How to Bet Week 11 in the NFL, Including Texans-Ravens and Patriots-Eagles
Paul Bovi of VegasInsider.com and Jonathan Von Tobel of VSiN break down Week 11's best NFL games
This is NFL Best Bets, a recurring series in which professional sports handicappers lend us their insights and picks for the most intriguing matchups for each week of the football season.
For this edition of Best Bets, VegasInsider.com‘s Paul Bovi, a sports betting expert who’s been handicapping games for three decades, and Jonathan Von Tobel, the host of The Edge on VSiN, share their opinions on five games on the NFL’s slate of Week 11 matchups, including Monday night’s AFC showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers in Mexico City.
You’ve got places to go, people to see and possibly some wagers to make, so let’s get to it.
4-5 Jaguars (+130, +2.5, O/U 43.5) at 5-4 Colts
For the first time since Week 1, Jacksonville will have prized offseason acquisition Nick Foles under center. Opposite him, Jacoby Brissett sat out last week but is reportedly going to return here. The Colts could certainly use him, as backup QB Brian Hoyer tossed three picks during a loss to the putrid Miami Dolphins in Week 10. With first place in the stout AFC South still very much up for grabs, this is a key divisional matchup for both teams.
Bovi’s take: “The Jaguars have logged a 4-5 record this year as rookie Gardner Minshew took over signal-calling duties for Jacksonville. While he posted respectable numbers in throwing for 13 touchdowns vs four interceptions, he comes off a less than spectacular outing as Jacksonville was humbled by the Texans 26-3 in London. The Colts are dealing with some injury issues, notably to wide receiver TY Hilton, who will likely be out of the lineup. Leading tackler and run-stopper extraordinaire Darius Leonard is also questionable. We’ll call for Indy to get a low scoring three-point win and hope Leonard is in the lineup.”
Von Tobel’s take: “It all really comes down to special teams and who is going to play quarterback. Since Jacoby Brissett is going to play, I have a bit more confidence in Indianapolis. It’s worth noting they’ve had some weird performances at home. They lost to the Dolphins, they struggled with the Broncos and they lost to the Raiders. They’ve had some spots where they’ve just come out flat. Going back the last eight games, the Jags are 7-0-1 against the spread against Indianapolis, but those teams were pretty bad. Foles coming back is notable, but Minshew’s been serviceable, so I don’t think you are going to see a huge difference between the two.”
Our Pick: Hope Brissett’s return can buoy Indy and lay the points.
6-3 Texans (+140, +4, O/U 49.5) at 7-2 Ravens
In what could be the best game on the Week 11 slate, potential MVPs Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson face off. Baltimore is riding a five-game winning streak into this home game against a Houston team that has won four out of five and already won on the road three times this season.
Bovi’s take: “The Ravens enter this game off a 49-13 blowout of the Bengals. Lamar Jackson completed 15-of-17 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns while compiling his second perfect quarterback rating of the season. The Texans are coming off a bye after having defeated the Jaguars in London. The Ravens have won close games over the Cardinals, Steelers and Bengals this year, while their victory over the Seahawks flipped on a pick-six by newly acquired cornerback Marcus Peters. The Ravens may be a tad overrated at this point, while the Texans sorely needed the bye to recover from injuries to their secondary. The feeling here is the Texans will be able to establish a successful ground game and that they will come away with a 27-20 win.”
Von Tobel’s take: “Houston has been extremely competitive on the road. They did lose to the Colts, but they’ve won against teams like the Chiefs and the Chargers and covered against the Saints to open the season. The Ravens haven’t been great at home. In their last 10 games at home as a favorite, they are 1-8-1 against the spread. What’s overlooked in Baltimore since their offense is so great is that they are not a dominant pass-rushing team on defense. I think Deshaun Watson is going to have a lot of time to do what he wants. Baltimore’s offense has really been carrying them, but their defense has been pretty average this season.”
Our Pick: Hope the Texans are road warriors and take ’em with the points.
8-1 Patriots (-185, -3.5, O/U 44.5) at 5-4 Eagles
In a rematch of Super Bowl LII, the Patriots come off their bye week to travel to Philly to play for the first time since getting handed their first loss by the Ravens. The Eagles, who were also on their bye, enter this game on a two-game winning streak and likely need to push that run to three in order to retain their share of first place in the NFC East.
