Welcome to our new weekly feature Beating the Spread. Here we will break down the best games to place your money on this weekend in the NFL and the ones you should absolutely stay away from.
The NFL season is entering week 11 with some marquee matchups on cue including Chiefs vs. Rams, Eagles vs. Saints and Vikings vs. Bears. While these games make for an enjoyable viewing experience, they also make for a nightmare for sports gamblers. The Super Bowl champions are up-and-down while the Rams and Chiefs mindset is a question mark given the limbo they were thrown into with Mexico City’s stadium situation. However, there are some games that are betting gold and others that bettors should avoid like the plague. Let’s take a look.
Games To Go For
Oakland Raiders vs. Arizona Cardinals – ARI -5.5, O/U 41
The Cardinals continue to pollute your late-day RedZone Channel with their mediocre play against the Raiders with a 4:05 EST kickoff. While most casual fans will stay away from watching this game for good reason, in typical bettor form, one fan’s trash is another’s treasure. The Raiders are arguably the league’s worst team with their only win of the season against the Browns being gifted to them by horrible referees.
The Cardinals one of two wins on the season came against the 49ers, who the Raiders lost to 34-3 a few weeks ago. Oakland’s offense has failed to score a touchdown since Oct. 28 while the Cardinals’ defense has played up to their competition all season. They held the high-power Chiefs to 26 points (Kansas City has been averaging 35 a game) and lost to Chicago and Seattle by two and three points respectively.
Arizona is the type of team that has promise and is clearly standing on a solid foundation for a rebuild while the Raiders are seemingly lost. The Cardinals should cover the spread by beating the Raiders by at least a touchdown but with both offenses struggling all season, the under is the call here.
Call: Bet The Under
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Rams – LAR -3, O/U 63
This seems like an insane choice to go against one of the best teams in the NFL in the Los Angeles Rams. With that said, it is important to look at some of the teams LA has struggled against the most this season. The first close win of the season came against the Vikings, who have one of the more stacked offenses in the league in terms of talent. An even closer two-point win against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers continued to show the Rams’ defense was susceptible to capable quarterbacks and offenses.
This weakness finally caught up to the Rams when they were handed their first loss to the Saints two weeks ago. This season, the Rams have only held three teams to less than 20 points and those teams were the 49ers, Cardinals, and Raiders. Not a promising stat with arguably the best offense in the NFL coming into town.
With Cooper Kupp out for the season, there is an ample chance for the Chiefs defense, which has been inconsistent, to say the least, to give LA trouble all game. Kansas City has a solid shot at pulling off the upset and therefore beating the spread and the over is high but rightfully so and is the way to go.
Call: Chiefs +3, Bet The Over
Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings – CHI -2.5, O/U 44
Every year there seems to be a team with a good record that makes the playoffs just to see their season end swiftly. This year, that team seems to be the Bears. Their high-profile trade for Khalil Mack and primetime near-win against the Packers thrust Chicago into the spotlight. However, their season as a whole isn’t as incredible as it looks on the surface. Chicago’s wins have come against the Seahawks, Lions, Bills, Jets, Buccaneers, and Cardinals. The only impressive team of that bunch is the Seahawks. The Lions have been enormously inconsistent this season while the rest speak for themselves with their records.
The Vikings meanwhile are 4-1 in their last five games with the only loss coming against the 8-1 Saints. In that span, only one win was by single digits and the offense has scored 20 or more points in every one. The Bears defense will be facing their first functioning offense since they played New England in which they lost 38-31. It’s worth pointing out the week before that game, Brock Osweiler went for 380 yards and three touchdowns to beat the Bears.
The Bears are a talented team but they haven’t faced tough competition much this season and when they do, it has either been a loss or a one-score win. The Vikings would be the favorite if this game was being played in Minneapolis so take advantage of the books giving that ill-advised advantage to the Bears and bet on Minnesota pulling off the upset.
Call: Vikings +2.5
Games To Stay Away From
Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers – LAC -7.5, O/U 45
It may seem insane to stay away from a 7-2 Chargers at home against a 3-6 Broncos team but there is more underneath the surface. The Chargers have been impressive all season with their only two losses coming against the Rams and Chiefs but looking at their wins, their season easily could have a different outcome. Three of their wins were one-score victories against the Raiders, 49ers, Titans and Seattle and while a win is a win, it is cause for concern.
Meanwhile, the Broncos are wildly inconsistent but they do tend to play up to their competition. One week, they’ll lose to the Ravens by 13 points but then nearly pull off the upset against the Chiefs in a three-point loss. Besides two bad losses against the Ravens and Jets, Denver has always lost by one score.
While the Chargers are at home, their temporary stadium is frequently touted as one of the worst home-field advantages in the NFL and does not give them a significant competitive edge. While the Chargers may not lose to Denver, it has the potential to be closer than people think.
Call: Stay Away, but if the degenerate in you must, take Denver +7.5
Houston Texans vs. Washington Redskins – HOU -3, O/U 42
As is the case with Chicago, both of these teams have impressive 6-3 records but looking at their schedules, that’s around where they should be. Houston’s last three wins came against Buffalo, Jacksonville, and Miami while Washington has beaten Tampa Bay and the Giants for their previous two victories.
The Texans are being touted as “back” after a six-game win streak following a 0-3 start to the season but those wins don’t necessarily inspire confidence. Half of those wins for the Texans were by one score including a three-point win against the Colts and Cowboys, seven-points against the Bills and two-points against the Broncos.
Houston should be the favorite here but Washington is not a team to count out of this match for simply having the lesser of two quarterbacks. Given the fact they are at home, watch out for an upset alert.
Call: Stay Away, far far away