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NFL Week 11 Picks: Early Odds and Predictions for Every Upcoming Game

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistNovember 12, 2018

Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald celebrates after a fumble by the against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half in an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

Most of the attention handed to the Week 11 schedule will be centered on the colossal clash between the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs. 

The heavyweight meeting on Monday night in Mexico City could be a preview of the Super Bowl matchup in February, but coming out on top in Week 11 is more important at the moment than a game that's still three months away. 

While the Chiefs and Rams will be thrust into the Week 11 spotlight, there are a handful of intriguing Sunday contests that could change the playoff picture in both conferences. 

A key matchup in the NFC North, an elimination game in the AFC South, a few showdowns between wild-card contenders and a clash of surprising divisional leaders round out what should be an exciting slate of games.

         

NFL Week 11 Schedule

Thursday, November 15

Green Bay at Seattle (-2) (8:20 p.m., Fox/NFL Network) 

      

Sunday, November 18

Dallas at Atlanta (-4.5) (1 p.m., Fox) 

Carolina (-3.5) at Detroit (1 p.m., Fox) 

Tampa Bay (Even) at New York Giants (1 p.m., Fox) 

Tennessee at Indianapolis (-3) (1 p.m., CBS) 

Houston (-3) at Washington (1 p.m., CBS) 

Pittsburgh (-3.5) at Jacksonville (1 p.m., CBS) 

Cincinnati at Baltimore (N/A) (1 p.m., CBS) 

Oakland at Arizona (-3.5) (4:05 p.m., CBS) 

Denver at Los Angeles Chargers (-7) (4:05 p.m., CBS) 

Philadelphia at New Orleans (-7) (4:25 p.m., Fox) 

Minnesota at Chicago (-3) (8:20 p.m., NBC) 

      

Monday. November 19

Kansas City vs. Los Angeles Rams (-1) (8:15 p.m., ESPN, Game played in Mexico City) 

All Times ET. Predictions against the spread in bold. Odds obtained from OddsShark.

       

Predictions

Rams 34, Chiefs 31

If Monday night's game is anything but close, we'll be stunned. 

Quarterbacks Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes are expected to take turns in the spotlight, as they lead the top two offenses in the NFL down the field. 

In addition to the top pair of passers in the NFL, two of the top four rushers in the league and the fifth-best wide receiver will be on display in Mexico City.

The Chiefs enter Week 11 with 18 more total points than the Rams, but the Rams have scored more points over the last two weeks. 

While stretching the field in the passing game is going to be important for both teams, they must rely on their star running backs to set the offensive tempo and put together extended drives that keep the other offense off the gridiron.

The Rams have done a better job of that through Todd Gurley, as they rank second in the NFL in rushing yards per game, while the Chiefs, led by Kareem Hunt, are 13th in that category. 

Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

While the Rams possess an edge in the running game, the Chiefs hold a slight advantage through the air, as they have a unique weapon in tight end Travis Kelce.

Between Kelce's bruising play in the middle of the field and Tyreek Hill's speed on the edges, Mahomes should be able to split apart the Rams secondary on a few occasions for big plays. 

While the majority of the focus, and rightfully so, will be on the offense, there will be two defensive players who have the final say on the game. 

Rams defensive tackles Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh will get enough push on the interior to disrupt Mahomes in the second half, which will lead to the Rams offense having a short field to work with. 

Although the Chiefs have impressive pass-rushers on their roster in Dee Ford and Chris Jones, the Los Angeles defensive tackles will make more of a difference because they'll be able to pressure Mahomes and clog up Hunt's running lanes. 

Kansas City will make a fourth-quarter push to eliminate the Rams' lead, but it won't have enough to overcome the deficit on the final drive. 

           

Houston 27, Washington 16

The two most surprising division leaders in the NFL meet at FedEx Field in a game that could have ramifications on their respective divisions. 

Houston, who leads the AFC South by a game over Tennessee, comes into Washington off a bye, while the Redskins, who hold a two-game advantage over Dallas and Philadelphia, are coming off a hard-fought win over Tampa Bay. 

At the moment, both teams are projected as the No. 4 in their respective conferences, which means they need to improve their record in order to avoid matchups with the Los Angeles Chargers and Carolina Panthers in the wild-card round. 

The No. 3 seed is in reach for Houston with a Week 11 win since New England is off, while the Redskins need the NFC North contenders to beat up on each other down the stretch to move up a spot in the conference standings. 

Expect the AFC South versus NFC East matchup to be won through the air since Washington and Houston boast the fifth- and sixth-best rushing defenses in the NFL. 

While Washington's Alex Smith is a reliable option in the pocket who doesn't turn the ball over much, Houston's Deshaun Watson has more big-play receivers at his disposal, and they'll make a difference Sunday. 

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 04:  Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans plays the Denver Broncos at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on November 4, 2018 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Since they had a full week off to incorporate Demaryius Thomas into the offense, the Texans should target the former Denver player more as DeAndre Hopkins receives the bulk of the attention from the Washington secondary. 

By connecting with Hopkins and Thomas for three scores, Watson will help the Texans create separation from the Redskins and earn a win that could open up a two-game advantage in the AFC South if the Titans fall to Indianapolis.

A loss won't be the worst thing for the Redskins in the NFC East race since the Cowboys and Eagles take on Atlanta and New Orleans, respectively, in Week 11. 

                

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

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