Your Ultimate NFL Week 11 Betting Guide: Tips, Picks, Strategies for Every Game
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Adam Thielen, Dak Prescott and Andy Reid.
- If you're looking for comprehensive betting and fantasy football previews for every Week 11 game, you've come to the right place.
- Our experts cover trends, sharp action, fantasy football sleepers and make the case for a few bets.
All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets.
Betting odds: Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars
- Spread: Steelers -5
- Over/Under: 47
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
Betting market: Though the Steelers are getting more than 68% of bets at the time of writing, the line has not been moving in their favor against the downtrodden Jags (see live betting data here).
After opening at +6, the Jags have actually dropped to +5.5 a couple of times and reached as low as +5 thanks to some sharp action earlier in the week.
I wouldn’t be shocked for the Steelers to make a push toward the key number of -7, but nothing suggesting that move has happened … yet. — Mark Gallant
Trends to know: Pittsburgh has won and covered five consecutive games. On average, the Steelers (6-3 against the spread) are covering the spread by 5.2 points per game.
Since 2003, it has been profitable to fade teams that have covered the spread on average by five or more points after the first month of the season: 369-296-18 (56%) ATS, per our Bet Labs data. — John Ewing
The Steelers played on Thursday Night Football last week and now have 10 days of rest before facing the Jaguars on Sunday.
A popular question this week will be if Big Ben and the Steelers have an advantage with extra rest. A quick answer: No. In Roethlisberger’s career, he is 17-18 ATS on at least 10 days of rest. — Evan Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Pittsburgh’s Pass Defense vs. Blake Bortles
The Steelers haven’t lost since September and the Jags haven’t won since then, either, and a big reason is that the Steelers figured out how to stop the pass while Blake Bortles didn’t figure out how to stop being Blake Bortles.
Over that span, the Steelers have allowed the fewest net yards per pass attempt in the league (5.2) while the Jags rank 22nd on offense (5.9).
The recent return of Leonard Fournette and acquisition of Carlos Hyde should help take some pressure off of Bortles, but those two have combined for only 2.6 yards per carry on 53 carries for Jacksonville this season while Pittsburgh has also played shutdown run defense since Week 5, limiting opponents to 3.89 yards per carry. — Chris Raybon
Which team is healthier? Steelers
The Jaguars placed their starting center Brandon Linder (knee) on the injured reserve list. They could also be without tackles Josh Walker (foot, ankle) and Ereck Flowers (knee) on offense, while the defense isn’t guaranteed to have either defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (triceps) or stud cornerback A.J. Bouye (calf).
James Conner (concussion) is fully expected to suit up after getting in full practices on Wednesday and Thursday, but right tackle Marcus Gilbert (knee) and defensive tackle Stephon Tuitt (elbow) might be operating at less than 100% if they’re ultimately able to suit up Sunday.
DFS edge: Bortles could be in for a long game against a Steelers defense that loves to send pressure, ranking third in pressure rate and sixth in adjusted sack rate.
Linder going on IR certainly won’t help, either: He was PFF’s No. 6 center in pass-blocking and had allowed only two sacks, three hits and eight pressures this season.
The Steelers cost just $2,900 on DraftKings and $3,800 on FanDuel. — Justin Bailey
Bet to watch: Jaguars +5
This line appears to be a trap in an attempt to catch the public overreacting to two teams going in opposite directions.
The Jaguars have now lost five straight games and are 0-4-1 ATS during that stretch, while the Steelers have won five straight, covering the spread in all of them.
After the 52-21 beatdown the Steelers put on the Panthers on national TV last Thursday, they have officially entered the Super Bowl contender conversation.
Taking them -5 this week seems like a no-brainer — if only sports betting were that easy.
My updated power ratings have this being closer to Steelers -3.5. The point of the sportsbook’s line is to try to split the action evenly, so while I would agree that -3.5 would be hammered to oblivion, I think it’s a better actual line.
The Jaguars still have one of the best defensive units in the NFL and should get Bouye back this week.
Fournette returned last week and seemed pretty close to 100%. Despite “good” Bortles showing up the past couple weeks, having Fournette back will let the Jaguars hide their volatile QB and attempt to win on the backs of their defense.
Take the points. — Sean Koerner
Bet to watch: Under 47
Since 2014, when wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell kicked off the golden age of scoring in Pittsburgh with the first of their All-Pro campaigns, the Steelers have have been great at Heinz Field and horribly subpar on the road.
Over the past four-plus years, Steelers’ away games have a 10-26 over/under record, which is good for a 41.8% return on investment for under bettors (per Bet Labs). In fact, the Steelers have been the most profitable road team for under bettors in that time, churning out a winning season each year during this span.
The Jags are still more than capable on defense and expected to get back Bouye (calf), a shutdown cornerback who has missed the past two games.
I’d be comfortable betting this down to 45. — Matthew Freedman
Betting odds: Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons
- Spread: Falcons -3
- Over/Under: 48.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: FOX
Betting market: There has been little movement in terms point spread for this game. Some books have kept Atlanta at -3, but with a hefty -120 juice or higher. Others have the Falcons at -3.5, but have juiced up Dallas’ side with those high prices (check updated odds here).
With betting activity relatively split and a lack of sharp activity, it’s understandable that the line has remained quiet. — Mark Gallant
Trends to know: The Falcons had won three straight before losing by double digits in Cleveland last week and scoring just 16 points, their second-lowest point total of the season.
