NFL Week 11 Preview
You know it’s crunch time in the NFL when they start cranking out the Thursday night games. Last week’s Broncos-Browns tilt in Cleveland was definitely worth watching, even on the NFL Network. They have the honors again in the first of this week’s three top betting matchups (for current lines, visit Bodoglife.com).
N.Y. Jets at New England
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET, NFL Network
60% chance of rain, 45 degrees, light winds
New York: 6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS, Over 4-4-1
New England: 6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS, Under 6-2-1
As expected, here are the Patriots and the Jets battling for the lead in the AFC East. Losing QB Tom Brady for the season may not have been part of the plan, but backup Matt Cassel (seven TDs, seven INTs) has picked up the basics. New England is 3-1 SU and ATS in its last four.
The Jets are also starting to cruise in their first season with QB Brett Favre, winning three in a row and nailing down back-to-back paydays. New York has a +65 point margin to +28 for the Patriots; the case can certainly be made that the Jets are having the better season. But it’s New England laying 3.5 points (+105) on Thursday night.
Favre (16 TDs, 12 INTs) is doing very well in his Broadway debut, even with the return of his penchant for throwing the ball to the other team. But the Jets defense has been the team’s best feature. They’re fifth in the league in stuffing the run at just 3.2 yards allowed per carry. New England is ranked No. 19 at 4.1 yards.
Despite these numbers, it was the Patriots (-1) beating the Jets 19-10 in Week 2 at Giants Stadium. The total for that game was 37; it’s up to 42 for Thursday, even in lousy weather. Make sure to check out our live betting feature if you’re watching the game.
Dallas at Washington
FedExField, Landover, Md.
Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC
15% chance of rain, 40 degrees, light winds
Dallas: 5-4 SU, 3-6 ATS, Over 6-3
Washington: 6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS, Under 6-2-1
The Cowboys have gone 1-2 SU and ATS since QB Tony Romo broke his pinkie finger. Romo is widely expected to play this week, as are DB Terence Newman and OG Kyle Kosier. But that hasn’t stopped the panic and confusion in Big D. Coach Wade Phillips is getting hammered in the local press – as if all these injuries were his fault. RB Felix Jones (hamstring) might return Sunday night as well, although his type of injury is unpredictable.
Even Dallas players and owner Jerry Jones say their troubles predated the injury parade, which puts more onus on Phillips as the Cowboys prepare to face the Redskins in a key NFC East matchup – and they’re all key right now with all four teams above .500. Washington has encountered turbulence at 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS in its past four games, a significant downgrade from a four-game winning streak that included a 26-24 win in Dallas (with Romo at QB) as a 10.5-point puppy.
Cleveland at Buffalo
Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y.
Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
50% chance of snow, 35 degrees, 10 mph winds
Cleveland: 3-6 SU, 5-4 ATS, Under 5-4
Buffalo: 5-4 SU, 4-5 ATS, Under 4-4-1
The Browns have an extra three days to dust themselves off after that disappointing loss to Denver. The Bills could have used some of that time to heal after a three-game losing skid (SU and ATS) that saw them go from first to worst in the AFC East. QB Trent Edwards wasn’t very good in any of those three starts, partly because of RG Brad Butler’s knee injury. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle says Butler is expected to return against Cleveland.
Ralph Wilson Stadium is a notoriously tough place to get a win, even more so in these blustery conditions. The Bills are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 at home. However, the Browns are used to real football weather. They beat the Bills 20-17 here two years ago as 3.5-point underdogs before beating them again at home last year. Cleveland will have uber-prospect Brady Quinn (104.3 QB rating) under center this time.