A look at the best bets around the league for Week 11:
Oakland Raiders (-1) at Detroit Lions
This game profiles as a shootout as both the Raiders and Lions play horrible defense (30th and 25th, respectively), but Detroit doesn’t have the offense that it has had in years past to keep up with Oakland. The Lions are currently 27th in YPG and have mustered just 18.6 ppg despite QB Matt Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson playing in every contest this season. Meanwhile, QB Derek Carr and WR Amari Cooper have been putting opposing defenses to shame, leading the Raiders’ eighth-ranked offense. Motivation also plays a big role in the selection of the Raiders this week. The Lions come into this matchup off a big win against the Packers, their hated division rivals, so this looks like a classic “letdown” spot. It’s also worth mentioning the Lions, who traditionally host the early game on Thanksgiving Day, have lost on the Sunday before Thanksgiving three straight years (0-3 ATS). This line looks like a bargain.
The pick: Raiders -1
RELATED: NFL POWER RANKINGS AHEAD OF WEEK 11
Kansas City Chiefs (-3) at San Diego Chargers
The Chargers (2-7) have been a very unlucky team this year, often losing on the last possession of the game. Part of that bad luck is reflected in San Diego’s -5 turnover ratio, and the fact that it has lost seven of its 11 fumbles on offense, one of the worst marks in the league. The Chiefs have only forced five fumbles this season, so it's unlikely that that will come into play. Despite scoring just 23.3 ppg this season, the Chargers are among the league leaders in YPG, thanks mainly to Philip Rivers and the top-rated pass attack in football. The Chargers should be able to dictate the flow of the game at home and pick up the win as an underdog. But the way San Diego’s season has been going, take the three points for insurance.
The pick: Chargers +3
Cincinnati Bengals at Arizona Cardinals (-5)
The Bengals put on an embarrassing performance last Monday night, scoring just six points in a loss to lowly Houston. Now they’re back in primetime on Sunday night against the Cardinals and their third-ranked defense. The Bengals will need a whole lot more than six points going against the NFL’s top-ranked offense by YPG, led by former Bengals QB Carson Palmer. Arizona has been bet down from -2.5 to as high as -5 early in the week, but that shouldn’t really matter. The Cardinals are 5-2 ATS going back to last season as home favorites of no more than seven points. Don't write off the 8-0 Bengals entirely, but their chances to rebound off a bad loss against one of the NFL’s better teams is one tough task.
The pick: Cardinals -5
Best of the rest (picks in bold)
Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears (-1)
Dallas Cowboys at Miami Dolphins (E)
Indianapolis Colts at Atlanta Falcons (-6)
St. Louis Rams at Baltimore Ravens (-2.5)
Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers (-7)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Philadelphia Eagles (-6)
New York Jets (-2.5) at Houston Texans
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (E)
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-12.5)
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-7)