The NFL’s Week 11 schedule has 3 prime-time games, and none should be more heavily anticipated than Monday night in Kansas City:
- On Monday night, the Super Bowl 57 rematch is here with the Philadelphia Eagles looking to avenge their loss against the Kansas City Chiefs.
- On Sunday night, the Minnesota Vikings will attempt to make it 6 wins in a row against the Broncos, who are suddenly on a 3-game winning streak.
- On Thursday night, the Baltimore Ravens hope to complete a sweep of the Cincinnati Bengals.
- Eagles-Chiefs Under 46.5 (-110) at Bet365
- Vikings-Broncos Under 43 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
- 1st Half Ravens -3 (-105) at Caesars Sportsbook
A Repeat of 38-35? Think Again
Last season, the Chiefs and Eagles were the No. 1 seeds, they were in the Super Bowl, and their quarterbacks were the top 2 in the MVP race. This season, it might be more of the same with the Chiefs and Eagles currently the No. 1 seeds with the highest odds to win the Super Bowl, and Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts top the MVP odds list.
This sets up a fantastic Monday night battle in Kansas City, a rematch of last February’s 38-35 Super Bowl classic that would have been a top-5 title game if that weak 3rd-down penalty was not called on the Eagles and we got a better ending.
A lot of hype for this game, and it deserves it. But if you have been paying attention to Monday Night Football this year, you know it has been an offensive struggle. Can we put that to the test with this game and take another under? The Chiefs are a 3-point home favorite with a total of 46.5 points. We are going to explain why the under should hit again.
Monday, November 20, 2023 – 08:15 PM ET at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium
Jalen Hurts is 20-2 when he scores at least 27 points with the Eagles. The losses were both to Mahomes and the Chiefs (42-30 in 2021 and 38-35 in 2022). It would seem to make sense that we’d get yet another big scoring game between these teams for the 3rd season in a row, but they are different teams this year. Neither is as dominant as they were last year.
Why the Eagles May Not Score Much
The Eagles have scored at least 23 points in every game except for the 20-14 loss to the Jets, an elite pass defense that forced 4 turnovers. The Eagles were able to drop 28 points on a good Dallas defense, but that is also a division game, so there is more familiarity there.
The Kansas City defense has been fantastic this year, which was not expected to be the case. They have backed it up for 9 games though, holding everyone to 24 or fewer points. They only allowed 14 points to a very strong Detroit offense on opening night without Chris Jones available. They only allowed 14 points to Miami’s No. 1 offense, forcing Tyreek Hill to fumble for a touchdown before halftime.
They shut out Justin Herbert after halftime in a game, which is hard to do. They also forced him into the only game of his career with multiple interceptions and 5 sacks taken.
Even when the Broncos put up a season-high 24 points on the Chiefs, it was thanks to 5 turnovers and great field position. The Broncos did not score a point that day on a drive that did not start inside the 50. Russell Wilson did not have 100 net passing yards in either game against the Chiefs this year.
Offensive Challenges and the Home Advantage
Hurts is having a nice year, but this offense does not run the ball as consistently as it did last season, and it relies more on A.J. Brown than in 2022. Tight end Dallas Goedert is injured and should miss this game, and the Eagles have not developed a solid receiving option to replace him at tight end. They also lack a solid No. 3 wide receiver.
If the Chiefs play defense like they have all season, the Eagles are going to find it a lot harder to score than they did last February. Not to mention the crowd in Kansas City will be fired up for this huge game. Four of Philadelphia’s top 5 scoring games this year have been in Philly.
Why the Chiefs May Not Score Much
The Chiefs are only 13th in scoring this year at 23.1 points per game, and instead of things getting better, they seem to be getting worse.
Kansas City has been held under 300 yards in back-to-back games, and the Chiefs did not score a single point after halftime in either game against Denver or Miami. Those things have not happened to the Chiefs since 2016, the year before Patrick Mahomes was drafted.
We know the wide receivers are a huge weakness, but the play calling does not seem to be adjusting well to that either. The Chiefs are not using Isiah Pacheco on the ground when they should in short yardage, and they are getting cute when simple would be more effective. The 17 turnovers are also an issue holding them back.
Fortunately, the Eagles have been shakier on defense this year and do not have a pass rush ready to get to 70 sacks like they did in 2022. But Mahomes has also released the ball much faster than usual against Nick Sirianni’s team the last 2 years, so that has largely neutralized the pass rush of the Eagles when the Chiefs play them.
But it would be a surprise if the Chiefs got to 28 points here. The Chiefs have already been held to 23 points in 6-of-9 games this season.
Remember, Monday night is where scoring goes to die this season:
- The under is now 11-1 on Monday nights.
- The only game to go over was Browns-Steelers in Week 2, and that needed a pair of turnovers returned for touchdowns to get to 26-22.
- No one has scored more than 27 points on Monday night this season.
- An under 46.5 line would have hit in 11-of-12 Monday night games this year.
We’ll see if the Monday night scoring drought can bring down the top Super Bowl contenders as well. But as the Chiefs showed last year, you can still have a very compelling game between contenders with scores like 24-20 and 23-20, which were the finals in their home games against Buffalo (Week 6) and the Bengals (AFC Championship Game).
Given the lack of scoring in prime time that even goes back to last season, we were kind of lucky to get a 38-35 Super Bowl out of this. Now we see what the latest chapter in Eagles-Chiefs brings, but we’ll take the under to close Week 11.
