The NFL’s Week 11 schedule has some interesting divisional games in Bears-Lions and a rematch of Commanders-Giants. We also are going to look at the Raiders, 2-0 since the housecleaning, taking on the Dolphins in Miami.
We make our best bets for Week 11 below, and you can always find these bets at our top-rated sportsbooks.
- Commanders Under 23.5 Points (-110)
- Raiders Over 16.5 Points (-115)
- Lions to Score in Every Quarter vs. Bears (+135)
Will the Giants Take Command on Defense Again?
In case you missed it, the Week 7 game between these teams was a sight to behold. The offenses combined for 21 points on 27 possessions as the Giants pulled off a 14-7 win, and they have not won a game since.
Washington has hit 20 points in every game this season except for the 14-7 loss to the Giants and the 37-3 rout at the hands of Buffalo. But Washington has struggled in recent years with the Giants, and we are looking at their team scoring prop for over/under 23.5 points.
Sunday, November 19, 2023 – 01:00 PM ET at FedExField
Week 7 Recap: Giants 14, Commanders 7
The Giants love to blitz to begin with, but they must have smelled blood in the water when they went into the Washington game in Week 7 with the way Sam Howell had been taking sacks this year.
Sure enough, the Giants blitzed the inexperienced passer 27 times, which was almost double that of any other Howell game this season. He was sacked 6 times and only led his offense to one short touchdown drive. He also completed 52.8% of his passes, which is the only game this season where Howell was under 60%, so the pressure was very effective.
Washington was just 1-for-15 on 3rd down in that game, and that was really the main culprit in why it was such a poor scoring day for the offense. The Commanders had 273 yards of offense, which is below average but not awful. It was the constant failures on 3rd down that killed drive after drive.
Washington will score more than 7 points this time, but it was still a good defensive effort by the Giants as they allowed almost no big plays in the game.
New York’s Problematic Defense
Since blitzing can produce hit-or-miss results, it is no wonder the Giants have a lot of variance with their defense. The Giants have held as many teams to 14 points (3) as they have allowed to score more than 30 points this year.
The Giants have allowed 79 points in the last 2 weeks to the Raiders (30) and Cowboys (49), and that is certainly a concern going into this matchup as Washington loves to throw the ball and is usually good for 20 points.
But you also have to consider the Week 7 game, and that Washington has not reached 24 points in the last 4 meetings against the Giants. This is one of the few teams that Brian Daboll’s group seems to have a good read on. They met twice in a row with a bye week in between last year, and both games played out largely the same way, with Washington down late in the fourth quarter and the Giants at 20 points. The first game ended in a 20-20 overtime tie, and the rematch in Washington ended with the Commanders searching for a flag in the red zone in a 20-12 loss.
It’s bad news for Washington if this game resembles Week 7 closely. It will be different offensively with Tommy DeVito starting at quarterback instead of Tyrod Taylor, but it’s not like the Giants need a lot of offense to deal with Washington. DeVito just can’t turn it over repeatedly to give Washington shortfields. He survived his start in Dallas with only 1 turnover.
Division games can be weird. We mentioned Ron Rivera’s group getting largely the same results against the Giants last year. They also had largely the same game against the Eagles twice this year, scoring 31 points in a loss. If this game does not stray too far away from recent games with the Giants, then it is hard to see Washington clicking to go over 23.5 points.
The blitzing style of the Giants should continue to be effective against a quarterback that is taking a lot of sacks and does not have the most experience of learning how to create on the fly. We’ll take the under 23.5 points for Washington for your NFL picks.
NFL Pick: Commanders Under 23.5 Points (-110) at Bet365
Raiders Ready to Start Scoring?
The Raiders are 2-0 since firing Josh McDaniels as their head coach and replacing him with interim coach Antonio Pierce. They also benched Jimmy Garoppolo for rookie Aidan O’Connell, and he did enough to survive the Jets’ strong defense in a 16-12 win.
O’Connell should welcome a trip to Miami, because even if the Dolphins are playing better defense now than earlier in the season, this is still an easier challenge than facing the Jets. We are looking at a game prop for the Raiders’ scoring (over/under 16.5 points) in what could be another high-scoring game with a total of 46.5 points.
Sunday, November 19, 2023 – 01:00 PM ET at Hard Rock Stadium
Raiders’ New Interest on Offense
Frankly, the Raiders should have been scoring more points earlier this season, so the firing of McDaniels was totally justified. When you have Jimmy Garoppolo, Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs, Hunter Renfrow, Jakobi Meyers and Michael Mayer, you better put up more points than this.
The Raiders were the first offense since the 2009 Redskins to not score 20 offensive points in any of their first 8 games. They made the changes in Week 9 at coach, offensive coordinator, and quarterback, and they immediately scored 30 points against the Giants. They also scored 16 points against the Jets, which is decent given the caliber of the Jets and Aidan O’Connell’s inexperience.
