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NFL Betting: Free Picks Week 11
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4) vs. Atlanta Falcons (3-6)
Sunday, November 18th — Georgia Dome, Atlanta — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Tampa -3 (35.5)
In a statement concerning the sad state of affairs in the NFC South, the Falcons are still in the playoff race with a 3-6 SU record. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers look to put those dreams to rest once and for all as they roll in to the Georgia Dome for their first meeting with the Falcons this season. Atlanta won the two tilts last season, but that was with Michael Vick. Can Joey Harrington keep the two game win streak against the Bucs alive?
The short answer is, “no”. Atlanta allows 121.2 rushing yards per game and Coach Gruden loves to the hit the ground running to set up Garcia and the passing game. Despite a two-game win streak, the Falcons still allow 20.2 points per game defensively and are no match for an offense that makes few-to-little mistakes and is staying in contention despite only amassing 326.6 total yards per game.
Don’t bet on a shootout. The Falcons only average 15.0 points per game, while the Bucs have kept their average point total to 18.2 per match. With DeAngelo Hall putting most of his focus on containing the insanely fast Joey Galloway, it will free Ike Hilliard in man coverage to expose this thin secondary along the sidelines. At the end of the day, the betting investor simply can not invest their money in a mistake-prone Joey Harrington. It’s a much safer bet to go with the mistake-free Jeff Garcia.
NFL Free Pick: Tampa Bay 24 Atlanta 13
Cleveland Browns (5-4) vs. Baltimore Ravens (4-5)
Sunday, November 18th — M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Cleveland -3 (44)
Both of these teams are coming off crushing defeats against Pittsburgh over the last two weeks. Baltimore was man-handled in a 7-21 loss, while Cleveland could not fend off the Steelers comeback attempt and fell 28-31. If those matchups are any indication of how this game will go, then Baltimore is in for a long Sunday.
The Browns are a deceptive team because they have the fourth highest scoring offense in the league (28.3 points per game). But they also have the worst defense in the league. They allow 29.3 points per game and a whopping 410.6 total yards against. Strangely, this is almost a good thing, since the Baltimore Ravens can’t seem to score to save their lives.
The Ravens are simply one of the most anemic and hapless teams in the AFC. They look absolutely pathetic on the field, and scoring an average of 15.3 points per game puts them at the bottom of the pile in the league. There is no reason to bet on the 1-8 ATS Ravens who are useless through the air.
Cleveland may let people walk in to the endzone, but they can also burn the scoreboard down. Their betting faithful should stay true to the Browns, who remain Wildcard hopefuls.
NFL Free Pick: Cleveland 31 Baltimore 20
Miami Dolphins (0-9) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (4-5)
Sunday, November 18th — Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Philadelphia -10.5 (40)
The Eagles are coming off an impressive and emotional victory over the Washington Redskins where McNabb threw for 251 yards and four touchdowns. And Reid and McNabb even hugged after the game. Isn’t that special? The problem is that McNabb has been completely unable to play at that level in back-to-back games. The Eagles love to flip-flop in the win-loss column, and this may be the Miami Dolphins, but there is reason to be hopeful if you are feeling risky this weekend.
Quarterback John Beck will make his rookie debut this weekend, and that could pose problems for the Eagles because there is virtually no NFL game tape on the kid from BYU. The Eagles allow 222.1 passing yards for the game, so this is hardly a secondary that will intimidate him. And the Dolphins have shown that the one thing they can do is run-block, which means another productive day from unheralded Jesse Chatman.
Tilting the scales somewhat in favor of the Dolphins is their passing defense, which ranks fifth in the league allowing only 184.6 yards per game. The problem will be containing Brian Westbrook, who is quietly having another monster season. The Dolphins allow 184.6 yards per game, so the linebackers will be extra busy dealing with Westbrook.
The Eagles are coming off a big win, and that usually means disaster in the next game. Every time we think the Eagles are turning things around, they get smacked around the following week. They’re also 1-3 SU at home, playing a quarterback they know virtually nothing about, against a team that has nothing to lose anymore. Even if you don’t like the Dolphins to win, there is no way the Eagles are covering this spread. Philly is only 4-5 ATS on the season.
NFL Free Pick: Miami 23 Philadelphia 21
Oakland Raiders (2-7) vs. Minnesota Vikings (3-6)
Sunday, November 18th — Metrodome, Minneapolis — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Minnesota -5.5 (36.5)
The weaknesses and strengths of these two teams matchup almost perfectly. Oakland is a strong rushing team, but can’t pass worth a damn. Minnesota’s defense is intense against the rush but abysmal against the pass. Oakland’s pass defense is atrocious, but Minnesota can’t throw the ball either. And Oakland’s rushing defense is bad, but Minnesota just lost Adrian Peterson.
Chester Taylor was a 1,216 yards rusher last season, so he will be a fine substitute for Peterson. But this Oakland secondary is too strong to lose to any of the three quarterbacks in Minnesota. Oakland allows 327.4 yards per game, and 21.6 points, but Minnesota is virtually nothing to fear without Purple Jesus.