Bovi’s take: “When these teams played two years ago, the Eagles won 41-33. The Patriots come in off a blowout at the hands of the Ravens after facing a soft schedule. The Eagles are also facing scrutiny having lost four games this year, including two by a combined 75-30 to the Vikings and Cowboys. The Pats have definitely shown some weaknesses on both sides of the ball that have been masked by the caliber of their opposition as well as ill-timed miscues. They were outgained by both the Bills and the Browns but benefited from turnovers. The Eagles suffered a major hit with the loss of game-breaking wide receiver DeSean Jackson while their defense has been erratic. We see the Patriots getting the win here in a relatively close game. Call it 27-23.”
Von Tobel’s take: “The Eagles have a lot of injuries. You don’t want to give them a pass, but you can kind of see why they have struggled. The Patriots have had an extremely soft schedule up until the game with Baltimore and you saw what happened there. Their numbers against the run really aren’t that great and Baltimore gouged them in that win two weeks ago. Their pass defense has been doing it, but they’ve played a ton of bad quarterbacks so their numbers are inflated. Offensively, the Eagles have a good run game. This comes down to New England stopping the run, especially when they’re in a situation laying points on the road. In this spot, I took the Eagles. They’re an underdog at home where they are comfortable and they do something well that New England struggles against.”
Our Pick: Believe in the Patriots for one more week and lay the points.
4-5 Bears (+255, +6.5, O/U 41) at 5-4 Rams
With their season on the line, the Bears got a big win last week against the Lions. The Rams also needed a W, but came up short in a road loss to the Steelers. This will be a game of strength on weakness as both teams excel at defense but have really struggled to score points this season. Mired in third place in their respective divisions, both teams need a victory to keep the hope of a first-place divisional finish alive.
Bovi’s take: “The Rams offense has certainly stalled at times this year and now takes yet another hit with the loss of center Brian Allen. Quarterback Jared Goff has been guilty of 14 turnovers this year, including nine interceptions versus only 11 touchdowns. LA takes on a Bears team who have their own issues scoring points, though they come in off a 20-13 win in which they gained all of 254 yards, actually a huge improvement over the meager 187 they managed in a 22-14 loss to the Eagles the previous week. Inconsistent as the Rams have been, the Bears rarely score points unless they are helped along by the opposition. We’ll call for a 24-14 Rams win.”
Von Tobel’s take: “There isn’t much separating these two offenses. The Rams are 21st in offensive efficiency and the Bears are 26th. Do you trust a Rams offense to lay about a touchdown against the defense that Chicago has? Los Angeles has lost three guys on their offensive line and has a really good front seven coming in against them. This is a number where I think it would be dog or pass. I see this as a low-scoring, back-and-forth game. I don’t see the Rams being able to win by a touchdown. They’ll need to use their run game. Jared Goff has not been great and you don’t want to test that secondary. It all starts with the ground game. If they’re going to beat Chicago, it’ll be with that.”
Our Pick: Look for some defensive domination and go with the under.
6-4 Chiefs (-195, -4, O/U 52.5) at 4-6 Chargers (Mexico City)
After getting quarterback Patricks Mahomes back last week, the Chiefs looked like they had a good chance to right the ship after losing three out of their last five. Instead, they fell to a mediocre Titans team. Of course, that’s the same Titans team that beat the Chargers four games back. For the loser of this divisional matchup in Mexico, it’s officially time to panic.
Bovi’s take: “The Chiefs have been plagued by their inability to stop the run and such was the case on Sunday as the Titans ran for 225 yards on 26 carries during an upset win. In their Week 10 loss, the Chargers were unable to prevent the Raiders from driving for a winning score as they succumbed to Oakland 26-24. Philip Rivers could manage only 207 yards passing on 31 attempts in large part due to protection issues, as he was sacked five times and was constantly under duress. Elsewhere on offense, running back Melvin Gordon carried the ball 24 times for 108 yards. The Charger defense has played well at times, notably against the Packers, but the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes will have them under constant pressure. We’ll look for scoring from both teams and the high side of the total.”
Von Tobel’s take: “The Chargers are always trying to throw themselves out of these deficits they find themselves in. Against the Raiders, Philip Rivers probably should have thrown five picks. The Kansas City Chiefs have been atrocious against the run. Can the Chargers establish their run game? Personally, I don’t trust the Chargers enough to back them at this point. This is a game I stayed away from. The Chargers have been favored seven times this season and they are 2-5 straight-up and 1-5-1 against the spread. When Rivers and the Chargers are underdogs on the road, they’ve traditionally done well. This year, they are 2-1 straight-up and 2-1 against the spread. They perform better in situations where they are taking on better teams and play up to their competition.”
Our Pick: Look for lots of points in primetime and go with the over.
Last Week’s Picks: 3-2, Season: 27-23
Editor’s note: Lines fluctuate throughout the week based on injuries, weather reports and other factors. Make sure to double-check odds before betting.