In Matt Ryan’s career, the Falcons are 21-9 against the spread (70%), the week after scoring fewer than 17 points, covering the spread by 5.9 PPG (per our Bet Labs data).
When Ryan and Atlanta play such games at home, they are 12-3 ATS, covering by 8.1 PPG. — Evan Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Ezekiel Elliott vs. Atlanta’s defense
The Falcons defense ranks 31st in Football Outsiders’ rush DVOA and has allowed a league-high 84 receptions to running backs. This year, the Falcons have allowed Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, James Conner, Nick Chubb and even Peyton Barber to rack up 100 scrimmage yards.
Middle linebacker Deion Jones (foot) was activated from the injured reserve earlier this week and is expected to play, but even with his return, the Falcons will likely be unable to stop the Cowboys’ rushing attack.
Elliott leads the league with 101.3 rushing yards per game since he entered the NFL and has a career-high 17% market share of targets this season. — Matthew Freedman
Which team is healthier? Falcons
The Falcons could finally be nearing a level of respectability on defense, as Jones is expected to play this week. The rest of the team’s starters on the active roster are tentatively expected to suit up against a banged-up Cowboys team.
Three of the Cowboys’ starting offensive linemen in Tyron Smith (back), Zack Martin (knee) and Connor Williams (knee) are operating at less than 100%, while the defensive line could be without stalwarts Maliek Collins (knee), Antwaun Woods (concussion), Taco Charlton (shoulder) and David Irving (ankle).
Sean Lee (hamstring) and Tavon Austin (groin) are once again not expected to play.
DFS edge: Over the past six weeks, Zeke’s 24.0 touches per game lead the league. His 5.3 targets per game are the second-highest mark on the Cowboys, and no other team is allowing more receptions or receiving yards per game (64.3) to opposing running backs than the Falcons, per Sports Info Solutions.
Bet to watch: Falcons -3
The Cowboys are coming off their best win of the season on the road in Philadelphia, while the Falcons just lost to the Cleveland freaking Browns.
One-week sample aside, it’s curious that a Cowboys team with injuries to each of their three critically acclaimed offensive linemen is getting just three points on the road.
The Falcons’ porous defense could be helped by the potential return of stud linebacker Deion Jones (foot, questionable), and Julio Jones is positioned for a massive game against the Cowboys defense ranked 26th in pass DVOA (especially if Byron Jones doesn’t shadow).
The potential absence of Smith on the offensive line would be a concern for the Cowboys
Regardless, they’re overvalued at this number, coming off their biggest win of the season. — Hartitz
Betting odds: Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions
- Spread: Panthers -4.5
- Over/Under: 49.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: FOX
Betting market: Getting just 21% of bets at the time of writing, the Lions very well might end up as the least popular bet of the week (see updated betting data here). Apparently the public was not deterred by the Panthers’ subpar Thursday night performance vs. Pittsburgh last week.
Behind all the love from the public, Carolina has moved from an opener of -3 to -4/-4.5 at most books. — Mark Gallant
Trends to know: As Mark mentioned, only 20% of bettors are taking the points with the Lions.
According to our Bet Labs data, underdogs of more than a field goal getting fewer than 25% of spread bets have gone 229-182-7 (56%) against the spread since 2003. — John Ewing
Cam Newton has played 24 career games in a dome, like he will on Sunday against the Lions.
He has a sub-.500 record in that spot (10-14 straight up and ATS), but those games have produced a 15-9 edge to the over, including eight of his past 10 games in a dome. Those games have gone over by an average of 6.4 points. — Evan Abrams
The Lions have dropped three consecutive games heading into this contest against the Panthers.
Stafford is 5-11-1 ATS (31.3%) in his career playing on losing streak of three or more games. Bettors have lost 6.3 units in those game, making Stafford the least-profitable quarterback in such games since he was drafted first overall in 2009. — Abrams
Metrics that matter: Matthew Stafford’s time holding the ball without Golden Tate
Stafford took only 13 sacks through his first seven games, in large part because he had the services of the quick-to-separate Tate, who he targeted 27% of the time.
During those first seven games with Tate, Stafford held onto the rock for 2.5 seconds on only 46.2% of his dropbacks, which is just the 27th-highest rate in the league.
In the two games since the Lions traded Tate to the Eagles, Stafford has been forced to submit his name for the open-receiver waiting list. He’s held the ball for at least 2.5 seconds on 62.6% of his dropbacks, the second-highest rate in the league.
In related news: Stafford has been sacked 16 times in those two games. — Chris Raybon
Which team is healthier? Panthers
The Panthers aren’t expected to have Torrey Smith (knee), but they’re otherwise healthy.
The Lions, on the other hand, might be without defensive linemen A’Shawn Robinson (ankle), Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder) and Damon Harrison (shoulder).
The good news is stud cornerback Darius Slay (knee) is tentatively expected to return to the field, while Marvin Jones (knee) is shaping up as a game-time decision.
Biggest mismatch: Greg Olsen vs. Lions defense
Assuming he plays, Olsen should have a field day against the Lions pass defense, which ranks 31st DVOA. Their defense, one of only four units to allow more than 8.0 yards per pass attempt (Bucs, Saints and Raiders), has especially struggled against tight ends.
Football Outsiders ranks the Lions 30th in the NFL against tight ends and dead last defending short passes. Also, Pro Football Focus has Olsen with the best tight end matchup in Week 11, as he faces safety Quandre Diggs.
