I like a lot of favorites this week, but not in the marquee games. I suggest sleeping in on Sunday, since the early slate of games is atrocious. There are some nice bets, but watching those games will be a struggle.
There are only two teams on bye this week. Finally, the weeks of having a half dozen teams on bye are over. I suggest keeping an eye on injury reports and weather conditions from this point forward.
We pick every NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets in Week 11 of the NFL season.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-5.5) – My pick is Cincinnati Bengals
The Browns beat the Bengals 17-6 earlier this season. The game was in Cleveland and the Bengals are 2-4 on the road, going 1-3-1 ATS. They are a much better team at home. They are 3-0 at home and play like a completely different team. The Browns are a motivated team and many things have gone right for them this season. The Bengals are due for a break and will cover at home.
Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans (-7) – My pick is Houston Texans
My Texans pick to cover is solely based on the horrible play of the Raiders offensive line. They have been torched all season. The Texans can pressure quarterbacks all day. Terrelle Pryor doesn’t do well when he’s running for his life. I think the Texans will easily cover the touchdown spread.
Baltimore Ravens at Chicago Bears (-3) – My pick is Chicago Bears
I’ve missed a few times on these teams this season. Inconsistency has plagued both teams. The Bears are 2-6-1 against the spread this season. Their record would be worse if Aaron Rodgers didn’t suffer his collarbone injury mid-game. The value is swinging back in their direction. I’m not a believer in the Ravens and they’ll struggle on the road. The Bears are due for a cover, even with Josh McCown.
Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars (+6.5) – My pick is Arizona Cardinals
Jacksonville was gifted a victory last weekend. They were at the right place at the right time when Jake Locker suffered an ugly ankle injury. Arizona’s secondary is elite and will make Chad Henne work for completions. I like the Arizona to cover on the road.
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-1) – My pick is New York Jets
The Bills have been a sleeper pick the last three weeks. Well, they have lost against the spread all three weeks. Vegas AND the public are still in love with them. The Jets are coming off a bye week and will be fresh going into Buffalo. I just like how the Jets match up in every area against the Bills.
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1.5) – My pick is Tampa Bay Buccaneers
You couldn’t pay me enough to watch this game. Atlanta has been a money pit all season. They did beat the Bucs at home by a touchdown a month ago, but the Bucs have been playing well since nearly beating Seattle. Atlanta has zero run game…I could gain more yards than anyone in their backfield. I can’t pinpoint if it’s the line or their backs, but it’s horrible. I wasn’t a Mike Glennon fan going into the season, but he’s not bad. Tampa will be one of the few home dogs to beat the spread this weekend.
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) – My pick is Philadelphia Eagles
Let’s look at the recent woes of the Redskins defense. They couldn’t stop Christian Ponder, barely held off Philip Rivers in overtime, was dismantled by Peyton Manning and let Josh McCown throw all over them when they knocked Jay Cutler out of the game. Breathe. That’s a whole lot of bad. Nick Foles has been the prettiest girl in school the last few weeks. Philly already won in Washington earlier this season with Michael Vick. The Eagles will cover this small spread at home.
Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5) – My pick is Detroit Lions
It took me quite awhile to pick this game. I usually have an instant opinion and do my research to confirm it, but I saw this line and I was 50/50. I view this line as bait. Vegas wants you to pick the Steelers. A point spread of less than a field goal at home? The Steelers are a public team, so the action will be heavy on the Steelers. The line has moved a little since it opened up at +3. A few sportsbooks have moved it all the way to +1. I’m not taking the bait. Give me the Lions and hopefully it will move all the way to a pick’em.
San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins (+1) – My pick is San Diego Chargers
The scheduling Gods hate the Chargers. This is their fourth road game on the East Coast. They are currently 2-1 in those games (with their loss coming in overtime to Washington). The travel doesn’t seem to be a problem for this team. Miami is a ticking time bomb. I want nothing to do with them. Give me San Diego to cover on the road.
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants (-5) – My pick is New York Giants
I watch a ton of college football, so I’m well aware of Scott Tolzien. He was the ‘game manager’ quarterback for Wisconsin before Russell Wilson. He has an Alex Smith-type offensive game. His arm is accurate, but not strong. The Packers will use Eddie Lacy until his legs give out, but I like the Giants coming off bye to take care of business with Rodgers out.
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (-12.5) – My pick is Seattle Seahawks
I bounced back and forth with my pick. Seattle hasn’t covered a double-digit point spread since they covered a 19.5 point spread at home against Jacksonville. They are 1-3 against double-digit spreads this season. I’m tentatively picking Seattle to cover. I don’t trust Matt Cassel or Josh Freeman against Seattle. They would have better luck with Jeff George or tubby Daunte Culpepper at this point.
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints (-3) – My pick is San Francisco 49ers
This one is tricky. Can I just pick a Yes/No on the prop bet ‘Will the lights go out in the Superdome during the game?’ If you pick the Niners in this game, you believe Carolina is an elite team. If you bet the Saints, you must think the Cowboys secondary is halfway decent and the Jets are legit (the Saints last loss). I started this post ready to pick the Saints, but the more I research everything, the Niners look better. This will be close, but I’m going with the Niners.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (-8.5) – My pick is Denver Broncos
Kansas City was covering point spreads every week early in the season. Vegas and the public jumped on the bandwagon and they are now 1-2 ATS the last three weeks. They have only scored 30 points twice this season, but they haven’t needed to score more than that to win. Their defense is great, but I have faith in Peyton Manning. As a Colts fan, I’ve watched Manning play injured many times and he’s had great games. I don’t expect a slaughter, but a 10-point win isn’t out of the question.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (+2.5) – [Thursday] – My pick is Indianapolis Colts
Ugh, to say these teams played bad last week is an understatement. The Colts were blown out by the Rams and the Titans lost to the Jaguars…yes, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts miss Reggie Wayne and the Titans miss Jake Locker, that’s a given. When two teams are in a rough stretch, I often bet the team with a better quarterback. I’m using that strategy here and I’m betting on Andrew Luck to cover on the road.
New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers (-2.5) – [Monday] – My pick is New England Patriots
I have never seen a point spread get bet up by nearly a touchdown AGAINST New England. The line opened up +3 and it’s now -2.5. I expect it to go in the other direction closer to kickoff, -1.5 is plausible. I’ve bet against Carolina a few times in the past few weeks, but they are 5-0 ATS in the last five games. It’s REALLY hard to cover in six straight NFL games. Bill Belichick has a record of 10-3 after a bye week, so like my Broncos pick, I have faith in Tom Brady to end their opponent’s winning streak.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Sweetbob is currently 73-49-8 on the season.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.