Week 11 NFL best bets and predictions
Each week, I'll be looking through Sunday's NFL games to try and feed my readers three winners. That continues with the three best bets I have for the Week 11 slate. Keep reading to find out what I have and make sure you also check out what my talented VSiN colleagues are playing. Those plays, along with all of our NFL content for the week, are available at our Week 11 NFL Bet Hub. You can also get all of our picks for the week on the Pro Picks page.
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The Bears haven’t been good defensively this season, as they’re currently 28th in the league in Defensive DVOA and 27th in EPA per play. However, Chicago has actually been very good when it comes to stopping the run. The Bears are second in the league in Rush EPA defensively, and they’re also sixth when it comes to Defensive DVOA against the rush. With that in mind, Chicago should be able to keep David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs in check here. That’ll force Jared Goff to have to go out and light up the Bears in the secondary, but I’m not confident he’ll do that — at least in a way that allows the Lions to win by more than a touchdown.
Offensively, I think the Bears are ready to turn the corner with Justin Fields coming back. Fields sat back and watched Tyson Bagent lead Chicago to two wins, and the backup did that by making quick decisions and avoiding costly errors. Fields can learn a little from what he saw, but he’ll also bring his game changing ability to run — as well as some accuracy as a downfield thrower. Before injuring the thumb on his throwing hand against the Vikings on October 15, Fields had thrown for 617 yards with eight touchdowns and only one pick in his previous two outings. He was really starting to get comfortable in this offense, and I think he’ll hit the ground running here. Also, his ability to extend plays should neutralize the Lions’ defensive line play a little.
All in all, I just don’t think the Bears are as bad of a football team as their record suggests, and it’s hard to ignore that this is a divisional game. I simply can’t see this turning into a blowout, and I wouldn’t be all that shocked if Chicago actually has a chance to win this game late.
Bet: Bears +7.5 (-105)
The Under has hit in eight of the 10 games that this Raiders team has played, and it’s also 3-2 in the last five games that the Dolphins have played. And while I know how scary it is to be on an Under in a game involving Miami, I think playing the Under is the right call here.
The reality is that the Raiders are fully happy pounding away with Josh Jacobs and trying to win low-scoring games. Since Antonio Pierce took over as the team’s head coach, Las Vegas is averaging 33.0 rushing attempts per game. And it isn’t all that surprising considering they’re starting rookie Aidan O’Connell at quarterback. The Raiders are high on O'Connell and they clearly think he gives them a better chance to win than Jimmy Garoppolo does. However, they aren’t going to attempt to beat teams in shootouts. They want to play a game in which they win the time of possession battle and give themselves a chance late.
As for the Dolphins, there should be a couple of big plays in this game, especially with the team coming off a bye week. But Miami will also try to establish the run here, and Las Vegas will do everything it can to try and avoid getting beat over the top. And defensively, Miami is good enough to avoid being the team that lets Las Vegas’ passing game explode. This Dolphins team isn’t perfect on that side of the ball, but things have been better than last year — which is a credit to defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
It’s also worth noting that the Dolphins have been favored by 10 or more only three times under MIke McDaniel and the Under hit in two of those games.
Bet: Under 46.5 (-110 - Play to 45.5)
The Bills are coming off an ugly loss to the Denver Broncos, and the team decided to fire offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey and promote Joe Brady to that position. So, Buffalo has been dealing with some stuff over the last week, but at least the Bills are being proactive. They’re not satisfied with the way the season has gone, so they’re doing something about it. The team on the other sideline should learn a thing or two from them, as they are the worst team in the league offensively, by far. And while New York plans to play tight end Jeremy Ruckert and running back Izzy Abanikanda more, the team is sticking with quarterback Zach Wilson and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Until that changes, the Jets are a team to fade against good opponents.
There’s no denying that the Bills defense has been a problem over the last few weeks, but that likely won’t catch up to them against this miserable Jets offense. Buffalo can simply load up the box to try and slow Breece Hall down. Then, it’ll be up to Wilson to make big throws in order to move the sticks, but he hasn’t proven that he is capable of doing that. And Hackett hasn’t shown any faith in him to throw down the field either. So, I just don’t see the Jets scoring many points here, and I think the Bills will get things going.
I think we’ll see a better performance out of the Buffalo offense here. New York’s defense is as good as it gets, so the matchup isn’t great. However, Brady is a brilliant offensive mind and he has some talent to work with. Perhaps the new voice will be the spark the Bills need. And the Bills lost to this Jets team early in the season, so they’ll be out for revenge. I’m not sure we’ll see an explosion out of the Buffalo offense, but 24 points should allow the Bills to win by at least seven.
Bet: Bills -7 (-105)
Broncos -2.5 (-110) vs. Vikings - Click here for reasoning
Best Bets Record: 23-15 (+6.84 units)
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