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NFL Week 11 picks against the spread: Chiefs ground Eagles in Super Bowl rematch


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In what’s been a tough season to watch, we get a treat on Monday night.

Super Bowl 57 1/2.

It’s a rematch of last season’s Super Bowl between the Chiefs and Eagles, and both teams are still elite. (The Lions are the only other team to have two or fewer losses.) And both are rested coming off a bye week. The Chiefs are winning with defense this season, but then again most teams are because the quarterback play is so bad around the league.

Deshaun Watson is the fourth starting quarterback out for the season (along with Aaron Rodgers, Anthony Richardson and Kirk Cousins) and it wasn’t like the NFL had good ones to spare.

It’s become a national crisis, and all these games are a crapshoot as a result. Last weekend, six teams hit a game-winning field goal with no time remaining — the most in a single week in NFL history.

It’s a miracle we had another winning week.

Last week: 7-6-1 against the spread, 3-2 on best bets.

Season record: 80-67-2 ATS, 28-22 on best bets.

All odds are from BetMGM and are locked when the pick was made. Click here for live odds.

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) | 8:15 p.m. ET Thursday, Prime Video

There is no question the Bengals were looking past the Texans last week. They scored 20 points in the second half, but it was too little, too late. And they are really going to miss WR Tee Higgins and DE Sam Hubbard this week — especially Hubbard as the Ravens will be able to run the ball and I am not sure the Bengals’ Joe Mixon will be able to do the same. The Ravens’ defense is allowing 15.7 points per game, the fewest in the league. Baltimore, Cleveland (18.9), Pittsburgh (20.2) and Cincinnati (21.3) are each allowing fewer than 22 points per game — which hasn’t been done by four teams in a division since 2011.

The pick: Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (-1) | 1 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS

The dream of four AFC North teams making the playoffs took a hit with the news that Watson is out for the season. The Browns defense is great, but I didn’t like their offense without Watson, especially if they’re going with Dorian Thompson-Robinson over P.J. Walker (they are). The Steelers are amazing. They have been outgained in yards in nine straight games but have somehow won six of those. They have won nine straight one-score games dating to last season. I keep going against them and losing. Not this week.

The pick: Steelers 

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (-7.5) | 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Fox

David Montgomery returned from a two-game absence to rush for 116 yards and a touchdown in the Lions’ win over the Chargers. Montgomery has rushed for at least one score in all five games he has finished this season and now he gets a revenge game against his old team. The Bears are not that bad against the run, but neither were the Chargers, and the Lions’ offensive line mauled them. But we don’t need the Bears to win, just stay close, and the return of Justin Fields almost ensures that. The Lions do give up big plays, and I think it’s a bad spot for them, coming off a big road win in L.A. with a Thanksgiving game against the Packers around the corner.

The pick: Bears

Los Angeles Chargers at Green Bay Packers (+3) | 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Fox

Justin Herbert played like the MVP I thought he was going to be (that slip is ripped up) against the Lions and the Chargers still lost. Herbert threw four touchdown passes and joined Dan Marino (43 games) as the only QBs with at least 35 games with two touchdown passes in their first four seasons. The problem is the Chargers defense. Josh McDaniels lost his job in Las Vegas because he couldn’t get the offense going, and you have to think defensive guru Brandon Staley is on a similar hot seat in L.A. The Packers’ Jordan Love hurts me often, but he is usually good for a handful of good throws a game, and that’s all we’re asking for against a Chargers team on the brink.

The pick: Packers 

Las Vegas Raiders at Miami Dolphins (-13.5) | 1 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS

The Raiders have won two games in a row under interim coach Antonio Pierce … but they were at home against the struggling New York teams and two of the worst quarterbacks in the league. Now they get Tua Tagovailoa, who is on the short list of real MVP candidates(sorry, C.J. Stroud). The Dolphins are the only AFC team still unbeaten at home (4-0) and Tagovailoa is the only player to throw for at least 250 yards and multiple touchdowns in each of his team’s home games. The Dolphins also will be able to run the ball, especially with De’Von Achane back. Everybody is betting Miami as the number creeps up and up, but give me the Raiders — Josh Jacobs should have another big day — to hang around against a disappointing Dolphins defense.

The pick: Raiders 

New York Giants at Washington Commanders (-9.5) | 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Fox

You never know what deep waters you will get into in this racket. I am supposed to make a case for laying 9.5 points with the Commanders? They back-door covered for us last week, but Sam Howell threw for 312 yards — and his two leading receivers were running backs Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson. On the season, Howell and company have been able to create big plays, ranking ninth (11.5 percent) in the NFL in explosive play rate (the percentage of 16-yard passes and 12-yard rushes). And the Giants defense ranks 30th in explosive play rate allowed (12.9 percent). It’s a sucker bet, but the alternative is praying that the Giants’ blitzing defense scores or that Tommy DeVito — who can’t throw — runs into a touchdown or something.

The pick: Commanders 

Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers (+10.5) | 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Fox

The Cowboys offense has been on a nice run and should be riding a four-game winning streak if not for some missed opportunities against the Eagles. Dak Prescott has thrown for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in each of his last three games, the longest streak by any QB this season. The only QBs with longer streaks this century are Patrick Mahomes, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. The Panthers are not bad defensively and are getting healthier. But can their offense score any points? The experts defend Bryce Young by saying his offensive line and receivers stink, but to me, he doesn’t look ready to throw — or even go on the attack — until it’s too late. Frank Reich takes over play-calling duties again, which means nothing.