However, the Giants and Jets are not the greatest litmus tests for team performance going forward. The Raiders will have to show more as there are still flaws here. The offensive line has not blocked well enough for a consistent running game like they had last year when Jacobs won the rushing title. The targets to Adams can be inconsistent. The Raiders are also 29th on 3rd down and 19th in the red zone, so situational play needs work.
But the good news is they’ve made changes, and the players are better motivated to perform under this coaching staff.
Technically, the Miami defense only allowed 14 points to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense in Germany in Week 9. A third of the Chiefs’ points were on a fumble return touchdown after Tyreek Hill lost the ball. If Miami can hold the Chiefs to 14 points like that, why not hold the Raiders to under 16.5 points too?
The problem with that logic is the bets do not care about if the points were on offense or return scores. Even the Giants scored 16 points against Miami and that was thanks to Tua Tagovailoa throwing an interception for a touchdown and setting the Giants up with another short field after another turnover.
The Dolphins make some turnovers that cost the team points. That’s just part of the game. The fact is the Dolphins have allowed everyone but the Giants to score at least 17 points this season. That includes the Patriots scoring 17 points twice.
The correct way to frame this one isn’t the Kansas City game, which was still 21 points allowed by Miami. It is that if the Raiders can score 16 points against a great Jets defense with O’Connell, why can’t they get to 17 points against a subpar Miami defense?
Potential for a High-Scoring Game
The game could be high scoring too, leading to the Raiders adding a touchdown in garbage time given the Dolphins are a 12-point home favorite. That counts just the same too as a score in the 1st quarter.
The Dolphins might play better now that they have Jalen Ramsey at corner. Between Ramsey and Xavien Howard, they have stars who can take on Davante Adams in this matchup, but the Raiders seem to be doing a good job of building up the other receivers like Meyers and the rookie tight end Mayer.
The Raiders have not scored more than 17 points on the road this season, but 17 on the nose will work just fine in this matchup. Look for Miami to win the game, but the Raiders should be able to cover this over.
NFL Pick: Raiders Over 16.5 Points (-115) at Bet365
Lions Rolling on Offense
The Detroit Lions have rebounded nicely since their embarrassing 38-6 loss in Baltimore in Week 7. The Lions crushed the Raiders 26-14 and won a shootout against the Chargers 41-38 on the road last week, a game where they never trailed despite allowing 38 points.
If you go back to the Baltimore blowout when the Lions finally got on the board in the 4th quarter, they have scored in 9 consecutive quarters. Detroit is a 9.5-point favorite in this one and the total is 47 points. We are looking at a game prop for the Lions to score in every quarter again.
Sunday, November 19, 2023 – 01:00 PM ET at Ford Field
Detroit’s Elite Offense
You could say a legitimate problem early this season was that the Lions did not seem to understand how to use their new backfield properly with rookie David Montgomery and rookie Jahmyr Gibbs. The Lions used Montgomery like how they used Jamaal Williams last year as the workhorse and goal-line back, and they used Gibbs like D’Andre Swift as a speed and receiving back.
The problem with that is you don’t use the No. 12 pick in the draft on a rookie back if you are only going to feature him as a secondary player. You can find players like that later in the draft. But opportunity arose when Montgomery was injured, and Gibbs made the most of it with a huge game against the Raiders.
Montgomery had the bye week to get ready, and he made his return in Week 10 against the Chargers. How would the new rotation look? Based on Sunday’s game, they figured it out wonderfully.
Montgomery had 12 carries to 14 for Gibbs, but they used Gibbs on 38 of the snaps compared to Montgomery on 25 snaps. They also featured Gibbs at the goal line as he scored a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs. Montgomery broke a 75-yard touchdown run down the sideline, which is how he finished with 116 yards. But Gibbs seemed to be the featured back now. We’ll see how that goes in another game where there’s not a 75-yard run, and when they are not potentially easing Montgomery back into playing after he missed a few weeks.
But the great balance in the backfield led to Detroit’s best game on offense this season with 41 points and 533 yards. Jared Goff was also great with over 300 yards, and Amon-Ra St. Brown dominated the secondary with over 140 yards and a touchdown.
The Lions looked absolutely lethal in the win, and now they get a Chicago team they dominated with 72 points in a 2-game sweep last season.
Chicago’s Poor Defense
The Bears are not the worst scoring defense in the league like they were in 2022, but they are still 27th, allowing 25.5 points per game. That number was helped out by holding the Panthers to 13 points last week, but the Panthers have been one of the most disappointing offenses in the league.
The real Bears should be exposed in this game. The last time they played in Detroit, they allowed 41 points and the Lions scored in every quarter. Williams and Swift combined for 274 yards from scrimmage and 3 touchdowns in that game, so just imagine what Montgomery and Swift might do in this one.
The Lions score much better at home than they do on the road. Even if they don’t match the dominance they displayed in Los Angeles last week, they should still be able to have a big game and score in every quarter against a bad Chicago team.
NFL Pick: Lions to Score in Every Quarter (+135) at Bet365
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