Week 11 in the NFL is set to be a wild one. We’ve got the key facts and figures you need to make smart bets this week.
• New England at Indianapolis looks like a push
• Look for Arizona to beat the spread if Detroit becomes the favorite
• The Vikings look to poised to beat the spread in Chicago
The best thing about the NFL is that every weekend brings a full slate of games to wager on. The worst thing about the NFL is that this leads many of us to procrastinate, not doing our research until late in the week and then cramming to get our bets placed.
If you don’t have time to do endless research, this piece will fill you in on the big pieces of info you need to make smart wagers this week. Remember this basic rule: in the NFL, games are usually closer than the point spread would indicate.
#1: Seattle is an underdog for the first time
The reigning Super Bowl champions are the only team in the NFL to have been favored to win every game so far. That streak ends this week as the Hawks walk into a hostile environment in Kansas City, facing a resilient Chiefs team.
The Chiefs are currently slight favorites at -1, but considering that the game is several days away some experts are predicting the line to move in the Seahawk’s favor, if more out of name recognition than anything else. If that happens, we recommend putting money on the Chiefs.
~ Recommendation: ~ It looks like a push, but go with the Chiefs if the line moves
Chicago hasn’t beaten the spread in 11 home games
The days of the Chicago Bears being a fierce team of tough guys defending their home field against all challengers seem long past. The Bears are 0-3 at home this year, and even more surprisingly to those betting on sports in America, haven’t beaten the spread as a favorite or underdog in their past 11 home games.
So what to expect this week when the Minnesota Vikings come to town? The Bears are currently -4.5 favorites as the Vikings are having a rough season and historically perform extremely poorly in Chicago.
But this Bears team simply isn’t very good, and the Vikings are getting better each week behind an athletic, aggressive defense. We would put our money on them to beat the point spread and make it 12 in a row for the Bears.
~ Recommendation: ~ Bet on the Vikings to beat the point spread
Carson Palmer won’t play this week
The Arizona Cardinals are off to a conference-leading 8-1 start on the back of strong play by veteran quarterback Carson Palmer. The Cards are favored by -3.5 to beat the Detroit Lions this week at home.
The breaking news out of Arizona, however, is that Palmer has been placed on IR with a torn ACL. Leaving the Cards without their heart and soul, we expect that betting line to reverse itself and go in Detroit’s favor by Sunday.
So, what to do? This is a tricky one, because even without Palmer the Cardinals have a decent shot of at least beating the spread, provided it stays fairly close to zero. We’d keep a close eye on things but go with the Cardinals if the spread stays close. If it goes over 2, take the Lions.
~ Recommendation: ~ Watch the spread closely, and take the Cards if it stays within 2 in either direction
The Saints are huge favorites over the Bengals
The New Orleans Saints have a very strong team on paper and are playing at home. The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off a week in which they were humiliated by the Cleveland Browns, a team which hasn’t been successful since the 1960s.
While it makes sense for the Saints to be favored, it doesn’t make sense that Bet365’s mobile betting app has them as +7 favorites. We expect this game to be close, especially as the Bengals are desperate to save what was once a very promising season.
We would ABSOLUTELY pick the Bengals to beat the spread if it doesn’t move significantly closer to zero. In fact, any line with the Saints winning by more than four is worth taking the under on.
~ Recommendation: ~ Take the Bengals to beat the spread
Indianapolis is favored to beat New England for the first time in years
This week the old man tries to protect his crown from the young upstart when Tom Brady’s New England Patriots travel to Indianapolis to take on Andrew Luck and the Colts. The young Colts are at home and look like a stronger team than the old, decrepit Patriots, and are currently +3 favorites.
Does that mean we should all bet on the Colts in this game? Not with that spread. The Patriots are stubbornly resilient and are almost certain to make this a close game. If the spread stands at more than 1, go New England all the way.
~ Recommendation: ~ Look for the Patriots to beat the spread in what looks to be a close game