The pick: Cowboys

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (-6.5) | 1 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS

I have no question the Jaguars will bounce back after that disappointing effort in the home loss to the 49ers. I just don’t know how much they will bounce back. Their defense is solid, not great, and Trevor Lawrence disappeared again. The Jaguars have gone from overrated at the start of the season to a regular play for us for a month straight to a team that we don’t want to lay 6.5 points with. The Titans’ defense is better against the run than pass, and rookie quarterback Will Levis followed up good showings against the Falcons and Steelers with a dud against the Bucs. That’s what rookies do. I think he will bounce back this week and I remind you again that Mike Vrabel is 24-12 against the spread as an underdog of 3 or more points.

The pick: Titans 

Arizona Cardinals at Houston Texans (-4.5) | 1 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS

Kyler Murray looked very comfortable in his first game back from a torn ACL and ran probably more than he and his coaches expected. He accounted for 282 total yards (250 passing, 32 rushing) and a rushing touchdown in Sunday’s win over the Falcons. The Texans have allowed three touchdowns on designed QB rushes this season, tied for fourth most in the NFL. On top of that, Cardinals RB James Conner is back and the Texans weren’t great against the run before losing LB Denzel Perryman to suspension. On top of that, Stroud is getting MVP mention, and this game is sandwiched between an emotional win over the Bengals and a big game against the Jaguars.

The pick: Cardinals 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers (-11.5) | 4:05 p.m. ET Sunday, Fox

The Buccaneers snapped a four-game skid by beating the Titans, and now get to fly across the country against a team that got Deebo Samuel, Trent Williams and its swagger back last week. Newcomer Chase Young was also big in the 49ers’ rout of the Jaguars. Tampa Bay is probably not as good as its 4-5 record indicates but Baker Mayfield was good again last week and has been battling his butt off. Same with running back Rachaad White and receiver Mike Evans. The 49ers let their foot off the gas with a Thanksgiving game against the Seahawks on deck, and the Buccaneers lose by only a touchdown.

The pick: Buccaneers

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-7) | 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS

We have taken enough bows for predicting Josh Allen’s demise this season. Our reward has been going against the Bills five times the last six games (they have covered the spread zero times). Allen turned the ball over three times in the loss to the Broncos on Monday and cost coordinator Ken Dorsey his job. (Dorsey didn’t have anything to do with the Bills having 12 men on defense.) Allen had the third lowest completion percentage over expectation in the league (-11.4), only better than DeVito (-12.4) and Levis (-15.2). In a classic “hold my beer” moment, Allen now takes on the Jets’ Zach Wilson, who has thrown a touchdown on just 20 of his 931 career passes. That 2.1 percentage is the lowest in NFL history among players with at least 900 passes. The Jets should have beaten the Raiders last week, but that and another loss here should end all talk of a Rodgers comeback.

The pick: Bills 

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams (+1) | 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday, CBSviuc

Geno Smith has been up and down this season and was given a big boost last week. The Seahawks gained 258 yards after the catch in their Week 10 victory, the second most YAC in a game by any offense this season. And he should get a leg up this week as the Rams are not very good against the run. So, the Seahawks will put up some points. The Rams should too with Matthew Stafford back from a thumb injury, and it feels like Cooper Kupp is due for a breakout game. The Seahawks defense is just as inconsistent as Smith and I’m not very keen on taking the Seahawks as a road favorite. Even by a point. But who knows how Stafford is going to look … hmm … we’re going with Seahawks RB Kenneth Walker III to carry us.

The pick: Seahawks 

Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos (-2.5)| 8:20 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC

The Browns are asking themselves why they ever traded Joshua Dobbs, while the Jets have to be wondering how they missed out on him being available twice this season. Dobbs has been a revelation in his two weeks — and two wins — with the Vikings, but is in for a tough test against a Broncos secondary that has been excellent since giving up 70 points to the Dolphins. I don’t have a lot of faith in Russell Wilson against the Vikings’ blitzes, but he also has been better in the past month under Sean Payton. This is a tough challenge on a short week, but Netflix doesn’t get Kevin James to play you in a movie unless you can really coach.

The pick: Broncos 

Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5) | 8:15 p.m. ET Monday, ABC/ESPN

Travis Kelce only had four targets against the Dolphins and needed to get away to Argentina for the bye week to shake it off. The Eagles have a good run defense but are not so great at covering tight ends, so the Chiefs offense has a chance to finally get going Monday night. The reason they win the game is because their defense ranks sixth in the NFL in completion percentage allowed over their past four games (60 percent) and that’s helped their front record 18 sacks over that span (second most in the NFL since Week 6). The Chiefs also blitz a good deal, and that’s something Jalen Hurts is not great at dealing with. Andy Reid improves to 5-0 against his old Eagles team.

The pick: Chiefs 

Byes: Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints

Best bets: Titans lose a close one to Jaguars, Bears scare Lions, Cowboys rout Panthers, Bills bounce back against Jets and Chiefs ground Eagles.

Upset special (spread of at least 3 points): Cardinals over Texans. (The Texans lost to the Panthers, don’t forget.)

“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes.

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production.

Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

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