NFL Odds Week 11: Breaking Down Best Value Picks Among Early Lines

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 11:   Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons runs off the field after being defeated by the New Orleans Saints 31-27 at The Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 11, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

After a wild Week 10 that featured plenty of points, a couple upsets and even a tie, it's time to turn the page and look ahead to Week 11. There are some intriguing matchups and also a few promising lines that warrant consideration.

The odds tend to change throughout the week.

If there are a couple picks that look good early, make sure to lock them in before they shift. With that in mind, let's take a look at the best value on the board among the early-week spreads. Odds courtesy 


Atlanta Falcons (-10) vs. Arizona Cardinals

The pressure of a perfect season has quickly been lifted off Atlanta's shoulders just as the whispers had begun. Now the Falcons can look to rebound from their first loss against a Cardinals squad that's lost five straight games.

It appeared Arizona was on track to surprise a lot of people early in the season. The Cardinals won their first four games, including victories over the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, but then everything fell apart.

Most notably, the team's offense is an absolute mess.

Quarterback John Skelton has thrown an interception in every game he's started this season and sports a lackluster 65.8 quarterback rating. Add in a couple of injured running backs and it's easy to see why the Cardinals are struggling.

On the flip side, the Falcons are a well-oiled machine led by MVP candidate Matt Ryan. Even in last week's loss, Atlanta was able to rack up more than 450 yards of total offense. The Cardinals defense won't be able to contain all of the weapons.

Expect an inspired performance from the Falcons, who want to avoid letting their hot start turn into a losing streak like Arizona did. They should be in firm control of the game by halftime and should win by at least two touchdowns.


Indianapolis Colts (+9.5) at New England Patriots

This game will be an awesome test of where Andrew Luck stands about halfway through his rookie season. The Patriots, who had his predecessor Peyton Manning's number for a long time, are going to throw every trick in their arsenal at him.

Judging by what he's shown so far, he'll be ready for it. What Luck has accomplished doesn't show up in the individual numbers (79.1 QB rating), but the Colts record (6-3) is a testament of his ability to put the team in position to win games.

The most important thing is that he doesn't looked overwhelmed like many rookies. He's held his own every step of the way, and there's no reason to believe that won't continue against New England, which ranks 29th in pass defense.

Defensively, the Colts should be able to put pressure on Tom Brady out of their base formation. Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis coming off the edge is a scary thought for any quarterback, and Brady knows what they're capable of.

The Patriots have more weapons on offense, which means they should have a slight advantage in a game that sets up as a shootout.

That said, the Colts should be able to keep it within a single score and therefore cover the spread.