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 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, wild and crazy 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)
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 off of the bye 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 squad 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
The Packers lost 38-3 to open the season against the Saints. All they’ve done since that point is cover nine straight games, including an 8-1 straight-up record. The only loss came in the game that Aaron Rodgers missed due to 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 allowed more than 22 points just twice. One of those games was the one against the Saints, in which New Orleans only had 322 yards and had 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
The Bears are another one of those teams coming off of the bye, so there are some concerns given how that has gone to this point. However, Justin Fields is steadily improving week by 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 the 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 much of anybody this season due to missed tackles and yards after the catch. Baltimore was one of two teams in the NFL allowing over 13 yards per reception as of last 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