You want picks against the spread for every Week 11 NFL matchup, and I’m going to deliver them! It’s a week filled with some uncertainty, but there are also a few smart plays that you should take a chance on.
Injured quarterbacks are currently the headline around the league; make sure you know who's likely out before making your wagers this week.
Take a look at my picks and why I’m going with each this week.
Miami Dolphins (+2.5) over BUFFALO BILLS
The real Dolphins will show up in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. It’ll be a gritty, close game that features two explosive runners.
Buffalo’s defense just can’t get enough stops to keep Miami quiet all night.
Final score: Miami 24, Buffalo 21
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (-3.5) over Philadelphia Eagles
We’ll get our first look at the Michael Vick-less Eagles on Sunday. Chances are, they’ll look like the same Eagles that have lost four consecutive games.
Robert Griffin III has been quiet lately, but will have a big game against the struggling Eagles defense.
Final score: Washington 28, Philadelphia 17
DETROIT LIONS (+3.5) over Green Bay Packers
If the Detroit Lions would commit to the run for just one week, it’s possible they could upset the Packers. But we all know that’s not going to happen. Green Bay is coming off of a bye week and will be bringing the pressure on quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Still, the Lions should be able to keep this one close enough to cover.
Final score: Green Bay 31, Detroit 28
ATLANTA FALCONS (-9.5) over Arizona Cardinals
Arizona’s tough defense has dwindled in recent weeks due to the ineptitude of the team’s offense. It’s hard playing tough for four quarters while having no help from the other side of the ball.
Things will not be any easier for the struggling Cardinals against the Falcons this week. Atlanta is coming off of its first loss of the season and will be hungry to get back in the win column.
Final score: Atlanta 24, Arizona 10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.5) over CAROLINA PANTHERS
The Bucs stifled the Panthers potent offense leading to a narrow 16-10 victory after their first meeting of the season. However, things may be a little bit more interesting in Week 11.
Since Week 1, the Bucs offense has been on a tear while its defense continues to move backwards each week. Expect a high-scoring affair that ends up in favor of the Bucs.
Final score: Tampa Bay 30, Carolina 28
Cleveland Browns (+7.5) over DALLAS COWBOYS
The Cleveland Browns aren’t as bad as the 2-7 record they carry, but they aren’t much better than it, either. Dallas, on the other hand, is one of the biggest underperforming teams in the NFL.
Look for a steady dose of either Felix Jones or DeMarco Murray to keep the young and big-potential Browns offense on the sidelines.
Final score: Dallas 23, Cleveland 17
ST. LOUIS RAMS (-3.5) over New York Jets
The chances of the Jets breaking their three-game losing streak against a pretty good Rams team are slim to none. Mark Sanchez has floundered as the team’s starting quarterback, and it will be nothing but an uphill battle for him against a much improved Rams secondary.
Look for Steven Jackson and the Rams offense to work the ball on the ground with ease against the Jets’ 30th-ranked rush defense. After all, they’ve been running it successfully against much better defenses in the NFC West this season.
Final score: St. Louis 28, New York 23
HOUSTON TEXANS (-15) over Jacksonville Jaguars
The Texans rolled the Jaguars by 20 points even with Maurice Jones-Drew in the lineup. Look for Arian Foster and the Texans’ zone-blocking scheme to walk all over the helpless Jags defense in Week 11.
It’s hard to pick a team favored by two touchdowns, but this one is a no-brainer.
Final score: Houston 31, Jacksonville 10
Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) over KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Cincinnati is coming off of an impressive offensive showing against the New York Giants last week. Kansas City, despite its struggles, isn’t going to give up that many points through the air this week.
It should be a closer game than many think, but the Bengals should still be able to keep the one-dimensional Chiefs at bay and beat the spread in the process.
Final score: Cincinnati 21, Kansas City 17
New Orleans Saints (-4.5) over OAKLAND RAIDERS
Oakland is coming off of one of the most embarrassing performances of the season. It was torched by Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens for 55 points. If Flacco can do that to them, what’s Drew Brees going to do this week?
Plus, the Raiders will likely be employing fullback Marcel Reece as their primary ball-carrier again this week. Call me crazy, but I don’t see this game even being close despite the struggles of the Saints defense.
Final score: New Orleans 41, Oakland 21
Indianapolis Colts (+9) over NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Andrew Luck will get the chance to renew the Pats and Colts rivalry with his first start at Foxborough. It’s been a dream rookie season for the No. 1 overall pick, and it’s about to get a lot better with an excellent matchup against a bad Patriots secondary.
Indianapolis may struggle running the football against a good Pats front seven, but Luck will make up for it enough to keep the Colts close and cover the spread.
Final score: New England 34, Indianapolis 28
San Diego Chargers (+7.5) over DENVER BRONCOS
Philip Rivers loves the thin Mile High air and will be airing it out early and often as he attempts to improve his career mark of 5-1 while visiting Sports Authority Field.
The second-half collapse by Rivers and the Chargers offense is far too fresh in my mind to think that the Broncos won’t be able to pressure Rivers and force some mistakes as well, especially with the game on the line.
Final score: Denver 38, San Diego 35
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) over PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Pittsburgh simply doesn’t stand a chance against the Ravens without Ben Roethlisberger under center. The spread could be 10 points, and I’d still go with the Ravens on the road in this one.
Final score: Baltimore 28, Pittsburgh 10
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-5) over Chicago Bears
Both starting quarterbacks are questionable to play after suffering concussions in Week 10. Of the two, Alex Smith is further along in recovery and participated in non-contact drills on Wednesday, according to Cindy Boren of The Washington Post.
Starting quarterbacks aren’t the focus of either of these teams, though. It’s the defenses and running games that have played best throughout the season. I like the 49ers at home in a tough-fought NFC battle, quarterback injuries or not.
Final score: San Francisco 17, Chicago 10
*All odds according to Covers and are current as of 11/15/2012
**Home teams in caps