Cam loves to target Olsen, which will pay off this week (especially in the red zone) against a team that just has looked lost trying to cover tight ends all season.
On the flip side, the three Lions tight ends on their roster have combined for 22 catches for 206 yards and three touchdowns this season.
Do you think they miss former tight end Eric Ebron, who has 39 catches for 463 yards and NINE touchdowns for the Colts? — Stuckey
DFS edge: Olsen ranks third on the team in targets per game (5.6), while owning a respectable 17.5% of the Panthers’ red-zone market share of targets since his Week 6 return from his foot injury.
Given the Lions’ struggles on defense, he’s an intriguing tournament option on DraftKings, where he owns an 84% Leverage Rating. — Justin Bailey
Bet to watch: Panthers -4.5
This is a prime bounce back spot for the Panthers. They went into Pittsburgh last Thursday and got absolutely blasted by the Steelers. They’ve had a week and a half to think about that and prep for the Lions.
The Panthers are simply too good and too talented to lay two eggs in a row at this point in the season. The Lions, on the other hand, seems as if they are running out the string on a lost season.
The Tate trade had to be demoralizing for their offense, and the past three games have all been double-digit losses. Also, factor in that the Lions have a Thanksgiving Day game right around the corner and may be already thinking about that a little bit.
This one is Panthers all the way. — BlackJack Fletcher
Betting odds: Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
- Spread: Colts -1
- Over/Under: 49
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
Betting market: Following their upset of the Patriots, the Titans are a trendy dog, getting nearly 60% of the spread bets, which has helped them move from the key number of +3 down to +1 (see live betting data here). — Mark Gallant
Trends to know: Unders are more profitable in high-total games (more than 44 points) featuring division rivals. What’s the theory behind this trend? Increased familiarity between teams tends to favor lower scoring games.
Against the Bills and Raiders, the Colts rushed for a combined 442 yards on the ground. Last week against the Jaguars, Indy mustered only 81 yards on the ground. In Andrew Luck’s career, he is 23-14-2 ATS (62.2%) when the Colts rush for fewer than 100 yards in their previous game, profiting bettors 7.9 units. When Luck plays that game at home, the Colts are 14-7-1 ATS (66.7%). — Evan Abrams
Did you know? Andrew Luck is 9-0 in his career vs. the Titans. Only one other QB who has a better perfect career record against one single opponent: John Elway vs. Pats (10-0).
Meanwhile, the Titans have won six straight in the division and beat the Colts in both matchups last season — although Luck played in neither — Stuckey
Sneaky storylines: Let’s start on the other side of the ball, where the Colts’ rush defense looks to have a major advantage over the Titans’ run offense, which I never thought I’d be saying this season.
The Titans are only averaging 3.9 yards per carry (28th in NFL) — in large part due to ineffective offensive line play. Not only does their O-line rank dead last in adjusted sack rate, it also falls 26th in adjusted line yards, per Football Outsiders.
Indy boasts the ninth-best run defense DVOA and has only allowed 3.9 yards per rush on the season thanks to three dominant run-stoppers.
Last week was a perfect example of the Colts’ run defense prowess, as Indy held Fournette to 53 yards on 24 carries.
In a matchup of two top-10 run defenses, it’s actually the Colts that are better suited to run the ball. Indy’s offensive line ranks in the top five in that same adjusted line yards metric.
This might just end up being the difference in helping the Colts move the sticks a little more efficiently, which would be huge in a game that should be tight.
Remember, Indy leads the NFL in third down conversion percentage at a sparkling 52.38% — almost 10 percentage points better than Tennessee. — Stuckey
Which team is healthier? Titans
The Colts are getting healthy at the right time, but so are their division rivals. Overall, the only Colts thought to be at risk of missing Sunday’s game are safeties Mike Mitchell (calf) and Malik Hooker (hip), along with cornerback Nate Hairston (ankle).
The Titans are expected to welcome back right tackle Jack Conklin (concussion) and linebacker Derrick Morgan (shoulder), but it’s going to be tough for No. 2 receiver Taywan Taylor (foot) to suit up.
DFS edge: The Colts’ offensive line has done a tremendous job of protecting Andrew Luck. Overall, he’s been pressured on just 29.7% of his dropbacks, and he’s been sacked on just 8.6% of those dropbacks.
He should have all day to throw against a Titans defense that is stronger against the run than the pass. Luck has thrown for three or more touchdowns in six-straight games and is priced as the sixth-most expensive quarterback ($5,900) on DraftKings. —Justin Bailey
Bet to watch: Colts -1
This line opened at Colts -3 but has been bet down to -1, presumably because the public just witnessed the Titans topple two of its darlings, the Cowboys and Patriots.
There was no value on the Colts at open — our power ratings project the true spread at Colts -2.5 — but give me the team playing at home with better quarterback to win the game all day. — Chris Raybon
Betting odds: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
- Spread: Ravens -4
- Over/Under: 43.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
Betting market: The line for this game finally opened on Saturday morning, leaving bettors just over 24 hours to get some action down.
Baltimore initially opened at -4.5, but quickly fell to -3.5. About an hour later, the line bumped back up to -4. Last week, Baltimore was -5.5 on Westgate’s lookahead lines. — Mark Gallant
Which team is healthier? Bengals
Neither team is anything close to 100% healthy. Robert Griffin III was the team’s only quarterback at practice on Thursday with both Joe Flacco (hip) and Lamar Jackson (illness) sidelined.
