NFL Week 11 best bets: Three games with intriguing early odds

Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa strip-sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa strip-sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins in the first half of the Vikings’ 27-20 win Sunday at SoFi Stadium.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

More big favorites went down in Week 10 and some others struggled during what has become a big run for underdogs. While Dallas and Buffalo comfortably held serve and found their offensive rhythms, Tampa Bay lost to Washington, Arizona lost to Carolina and Indianapolis had all sorts of problems with Jacksonville.

Oh, yeah, and the Steelers tied with the Lions.

We had our sixth upset of a 7-point or more favorite in the last three weeks, and we have a lot of bettors out there questioning everything they thought they knew about the NFL. It has been a strange and wild season and it’s just a little more than halfway over.

That said, even with Rams vs. 49ers left on Monday Night Football, it’s time to turn the page and look ahead to some lines I like for Week 11:


Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-10.5, 46.5)

Houston Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor passes against the Miami Dolphins on Nov. 7.
(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)


The Titans have rattled off six wins in a row and have some very impressive victories in that span, as they’ve beaten the Bills, Chiefs and Rams. Last week’s win over New Orleans was a solid triumph as well, though Tennessee’s offensive shortcomings came to the forefront with just 4.6 yards per play.

Teams coming off a bye week are 5-11 ATS to this point, so that would be the worry with the Texans. First-year head coaches have struggled mightily, which is something that is concerning about David Culley. That being said, Houston is a different team with a healthy Tyrod Taylor, though, and this is more of a fade of the Titans than anything else.

Tennessee is playing an AFC South opponent here, but one that sits with a 1-8 record. The Titans play the Patriots next week, as Mike Vrabel gets a crack at his former head coach. His team has played a lot of close, emotional games during this stretch and this looks like a tough spot to win by margin.

Pick: Texans +10.5


Green Bay Packers (-2.5, 49.5) at Minnesota Vikings

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers celebrates after a win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
(Aaron Gash / Associated Press)


The Packers lost 38-3 to open the season against the Saints. All they’ve done since is cover nine straight games, including an 8-1 straight-up record. The only loss came in the game that Aaron Rodgers sat out because of COVID-19.

Conditions were suboptimal for Russell Wilson coming off of his hand injury, but the Seahawks managed just 3.5 yards per play and just 208 total yards against the Green Bay defense. The Packers have given up more than 22 points only twice. One of those games was the one against the Saints, in which New Orleans had 322 yards and two short touchdown drives because of turnovers.

The upside of Rodgers and the offense is clear, even with the loss of Aaron Jones to a sprained MCL. It has been this stifling Packers defense that has been the major catalyst for this run. The Vikings have a lot of skill-position talent but rank around the league average in yards per play.

Green Bay has the coaching edge here and a lot of advantages on the field. This line should be higher.

Pick: Packers -2.5


Baltimore Ravens (-6, 45) at Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields scrambles against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 8.
(Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

The Bears are another one of those teams coming off of a bye week, so there are some concerns given how that has gone to this point. However, Justin Fields is steadily improving each week and the Chicago defense remains a feisty unit capable of keeping the opposition at bay.


Baltimore’s play-calling and execution came under immense scrutiny during a loss to Miami. Maybe the team is trying to protect Lamar Jackson, who has popped up on the injury report at various points this season, but the run-heavy scheme isn’t working with so much attrition at the position and on the offensive line compared to previous seasons.

The Bears are entered last week fifth in sacks with a low blitz rate, so they’re able to get pressure without sacrificing defenders. That should allow them to contain Jackson as a runner. The Ravens’ defense hasn’t contained few teams this season because of missed tackles and yards after the catch. Baltimore was one of two teams in the NFL giving up more than 13 yards per reception as of Sunday and ranked in the bottom five in missed tackles.

Fields also has 26 carries for 186 yards the last three games, so he’s becoming more comfortable as a runner and the Bears are giving him that freedom, which should eventually cut down on the interceptions and the mistakes.

Pick: Chicago Bears +6

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