Which NFC North underdog do Jenny Vrentas and Andy Benoit think has great value? We reveal all of The MMQB's best bets for Week 11's action.

By The MMQB Staff
November 14, 2018

We kept up our winning November with a 4-3 record last week, and now we have the seven plays we like the most in Week 11's action.

Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) at Chicago Bears

I'm also taking the Vikings straight up in this game. The Bears have been rolling, winning three straight since their loss to the Patriots. But while the Vikings defense had some struggles earlier this season, the unit seemed to be hitting its stride headed into the team's bye last week. The Bears have a top-five offense, but in this key NFC North contest, I think Mike Zimmer and the Vikings will be able to get to Trubisky better than the Lions, Bills and Jets, Chicago's last three opponents. — Jenny Vrentas

Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) at Chicago Bears

The Bears are better this year, but they haven't been tested by a defense like Minnesota's yet. Take the Vikings and the points. — Andy Benoit

ORR: The Search to Save NFL Defenses

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1) at New York Giants

Did you have fun at the expense of the Bucs last week? I know I did. But while we all shouted, "501 yards but only three points," you could easily turn that around and say, "only three points but 501 yards!" The Bucs had major issues in the red zone, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is turnover-prone, but I don't see how you can look at last week and say it was anything but incredibly fluky. Rolling up 500 yards on a good Washington defense is encouraging, enough so that I have a hard time considering them an underdog against a Giants team that is traveling across the country on a short week (the "off an MNF road game" is a favorite trend of my Gambling podcast co-host and long-time roommate Scott Gramling, by the way). Plus, the Giants are no good in even matchups, 2-9 against the spread when the line is +3 to -3 since the start of the 2017 season. — Gary Gramling

Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons (-3)

Matt Ryan is simply a different QB at home, where his passer rating is 37 points higher than it has been on the road this year. Atlanta has scored more than 30 points in four of its five home games, while Dallas has managed to put up more than 27 just once all season. The Cowboys’ primetime win last week may have kept them in the playoff hunt, but I expect it to be the Falcons that keep their postseason hopes alive this weekend. — Jacob Feldman

Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals (-4)

One of my sports talk pet peeves is when someone insists that a team has quit on its coach or season. Most people who are so sure of that proclamation aren’t in the locker room regularly, or around the team with any consistency, and don’t have a real window into what’s happening with the team in question. Sometimes, teams are just bad. Players don’t have to quit on their coach or the season for the team to be bad. Not everyone can be the Saints, you know? It’s an insult to say these professionals have quit on their jobs.

So, I am not saying that the Raiders have quit on Jon Gruden or the 2018 season. What I am saying, though, is that if there’s one team that’s ready to turn the page to 2019, it’s the Raiders. They’ve lost five straight games, they’ve scored six or fewer points in three of their last four, and their only win is against the Browns. The Cardinals, meanwhile, are showing signs of life. They beat the 49ers two weeks ago and put in respectable work in Kansas City in a 26-14 loss to the Chiefs last week. New offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is reviving the offense by—surprise, surprise—getting David Johnson more involved than Mike McCoy did before he was shown the door. Johnson had his best game of the season last week, running 21 times for 98 yards, catching seven of nine targets for 85 yards and scoring two touchdowns. The Cardinals haven’t been nearly as hopeless as the Raiders, especially at home, where they lost to the Bears by two and Seahawks by three. They’re home again this week, and this line implies these are basically even teams on a neutral field. With all due respect to the professionals on the Raiders, I’m not sure they’re an equal with any of the 31 other teams in the league. I’ll lay the wood here, with confidence. — Michael Beller

Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Start with the fact that Pittsburgh is better, and hotter. The Steelers are winners of five straight games, each of them by at least a touchdown, and a couple of them by much more than that. The Jaguars are losers of five straight, some of them not close, each of them more demoralizing than the last.

Continue with the fact that the Steelers will be motivated. The Jaguars surely want to win this game. The Steelers will want not just to win, but to stomp the Jaguars into the ground. A win on Sunday won’t exactly avenge the loss in that bonkers AFC divisional round shootout last season, but it’s the closest thing they can get. With a few extra days of rest since playing at home last Thursday, with the Le’Veon Bell saga now officially behind them for good this year, the Steelers are going to win comfortably on Sunday. — Mitch Goldich

Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons (-3)

If you don't fade the Cowboys following a primetime win, I'm not sure we can be friends. We're getting great value on this line, especially with the Falcons falling as a road favorite in Cleveland. Matt Ryan is having the best QB season that you haven't heard about this season, and this offense is averaging 32.2 PPG at home. Dallas cornerback Byron Jones has had a strong season, but the rest of the secondary will have its hands full defending Atlanta's arsenal of weapons. I don't see this Cowboys offense keeping up with Atlanta's firepower on the road, either. Altanta's defense has struggled due to a rash of injuries, but the Falcons might be getting back linebacker Deion Jones, who is the heart and soul of this unit. Dak Prescott may be a little nervous facing a Falcons pass rush that sacked him eight times in Atlanta last season. One other tidbit: Dallas is 0-4 against the spread this season following a win. — Max Meyer  

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)