had to watch in horror as both the Dolphins and Patriots pulled off great wins. The Dolphins have now won five games in a row and sit at 6-3 on the season–just a win behind Buffalo. The Patriots also won as +7-underdogs, taking the Ravens to school in a game few people gave them a shot at winning. They remain underdogs to make the postseason but a wildcard spot could be possible. 

The real stunner though came in Buffalo’s own game against the Cardinals. The Bills had seemingly pulled off the upset when they scored the go-ahead TD with under a minute to play when this happened with time running out:

Outside of the AFC East shakeup, there were some big injuries to take note of too as the Saints lost Drew Brees for an extended period of time. Brees suffered a punctured lung and cracked ribs against San Francisco and maybe put on IR (so out at least three weeks). A combo of Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill will lead New Orleans for Week 11 and the Saints’ investment in depth at QB looks like it will again pay off in 2020.

Some bigger names may also be coming back to the field in Week 11 though. The Packers have activated Allen Lazard off IR this week, which would be a huge boost for them in a big game against the Colts where they’re +2.5 underdogs. Christian McCaffrey looks like he’ll have a shot at returning here and it’s worth keeping an eye on injury news out of L.A. and Detroit to see if the likes of Kenny Golladay and Austin Ekeler return.

From an, Against the Spread perspective the favorites bounced back this week with an 8-6 record. We did have a lot of close games though with several coming down to the last play of the game. Underdogs had posted big winning records the last two weeks. The Pats had the biggest upset of Week 10 by far as they were anywhere from +7.5 to +6.5 underdogs against Baltimore going into that game. 

Week 11 preview (lines and totals)

Biggest totals

Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks (-3, 58.5)

The Cardinals are again involved in one of the most high-profile games of the week here. Their game against Seattle three weeks ago was one of the most exciting of the year as missed field goals and missed opportunities late in the game caused the two teams to play well into the OT period before Arizona ended things with a FG. The total here reflects the offenses of both teams with Seattle coming in averaging 32.2 points per game and having allowed no less than 23-points against in any of their games this year. Seattle has allowed the fourth-most yards per play against, the fifth-most points against and the most total yards against, per game. On the other side, the Cardinals have also now scored 30+ in five straight. There’s almost no way this one doesn’t shootout.

Green Bay Packers vs. Indianapolis Colts (-2.5, 51)

The Packers enter this game with the third best offense in terms of producing points. The Pack have scored 30.8 points per game thus far in 2020 but have been held under 25-points in each of their last two games. This will be a power vs. power matchup as the Colts defense has been one of the best in the league, allowing just 19.7 points against per game, the fourth best mark in the league. The Packers getting Allen Lazard back off IR here could be significant. Philip Rivers has started to look more comfortable of late too and thrown for 4 TDs vs. one INT in his last four games. Expect a close game and taking the points with the better QB (Aaron Rodgers in case that wasn’t clear) is likely the best play here.

Lowest total

Miami Dolphins vs. Denver Broncos (+3, 45.5)

Miami is starting to look like a team that could make some noise this year in the playoffs. The Fins have won five straight games now, despite starting a rookie QB in their last three matchups. Miami has held three of their last four opponents to 21 points or less and Denver may be without starting QB Drew Lock here who is questionable with a rib fracture. This line feels small and could flip heavier to Miami throughout the week. Denver has a beat-up secondary so don’t be shocked if Tua Tagovailoa has his best game as a pro here.

Biggest spread

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (+10, 47.5)

The Steelers bounced-back from an embarrassing near loss to the Cowboys in Week 9 with a dominant Week 10 win over the Bengals. Ben Roethlisberger threw for four TDs last week and is starting to look very comfortable with his new trio of elite WRs. The Jags actually kept things close last week against Green Bay, but Pittsburgh’s defense is rated second in the league in overall DVOA (via Football Outsiders) while Green Bay’s was just 16th. Expect the Steelers seemingly endless crop of WR talent to ball out here again and push Pittsburgh to another huge win. This line actually feels low at just PITT -10. 

Smallest spread

New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans (+1, 48)

Two teams that both looked done a couple of weeks ago, but one has turned things around and may be able to mount a late season charge–while the other is now just playing out the string. The Texans have the worst rush defense in the league right now, allowing 5.2 YPC and the most rush yards against per game. Emerging Pats RB Damien Harris could be a pivotal figure here. The Patriots defense will need a solid game to get some stops against Deshaun Watson but if they can hold Lamar Jackson to 17-points you have to like their chances against a waning Houston team too.

