The war of attrition continues. After another winning week, we now sit at 27-23 on the season. The games are getting tight as are the margins for error in this weekly analysis of our favorite games. Sometimes, the best teams to bet on aren’t exactly the “best” teams. That’s fine as long as they cover that spread! Remember the old adage, good teams win, great teams cover!
So, how many great teams do we have this week? I’m feeling five, but only time will tell. Last week before the holidays! Are you ready?
Steakspeare’s Spreads Week 11
Washington Commanders -3.5 @ Houston Texans
The Commanders did the unthinkable on Monday Night and outright defeated the then-undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. Now, it’s easy to think that after the win of their season that there would be a sizeable drop-off the next week, but I disagree. They’re firmly within the NFC playoff race and have a game against a more than-beatable team so don’t expect a poor performance.
The Texans, on the other hand, are not looking to make a move to the playoffs and could be more motivated to get to the holidays than to compete. They control the number one overall pick as of this writing, second place being a Raiders team that isn’t looking to lose games, so expect Houston to win the #1 pick, not this game. Washington should win by more than a field goal as the line indicates.
New York Giants -3 vs Detroit Lions
Maybe the story of the year, the New York Football Giants have been a surprisingly fun and competitive team since the arrival of Brian Daboll. They’re currently one game out of first place in the NFC East behind the Eagles and get a November home game against a team that primarily plays in a dome.
Now, professional athletes aren’t going to shy away from cold weather, but the impending weather in the New York area this weekend doesn’t favor the team that isn’t as acclimated to the elements. Now, that isn’t worth three full points as the spread indicates, but the Giants have a formidable running game and a quarterback in Daniel Jones who is mobile and has cut down on his mistakes and the results have been favorable for New York. The Lions keep it close, but ultimately New York pulls away late. To the tune of three+ points.
Chicago Bears +3 @ Atlanta Falcons
Comeback player of the year may be securely in the hands of Saquon Barkley or Geno Smith, but may we throw in the hat of Justin Fields. If you’ve been living under a rock, Fields has looked like a completely different player this past month than in his previous experience as an NFL quarterback. Since Week 6, he has 810 yards passing, 555 yards rushing, and has accounted for 14 total touchdowns. For context, the rushing yard total and touchdown total in that stretch is more than his entire season last year!
It’s very fitting that Vick 2.0 now gets a game in Atlanta to show off this skill set that is finally surfacing for the young man. Look for Chicago to turn this quarterback production into an outright road victory against a Falcons team that is still two games under .500, regardless of how close they are to the division lead.
Minnesota Vikings +1.5 vs Dallas Cowboys
This very well could be a trap bet. Usually in the NFL, the week after a monumental victory can be a letdown for a team. The opposite can be said about a team embarrassed on national television with a loss against an under .500 team. Well here we go ladies and gentlemen, we have both scenarios represented in this matchup.
The spread has the home team with the better record as an underdog which is telling and is likely due to the circumstances described above, but this can still be the wrong side. Minnesota is a different team this year since pivoting this past offseason to an offensive pass-focused team that has a complimentary running game.
Factor in a Dallas team that has lost to the Buccaneers, Eagles, and Packers, three teams with dynamic quarterback talent. Kirk Cousins doesn’t fit the mold of “dynamic” but he has been a great game manager and has great weapons around him. This one was tough, but I’m rolling with the Vikings outright.
Cincinnati Bengals -4.5 @ Pittsburgh Steelers
RT if you’re ready to see these unis again 😏 pic.twitter.com/xYwwE4DsQ5
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) November 15, 2022
Long ago in an NFL galaxy far far away, no one in their right mind would have picked an Andy Dalton-led Bengals team to beat the Steelers on the road as favorites…which is why we take it now with Joe Burrow at the helm. Look, Dalton cheap shots aside, this is a newly focused team that has been humbled within the division early this year and finally gets the Steelers again.
After a Week 1 embarrassment of a finish, look for the Bengals to come out firing even without Ja’Marr Chase. Mixon had the game of his life last week, and Tomlin to his credit doesn’t allow games like that against his defenses. The Steelers also will have TJ Watt back and an Appendix-less Minkah Fitzpatrick looming, but the Bengals have “dat dude” at quarterback and should finish this early. Maybe it’s all heart no head, but who cares? WHO DEY!
What a fun week we have in store. A massive NFC game, an AFC North rivalry show, and a mini Mike Vick playing in Atlanta. This is the last pre-Thanksgiving week of the season and everything in the NFL is heating up! Are you ready to make some extra money this holiday season? Then follow these picks! Also, follow me on Twitter @Steakspeare and follow @LWOSports for all your sports takes and debates!