Starting offensive tackles James Hurst (back) and Ronnie Stanley (ankle) aren’t guaranteed to suit up either.
The Bengals aren’t expected to have the services of A.J. Green (toe) this time around against their divisional rival, and each of Joe Mixon (knee), John Ross (groin), Vontaze Burfict (hip) along with cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick (concussion) and Darqueze Dennard (shoulder) should be considered questionable.
Trends to know: Flacco has only missed six games since being drafted in 2008. The Ravens are 2-4 straight up and 4-2 ATS in games Flacco hasn’t started during that time. — John Ewing
Since the beginning of 2016, Andy Dalton has played seven games without Green. Cincinnati is averaging 20 PPG in those contests, failing to eclipse 28 points in their past five games.
Without Green, Dalton has thrown just eight passing touchdowns in seven games (1.1 TD/game). As a point of comparison: He has 42 scores in 24 games (1.8 TD/game) with Green since 2016. — Evan Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Ravens secondary vs. Dalton
The Bengals boast the week’s single-worst combined net yards per pass attempt rate. Sure, they hung 34 points on the Ravens back in Week 2, but that was with the services of Green and Tyler Eifert (ankle, IR).
The team’s new-look offense has been held to fewer than 230 passing yards in four of its past five games. They Bengals will have their hands full with the Ravens’ seventh-ranked defense in pass DVOA. — Hartitz
DFS edge: Bengals offense has been held below 300 yards of total offense in three of its past four games, hardly resembling the same unit that scored at least 30 points in three of the first four weeks
Next up is a Ravens defense that the Bengals shredded for 34 points in Week 2, but that was with a fully functioning Green and Eifert.
Neither Tyler Boyd (3-65-0) nor John Ross (2-39-1) were able to get much of anything going in last week’s alleged cake matchup against the Saints, and the continued absence of the team’s alpha dog receiver could lead to more of the same against the Ravens’ fifth-ranked defense in overall DVOA.
Any exposure to Boyd should be focused on FanDuel, where his $7,000 price tag comes with a 97% Bargain Rating. — Hartitz
Bet to watch: Ravens
Regardless of who plays quarterback for the Ravens, I think this is a good spot to back Baltimore at -4 against a banged up and reeling Bengals bunch.
First of all, John Harbaugh has always performed excellent with extra time to prepare during his 10-year-plus tenure in Charm City, especially after the bye week, where he owns an impressive 8-2 SU and ATS record. And that bye couldn’t have come at a better time for a Ravens team dealing with a plethora of key injuries.
Secondly, you should get the Ravens’ best effort here at home, where they have a top-tier advantage but are playing with MAJOR double revenge. Cincy ended their playoff hopes in the final minutes of last season at M&T Bank Stadium, and the Bengals waxed the Ravens on national television earlier this season.
From a matchup perspective, the Ravens should have the advantage in the trenches on both sides of the ball and, as mentioned above, the elite Baltimore secondary should have no issues shutting down Dalton and the Cincy passing attack now that Green has been ruled out. — Stuckey
Betting odds: Houston Texans at Washington Redskins
- Spread: Texans -3
- Over/Under: 42.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
Betting market: Just 32% of bettors are on the Redskins, who have gone from -2 to -3 since opening. This line has moved back and forth a few times between 2.5 and 3, with sharp action coming in on both Houston -2.5 and Washington +3.
Trends to know: Houston is coming off a bye week, which should give it extra time to get healthy, practice and prepare. According to our Bet Labs data, teams coming off a bye week are 238-206-14 (54%) against the spread since 2003.
Road favorites after a bye have been even more profitable: 58-26-2 (69%) ATS. — John Ewing
The Washington Redskins are simply playing a different game than every other team. They are averaging 19.6 PPG (27th) and allowing 19.4 PPG (T-fourth) this season.
Since 2003, teams scoring fewer than 20 PPG and allowing fewer than 20 PPG are 240-181-4 (57%) to the over when playing at home, profiting bettors 46.5 units.
When that home team has seen at least 60% of its games go under the total entering a game in this spot, the over is 144-93-3 (60.8%), covering by an average of three points in a 250-game sample size. — Evan Abrams
The Texans are streaking, having won at least three consecutive games straight up and ATS entering Week 11.
Since 2003, non-playoff teams from the previous season on a win streak of at least a three or more games SU and ATS in November or later are 104-78-7 ATS (57.1%), profiting bettors 21.6 units.
Since 2015, teams are 29-17-2 ATS (63%) in this spot, covering the spread by 3.8 PPG. — Abrams
Through the Texans’ first six games this season, they had 11 turnovers, which was tied for the sixth-most in the NFL. Over their past three games, they’ve turned the ball over once.
Prior to this streak of no turnovers, the Texans hadn’t gone consecutive games without turnovers under Bill O’Brien (since 2014). — Abrams
Did you know? The Redskins haven’t had a single lead change in any of their nine games this season. They are the first team since the merger (1970) that can claim that through nine games. — Stuckey
Biggest mismatch: Redskins offensive line vs. J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney
The Redskins have shuffled around their offensive line all season and guard Shawn Lauvao (knee) and right guard Brandon Scherff (pectoral) were recently placed on injured reserve.
