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NFL Week 11 picks: Jets-Redskins play a close one; Texans-Ravens and Pats-Eagles go down to wire; Bears lock of week

Khalil Mack and the Bears defense should make

Khalil Mack and the Bears defense should make it a long night for struggling Rams quarterback Jared Goff.  Credit: AP/Charles Rex Arbogast

If someone tells you they have the NFL figured out, please refer them to Week 10 of the 2019 season. The one-win Jets, Dolphins and Falcons went 3-0 after going a combined 3-21 the first two months.

Two of them won as double-digit road underdogs, proving again that it often pays to fade favorites. Underdogs went 9-3-1 against the spread last week and are 85-61-2 this season. A whopping eight underdogs won outright in Week 10. This is shaping up to be another big week for the 'dogs, so bettors beware. In fact, I'm taking 11 underdogs, a personal record.

My most confident picks ATS this week are the Bears, Vikings and Bucs. There aren't many stay-away games, but Patriots-Eagles and Jets-Redskins could be tricky ones.

JETS (2-7) AT REDSKINS (1-8)

TV: Ch. 5, 1 p.m.

Redskins by 2; O/U: 38.5

The Jets were feeling so good after their win over the Giants that Sam Darnold was talking . . . playoffs?! Cue the classic Jim Mora soundbite. While a postseason run is unrealistic, a winning streak is not. Even though Washington is at home and off a bye, I'm going with Gang Green. Gregg Williams' blitz schemes should confuse rookie Dwayne Haskins. Darnold will find former Redskin Jamison Crowder often as the Jets look to improve to 3-1 against the NFC East. This will be close, maybe even overtime close. Maybe even a tie, so take the points.

The pick: Jets



BEARS (4-5) AT RAMS (5-4)

TV: Ch. 4

Rams by 6.5; O/U: 40

Backing Mitchell Trubisky is always risky, but this pick is all about the other quarterback. Jared Goff is living up to the last three letters of his last name, as he's been off most of the season. He hasn't received the protection, and his offensive line will have their hands full with Khalil Mack and the Bears defense. Both teams won their divisions last year but now are playing for a wild card and it's likely neither make it back to the playoffs. Expect a close, low-scoring slugfest that could be decided by a defensive touchdown. The Bears dominated Goff last year in Chicago on SNF in a 15-6 win, intercepting him four times and sacking him for a safety. This is just way too many points to lay with a Rams team that scored three offensive points in a 17-12 loss at Pittsburgh last week, and really, is a far cry from last year's Super Bowl squad.

The pick: Bears



At Mexico City


Chiefs by 3.5; O/U: 52

How rare was the Chiefs' 35-32 loss at Tennessee? Check out this stat courtesy of RJ Bell at Since 1992, NFL favorites that won the turnover battle, had 150-plus more total yards, eight-plus more first downs and a 14-plus minute edge in time of possession were 260-1-1 straight up. Make that 260-2-1 after the Chiefs faltered late. KC's run defense scares me, but I'll lay the points and hope Patrick Mahomes can put up 27-30 points for the cover.

The pick: Chiefs

1 p.m. Games

TEXANS (6-3) AT RAVENS (7-2)

Ravens by 3.5; O/U: 51.5

It doesn't get much more exciting than Deshaun Watson vs. Lamar Jackson, two QBs who could fill a Top 10 highlight segment by themselves. Expect a close, high-scoring game that won't be decided till late. Houston is off a bye and has played well as a road underdog of 3 or more points, winning outright at the Chiefs and Chargers and losing on a last-second field goal to the Saints in Week 1. Baltimore has won five in a row (4-1 ATS). I've picked against the Ravens all but one week, mainly because of their defense. But the addition of Mr. Pick-6 Marcus Peters has helped as the Ravens held the Seahawks to 16 points and the Patriots to 20. If this spread were less than a field goal, I'd probably go with Jackson, but Watson's play-making ability and the Texans' solid run defense should keep this a three-point game.

The pick: Texans

JAGUARS (4-5) AT COLTS (5-4)

Colts by 3; O/U: 43.5

No matter which QB starts for Indianapolis, I'm going with Nick Foles in his return for Jacksonville. He's been sidelined since Week 1, and he should give a boost to a team that has had two weeks to stew over a three-point dud in London. The Colts' magic appears to have run out, losing two in a row, including at home against Miami.

The pick: Jaguars

COWBOYS (5-4) AT LIONS (3-5-1)

Line: OFF (Matthew Stafford's uncertain status)

Note: If Stafford plays, it'll likely be Cowboys by 3/3.5; if he doesn't, Cowboys by anywhere from 4-6

A common theme this week will be how playoff-caliber teams bounce back after losses. Dallas is one of those clubs, and figures to have its way with an overmatched Lions defense. Ezekiel Elliott will have much more running room than he did against the Vikings, setting up Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper to carve up the Lions secondary.

