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Let’s take a look at all 12 NFL contests slated for Sunday’s DraftKings Sportsbook Pro Football Week 11 Spreads Pool, including my five personal favorites.
Tennessee Titans @ Baltimore Ravens (-6.5)
The Pick: Titans +6.5
This is clearly not the same Ravens squad that we saw last season. They’ve dropped from first to 24th in Football Outsiders’ offensive DVOA, thanks in no small part to changes along their offensive line. All-world guard Marshall Yanda retired during the offseason and Ronnie Stanley is out for the rest of the year with an ankle injury. That leaves a team that dominated in the trenches last year without their two best offensive linemen.
The Ravens’ one saving grace has been their defense, but they’re dealing with a few key injuries on that side of the ball as well. Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams have both yet to practice this week and the Patriots were able to run the ball at will last week with those two players out of the lineup.
If the Ravens couldn’t stop Damien Harris without Campbell and Williams, what’s going to happen when they face Derrick Henry? I’m expecting the Titans to bounce back in a big way in this matchup.
The Pick: Washington -1.5
The majority of the public is siding with the Bengals, who have received 59% of the spread tickets across the industry. That said, the big-money bets have been landing on Washington, which suggests that they’re the sharp side.
It’s easy to see why the pros are interested in Washington. They have an elite pass rush, ranking second in the league in adjusted sack rate, while the Bengals have struggled in pass protection all season. The Bengals allowed four sacks last week vs. the Steelers and only Carson Wentz and Russell Wilson have taken more sacks this season than Joe Burrow.
If Washington can get to Burrow, it should lead to some mistakes from the rookie QB. Burrow has posted a 4.2 YPA and two touchdowns compared to two interceptions while under pressure this season, plus he also owns one of the lowest Pro Football Focus grades in the league while under duress.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-9.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Pick: Jaguars +9.5
The Steelers are the largest favorites on the slate and that is not a role that they have historically thrived in. Ben Roethlisberger has struggled as a large road favorite, in particular, posting a record of just 6-17 against the spread when favored by more than a touchdown away from home since 2004.
This also seems like a classic “look ahead” spot for the Steelers. Pittsburgh has to face the Ravens next week in a huge divisional contest, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the Steelers weren’t completely focused on this matchup vs. the lowly Jags.
The Jaguars aren’t a good team by any stretch of the imagination, but they can keep this game competitive if Pittsburgh doesn’t bring their A-game. Jake Luton is 2-0 against the spread as a starter and he’s lost his two starts by a combined six points.
Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings (-8.5)
The Pick: Cowboys +8.5
The Vikings have played much better recently, winning each of their past three games, but this line still seems way too high.
The Cowboys are coming off a bye week and this team played much better in their last contest after getting a bit healthier. The Cowboys were able to keep their game vs. the Steelers competitive, losing by just five points despite being approximately 14-point underdogs. Having Sean Lee and Leighton Vander Esch back in the lineup has improved their defense, while the return of Zack Martin has helped their offensive line.
The Cowboys will get Andy Dalton back at QB for this contest, which should be a huge upgrade for their offense. Dalton may not be a great quarterback – he probably never was – but he’s still clearly better than Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert. Dalton struggled in his first two starts with the Cowboys, but those starts came behind a patchwork offensive line and against teams with solid pass rushes. He should get better protection against the Vikings, which will allow him to make use of the Cowboys’ talented group of pass-catchers.
This line is down to Cowboys +7.0 on DraftKings Sportsbook, so we’re also grabbing a few points of spread value here. Seven and eight are both key numbers in NFL betting, so the difference between 7.0 and 8.5 is massive.
Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) @ Las Vegas Raiders
The Pick: Chiefs -6.5
This is another line offering significant value at the moment. This spread is listed at Chiefs -8.0 on DraftKings Sportsbook at the moment and it wouldn’t be shocking if that number continues to rise as we get closer to kickoff.
There is a lot of uncertainty around the Raiders’ defense at the moment. Cory Little and Clelin Ferrell have both tested positive for COVID-19 and another eight players are currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list after coming into close contact with those players. Those other eight players still have a chance to play in this contest, but they will need to test negative for five straight days before that can happen. We simply don’t know if that will be the case at this point.
Even if all eight guys are cleared, the Raiders are still going to have a hard time against the Chiefs. They’re coming off their bye last week and Andy Reid is a master when given additional time to prepare. He owns a record of 16-7 against the spread with at least 13 days to prepare since 2004 (including playoffs). The Chiefs should also be motivated following their loss to the Raiders earlier this season, so I’m expecting them to take care of business on Sunday night.
Here are the teams I’m targeting for the rest of the Sunday games. Remember, we’re looking to beat the competition and climb up the leaderboard, so I’ll be looking to gain leverage on the field and fade the public in situations where I don’t see a huge edge on the spread.
New England Patriots (-2.5) @ Houston Texans
Pick: Texans +2.5
Detroit Lions @ Carolina Panthers (-1.5)
Pick: Lions +1.5
Philadelphia Eagles @ Cleveland Browns (-3.5)
Pick: Eagles +3.5
Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints (-4.5)
Pick: Falcons +4.5
Miami Dolphins (-3.5) @ Denver Broncos
Pick: Dolphins -3.5
New York Jets @ Los Angeles Chargers (-8.5)
Pick: Chargers -8.5
Green Bay Packers @ Indianapolis Colts (-2.5)
Pick: Colts -2.5
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