NFL Week 11 – Best Bets Against the Spread

Odds provided by Bovada.lvFootballSportsBetting

Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers +3(-125)

In a rare matchup we see only every four seasons, the Lions head to Heinz Field to take on the struggling Steelers.

Detroit will look to hold onto first place in the NFC North. At 6-3, the Lions hold a one-game lead over the Packers and Bears in the division. Detroit swept the season series against Chicago last week, winning 21-19 on the road. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson led the Lions offense to victory with two touchdown catches.

Pittsburgh’s season has not gone the way the franchise planned, but they have won three out of their five games while still occupying the cellar of the AFC North. Last week, they notched their record to 3-6 with a win against Buffalo. The Steelers defense held the Bills to just 227 yards of total offense in the game.

It is hard not to think of the Lions road woes over the years, but this is not the same Detroit team that we have seen in years past. The Steelers are tough at home as well, but I can’t see them stopping a team with this much firepower.

Detroit’s offense presents plenty of problems for the Steelers in this game, despite the strong numbers against the pass that Pittsburgh has posted through ten games. I don’t think anyone on Pittsburgh can stop Calvin Johnson, or even slow him down. The Steelers top cornerback Ike Taylor has played poorly this year. This is a matchup nightmare for the Pittsburgh secondary.

Run stopping has been their weakness this year and again they face another brutal matchup. Reggie Bush presents a problem with his speed and ability to catch passes. More suited for pass rushing, the Steelers linebackers are slow and poor in coverage.

The Lions rank 6th in total offense and Stafford and company should roll through this older defense of the Steelers. Detroit’s defense is certainly much worse than Pittsburgh’s, but in my opinion not enough to keep it close. Ben Roethlisberger has been surrounded by rumors that he is unhappy and wants a trade, and while the offense has looked better in recent weeks, it is far from consistent.

With that being said, I could easily see 50 points being scored in this game. A final line of 35-21 with a Detroit win would not surprise me. I like both these teams get their big numbers on offense and for that reason I’m recommending the over, as well.

Pick: Lions -3(-105) and Over 47

Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans -7

The Raiders head to Reliant Stadium in Houston to take on the Texans, a game in which Texans’ head coach Gary Kubiak will be back on the sidelines. Kubiak suffered a stroke at halftime on Nov. 3rd’s loss against Indy.

The Texans have been miserable this year and are firmly out of the playoff picture as they look forward to next season with rookie quarterback Case Keenum. Keenum has been a surprise in his first three starts, throwing seven touchdowns and no interceptions. However, Houston has lost all three games, including a 27-24 defeat at Arizona last week.

Oakland isn’t doing much better this season and may be without their starting quarterback this week. Terrelle Pryor is listed as questionable but did practice Friday and split first team reps with rookie Matt McGloin. Even before the injury, Pryor has been inconsistent as of late, but the defense has stepped up. Oakland scored two defensive touchdowns in a 24-20 loss to the Giants last week. One interception for a touchdown and another off of a fumbled kickoff return by New York.

Running back Darren McFadden will still be sidelined this week, and Rashad Jennings will continue to get a full complement of carries in the backfield.

I love Oakland in this spot, and if Pryor was fully healthy, this game would be my favorite play this week. Still, even a gimpy Pryor or his backup McGloin is suitable for me in this matchup. The Raiders rarely throw downfield anyway, and most of their attack is focused on the ground. I have no doubts about Jennings being used a feature back in this offense. He is a dual threat, both in the running game and passing game.

Case Keenum’s start has been impressive, but I can’t see it continuing. This will be the week he slips up and turns the ball over several. Either way, this one should be close down to the wire. There is no way a 2-7 team should be favored by a touchdown, despite the home field advantage.

Pick: Raiders +7

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos -8

As the undefeated Chiefs head to Mile High to take on the division rival Broncos, the focus is on Denver’s All-Pro quarterback Peyton Manning.

Manning has been bothered by a sore ankle for a number of weeks, and while he has sat out of practice for much of this week, both interim head coach Jack Del Rio and Manning insist he will be ready to go Sunday.

Denver notched their eighth win of the year to push their record to 8-1 with a 28-20 win at San Diego last week. Peyton Manning threw three touchdowns in the game, including three to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.

Like Manning, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas were limited in practice this week but will be play this Sunday. The Broncos will also likely still be without Champ Bailey, their top cornerback as he has not practiced this week.

Kansas City is undefeated heading into this game but has still drawn plenty of criticism for their lack of a passing attack and the fact that their wins have all been against teams with below .500 records. There have been plenty of close games for the Chiefs as they come off their bye, including Week 9’s 23-13 win at home against the Buffalo Bills.

While Jamal Charles is on pace to lead the league in touches and has over 700 rushing yards, plus 47 receptions on the year, it has been the defense that has put the Chiefs in a position to win each Sunday. They have yet to allow more than 17 points in a game, have scored six defensive touchdowns and rank number one in sacks.

There isn’t much to report on the injury front for Kansas City. They have healed up nicely during the bye week. Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was arrested for speeding and marijuana possession last Sunday Night but will start against Denver. Bowe has been a bust for much of the season in regards to Kansas City’s “passing attack” but this may be the first game they truly need him to step up.

Kansas City is getting plenty of public action in this one which has dropped the line from a Denver -9.5 opening number. The fact that the Chiefs have not beaten a team with .500 record is all bettors need to know in regards to this one. Peyton Manning will be sore in this game, but he is still leading one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history. The Chiefs’ defensive numbers are excellent, but they have faced a gauntlet of rookie quarterbacks and journeyman starters.

Manning and company are going to shred this defense and this one could easily turn into a blowout.

Pick: Broncos -8





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