Furthermore, right tackle Morgan Moses (knee) and Williams’ backup, Tyler Nsekhe (ankle) are also on the injury report. Their banged-up line will be tasked with slowing down Watt and Clowney, who’ve combined for 52 quarterback hurries, 29 hits, 59 pressures and 14.5 sacks this year. — Justin Bailey
Which team is healthier? Texans
Key Texans in danger of missing Sunday’s game include outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (ankle), slot receiver Keke Coutee (hamstring), along with cornerbacks Johnathan Joseph (ankle) and Aaron Colvin (ankle).
The Redskins continue to battle injuries at seemingly every position. Left tackle Trent Williams (thumb) has been ruled out, while Chris Thompson (ribs) and slot receiver Jamison Crowder (ankle) aren’t expected to play either.
Kicker Dustin Hopkins (groin), defensive tackle Daron Payne (shoulder) and cornerback Quinton Dunbar (leg) are worth monitoring.
DFS edge: Hopkins should be treated as one of the league’s most matchup-proof receivers. With that said, Nuk has a few unsettling trends working against him leading into a potentially difficult shadow date with Josh Norman.
The Texans have shifted toward a slow-paced, run-first offense since Watson suffered rib and lung injuries during their Week 5 win against the Cowboys. Watson has failed to exceed 25 pass attempts in four consecutive weeks after reaching that threshold in 10 of his first 12 career starts.
This enhanced emphasis on the ground game has unsurprisingly influenced Hopkins’ target volume, as he’s averaged 8.3 targets per game in Weeks 6-9 after seeing 11.4 targets per game in Weeks 1-5.
The bye week gave Watson some extra time to rest, but Will Fuller’s absence remains a concern. Watson averages 9.04 yards per attempt with Fuller compared to 6.56 without him since Week 1 of last season.
Hopkins has accordingly averaged 4.9 fewer PPR points per game without Fuller since 2017 despite seeing an additional target per game.
These concerns might not be as prevalent in this week’s matchup against a Redskins defense that has allowed an absurd 91.4 yards per game to opposing No. 1 wide receivers this season.
Hopkins costs $7,900 on DraftKings and boasts a strong +3.7 Projected Plus/Minus. — Hartitz
Bet to watch: Under 42
Pure and simple: I think this game will be dominated by both defensive fronts. The Texans’ offensive line has been an issue all season long, as Watson has been pressured on 41.3% or his dropbacks — the highest rate in the NFL.
The Redskins should have similar issues up front, as their offensive line is absolutely depleted. Watt, Clowney and Whitney Mercilus should live in the backfield all day.
We can rely on Alex Smith to avoid mindless turnovers under pressure — he ranks fifth all-time in career interception rate. Watson has also been better in this department this season, with a 2.5% interception rate, and as we mentioned above, the Texans haven’t turned the ball over in three games.
In a battle of two teams that sit in the top 10 in rush attempts per game, expect the clock to move swiftly throughout. I’m not sure how either gets to 20 without flukes. — Stuckey
Betting odds: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants
- Spread: Giants -1.5
- Over/Under: 52
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: FOX
Betting market: There is a bit of market disagreement on this game, as some books have moved the Giants listed as high as -2, while others have the game at a pick’em.
With both bets and dollars split between 45% and 60% all week, it appears oddsmakers don’t really have the incentive to be on the same page (see live betting data here).
If bettors begin pushing the line toward -3 or a pick’em at some key books, I imagine there will be some more uniformity around the market. —Mark Gallant
Trends to know: Eli Manning is listed as a favorite for the first time since Week 10 of the 2017 season, ending a streak of 15 consecutive games as an underdog.
In his career, Manning is 39-39-2 against the spread as a home favorite in the regular season. — John Ewing
This probably isn’t a shock to anyone following the Giants offense the past few seasons, but Manning has faced a defense allowing 30 points per game 14 times in his career, and only in one of those games did the Giants manage to score at least 30 points.
On the bright side, Manning is actually 8-6 ATS in those 14 games. — Evan Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Tampa Bay’s Secondary
His quarterback may be washed, but Beckham continues to do defenders dirty. OBJ ranks fifth in receiving yards per game, sixth in receptions per game, and has gone for 100-plus yards five times in nine games.
On the flip side, the Bucs have been shredded by opposing wideouts for 9.0 yards per target and a league-high 15 touchdowns.
All of the cornerbacks on their roster have a Pro Football Focus coverage grade that resembles the grade of a student who cuts all of his classes and doesn’t even bother to cheat on the test.
Rookie Carlton Davis is Tampa’s top-graded corner at 58.9, which ranks just 68th at the position. — Chris Raybon
Which team is healthier? Giants
The Giants aren’t expected to have any starters in question come Sunday, as safety Curtis Riley (shoulder) and linebacker Alec Ogletree (rib) each managed to practice in full Thursday.
The Buccaneers aren’t so lucky, as defensive stalwarts — including linebacker Lavonte David (knee), defensive ends Vinny Curry (ankle) and Carl Nassib (elbow), as well as safety Justin Evans (toe) — aren’t guaranteed to suit up.
The offense could at least welcome back rookie running back Ronald Jones (hamstring), but Chris Godwin (ankle) failed to practice on Wednesday or Thursday.
DFS edge: Saquon Barkley is projected for 21-25% ownership in large-field tournaments on DraftKings, and it’s warranted in this spot against a Buccaneers defense which will be without LB Kwon Alexander (IR)and potentially LB Lavonte David (knee).
