NFL Week 11 best bets and expert picks for the Sunday slate. Find best bets for NFL Week 11 featuring Bears vs. Lions, Raiders vs. Dolphins, Jets vs. Bills, Titans vs. Jaguars, Cardinals vs. Texans, and Cowboys vs. Panthers.
NFL Week 11 Best Bets
We’re onto Week 11 of the NFL season, and this week’s slate is loaded with exciting matchups. In this article, you can find best bet breakdowns for some of the biggest games of the week. Check out the Lineups YouTube page for coverage of all of the NFL games this week. Let’s get to work.
Jacob Wayne’s Record: 15-15-1 (-0.5 units)
Kody Malstrom’s Record: 12-7 (+4.4 units)
Will Schwartz’s Record: 13-15 (-3.1 units)
Bears at Lions
The Bears welcome Justin Fields back to the fold this week, and it’s difficult to overstate how much of a lift he’ll provide the offense over undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent. While Bagent filled in admirably, Fields provides the offense with far more upside both in the passing and rushing game. Last year, Fields had a total of 279 rushing yards in his two games against the Lions.
Chicago has quietly built an excellent offensive line that ranks top six in pass and run block win rate. That gives them a verified edge against a Lions defense ranked 30th in run-stop win rate, and the Bears can shorten the game with their rushing attack here, especially now that Khalil Herbert is back off the IR.
The Lions will find success through the air against the Bears’ 29th-ranked pass defense by DVOA, but the returns of defensive back Eddie Jackson and Kyler Gordon have helped a ton. The trade acquisition of Montez Sweat has also been huge for the pass rush, as the Bears’ secondary injuries were even more impactful earlier in the year with the amount of time opposing passers had in the pocket.
If Detroit looks to run the ball with a lead in this game, they’ll do so against an elite run defense that ranks second in EPA. This game presents one of the best trench battles you’ll see all year, with Detroit’s second-ranked offensive line by line yards against Chicago’s second-ranked defensive line in the same metric.
Ultimately, I expect the back door to stay open all game as Detroit’s porous secondary makes it difficult to truly put teams away. The Lions rank 31st in pass defense EPA over the past month, and Fields will give this offense new life as a rusher and downfield passer. With extended rest off Thursday Night Football, I love this as a buy low spot for the Bears.
Best Bet: Bears +8 (play to +7)
Las Vegas Raiders at Miami Dolphins
The Antonio Pierce era in Las Vegas is off to a promising 2-0 start, but things get much tougher this week after wins over Tommy DeVito and Zach Wilson. This week, the Raiders face Tua Tagovailoa, who has paced all quarterbacks in PFF’s passing grades. Tua rarely puts the ball in harm’s way and consistently delivers downfield strikes with 21 big-time throws to just nine turnover-worthy plays.
The Raiders haven’t faced a great quarterback in weeks. Their most recent games have come against Wilson, DeVito, Jared Goff, Tyson Bagent, Mac Jones, and Jordan Love. Even if they find a way to slow down Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, the Raiders’ 27th-ranked run defense by DVOA will be in trouble against Miami’s rushing offense that ranks second in DVOA and looks to get De’Von Achance back off the IR this week.
Miami’s defense has been a major point of contention in the national media, and it’s fair as they rank just 22nd in overall defensive DVOA. However, the transition to Vic Fangio’s multiple zone defense was always going to take some time after multiple years of Josh Boyer’s defense that was heavy on the blitz and man coverage.
The Dolphins also got former All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey off the IR just before their bye week, and his return is enormous for the secondary. Ramsey will be an invaluable ches piece for Fangio. The Dolphins’ run defense has been poor this year, but the Raiders have the second-worst rushing offense by EPA and can’t take advantage.
This game has a hefty spread, and I don’t make a habit of laying big numbers in the NFL, but it’s well warranted here. Tagovailoa and company will be looking to make a statement out of the bye week and will set a scoring pace that Aidan O’Connell’s Raiders have no chance to keep up with. Lay the points with Miami up to -13.5.
Best Bet: Dolphins -12
Jets at Bills
If Chris Godwin turned his head and the New York Giants were capable of punching it in from the goal line, then the Buffalo Bills could realistically be 3-7 at this point of the season. A shockingly poor start to the season after years of dominance, yet that’s how poor this team has run.
Worse yet, it’s to no fault of their own as their defense has been decimated by injuries. While Josh Allen has managed to maintain elite offensive ranks, their defense has regressed to 21st in Overall Def DVOA. That is a sharp decrease from their early season ranks, once being pegged as a top-5 defense.
While the defense has struggled to overcome injuries, they will now be in a good position to bounce back as they host the New York Jets and their lowly offense. As of writing, the Jets are currently 30th in Off DVOA as Zach Wilson has struggled to generate any sort of consistency under center.
It’s not just Zach Wilson holding this team back either, this offense is horrific in every facet of the game. They rank 30th in Pass DVOA and 29th in Rush DVOA, failing to get any sort of production in either scheme of the offense. Mid field Success Rate and red zone EPA are practically non-existent either, meaning the Jets offense struggles at every level of the field.