Oakland isn’t a good football team, but Minnesota has two wins that they owe in large part to the game breaking ability of Peterson. The Raiders boast the best rushing attack on the road with 158.5 yards per game. Justin Fargas will be getting the load under Kiffen’s watchful eye.
This will be a physical matchup, but Oakland will find a way to win this game because Minnesota is simply not the same team without Peterson. Bet on Oakland to cover the spread as they gain the edge in the rushing game despite the vaunted Minnesota rushing defense.
NFL Free Pick: Oakland 13 Minnesota 10
Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) vs. Indianapolis Colts (7-2)
Sunday, November 18th — RCA Dome, Indianapolis — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Indianapolis -14.5 (44.5)
The news keeps getting worse for the Colts. Dwight Freeney was lost to a devastating foot injury that severely cripples the Colts chances of repeating. They have replaced him with Simeon Rice, but Rice is in no physical condition to compete like he used to. Indianapolis will be trying to patch their hull while KC comes to town. The Colts are 7-1 SU in their history with the Chiefs.
The Chiefs look like an attractive underdog this year because Brodie Croyle is at the helm. Like most rookie starters, there is little to no game film on Croyle. But, to be honest, he looked horrific in preseason. The Chiefs gain 207.9 passing yards through the air, but it remains unknown how good Croyle’s chemistry with Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez is.
Despite the injuries that are ravishing the Colts, that is not a concern for the Colts who still have Peyton Manning calling the shots and Joseph Addai in the backfield. The Colts third ranked offense will be looking to make a statement at home after two back-to-back losses to the Pats and Bolts.
Kansas City has the chance to cover, but you have to remember that they are playing a rookie quarterback and a 34 year-old, back-up tailback behind a not-so-impressive front line. Priest Holmes was steady in the game last week, but the Colts have historically used the Chiefs as a punching bag. Bet on that trend to continue.
NFL Free Pick: Kansas City 14 Indianapolis 27
New Orleans (4-5) vs. Houston Texans (4-5)
Sunday, November 18th — Reliant Stadium, Houston — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: New Orleans -1 (47)
Toss away everything you think you know about the Houston Texans because Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson are back. If we know anything about New Orleans, it’s that their secondary can be exploited. Schaub and Johnson connected in Weeks 1 and 2 to tear the league apart, but Johnson then went down with a severe knee sprain. Coming off a bye week and plenty of rehab, that means big trouble for the Saints.
Drew Brees and Reggie Bush regressed somewhat after they gave up a loss to St. Louis, but that isn’t one you can pin on the offense. Brees and the offense moved the ball well. New Orleans just couldn’t keep St. Louis off the scoreboard. That’s why the Saints remain 3-6 ATS on the season. Houston’s defense will have trouble containing this offense, but the Saints defense will jeopardize the victory for New Orleans once again.
The Houston betting faithful who departed them after Johnson went down, can come home now. The Texans are likely out of the playoff hunt, but playing for respect (and bonus money) starts now.
NFL Free Pick: New Orleans 24 Houston 29
Carolina Panthers (4-5) vs. Green Bay Packers (8-1)
Sunday, November 18th — Lambeau Field, Green Bay — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Green Bay -10.5 (37.5)
Can anyone stop Green Bay at this point? Well if anyone can, it is not going to be the listless Carolina Panthers. Green Bay is 7-1-1 ATS on the season, but the total has gone in the UNDER in 8 of Green Bay’s last 11 games at Lambeau. A large reason for Green Bay’s success is a stifling defense, which blanked Minnesota last weekend. Carolina has been atrocious on the scoreboard this year, so this is simply a matchup they can’t win.
Steve Smith will have to contend with two of the best corners in the game between Charles Woodson and Al Harris, so the passing lanes for his quarterback (whomever it is) won’t be open. Green Bay only allows 213.3 yards through the air, but it’s a moot point since Carolina struggles to get a first down in most games.
This is an easy pick for the smart betting investor who should find no reason to invest their hard earned betting dollars in Carolina, despite a double-digit spread. There is a lot of talk about Carolina being “due” for an offensive explosion, but that logic never made any sense to me.
NFL Free Pick: Carolina 7 Green Bay 24
Arizona Cardinals (4-5) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (3-6)
Sunday, November 18th — Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati — 1:00pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Cincinnati -3.5 (48)
The Cardinals suffocated the Detroit Lions rushing attack and rode Kurt Warner’s steady arm to a 31-21 victory over the Lions last weekend. Arizona boasts a decent passing defense, allowing only 202.4 yards per game. They are also much better on the road, going 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine road games.
The Bengals are coming off a strong and impressive victory over the Ravens, but had to rely on their kicker to get the job done. Despite playing an over hyped Baltimore defense, they had plenty of trouble getting in the end-zone and remain a one-dimensional team with no rushing attack. That alone will make it easy to scheme against the Bengals ninth ranked offense (24.3 points per game).
But the Cardinals have too many playmakers on offense to discount so easily. The Bengals have not played well at all this season, though the addition of Chris Henry at wide receiver makes this offense click far more effectively. With Cincinnati’s offense struggling to score touchdowns, and Arizona’s Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald coming to town, the Bengals, who are 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight games, will continue their downward slide.
