Happy Thursday football fans and welcome back to another edition of our best picks column. There was an interesting trend that unfolded in Week 10; four teams that finished below .500 last season posted victories. The list includes the Cleveland Browns, Las Vegas Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, and the Miami Dolphins. Not only that, but these teams are a combined 24-12 this season and they’re all in the playoff hunt. This just proves that anything can happen on any given Sunday.
Last week, I predicted wins for the Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, and the Green Bay Packers, but hedged my bets by saying the Ravens wouldn’t cover while the Saints and Packers would win big. Although the Saints did win big while losing Drew Brees, the Packers only beat the fiesty Jaguars by four.
As a result, I posted a 2-1 mark to improve to 23-6 on the season. The picks for the upcoming week will be somewhat challenging as there is only one matchup that offers a double-digit point spread. So, without further delay, here’s a look at my best bets for Week 11.
Week 11 NFL Best Bet No. 1: Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts
This is a classic game featuring one of the better offensive teams in the league squaring off against one of the better defensive units in the league. The Packers are ranked third in scoring (30.8 points per outing), sixth in total yards (395.8), and passing yards per game (274.3). Green Bay also falls just outside the top-10 in rushing, averaging 121.4 yards per contest on the ground.
As good as the Packers are from an offensive standpoint, the Colts’ defense is just as formidable. Indy has allowed the second-fewest passing yards per contest (198.7) and they are ranked third in rushing yards allowed per contest (91.8). Along with that, the Colts are the top team in the NFL in yards per play (4.8) and third in rushing yards per attempt (3.5). Talk about a difficult pick.
Despite the Colts’ stout defensive stats, I’m predicting that Rodgers and the Packers will have another good outing in what should be a competitive game.
James’ pick: Packers win by a field goal
Week 11 NFL Best Bet No. 2: Kansas City Chiefs (-7) at Las Vegas Raiders
For those of you who have been following my picks this season, it is no secret that KC is one of the teams that I go with a lot. And I don’t make any apologies for doing so, either. After all, they are the defending champions and they are 8-1.
However, this matchup against the Raiders could be a shot at redemption for the reigning NFL champs; the Raiders handed the Chiefs their only loss – a 40-32 victory back in Week 5.
There are two reasons I’m going with the Chiefs here: First, they are a perfect 4-0 since losing to the Raiders and they have won those games by an averae of 16 points per contest. Second, Andy Reid is 18-3 in his career coming off a bye week. Considering those factors, I’m picking the Chiefs to split the season series in a close one.
James’ pick: Chiefs get revenge but don’t cover the spread
James’ NFL Best Bet of Week 11: Pittsburgh Steelers (-10) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Remember when I mentioned there was one matchup on this week’s slate of games that featured a double-digit favorite? Well, this is the one. On one side of the coin, we have a Jaguars’ squad that has dropped eight straight games. Sure, they hung tough with the Green Bay Packers but they’re still just 1-8 on the season.
Furthermore, the Steelers are a top-five team in passing yards allowed per contest (211.3) and they are a top-10 squad in rushing yards given up per outing (106.8). On top of that, the Steelers have the third-best scoring defense, giving up just 19 points per contest.
Based on how they played against Green Bay, the Jaguars will make this a competitive affair. In the end, though, the Steelers will prevail and remain the lone unbeaten team in the NFL.
James’ pick: Steelers win AND cover the spread