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NFL Week 11 picks: Kansas City avenges lone loss to Raiders; Jets hang with Chargers, Patriots lock of week

Patrick Mahomes of Kansas City throws against the

Patrick Mahomes of Kansas City throws against the Texans during the fourth quarter at Arrowhead Stadium on Sept. 10 in Kansas City, Mo. Credit: Getty Images/Jamie Squire

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, playoff races will start heating up soon. While there are many teams with plenty to play for, there are others who already know their season is over. Look for those mismatches and the level of motivation on each side as the season nears the final month.

Favorites went 7-3-3 against the spread last week but are still 63-75-5 for the season. Home teams went 11-3 straight up and 7-3-3 ATS, bringing their totals to 76-70-1 and 66-75-5.

My three most confident picks this week are New England, Kansas City and believe it or not, the Jets. Avoid Philadelphia-Cleveland.




TV: Ch. 4

Line: OFF (likely Kansas City by 7.5)

You see that '1' in Kansas City's record above? That's courtesy of the Raiders. Derek Carr carved up the KC defense in a 40-32 stunner at Arrowhead in Week 5. Don't expect him to outplay Patrick Mahomes twice in one season. This is a lot of points on the road against a team that's already proven it can beat you, but Mahomes (4-1 vs. the Raiders) and Kansas City will be extra-motivated to get even. Also: Andy Reid is 18-3 after the regular-season bye, and last year it was a 40-9 win over the Raiders. This will be closer, but Kansas City will cover.

The pick: Kansas City


L.A. RAMS (6-3) AT TAMPA BAY (7-3)


Tampa Bay by 4; O/U: 48.5

The Bucs won't sleepwalk in this Monday night matchup the way they did against the Giants. Tampa Bay's aggressive defense was already going to be an issue for Jared Goff. Now, the Rams won't have offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth. Tom Brady beats Sean McVay again, but this one will be more fun than the 13-3 Super Bowl dud.

The pick: Tampa Bay

1 p.m. Games


Baltimore by 5; O/U: 49.5

Lamar Jackson is 4-1 following a loss, including a pair of 14-point wins this season. Tennessee has lost three of four after a 5-0 start. Had Baltimore won at New England, maybe you could make the case for it looking ahead to Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving night. But the loss, plus the Raven-ge factor - remember, the Titans upset the '1' seed in the divisional round - gives Jackson & Co. plenty of motivation.

The pick: Baltimore



New England by 2; O/U: 49

In recent seasons, this would be a marquee matchup. Not this year. New England went from possibly falling to 2-6 with a loss to the Jets to winning twice in six days to get to 4-5. Cam Newton and the Pats will get to .500 with a big rushing day against the NFL's worst run defense. Remember, Houston is 0-7 vs. anyone not named Jacksonville.

The pick: New England


Pittsburgh by 10.5; O/U: 46

Yes, Jacksonville covered and almost won as double-digit underdogs at Green Bay. And yes, Pittsburgh could be looking ahead to its Thanksgiving main event with Baltimore. But no, I'm not taking the one-win Jaguars against the NFL's only unbeaten team despite all the points. The talent discrepancy is just too big.

The pick: Pittsburgh


New Orleans by 4; O/U: 52

The Falcons are 3-1 under interim coach Raheem Morris, and the one loss was by one point. They catch a break not having to face Drew Brees. Atlanta, off a bye, will be pumped to snap a rival's six-game win streak. Last year, the 1-7 Falcons won at New Orleans, 26-9, in a Week 10 stunner, also after their bye.

The pick: Atlanta


TV: Ch. 5

Cleveland by 3; O/U: 47.5

The Eagles are like that movie "Memento." No matter how many times you watch, you can't figure anything out. This will likely be close but I'll go with the hosts who are 4-1 at home, can run the ball and rush the quarterback.

The pick: Cleveland


Line: OFF (likely Carolina -3)

Carolina has lost five in a row after a surprising 3-2 start and has played better in an underdog role. Detroit can go from 3-5 to 6-5 in 12 days if it wins here and then four days later on Thanksgiving. Gobble up the points.

The pick: Detroit


Washington by 1.5; O/U: 46.5

Joe Burrow and the Bengals were way out of their league against the Steelers last week. This game will resemble most of their close contests. They're 6-0-1 ATS if you don't include mismatches vs. Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

The pick: Cincinnati

4 p.m. Games

JETS (0-9) AT L.A. CHARGERS (2-7)

TV: Ch. 2

Los Angeles by 9.5: O/U: 46.5

BREAKING NEWS: I'm picking the Jets for the first time since Week 1. The strategy of fading them was a winner (6-2 ATS) but dare I say it, I really like the Jets this week. Why? For starters, they're off a bye. Secondly, they played their best game before that in a last-second loss to the Patriots on MNF, a game they gave away. Mekhi Becton can handle the Chargers’ pass rush, giving Joe Flacco time to build on the Pats game (3 TD passes). And thirdly, the Chargers are their own worst enemies. They have no business being 2-7, but they just make too many mistakes and can't finish games. All of their games have been close, even a 10-point win over the Jaguars that was much closer than the final score suggested.

The pick: Jets


TV: Ch. 5

Indianapolis by 1.5; O/U: 51

This is a sneaky good game. Aaron Rodgers getting points is usually an automatic bet, but Green Bay's defense is middle-of-the-Pack at best. Philip Rivers and the Colts are off a mini bye after a big win at Tennessee on TNF, and if the Titans lose at 1 p.m., the Colts could be in sole possession of first place with a win. I think that's exactly what happens as former Wisconsin standout Jonathan Taylor badgers overmatched Green Bay defenders.

The pick: Indianapolis

MIAMI (6-3) AT DENVER (3-6)

Miami by 3; O/U: 45

The Dolphins have won five in a row (all covers) after a 1-3 start. They're 3-0 with Tua Tagovailoa as starter. And most importantly, I'm on a 5-0 ATS run picking them after starting 0-4. There's no reason to think this young and hungry team will slow down at underachieving Denver.

The pick: Miami


Minnesota by 7; O/U: 47.5

The Vikings have turned their season around with three straight wins, all against NFC North rivals. Will they have the same level of motivation against two-win Dallas? The Cowboys, off a bye after nearly beating unbeaten Pittsburgh, will be competitive.

The pick: Dallas


(best bets in bold)


70-72-5 overall, 6-4 best bets

Last week: 5-6-3

Jets Baltimore New England Pittsburgh Atlanta

Cleveland Detroit Cincinnati Indianapolis

Miami Dallas Kansas City Tampa Bay


75-67-5, 4-6

Last week: 7-4-3

L.A. Chargers Tennessee New England Pittsburgh Atlanta

Philadelphia Detroit Cincinnati Green Bay

Miami Minnesota Kansas City L.A. Rams


71-71-5, 5-4-1

Last week: 4-7-3

L.A. Chargers Tennessee New England Pittsburgh Atlanta

Cleveland Carolina Washington Indianapolis

Miami Dallas Kansas City Tampa Bay


69-73-5, 6-4

Last week: 7-4-3

Jets Tennessee New England Pittsburgh Atlanta

Philadelphia Carolina Washington Green Bay

Miami Dallas Kansas City Tampa Bay

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