Still Feeling the Sunday Night Under
The unders have been a perfect 8-0 in island games since Week 9, so why mess up a good thing with that? NBC is catching a break by not flexing this game, as the Denver defense forcing 9 turnovers against the Chiefs and Bills in upset wins and the Vikings trading for Joshua Dobbs, have saved the seasons for both teams going into Sunday night.
The Broncos are a 2.5-point home favorite with a total of 43 points. We will tell you why we like the under.
Sunday, November 19, 2023 – 08:20 PM ET at Empower Field at Mile High
Denver’s Shaky Offense
Look, the Broncos can’t live forever forcing turnovers and starting drives at midfield and deep in opponent territory. Even with 11 drives starting at the Denver 45 or better, the Broncos scored 24 points in each win over the Chiefs and Bills. They needed a redo on the game-winning field goal in Buffalo after the Bills were penalized for 12 players on the field.
Russell Wilson has passed for fewer than 200 yards in 5 straight games, the longest streak of his 12-year career. The Denver offense has some talented skill players, but Sean Payton seemingly hasn’t figured out how to turn Courtland Sutton into a big producer, how to get Jerry Jeudy back on track with Wilson like they were in 2022, and rookie Marvin Mims would make a perfect deep threat, but they never use him.
Despite the recent wins, Denver’s offense is not that impressive at all. It beats what they were doing last year with Nathaniel Hackett, but it’s still not at the level that can carry this team to a playoff run behind the coach and quarterback who have so many better seasons on their resumes than this.
Also, the Minnesota defense has improved since the first month of the season. Maybe not as drastically as the Broncos have, but they have held 4 of their last 5 opponents under 20 points. The Vikings have forced 11 takeaways during the 5-game winning streak too.
The Joshua Dobbs Experience
Joshua Dobbs just had the best 2-game stretch of his career against Atlanta and New Orleans, which is impressive since he just joined the Vikings on Halloween and is still learning the playbook and offense.
But Dobbs’ mobility is a huge plus for this offense, and some of his biggest plays have been scrambles. He might need to do that in Denver as this secondary has some great players and they just shut down Stefon Diggs, who did not even break 35 yards on Monday night.
The Vikings usually throw a lot to Justin Jefferson, but he has missed this winning streak with a hamstring injury. It is possible he will return Sunday night but that is not definite. Jordan Addison has been impressive as a rookie, but corner Patrick Surtain II would be a great matchup for Denver in this one to try to limit this offense, which still doesn’t have a great traditional running game out of the backfield.
The Vikings have scored at least 17 points in every game this season, and that feels like a realistic number here as well. But Denver is a tough place to play with the altitude, and the Vikings would love to have Jefferson in a matchup like this. He may not be ready yet, and again, Denver would be a tough place to make your return for endurance reasons.
But we’re mostly taking the under because Denver is not an offense to trust. Payton treats Wilson like he’s Taysom Hill instead of Drew Brees, and this offense is not going to keep starting so many drives at midfield because of turnovers. Minnesota has finally dialed back the giveaways, going from 11 in Weeks 1-4 to 6 turnovers in the last 6 games.
Nothing wrong with a close grind of a game that should still feature some scoring and highlights. There’s just not a good reason that the Denver offense is ready to explode in this matchup, and the Vikings could always come crashing back to Earth a bit with the Dobbs fever dream.
The Front-running Ravens Return
Baltimore and Cincinnati both struck early for touchdowns last week, but both lost at home despite being favored by a full touchdown to win over Cleveland and Houston. Now they meet for a huge rematch in the AFC North after the Ravens held on for a 27-24 win in Week 2 in Cincinnati.
Baltimore is a 3.5-point home favorite with a total of 46 points. But instead of depending on the final score to take us home, we’ll focus on the 1st half spread and if the Ravens can cover a 3-point spread at the half.
Thursday, November 16, 2023 – 08:15 PM EDT at M&T Bank Stadium
The Ravens Jump Out to Big Leads
It is not well known since the Ravens blew too many leads last year, but they were a historic team in their ability to jump out to 10-point leads. The 2022 Ravens led by double digits in each of their first 10 games, which has only been done a handful of other times in NFL history.
The problem was the Ravens were 7-3 for that streak, and that’s more losses than the other teams had combined during their streaks. Baltimore has blown 7 double-digit leads since 2022, including a pair this year against the Steelers (led 10-0) and the Browns last week (led 24-9 and then 31-17 in the 4th quarter).
Baltimore is well-built for leads. The Ravens can run and pass with Lamar Jackson proficient at both, and the defense is No. 1 in points allowed this year. But finishing the game has become an issue, and it is everything from the defense allowing scores to the offense coughing up turnovers to even some special teams miscues.
This makes Baltimore a frustrating team to bet on the full-game spread, so we wanted to target the 1st half only.
Ravens vs. Cincinnati Matchup
In Week 2, the Ravens led 13-10 against Cincinnati at halftime, so that would be a push for this spread. But the Bengals needed an 81-yard punt return touchdown to provide their only touchdown of the half. The offense did not click until late in the 3rd quarter, and even then it still wasn’t enough.
The Ravens are also likely to catch a break and not have to defend wide receiver Tee Higgins, who is still injured and missed Sunday’s game against Houston. That was also a game where the Texans moved the ball up and down the field with the run and pass, and if not for turnovers, they were fixing to blow Cincinnati out early.
Baltimore has led by double digits in every game this season except for the loss to Indianapolis. That’s just what this team does. Holding the lead after 60 minutes is a different story, but that’s why we are trying a 1st half prop where they only need to be sound for 2 quarters to get a win.
NFL Pick: 1st Half Ravens -3 (-105) at Caesars Sportsbook
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