Here is a 5-Pack of NFL value plays for Week 11 to help build your bankroll Sunday, featuring the Seattle Seahawks trying to get back on track vs. the San Francisco 49ers at 4:25 ET.
Well, we are now down to two undefeated teams in the NFL after the Cincinnati Bengals were cast aside as double-digit favorites on Monday Night Football by the Houston Texans, leaving only the New England Patriots in the AFC and the Carolina Panthers in the NFC each at 9-0. The Patriots will be in action Monday night hosting the Buffalo Bills, while the Panthers are featured in one of the games of our weekly 5-pack of Sunday NFL picks this week for Week 11.
As usual, the week began with Thursday Night Football and it was mostly a snooze-fest although chalk players did ultimately come away happy with the Jacksonville Jaguars covering the point spread in a 19-13 victory as three-point home favorites. However, ‘over’ players were not nearly as pleased with that contest marking the fifth straight Thursday night game this season to stay ‘under’ the total, as the teams could not get to the closing total of 41½.
So now we move on to Sunday, where our 5-Pack this week is made up of just two sides and three totals. We are going against our normal contrarian nature here in Week 11 as both of the sides are favorites as of now, and we also have one ‘over’ while the other two totals are both ‘unders’. And as has become our custom in recent seasons, all of these NFL odds come from Pinnacle Sports.
Sunday, November 22nd
Carolina Panthers -7½ (+102) over Washington Redskins (1:00 ET): One of the biggest stories of Week 10 was the performance of Kirk Cousins, as the Washington quarterback had nearly 300 passing yards at halftime and finished 20-for-25 for 324 yards and four touchdowns without an interception in a 47-14 demolition of the New Orleans Saints. In fact the Redskins had an unbelievable 510 total yards in the contest thanks to adding a season-best 209 rushing yards, but before lining up for those playoff tickets, keep in mind that the Saints are dead last in the NFL in total defense and they finally fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan after the game. So the Skins are now going from facing the worst defense in football to facing one of the best in Carolina, so expect Cousins to go back to being Cousins and the running game to revert to the form that has Washington ranking 18th in the league in rushing (and probably worse form given the competition). The Panthers were in a prime letdown spot in Tennessee last week after beating the Seahawks, Eagles, Colts and Packers in the previous four games, and indeed they were off to a slow start leading just 14-10 at halftime before shutting out the Titans in the second half and pulling away to the 27-10 victory. Expect a better effort from start to finish this week with the return home, especially with the performance by the Redskins last week probably preventing the Panthers from taking Washington lightly, and the end result should be another double-digit win to make Carolina the first 10-0 team this season pending Monday’s result in New England.
Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins ‘over’ 46½ (-105) (1:00 ET): The Dallas Cowboys, aka “America’s Team,” began this season 2-0 with two division wins, but quarterback Tony Romo broke his collarbone in the second win vs. the Eagles and Dallas has gone 0-7 since then, fist with the since cut Brandon Weeden at quarterback and more recently with Matt Cassel at the helm. Well, lo and behold, Romo makes his return this week, but will it be a triumphant one? Well, maybe or maybe not, but in any event even 75 percent of Romo is an upgrade over the quarterback play Dallas had without him, and we do expect an improvement in the offense this week. Of course, it helps that the Cowboys are facing a Miami team that is ranked 26th in the NFL in total defense, 20th in passing defense and 31st (or second to last) in rushing defense. Look for the rejuvenated Darren McFadden to continue his nice comeback season on the ground and for Romo to use that to his advantage in the passing game, much like he did last year while having one of his best NFL seasons in conjunction with Demarco Murray leading the league in rushing. However, we also think that the Dolphins will score points at home too with an offense that has been much improved since Dan Campbell took over as interim coach, as unlike former coach Joe Philbin, Campbell has quickly figured out that the offense works best when talented running back Lamar Miller is utilized more, both as a runner and as a receiver out of the backfield. Thus, expect a relatively high scoring affair.
Denver Broncos -1 (-104) over Chicago Bears (1:00 ET): Well, the inevitable has finally happened as the future Hall of Fame but currently ineffective quarterback Peyton Manning has been benched, meaning that the 6-foor-8 gargantuan Brock Osweiler will make his first NFL start here at historic Soldier Field. Manning set the NFL record for all time passing yards surpassing Brett Favre last week, but could it be the game in which he broke the record also turns out to be his last NFL game? Regardless of how that situation shakes out, Osweiler may be raw but at least he can get the ball downfield and he completed 14-of-24 passes for 146 yards in his relief role last week. One of the reasons that the Broncos have been so bad offensively this season is that defenses have been able to press up to stuff the run without fear of Manning beating them over the top. Now, Osweiler obviously has a long way to go before being mentioned in the same breath as Manning, but if he hits some long passes early on in this game like he seems capable of doing, it would force the Chicago defense to play honestly which in turn would open up some running lanes for Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson, making the Denver offense look a lot ore like it did last season before Manning was injured. Meanwhile, the Bears could potentially be overvalued here after winning two straight games vs. questionable competition in the banged up Chargers and the one dimensional Rams.
Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers ‘under’ 45 (-114) (4:05 ET): The Chargers are a disappointing 2-7 coming out of their bye week, and while Philip Rivers put up some nice stats early in the year, he has struggled the past couple of games with a depleted receiving corps and the week off really has not changed much in that regard. The biggest loss of course was Keenan Allen, who was having an All-Pro season until being lost for the year to a lacerated kidney sustained two games ago. On top of that, fellow starting receiver Malcolm Floyd remains out with a shoulder injury that is threatening to end his season also, while veteran tight end Antonio Gates is attempting to play through a sprained MCL with mixed results. Add in running back Melvin Gordon being a bust with San Diego ranking 30th in the NFL in rushing and the offense was totally out of sorts in a 22-19 loss to the Bears before the bye, which we suspect is a precursor of things to come. The Chiefs were 1-5 following a five-game losing streak, but a three-game winning streak since then actually has Kansas City thinking about a wild card spot with a chance to get back to .500 here. And for that to happen, it will probably have to happen with defense and a conservative offense led by the running of Charcandrick West, who has filled in nicely since Jamaal Charles tore his ACL while looking better with each passing game.
San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks ‘under’ 40 (-110) (4:25 ET): Well, it appears that if the Seahawks are going to make a third straight run to the Super Bowl, it will have to be as a wild card this year after a home loss to the Cardinals last week left them three games behind Arizona with the Cards currently holding the head-to-head tiebreaker. Well, at least the Seattle defense figures to regain its good form here vs. the struggling San Francisco offense, much like it did while suffocating the 49ers in a 20-3 win at San Francisco a few weeks ago while allowing a mere 141 total yards. Yes, that was when Colin Kaepernick was still the quarterback for the Niners, but it is not as if his replacement Blaine Gabbert is that talented either. Gabbert was decent while winning his first San Francisco start 17-16 two weeks ago before a bye, but he was not under too much pressure vs. the Atlanta Falcons and still threw two interceptions. Gabbert has the well-earned reputation of being a ghost jumper, often flinching just while anticipating pressure that is not even really there and the Seahawks can still put good pressure on opposing quarterbacks. However, the Seattle offense still has issues with Russell Wilson usually running for his life behind a horrid offensive line while getting sacked an ungodly 33 times already this year, so we do not really anticipate the final score of this game being drastically different than the first meeting between these teams, resulting in an easy ‘under’.