Week 11 in the NFL gets underway on Friday afternoon with the Patriots taking on the Falcons in an interesting clash. As always, Tom Kelly is back with a preview for the marquee games of the week as well as betting tips for every game below.
Week 10 was an absolute stinker for this article, with a 4-10 result our worst yet, taking our record to 75-75 on the season. We’re almost out of the byes, with just two teams resting this week and 15 games to sink our teeth into. Let’s get this thing back on track.
NFL Week 11 Betting Tips
New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Friday 12:20pm AEDT
The Patriots have snuck up on me as a highly relevant team at 6-4 and on tieback of a 4 game winning streak. A surprise 45-7 thumping of the Browns last week has them riding high, and much of the damage was done by rookies Mac Jones and Rhamondre Stevenson who are still growing into their roles. The team still possesses a very solid defensive unit and is obviously well coached by Bill Belichick and co, so any kind of continuity from the offense is going to continue to make them a feared opponent. There will likely still be bumps in the road with the young playmakers, but the Patriots are a team to watch again.
The Falcons are in almost the exact opposite situation. The defence is bad, QB Matt Ryan is old and clearly in decline, they’ve lost Calvin Ridley and are essentially relying on stud rookie Kyle Pitts to be their main and perhaps only weapon in the passing game. Mike Davis is doing almost nothing in the running game, and one of their only bright sparks in Cordarelle Patterson may miss this game with an ankle injury. It all points to two teams heading in very different directions, with the only saving grace for the Falcons being that this game is at home. Still, I expected the spread to be bigger than it is, so I’ll ride the momentum and side with the Patriots.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Chargers
SoFi Stadium, Monday 12:20pm AEDT
The Steelers stuck to their identity last week with another low-scoring grind of a match resulting in a 16-16 draw with the lowly Lions. The defence is pretty strong, the offense is pretty weak, and it results in some really tough games to watch. Their record now sits at 5-3-1 so they have plenty to play for and are unlikely to look to the future any time soon. Ben Roethlisberger is well and truly the past, but the team will still hope he makes it back this week from COVID. It’s looking like a 50/50 at this stage. It looks like Chase Claypool will be able to return, which at least adds a little strength and upside to the passing game.
Meanwhile the Chargers are just ahead at 5-4, but will be concerned after losing 3 of their last 4 and failing to exceed 27 points in any of those games. Justin Herbert hasn’t been as electric lately, and his connection with Mike Williams has disappeared in those games, possibly due to Williams struggling with a knee injury. Still, it’s a team that I believe in, with plenty of young talent on both sides of the ball and a promising rookie coaching group led by Brandon Staley. It feels like a temporary lull from a team that will only keep improving. That makes it an easy call to take the Chargers side at home, as they may be superior in all aspects of the game.
New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Raymond James Stadium, Tuesday 12:15pm AEDT
The 3-6 Giants come off their bye with their season almost over already. While winning two of their last three and almost beating the Chiefs in the other has been encouraging, the failure of the offense to pass 30 points all season is a major issue for a team with at best a middling defence. In better news it does look like the week off will help the likes of Saquon Barkley and Andrew Thomas return for this game. Finding a way to get electric rookie Kadarius Toney involved as much as possible would also be a nice positive.
The 6-3 Buccs still have it all to play for, but they are reeling after consecutive upset losses to middling teams. The injuries to the likes of Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski and others seem to have caught up to them slightly and made them beatable again, but I fully expect Tom Brady to bounce back from some average performances. While I do think the bounce back is coming, I’m surprised the line is bigger than one score and I’m going to take the big head start on the Giants with some of their best players returning. Perhaps one more week of mid-season blues for the reigning champs before they kick into gear down the stretch.
New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons - See Above
Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns - Lions +11.5 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
San Francisco 49ers at Jacksonville Jaguars - 49ers -6.5 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills - Bills -7.5 ($1.97 at Sportsbet)
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets - Dolphins -3.5 ($1.96 at Sportsbet)
Washington Football Team at Carolina Panthers - Panthers -3.5 ($1.97 at Sportsbet)
Baltimore Ravens at Chicago Bears - Ravens -4.5 ($1.86 at Sportsbet)
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles - Saints +1.5 ($1.87 at Sportsbet)
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans - Texans +10 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings - Packers -2.5 ($1.96 at Sportsbet)
Cincinnati Bengals at Las Vegas Raiders - Bengals -1 ($1.90 at Sportsbet)
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks - Seahawks +2.5 ($1.84 at Sportsbet)
Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs - Cowboys +2.5 ($1.98 at Sportsbet)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Chargers - See Above
New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - See Above