Even if Saquon can’t find room behind the Giants’ atrocious line, he still owns 22% of their target share, which should further solidify his floor.
Bet to watch: Buccaneers +105
Tampa and the Giants are definitely two teams whose perception has been impacted by last week’s results.
But, the more you dig, the Bucs’ loss at home to the Redskins was as much of a mirage as any result this season. Tampa thoroughly out-gained Washington and dominated in yards per play. The Bucs just had hideous turnovers, which caused the score to swing the other way.
That’s great, because it means they may be a little undervalued here. They figure to be able to move the ball just as easily on the G-Men.
Meanwhile, the Giants get a win Monday night over a terrible San Francisco team and now travel cross country back home on a short week to get ready for a Sunday 1 p.m. ET start.
I finally get to do something I’ve only dreamed about all season: betting against Eli Manning. — Ken Barkley
Betting odds: Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints
- Spread: Saints -8.5
- Over/Under: 56
- Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
- TV channel: FOX
Betting market: This line can be found at a variety of numbers, ranging from 7.5 to 9.5 depending on the book. There has been a little sharp action on the Eagles, but not enough to push them toward that key number of +7.
Trend to know: For the fifth time this season and the 108th time in his career, Drew Brees will face a defense that’s allowing fewer than 21 points per game.
He’s 4-0 straight up and against the spread vs. such defenses in 2018 and 57-38-3 ATS (60%) since 2003, profiting bettors 17.1 units to make him the second-most profitable quarterback in this spot in our Bet Labs database (behind Tom Brady).
When the Saints enter the game above .500, they improve to 33-20-1 ATS (62.3%), covering by 4.5 points per game. — Evan Abrams
Did you know? The Eagles are only the 12th Super Bowl champion to be listed as an underdog of seven or more points the season after winning the title. The previous 11 teams went 3-8 straight-up and 8-3 against the spread. — John Ewing
Since Brees’ first season in New Orleans (2006), the Saints have struggled to cover hefty spreads at home against teams under .500, which amazingly includes the reigning champion Eagles.
Brees is 13-22 ATS (37.1%) at home when facing a team that’s under .500 in his career with the Saints, losing bettors 9.5 units to make him the second-least profitable QB in this spot (behind Carson Palmer). — Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Eagles’ pass-catchers vs. Saints’ pass defense
While perimeter wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and tight end Zach Ertz could have big performances against the Saints, the players who could really exceed their pass-catching expectations are slot receivers Golden Tate and Nelson Agholor, along with running backs Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement.
The Saints opened the season with veteran Patrick Robinson in the slot, but since his season-ending ankle injury in Week 3, they’ve been forced to use P.J. Williams inside. This has not gone well: Williams has allowed a 71.7% catch rate and 33-465-5 receiving line in his coverage, making him a massive liability.
The Saints’ pass defense against running backs might be even worse. They’re 32nd in pass DVOA against the position; linebackers A.J. Klein and Demario Davis have combined to allow an 83.9% catch rate on 56 targets in their coverage.
In what is likely to be a high-scoring game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Eagles have a chance of keeping pace with the prolific Saints offense if the Eagles get significant pass-catching contributions from their ancillary skill-position players. — Matthew Freedman
Which team is healthier? Saints
The Saints aren’t expected to have stud left tackle Terron Armstead (shoulder) or first-round defensive end Marcus Davenport (toe), but they’re otherwise almost fully healthy.
The Eagles are anything but. Their secondary could be without cornerbacks Sidney Jones (hamstring) and Jalen Mills (foot), in addition to Ronald Darby (knee, IR). Darren Sproles (hamstring) will miss another week, while it remains to be seen when defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (back) will be ready to make his season debut.
DFS edge: The Eagles didn’t boast a great secondary during their Super Bowl run, and they’ve proceeded to allow a league-high 94.3 yards per game to opposing No. 1 wide receivers this season.
Now the Eagles will have to live with an injury-riddled version of their already-porous defense. If the trio of Darby, Jones and Mills misses Sunday’s game, they would be replaced by Rasul Douglas (2017 third-round pick), Avonte Maddox (fourth-round rookie) and Chandon Sullivan (undrafted rookie).
Bet to watch: Eagles +8.5
The current number is simply an overreaction to a disappointing Eagles team playing the red-hot Saints.
The Action Network’s power ratings make this line Saints -7.1, while our Bet Labs NFL simulations make it even closer at -5.5. The betting market also indicates that the value is with with Philly as 59% of tickets are laying the points with New Orleans, but 66% of actual dollars wagered are taking the underdog.
Our data and big bettors agree that Philly is the right side, so I’m taking the points and rooting for the Eagles to keep the margin within single digits. — PJ Walsh
Betting odds: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers
- Spread: Chargers -7
- Over/Under: 46.5
- Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
Betting market: This game has remained on the key number of -7 with no movement at most offshore books. Very dull.
The Chargers are getting 74% of bets as of writing (see live data here), but the Broncos must be getting enough sharp support at +7 to stick on that number.
Books likely don’t want to give sharps the chance to snag Denver plus the hook, so a move to +7.5 might not happen. — Mark Gallant
Trends to know: Philip Rivers and the Chargers are riding a six-game winning streak. Since 2003, Rivers has been the second-most profitable NFL quarterback after his team won the previous game and opens as a touchdown favorite in the next, going 21-15 against the spread (+5.7 units) according to our Bet Labs data.
