Week 11 of the NFL season is here. Time to place your bets.
Joe Fortenbaugh: Saints -3 vs. 49ers. This line opened New Orleans -2.5 and was immediately bet up to the key number of -3 for a multitude of reasons. The Saints are 5-0 ATS at home this season, defeating their opposition by the lopsided average of 20.2 points per game. Additionally, New Orleans is 21-5 ATS at home since 2010 and 14-3 ATS over its last 17 home contests against teams with a winning road record. Last week’s hard-hitting 10-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers took a physical toll on the San Francisco roster, with TE Vernon Davis and S Eric Reid suffering head injuries that have limited both players in practice this week. Expect the effects from that Carolina slugfest to be felt during the second half of Sunday’s game at the Voodoo Dome.
Tom Mantzouranis: Seahawks -12 vs. Vikings. The Vikings are rested, thanks to the mini-bye following a Thursday night game and they're coming off their best game of the season. The Seahawks, meanwhile, haven't looked as dominant as their 9-1 record might indicate. No matter. Minnesota is not coming within two touchdowns of the Seahawks in Seattle. The only hope the Vikings have is riding Adrian Peterson, but the Seahawks' run defense looked like it was getting back on track against the Falcons last week. And there's also the matter of Percy Harvin's return; you can bet that he and the team have been eyeing this game for his Seattle debut. Fired up against his old team, Harvin is good for 2-3 big plays alone. The line is actually as high as -13.5 in some places, so -12 is a bargain.
NFL Week 11 Betting Odds
|(Odds courtesy of COVERS.com)|
Stay Away From
Fortenbaugh: Chargers -1 at Dolphins. Who exactly did the Chargers offend to get stuck with a schedule that features four cross country trips, three of which, after Sunday, will have taken place over the last five weeks? That’s a lot of travel and a tough situation for a mediocre football club. But with all of the dysfunction surrounding the Dolphins at the moment, betting Miami would be about as fiscally prudent as a stop at the Caribbean Stud table.
Mantzouranis: Jets +1 vs. Bills. The Jets should beat the Bills, and that's exactly what worries me. Who knows which version of Rex Ryan's team is going to show up? The Bills have a tough enough defense, particularly in the pass rush, and if the Jets come out with anything less than their A-game, an "upset" is possible.
Best Of The Rest
Fortenbaugh: Browns +5.5 at Bengals. This is too many points for a Geno Atkins-less Bengals team to lay, especially against a divisional opponent coming off the bye week. Note that the underdog in this series is 12-3-1 ATS over the last 16 meetings and that the Browns are 8-3-1 ATS over their last 12 games against the AFC North.
Bears -3 vs. Ravens. If you trust Joe Flacco on the road, I know of a Nigerian Prince who has a great investment opportunity you might want to explore. Through five away dates in 2013, Flacco is just 1-4 both straight-up and against the spread with a completion percentage of 57.5 percent to go along with his seven touchdown passes and nine interceptions. Don’t let last week’s win over Andy Dalton (aka Joe Flacco light) and the banged-up Bengals fool you.
Mantzouranis: Chiefs +8.5 at Broncos. Peyton's taking hits, and while the Chiefs' pass rush has slowed its pace lately, they should still be good for a couple of sacks against the Broncos' porous line, which is sieving pressure on the left side. Guess who'll be attacking that side? Tamba Hali. And how much Peyton is even on the field to absorb those hits is still up in the air. The Chiefs' rushing offense is 12th in the league, and they're fifth in time of possession, so they're capable of shortening the game and keeping Manning on the sideline. I wouldn't bet the Chiefs straight up, but for a team that is 5-2 ATS in its last seven and allowing less than 13 points per game on the season, a spread of more than a touchdown is lunacy.
Saints -3 vs. 49ers. The 49ers' woes are exaggerated by many, in my opinion, and they've gotten the better of New Orleans in recent matchups. But the Saints rarely lack firepower at home and almost never fail to cover -- an astounding 21-5 ATS in the Superdome in their last 26. They're undefeated at home and outscoring opponents by a lot, as Joe mentioned above. Even if you project this one conservatively, giving the Saints less and the 49ers more credit than they deserve right now, New Orleans should be capable of covering, especially if they can keep the ground game that emerged last week against the Cowboys rolling.
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