Three early NFL lines I like in Week 11


There was a lot to unpack in Week 10. Some struggling teams that are often at the top of the standings turned back the clock, while some of this season’s upstarts stayed hot and kept right on doing their thing. We also saw what could be rock bottom for a few teams.

Four teams are idle this week, as all three Florida teams take Week 11 off and the Minnesota Vikings join them. Otherwise, we’ve got 14 games to pick from and some very interesting early-week lines.


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Here are some bets I like for Week 11:

New York Jets at New England Patriots (-3.5, 39)

Two smart, defensive-minded head coaches will have had basically two weeks to prepare for this game. Do we really expect to see a lot of offense here? Robert Saleh is doing an excellent job with the Jets defense this season, as they went into Week 10 ranked third in yards per play against. The Patriots were also in the top 10 by that metric. Both offenses were also only averaging 5.3 yards per play.

The sample size is only three games, but Zach Wilson has thrown seven interceptions in 84 pass attempts against the Patriots. He’s only thrown two touchdown passes and has completed just 54% of his passes. Mac Jones only had 194 passing yards in Week 8 against the Jets on 35 pass attempts, so the New York defense did a good job bottling him up and limiting big plays. He’s certainly healthier this time around, but explosive plays should be kept to a minimum in this game by both defenses. These are two top-10 defenses in EPA/play and the extra prep should keep the same high standards in play.

Pick: Under 39

Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos (-2.5, 41.5)

One of the teams that seemed to hit rock bottom on Sunday was the Raiders. Jeff Saturday and the Indianapolis Colts went into Allegiant Stadium and put forth a real inspired effort that Las Vegas simply couldn’t handle. It looks pretty clear at this point that Josh McDaniels is not going to work out and the Raiders will be shuffling the deck and starting from scratch again in the very near future.

The Broncos didn’t quite hit rock bottom, but their offense was putrid once again, scoring just 10 points against the Titans in a 17-10 loss. Russell Wilson threw 42 times in the game and only completed 50% of his passes, as he continues to play hurt and the schemes and play designs from Nathaniel Hackett continue to waste a lot of skill-position talent. With two head coaches that don’t know which end is up on a weekly basis, it sure seems like points will be hard to come by in the Mile High City this week.

Pick: Under 41.5

San Francisco 49ers (-5.5, 45) vs. Arizona Cardinals

We’ve got a neutral-site Monday Night Football game here with the 49ers and Cardinals down in Mexico City. Both teams are coming off of nice victories, but Arizona seems to be getting a little bit too much credit for beating John Wolford and a hapless Rams bunch. The Cardinals should not be less than a touchdown underdog on a neutral against the 49ers, who may very well be on track to face the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.

The Chargers have all sorts of issues and injuries, but Justin Herbert was rendered ineffective by the 49ers defense, as Los Angeles managed just 4.2 yards per play. The Cardinals offense looked better with Colt McCoy than it usually looks with Kyler Murray, so as long as Murray is back this week, there will be huge questions about Arizona against San Francisco’s strong defensive unit. While it is true that Arizona is way better against the run than the pass, this is still a case where one team is vastly superior and the line is simply too low.

Pick: 49ers -5.5