When that game is played at home, Rivers is 16-9 ATS (+6.7 units), covering the spread by 5.2 points per game. — Evan Abrams
Did you know? The Chargers haven’t really needed Rivers to sling it through the air to win the past two weeks. Rivers has thrown for fewer than 250 passing yards in consecutive games for the first time since Week 10 of 2017.
He’s 11-5 ATS (68.8%) when he plays at home after throwing for fewer than 250 passing yards in consecutive games, profiting bettors 5.8 units and making him the most profitable QB in the NFL in that spot, covering the spread by 7.3 points per game. — Abrams
Metrics that matter: The Chargers are averaging more than 6.5 yards per play on offense this season.
Home teams with that prolific of an offense tend to go over the total (88-58-2 record — 60.3% — since 2003). That improves to 28-15 (65.1%) in November or later, going over by 3.3 points per game. — Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Melvin Gordon vs. Broncos’ run defense
The Broncos have been stronger against the pass this season than the run, ranking third in Football Outsiders’ pass DVOA but 18th in rush DVOA.
Overall, Denver is allowing 131.7 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry. This spot should set up well for Gordon, who is averaging 20.1 touches and 129.1 total yards from scrimmage per game.
The Chargers also boast a 27-point implied team total. — Justin Bailey
Which team is healthier? Broncos
The bye week seems to have done the Broncos some good. Running back Royce Freeman (ankle), cornerback Bradley Roby (ankle) and safety Darian Stewart (neck) are tentatively expected to suit up on Sunday, though safety Dymonte Thomas (ankle) and linebacker Brandon Marshall (knee) remain questionable.
The Chargers are dealing with injuries to Antonio Gates (knee) and cornerback Trevor Williams (knee) in addition to defensive end Joey Bosa (foot), while stud starting middle linebacker Denzel Perryman (knee) is out for the season.
DFS edge: Broncos stud slot corner Chris Harris Jr. was used in shadow coverage for first time in his Broncos’ career in Week 9, though DeAndre Hopkins found a way to rack up a 10-105-1 receiving line. It’s possible that Harris tracks Keenan Allen on the majority of the receiver’s routes, but they’ll see plenty of each other in the slot regardless.
Harris has historically won the matchup. Allen has posted fewer than 50 receiving yards in five of seven career games against the divisional rival.
Bet to watch: Under 46.5
The Chargers defense has been one of the underlying storylines of their 7-2 start.
Los Angeles ranks 11th in overall defensive DVOA and eighth against the pass. The Chargers are also the NFL’s best defense against the short-passing game (1-14 yards downfield), and if they get Bosa back, they might just get better.
The Chargers offense runs a play every 30.52 seconds, which is the slowest pace by more than a full half second. It slows down to 32.33 seconds in the second half, which is also the slowest mark in the league.
The Chargers had been clicking offensively over the first six weeks, scoring 29.2 points per game, good for fifth-most in the NFL. But over the past three games though, they’ve scored only 20, 25 and 20 points — that’s an average of 21.7 points per game, more than a full touchdown less than their average through Week 5.
That’s not to mention that Allen, Mike Williams and Gates have all been limited in practice this week ahead of a matchup against a Broncos defense that ranks third in pass defense DVOA.
Rivers has faced the Broncos 11 times since 2013. An average of 39.7 combined points were scored in those games, including their past seven meetings which have totaled 47 or fewer combined points. — Abrams
Betting odds: Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals
- Spread: Cardinals -5.5
- Over/Under: 41
- Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
- TV channel: CBS
Betting market: Things aren’t looking good for the Raiders, who are getting only 35% of bets at the time of writing (see live odds here) as a 5.5-point dog against a Cardinals team that struggles to score in the double digits.
The public love, along with a steam move at -4.5, has helped Arizona move all the way from -3 to -5.5. — Mark Gallant
Trends to know: This is the ultimate battle between trend and perception.
The Raiders have scored fewer than seven points in consecutive games — six points against Chargers last week and three against the 49ers the week before that — making them the second team this season to accomplish that “feat.” (The Bills were the first.)
The 24 teams that have scored fewer than seven points in consecutive games since 2005 are 16-8 against the first-half spread in their following games, covering the spread by 2.8 points per game, per our Bet Labs data. — Evan Abrams
Officiating report: Jerome Boger will be the head official in Glendale. In the 158 games he’s officiated over the past decade (including playoffs), the over is 92-65-1 (58.6%), making him by far the most profitable official to the over since 2008.
In the 29 games featuring two teams under .500 that he’s officiated over that span, the over is 19-10 (65.5%), profiting bettors 8.3 units. Since 2011, the over is 15-3 (83.3%) in this spot, eclipsing the total by 6.6 points per game. — Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Arizona’s line advantages
The Cardinals’ defensive line, which ranks fourth in Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate, has the chance to absolutely dominate a Raiders’ offensive line that has looked lifeless.
The Cardinals have 29 sacks through 10 weeks, the sixth-most in the NFL. That also happens to be the number of sacks the Raiders have given up, the seventh-highest figure in the league. Defensive end Chandler Jones could be in for a monster day.
Meanwhile, Arizona’s offensive line has also struggled, but Oakland’s defensive line, which that ranks 31st in adjusted sack rate, just doesn’t have the personnel to exploit that deficiency.
The Raiders have a league-low eight sacks. EIGHT. Only one other team has fewer than 15 (Giants, 10). — Stuckey
Which team is healthier? Raiders
Neither team is expected to have big losses to deal with. The only Cardinals not expected to suit up are wide receiver Chad Williams (ankle), kicker Phil Dawson (hip) and left guard Mike Iupati (back).