Line Movement’s Bets Against The Spread

Week 11 early conviction play

Week 10 results 

  • Arizona -2.5 X (thanks for not kicking the extra point Cards!)
  • Season record 5-1 ATS (1-1 Totals)

Bet: Atlanta Falcons +5.5

I’m sure a lot of people will be hearkening back to last season this week, citing the Teddy Bridegwater era in New Orleans for what might happen with the Saints in 2020 now that Drew Brees has been ruled out. Bridgewater isn’t here anymore though and that only leaves Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill to carry the load. Winston completed 6 of 10 passes last week in relief and had a potential pick-6 dropped, a turnover that may have changed how people were viewing this week’s game against Atlanta. Perhaps the Saints try to protect Winston–and his proclivity for interceptions–a bit by giving Hill more touches in the red zone, but Hill has hardly been reliable this year either, fumbling the ball four-times on just 34-carries.

Atlanta has now won three of their last four games and their defense suddenly may not be under the same kind of pressure they would normally be here with a healthy Brees. Adding to the intrigue here is the fact that the Saints have been terrible ATS in this spot the last couple seasons going 5-8 ATS as home favorites since the start of 2019. Atlanta has been shockingly good as away underdogs too, going 7-4 ATS in that spot over the last two years. I like taking the points here with the Falcons.

Week 11 NFL game props

Week 10 results: 1-2

  • Bucs (to lead) Halftime/Fulltime (-125) X
  • Vegas/Broncos over 3.5 FGs (+129) O
  • Chargers over 22.5 Team Total

Patriots (to lead) Halftime/Fulltime

The Texans and Patriots are two teams without a ton of talent that are heading in opposite directions. Houston is banged up on offense with David Johnson out and are now in full play out the string mode at 2-7. The Patriots got themselves right back in the mix for a potential backdoor playoff spot last week and come into this game having won two in a row. The Patriots ability to run the ball here should be the difference. Houston has allowed the most rush yards per game and has the worst YPC mark in the league at 5.2 ypc against. New England has rushed for well over 100-yards in three straight games now with Damien Harris looking more dangerous every week. I like betting the spread for New England too, but the Pats could easily control this one from start to finish if their defense can just make a couple of stops early. 

Dolphins/Broncos over 3.5 FGs (+140) 

This will be the third time we’re going after the Broncos for a plus-money bet on over 3.5 FGs in a game. Last week they got blown out and still kicked two of them. Vic Fangio loves to settle for points and Denver does have a decent kicker. This game is also played at Mile High which gives kickers a bit more distance too. Miami is actually averaging the second-most FGs per game in the league making them a good target for overs in FG props. This one feels like a great bet at bigger odds than we had last week.

Falcons over 22.5 Team Total (21.5)

Atlanta’s offense is coming into this game off a bye and fully healthy. They’ve hit the over on this number in three of the last four games and only would have missed the over by a point in the other. New Orleans has looked OK on offense of late but they’ve also been helped by some poor QB play. The Saints could be primed to give up a couple of turnovers with Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston at QB here as well. This feels too low for Atlanta who has looked pretty solid (on offense anyways) their last two times out. 

Week 11 NFL players props

Kallen Ballage over 13.5 rush attempts -130

The Chargers come into this game as +10-points favorites as of writing. The Chargers are also rushing the ball over 32.3 times a game, the third highest mark in the league, while the Jets are allowing 29.7 rush attempts per game, the sixth-highest mark in the league. L.A. has injury issues at RB right now and they’ve given Ballage 33-carries over the last two weeks–who has easily looked like their best back of late. This one feels like an easy over and is my favorite prop of the week.

Amari Cooper over 55.5 receiving yards -120

Cooper has seen a target share just under 21% from Andy Dalton over his two starts. The Cowboys receiver has gone for 79 and 80 yards in those games. The Vikings secondary is still terrible and have allowed the sixth-most passing yards per game. This total feels like an overreaction to how bad the Cowboys have been of late but Cooper is still in a great matchup here and gets an upgrade at QB (over the last two games) with Dalton returning. 

Alex Smith over 1.5 passing TDs (-150)

The Bengals have been one of the worst red-zone defenses in the league this year, and have allowed opponents an 84% conversion rate while in the red zone the last three games. They’ve also given up multiple passing TDs in all but two games this year (Week 1 and Week 3) and one of those games included Tyrod Taylor as the starter. Smith is playing well and the Football Team have been getting healthier at the receiver position. This feels like a good bet even with the slightly reduced odds.

Dropping Dimes