NFL: Week 11 Handicapping Preview

A few thoughts on some NFL Week 11 games that stick out:

Buccaneers at Chiefs (-7.5): Anytime Alex Smith and the Chiefs are giving more than a touchdown it’s usually a time to look at their opponent. The Chiefs continue to be a puzzling team to me. They really limped to the finish line to beat but not cover against the Jaguars. Last week they were outplayed for three quarters and then stole one against the Panthers. The Buccaneers are a team riddled by injuries. At one point they were down to their fourth-string running back and James Winston has hit a bit of a sophomore slump. The good news for Tampa is that Doug Martin is healthy, which could open up the offense to Winston and Mike Evans. I think it’s a good time to buy low on the Buccaneers who are getting a little healthier and catching the Chiefs the week before a big showdown with the Denver Broncos.

Bears at Giants (-7.5): The Giants are 6-3 but it’s hard to say they have been very impressive. They are coming off a one-point win on Monday night and have been on the right side of a lot of close games this season. Luckily for New York they catch the Bears off a humiliating loss in Tampa Bay. Alshon Jeffery is will serve the first game of his four-game suspension and Chicago will be missing a key piece in Kyle Long. The Giants play the Browns next week but after that I will look for opportunities to sell high and fade Ben McAdoo’s team.

Cardinals at Vikings (Pick): I think it says a lot about the Cardinals that they only beat the 49ers by three points coming off a bye week. They are being priced like a Super Bowl contender but I think Arizona is just above average. The Vikings are on a four-game losing streak but I saw a few encouraging moments from their offense last week against the Redskins. Minnesota is in a new stadium and have a great home field edge. It’s hard to find the courage to back the Vikings but I think this is the spot to do it against an overvalued Cardinals team.

Ravens at Cowboys (-7): The Cowboys are coming off a statement win in Pittsburgh, and now have won and covered eight straight games. Dallas has a Thanksgiving game next Thursday against the Redskins so this would seem like the classic “sandwich game” to fade the Cowboys. However, I don’t have much faith in the Ravens especially their offense. Because of that I would look at the under in this game, which is at 45. The Ravens don’t let up many points and I can see the Cowboys playing at a much slower pace after last week’s shootout.

Texas vs Raiders (-6): I could understand if the Raiders were six-point favorites at home but this game is on a neutral site in Mexico City. I know the Texans have a lot of injuries but there seems to be tremendous value on Houston. The Raiders seem to be one of the favorite public teams and this game is on Monday night. With the players on the field it might be hard to gather up a case for the Texans other than I think this point spread is way too high. Let’s just say I would consider the Texans at +6 if this game was in the Bay Area. So by that logic I should like them in Mexico.