Week 11 marks the end of the bye week stretch – as all 32 teams hit the field, highlighted by the annual Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady match, as well as Michael Vick and the Eagles hosting a New York Giants team that took a shocking beatdown at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys.
Last week’s picks were similar to the week before – near perfection at 4pm – only to falter back a bit, but finish strong.
It’s once again time to “Pick Your Knows” – the only time it’s not a disgusting habit – and here are Week 11’s games in the NFL (spreads as they appear through CBSSports.com).
Pick Your Knows: NFL Week 11 Picks Against the Spread
Chicago Bears at Miami Dolphins (-1.5)
As predicted last week, the Bears held their own against a team with a low sack and interception total (a.k.a. Cutler throws picks and the O-line allows sacks). The Dolphins are 11th in the NFL in sacks, but low in INT totals, with just 6. Tyler Thigpen gets the start for Miami during a short week and the Bears are 2nd in the NFL against the run. Combining all these factors makes this one a bit of a tossup – but the Miami sacks at home force additional Cutler mistakes. Fins win.
KP’s Pick: Miami
Oakland Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.5)
This game features Oakland’s second ranked rush offense against Pittsburgh’s top ranked rush defense. While Oakland has been playing great football, it’s a different story forcing the Raiders to have to rely more on a passing game riddled with injuries – and do so on the road, too. Expect the Steelers to bounce back from last week’s loss and cover at home.
KP’s Pick: Pittsburgh
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (+2.5)
It’s no secret that this is a “backs against the wall” game for the Vikings – as the team is already 3games back of the Packers. The Vikings are at home, where it has all of its 3 wins this year. It doesn’t look good for Sidney Rice’s return this week – but either way – playing at home, Minnesota steals away a must win.
KP’s Pick: Minnesota
Washington Redskins at Tennessee Titans (-6.5)
The Redskins were trounced by Philadelphia last Monday night, and head to Tennessee on short rest. The Titans have weapons that will give Washington problems, but Vince Young has been injured – and could be slowed. Washington could have both Ryan Torain and Clinton Portis back – and if true, there’s a good chance we’ll see the Redskins team that has kept most of its games close.
KP’s Pick: Washington
Cleveland Browns at Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5)
The Browns continue to get no respect when it comes to spreads – as they continue to give solid opponents a difficult time. The key matchup of the game will be Peyton Hillis vs. Maurice Jones-Drew – and while many criticize the Jacksonville pass defense – the Jags’ 21st-ranked rush defense isn’t much better. Cleveland steals a win on the road.
KP’s Pick: Cleveland
Baltimore Ravens at Carolina Panthers (+10.5)
The Panthers officially put DeAngelo Williams on the IR and will use Goodson at running back again. Last week’s game against Tampa Bay was enough of a challenge – and this week, they face off at home against the talented Ravens. Baltimore is fuming after last week’s loss and has had a few extra days to rest and prepare for Carolina. Ravens cover on the road.
KP’s Pick: Baltimore
Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys (-6.5)
After last week’s shocking dismantling of the Giants, the majority of folks are quickly back on the Cowboys bandwagon. But don’t underestimate the talent Detroit has. Each team struggles in the run game, but excels in the pass game – so expect a shootout. Detroit actually has 25 sacks on the year, and will cause headaches for the Dallas O-line – and create mistakes for Jon Kitna. Expect the emotions to drop in Dallas – and this to be a one-score game.
KP’s Pick: Detroit
Houston Texans at New York Jets (-6.5)
Matt Schaub was hospitalized earlier in the week, but the Texans report he’s OK and will play. The Jets haven’t been able to put anyone away – and each of the two teams has managed only five interceptions on defense. Houston has enough weapons in both the run and pass game to keep this a close game.
KP’s Pick: Houston
Arizona Cardinals at Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)
The Chiefs were unable to establish a strong run game after falling behind last week against the Broncos. This week, they get the Cardinals at home – a team that is 28th in the NFL against the run. Expect a bounceback game by Kansas City – and a two-score victory at home.
KP’s Pick: Kansas City
Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals (-5.5)
Even with all the offensive weapons, the Bengals have struggled – and in many cases it’s due to untimely interceptions by Carson Palmer. The Bills have the league’s lowest INT total – with only 2 on the season. Combine that with Cincinnati hanging tough with the Steelers and Colts over the last two weeks – and there’s a good chance the Bengals can eek out a touchdown victory at home against the Bills.
KP’s Pick: Cincinnati
Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints (-11.5)
The Saints sport a top pass offense and pass defense, while Seattle has struggled against the pass. New Orleans is also likely to get Reggie Bush back – adding a weapon that can stretch out defenses. The Saints – playing at home with an extra week of rest – should have enough to derail a Seahawks team that doesn’t fare well on the road. Saints win by 2 TD’s.
KP’s Pick: New Orleans
Atlanta Falcons at St. Louis Rams (+2.5)
The Falcons come off a huge Thursday night win against the Ravens – and get an extra few days rest to help prepare for a road contest against the Rams. Both teams have top ten rush defenses – and therefore establishing the run with either Michael Turner or Steven Jackson could be a challenge. Roddy White having a few extra days to get healthy should be a boost for Atlanta.
KP’s Pick: Atlanta
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers (-3.5)
The Bucs have played poorly against the run this season – and should have trouble with Frank Gore on the road. Still, this is an upstart team that is 3-1 on the road – and with a balanced attack featuring LaGarrette Blount in the run game and Josh Freeman running a solid 2-minute offense in the pass game. Tampa Bay should be able to keep this one inside 3-points – or win.
KP’s Pick: Tampa Bay
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-3.5)
The Patriots had arguably the team’s best overall performance last week against Pittsburgh – and now get Peyton Manning and the Colts at home. The Colts have had injuries and issues with the running game, but Manning himself should keep this game competitive throughout – no matter who he’s throwing to. A FG wins it in Foxboro.
KP’s Pick: Indianapolis
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)
The Giants have an elite pass rush, but with how mobile Michael Vick is, it’s difficult to imagine New York being able to get to him. Combine that with the way Vick has limited his mistakes in the passing game – and it’s hard to imagine the Eagles not being able to cover this small spread margin at home. Giants lose a second straight game.
KP’s Pick: Philadelphia
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers (-9.5)
Both of these teams are tough to figure out this season – but one thing is for sure, the Chargers play well at home (3-1). Each also features the top two passing offenses in the NFL – and the Broncos currently have the worst rush offense – though Knoshown Moreno gave Denver a spark last week against Kansas City. Antonio Gates is still a question mark in the passing game, but Phillip Rivers has excelled without him – and he’ll have Malcolm Floyd back, too.
KP’s Pick: San Diego