The NFL odds are arguably the toughest market to beat the bookies in, with those spreads and totals tightened with every wager pouring in over the course of the week.
In order to find your edge, you have to go beyond the box scores, advanced stats, and matchups. Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty, and that means digging into the Week 11 odds schedule to unearth the best situational angles — AKA spot bets.
Luckily, I do the heavy lifting for you with my weekly NFL spot bets, highlighting the best letdown, look-ahead, and schedule spots you should keep in mind when handicapping your NFL picks and predictions.
Letdown spot: Minnesota Vikings (+1.5) at Denver Broncos
The Minnesota Vikings are the hottest team in the NFL. No, really. Take a look.
Minnesota extended its winning run to five games with a victory over the New Orleans Saints at home this past weekend, adding another chapter to the legend of QB Joshua Dobbs.
The Vikes’ impromptu quarterback once again willed Minnesota to a win, transforming into Michael Vick for a series of sensational scrambles. Dobbs continues to play above expectations this season, keeping the Arizona Cardinals competitive before being traded to Minnesota in the wake of Kirk Cousins’ season-ending injury.
The Vikings are riding high but play their third road contest in four weeks and their fifth away game since October 15 in Week 11. What’s more, that trip takes Minnesota up the mountain and into the thin air of Mile High, where the extended forecast calls for possible rain and game-time temperatures in the low 40s for Sunday Night Football against the Denver Broncos.
The Vikings have injury concerns stacking up on offense. Receiver Justin Jefferson is still working his way back from a hamstring injury and K.J. Osborne is in concussion protocols. As is RB Alexander Mattison, who left Week 10’s game against the Saints. That could leave the RBs room thin with Cam Akers already out for the season.
As of this writing, the Broncos still have a Monday night matchup in Buffalo, but the look-ahead lines for this non-conference clash have Denver down to -1.5 after being as big as -2.5 before Minnesota’s win over NOLA.
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Look-ahead spot: Dallas Cowboys (-10.5) at Carolina Panthers
Another week, another double-digit spread for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys come to Carolina, giving the home team as many as 11 points. That pile of chalk does leave the backdoor open for the underdog, considering Dallas has its annual Thanksgiving Day showcase four days later in Arlington.
The Cowboys could get caught looking ahead to that home showdown with Washington on the holiday and I expect this spread to grow after Dallas flattened the closing 17.5-point spread in a 49-17 squash of the New York Giants in Week 10.
The Carolina Panthers are coming off a mini bye, having last played in a loss to Chicago on Thursday. The Cowboys also see a dip in production on the road, averaging 40 points inside AT&T Stadium compared to just under 22 points as visitors.
Should the Cowboys get up in the second half, we could see coach Mike McCarthy start pulling starters in order to rest and protect them for the short turnaround on Thanksgiving Thursday. Dallas did that in a blowout of the Giants this past weekend and gave up 17 points in the second half.
Schedule spot: Tennessee Titans (+6) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Tennessee Titans run into one of the trickier schedule spots of the season, playing their third straight road game when they visit the rival Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11. This spread opened at Tennessee +6 but is on its way to a touchdown.
Tennessee lost the first two stops on this stretch, falling 20-16 at Pittsburgh in Week 9 and getting bounced 20-6 in Tampa Bay this past weekend. That dropped the Titans to 0-6 straight up and 1-5 against the spread away from Nashville (including a Week 6 loss to Baltimore in the UK).
Tennessee is averaging only 12 points per road game — versus more than 27 at home — and all this travel cuts into practice and prep for rookie QB Will Levis, who was named the team’s QB1 ahead of Week 10’s loss to the Bucs.
Bonus schedule spot: New York Giants (+10) at Washington Commanders
The Titans aren’t the only team on a three-game road slog in Week 11. The New York Giants travel to the nation’s capital for a clash with the Washington Commanders this Sunday. Oddsmakers have installed New York as a 10-point underdog — the fifth time N.Y. has been a double-digit dog.
The 2022 Giants benefited from one of the softest slates last year, which means the schedule makers demand blood in 2023. Not only is this New York’s third straight road stop — after losses in Las Vegas and Dallas — but this is also the seventh time the G-Men have been visitors in the last 10 games.
New York is 1-5 SU and ATS away from MetLife with an average margin of -15.2 points in those contests. Injuries are a massive problem with pieces missing on both sides of the ball.
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