The pick: Cowboys

SAINTS (7-2) AT BUCS (3-6)

Saints by 6; O/U: 49.5

New Orleans figures to bounce back from its still-hard-to-believe 17-point home loss to Atlanta, but it might not be as easy as you think. Like the Falcons, the Bucs will treat this as their Super Bowl and go all-out against their first-place division rival. The main reason to back the Bucs? Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore suffered a hamstring injury and is unlikely to play, meaning Mike Evans and Chris Godwin could have big games.

The pick: Bucs


Panthers by 4.5; O/U: 49

Atlanta's 26-9 win at New Orleans as a 13.5-point underdog was the most shocking upset of the season. Think about it: If New Orleans had been the one getting 13.5, Atlanta still would have covered! The Falcons still have issues but they showed some fight after their bye. Matt Ryan will keep pace with Kyle Allen enough to cover.

The pick: Falcons


Bills by 6.5; O/U: 40.5

Don't look now but Miami is hot. In addition to winning two games in a row, it is on a 5-0 ATS run. One of those covers was at Buffalo in Week 7, a 31-21 loss in which Miami led 14-9 in the fourth quarter. The Dolphins' players are clearly not tanking, and this is a lot of points to lay on the road with a Josh Allen-led offense.

The pick: Dolphins


Vikings by 10.5; O/U: 40.5

Fresh off an impressive prime-time win at Dallas, Kirk Cousins and Minnesota return home for a spot in which the Vikings usually dominate: 1 p.m. game against an inferior opponent. I can think of about 25-plus other stadiums I'd rather make my first road start if I were Brandon Allen. Minnesota is 4-0 at home with wins by 16, 20, 18 and 10 points. With the bye week on deck and a chance to match the idle Packers with eight wins, expect Cousins, Dalvin Cook and the Vikings to roll.

The pick: Vikings

4 p.m. Games


Patriots by 3.5; O/U: 45

Both teams are off a bye, and we all know what happened the last time these two teams met after a two-week layoff. Can Carson Wentz do his best Nick Foles and beat Tom Brady? This won't be Super Bowl LII exciting, but it should be another close game. Both teams, interestingly, are 14-4 straight up after the bye week, according to PointsBet. The Eagles' weakness is their secondary, which is the Pats' strength, so expect Philly to pound the ball and keep Brady on the sideline. If this spread were 2.5, I'd take the Pats but getting 3.5 hooks me back to the home team trying to keep pace with Dallas. Also, I can see Doug Pederson getting frisky in this game and trying two-point conversions, meaning an extra couple points could go a long way.

The pick: Eagles

CARDINALS (3-6-1) AT 49ERS (8-1)

49ers by 10; O/U: 45.5

There are two ways to look at this spread: A) Arizona just lost, 28-25, to San Francisco on TNF in Week 9, and should keep it close again as the 49ers are off a taxing 70-minute MNF overtime classic in which they suffered some injuries; B) The 49ers will be extra-motivated after their first loss, and having just saw Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury's offensive scheme, will have an edge. I'll go with Door A, for Arizona, which has been one of the NFL's best bets (7-3 ATS).

The pick: Cardinals


Raiders by 10.5; O/U: 49

Josh Jacobs should run all over the Bengals' worst rush defense (173 yards per game). But here's the thing: Oakland allows the third-most passing yards (283.2) and just lost another player in the secondary. Ryan Finley's first road start should be a lot easier than his home debut. Also, this is only the second time Oakland has been favored, and its five wins have been by 8, 7, 3, 7 and 2 points.

The pick: Bengals


(best bets in bold)


72-74-2 overall, 6-4 best bets

Last week: 6-6-1

Jets Texans Jaguars Cowboys

Bucs Falcons Dolphins

Vikings Eagles Cardinals

Bengals Bears Chiefs


62-84-2, 2-8

Last week: 5-7-1

Jets Ravens Colts Cowboys

Saints Panthers Bills

Vikings Patriots Cardinals

Raiders Rams Chiefs


69-77-2, 5-5

Last week: 7-5-1

Jets Ravens Colts Cowboys

Saints Falcons Bills

Vikings Patriots Cardinals

Raiders Rams Chiefs


73-73-2, 3-7

Last week: 8-4-1

Jets Ravens Colts Cowboys

Saints Panthers Bills

Vikings Patriots Cardinals

Raiders Rams Chiefs

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