NFL Free Pick: Arizona 28 Cincinnati 23
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2) vs. New York Jets (1-8)
Sunday, November 18th — Giants Stadium, New York — 4:05pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Pittsburgh -9.5 (40.5)
The Jets are coming off a bye week, which has allowed Kellen Clemens to gel in to this offense. Too bad he has to go up against the best defense in the league. Pittsburgh only allows 157.4 passing yards per game, and the fewest points with 14.0 per match. The Jets are outmatched in every important statistical category in this game.
Pittsburgh is 4-2 ATS in their last six road games, while the uninspiring Jets remain 2-6-1 ATS on the season. Ben Roethlisberger is evolving in a quarterback teams should be scared of. Whether up by a huge margin, or down by plenty, you can never count Pittsburgh and Big Ben’s big arm out of the game. The Steelers pass for 206.3 yards through the sky, while balancing it out with 151.4 rushing yards per game.
The total has gone in the UNDER in 8 of Pittsburgh’s last 9 games while playing the New York Jets so there’s no reason to expect a high score here. Also, the Steelers are 4-1 SU against the Jets. Yes, the Jets came roaring out of the bye week last season to squeak in to the playoffs. Do not bet on that magic reoccurring this season. Mangini has a hex on his idiot skull right now.
NFL Free Pick: Pittsburgh 28 NYJ 10
Washington Redskins (5-4) vs. Dallas Cowboys (8-1)
Sunday, November 18th — Texas Stadium, Dallas — 4:15pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Dallas -11 (47)
Despite a massive offensive output by Jason Campbell, one of the most improved quarterbacks this year, the Redskins fell apart with Westbrook running circles around them last weekend in the fourth quarter. Things do not get much better as the Redskins hit the road to take on the Dallas Cowboys who are putting a stranglehold on the NFC. The Boys are 7-2 ATS this season and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 against Washington.
The only loss Dallas has on their record is against the New England Patriots, so finding fault with this team is difficult at best. Their secondary may be slow, but the receivers in Washington aren’t exactly the best, especially with Santana Moss nursing an injury. Dallas allows 21.7 points per game, but Washington has only managed 19.7 points on offense on average.
Tony Romo looks unstoppable at this point. He’s playing with swagger and confidence, while his defense takes care of business by destroying offensive lines and smothering quarterbacks. Campbell is mobile, but he isn’t quick enough to escape Anthony Spencer or Demarcus Ware when they burst off the edges around the slow front-four for Washington. The Dallas betting faithful have nothing to fear in this one.
NFL Free Pick: Washington 14 Dallas 28
St. Louis Rams (1-8) vs. San Francisco (2-7)
Sunday, November 18th — Monster Park, San Francisco — 4:15pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: St. Louis -3 (41)
Both teams have been absolutely terrible this season, but the Rams faults can be attributed to the miserable injuries they’ve had to endure this season. There is practically no excuse for the Niners. San Francisco is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games and 0-5 SU in their last five contests.
Alex Smith looks like he might be the worst quarterback in the league. He consistently overthrew his receivers during deep routes, and even Rex Grossman can throw the deep ball better. He also fails to find Vernon Davis on the field, who has shown flashes of potential this year. The Niners have the most pathetic offense in the league. They average 218.6 yards and 11.6 points per game.
Meanwhile, Marc Bulger and the Rams look like they can make a late-season push for respect (it’s better than nothing). Usually the combination of Nate Clements and Walt Harris can be intimidating, but the defense has had to leave them both on islands to help stop the run. That is a matchup that Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt and Drew Bennett can exploit. Toss in Steven Jackson’s powerful running at the goal line, and the Niners don’t stand a chance in this game.
The betting faithful of the Niners had plenty to believe in heading in to this season, but this team has let your betting hopes burn up in smoke. Stay away from the atrocious Niners until further notice (which will probably be next season).
NFL Free Pick: St. Louis 27 San Francisco 10
Chicago Bears (4-5) vs. Seattle Seahawks (5-4)
Sunday, November 18th — Qwest Stadium, Seattle — 4:15pm EST
Opening NFL Betting Line: Seattle -5.5 (37.5)
Rex Grossman is back, and that should be more than enough for the Chicago betting investors to jump ship immediately. Chicago may be 3-2 SU on the road this season, but playing in a noisy, rainy stadium in Seattle will be next to impossible for a Bears team that can’t seem to run the ball to save their damn lives.
Seattle is 5-1 SU in their last 6 home games. However, they are 1-4 ATS in their last five games when playing Chicago. That being said, this offense is much steadier than anything than Chicago can hope to muster. Seattle has the eighth best passing offense with 246.4 passing yards per game, while the rushing game actually looks better with Maurice Morris in the backfield.
The injuries to Chicago’s defense make it a difficult team to wager on, despite the amount of faith the betting community wants to put in them. They simply do not have that swagger this season. Bet on Seattle to continue their strong play at home while Sexy Rexy reminds us all why he was benched in the first place.
NFL Free Pick: Chicago 14 Seattle 21
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