The Raiders have ruled out Martavis Bryant (knee) and already declared Jordy Nelson (knee) questionable, but they’re otherwise expected to be at their version of full strength.
DFS edge: Since Byron Leftwich took over as the Cardinals’ play-caller two games ago, Johnson has seen 20 and 28 touches, along with four and nine targets.
Johnson has a very exploitable matchup this week, as the Raiders rank 26th in Pro Football Focus’ run-defense grades, while allowing 141.0 rushing yards per game on the ground.
Bet to watch: Raiders +5.5
Oakland is bad, and bettors know it.
The Raiders are 2-7 against the spread, which helps explain why 66% of spread tickets are on the 5-3-1 Cardinals. But bad ATS teams have been profitable against good ATS teams.
Since 2003, teams that have covered the spread in 30% or less of games, like the Raiders, have gone 244-187-14 (57%) ATS when playing an opponent that has covered 60% or more of their games, like the Cardinals.
The Action Network’s NFL simulations have Arizona winning on average by 2.1 points. Oakland is undervalued in Week 11. — John Ewing
Betting odds: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
- Spread: Bears -2.5
- Over/Under: 44.5
- Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
- TV channel: NBC
Betting market: This line is flip-flopping left and right. There have been 10 separate instances of the line moving from 3 to 2.5 (and back) over the course of the week.
Weather report: It’s going to feel like the dead of winter in Chicago on Sunday night. Temperatures will be in the mid-20s and winds will be a touch higher than 10 mph. Add these together and these players will be facing a wind chill in the teens. — Gallant
Trends to know: Many bettors think cold weather impacts scoring, but it doesn’t. Since 2003, the over is 117-97-3 (55%) in games played in freezing temperatures (32 degrees or colder), per our Bet Labs data. — John Ewing
Kirk Cousins has played only two career games in temperatures below 30 degrees, both of which were for the Redskins:
- Dec. 31, 2017 at Giants: 0 TD, 3 INT, 4.3 Y/A, 31.1 Passer Rating (lost 18-10 as a 5-point favorite)
- Dec. 19, 2016 vs. Panthers: 0 TD, INT, 6.7 Y/A, 77.9 Passer Rating (lost 26-15 as a 7-point favorite) — Evan Abrams
Did you know? The Bears are streaking, having won three consecutive games straight up and against the spread.
Since 2003, non-playoff teams from the previous season that are on at least a three-game win streak SU and ATS in November or later are 104-78-7 (57.1%) against the spread, profiting bettors 21.6 units.
Teams are 29-17-2 ATS (63%) in this spot since 2015, covering by 3.8 points per game. — Abrams
Metrics that matter: The Bears defense has been a turnover machine with 24 takeaways, the second-most in the NFL behind the Browns (25). The Bears have seven takeaways over their past two games against the Lions and Bills, including five interceptions.
Since 2003, teams that have compiled at least three takeaways in consecutive games and are averaging at least 2.5 turnovers per game for the season are just 42-60-2 ATS (41.2%), including 14-24-1 ATS (36.8%) since 2012. — Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Bears’ pass defense vs. Vikings’ pass offense
Cousins has proven capable of producing with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs under just about any circumstances, but the quarterback will be tested by a Bears defense that’s strong at all three levels.
Khalil Mack and Chicago’s pass rush boast the week’s fourth-best advantage in combined pressure rate, and Cousins has the fourth-worst combined net yards per pass attempt rate in his matchup against a Bears secondary with three of Pro Football Focus’ 20 highest-graded cornerbacks this season. — Ian Hartitz
Which team is healthier? Bears
The only Bears player listed on their injury report is backup tight end Dion Sims (concussion).
The Vikings are also fairly healthy. They’re only expected to be without safety Andrew Sendejo (groin) and linebacker Anthony Barr (hamstring). Diggs (ribs) is expected to return to the field, while Thielen (back, calf) isn’t thought to be dealing with a serious injury.
Xavier Rhodes’ (ankle) impending shadow matchup with Allen Robinson could be impacted if the Vikings’ No. 1 corner is operating at far less than 100%.
DFS edge: Thielen leads the Vikings with 11.7 targets per game, but he will have his work cut out for him against Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara. The troublesome spot will depress his ownership in tournaments, but his role in this offense keeps him tournament worthy.
Bet to watch: Vikings +2.5
I love this game.
People are exceptionally high on the Bears right now — and for good reason. They’re 6-3 and lead the NFC North as Thanksgiving Day approaches. Mitchell Trubisky has played well at times, particularly of late, and the defense has been largely outstanding.
There’s real hope in Chicago.
But if we dig a little deeper, we see that the Bears have wins against the Seahawks, Cardinals, Bills, Lions, Buccaneers and Jets. That’s not super impressive.
The Vikings have a more talented offense, with Cousins and his impressive array of weapons (Thielen, Diggs and Kyle Rudolph). They’re also coming off a bye, giving them extra time to prepare. This is a critical matchup for control of the division as we head into the home stretch of the regular season.
I think the more experienced, veteran-led team gets the job done here, and the youth and inexperience of the Bears shows through.
If you want the points, by all means, take ’em. I think Minnesota wins this outright. — BlackJack Fletcher
Editor’s note: The opinions on these games are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.