This is in large part due to fielding one of the worst offensive lines in football, failing to give Zach Wilson any sort of production while being incapable of opening up high quality running lanes for their backfield. They rank 28th in both Adjusted Line Yards and Adjusted Sack Rate and now have to hold their own against a Bills defense that ranks eighth in Pressure Rate.
Not only do the Bills excel at generating pressure, but they do so with just their front four. That gives them the ability to drop their linebackers back in coverage, clogging passing lanes and forcing Zach Wilson into turnover worthy plays and limited downfield success. Exactly what they need if they want to round back into form.
On the other end it should be business as usual for the Jets defense as one of the better overall defenses in the league as their DVOA mark suggests. They rank fourth in Def Pass DVOA, sixth in Def Pass EPA, and fifth in Def Pass Success Rate while running a heavy dose of cover 2. That keeps throws underneath their coverage, prolonging drives until they lock up in the red zone and minimize the amount of points up on the board.
Best Bet: Under 40 (Play down to 38)
Week 11 Wong Teaser
After a hot start to the season, the Detroit Lions defense has steadily fallen back towards reality. While they still possess a stout front four, their coverage on the back end has been horrendous as of late. That spells potential disaster against dual threat quarterback Justin Fields who makes his return this week.
What’s intriguing is that Fields has already said he is not 100% and has shown to sit more in the pocket than scramble this year. This has resulted in him holding on to the ball for way longer than he should, taking ill-advised sacks in the pocket and stalling out drives. A weird sight to see as he is one of the best open field running quarterbacks in football.
On the other end, the Lions offense should have no issue continuing to thrive in the pass attack. The Bears secondary is expected to improve with key production returning from injuries, yet ticking up their metrics in light of health keeps them still below average at best. As of writing, Chicago ranks 29th in Def Pass DVOA, 31st in Def Pass EPA, and 22nd in Def Pass Success Rate.
While I still struggle to see how the Bears win outright due to their inabilities elsewhere, Fields return is enough of a scare for me to put the Lions into a teaser instead of covering a two score spread. Especially with the Lions entering into Wong Teaser territory, opening as a -10 favorite and dipping to -7.5 as of writing.
As for Washington, expect more of the same out of Sam Howell and their pass attack as they are in a position to shred the Giants pass coverage. The Commanders coaching staff have done a great job to shift their offense towards Howell’s passing prowess, relying on more dump offs in order to stack the defense and let Sam throw over the top of them.
On the other side of the ball, the Commanders defense is in a position to hold their own against the Giants offense as they have one of the worst offensive lines in football. That bodes well for a Commanders front four who is sorely missing Chase Young and Montez Sweat. By bouncing back in Pressure Rate, Washington can mask their secondary and force Tommy DeVito into danger worthy passing situations.
While the New York Giants are the worst team per DVOA, it’s still tough to back the Commanders as a two score favorite over anyone. That makes them a prime Wong Teaser target, getting them under the key number of -3.
Best Bet: Lions -1.5 / Commanders -2.5
Titans at Jaguars
It’s not the best habit to be betting on favorites of this magnitude, but this game is a total mismatch, with the better team at home. Any bump the Titans received from the switch to Will Levis is now a thing of the past; after they hung 28 points in his debut, their output dropped to 16 in their next game against the Steelers, and then a paltry six in their last game against the Buccaneers.
As for the Jaguars, this is a great spot to buy low on a really good team after they were dispatched comfortably by the 49ers, a fate that could belong to just about any team when San Francisco is healthy and firing on all cylinders. Jacksonville ranks a very solid 10th in the league in DVOA, with their defense ranking fifth by the same metric, and prior to the Niners game, they had been playing some awesome football throughout a five-game winning streak.
The Titans, who are 20th in the league in DVOA, are simply not in the same category. Derrick Henry is no longer in a place where he can completely carry a team, as the Titans run game is just above average by both EPA and DVOA despite an offensive line that ranks ninth in adjusted line yards. They’re going to have a terrible time running against a Jags defense, a pleasant surprise this year as they are currently second in the league in success rate and third in DVOA.
Simply put, Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne both completely dropped an egg on Sunday. That’s a pretty rare occurrence, and it’s no coincidence that it happened when it did; the Niners have the capability to do that to teams, and the Titans absolutely do not with a defense that ranks 29th in EPA. As long as the Jaguars are able to get either the pass or run game going, they should be able to score enough to outpace a Titans offense that will have to be essentially one-dimensional, with that particular dimension relying on Levis.
Best Bet: Jaguars -6.5
Cardinals at Texans
Yes, the Arizona Cardinals looked much better than they have in recent weeks as they brought back quarterback Kyler Murray from a long IR stint. But, let’s put some things in context. They were up against the Atlanta Falcons, who would now be on a five-game losing streak if the Buccaneers could convert simple offensive opportunities.
Murray also can’t fix the one thing that has plagued this team the most- the defense. They had some stretches of offensive competency with Josh Dobbs too, but the other side of the football will be a problem no matter who’s under center. The defense remains 31st in the NFL in DVOA, ranking behind really bad units such as the Giants, Panthers, Bears, Chargers Commanders, and everyone else who isn’t the Broncos.
This line has already been moving towards Houston- it was -4.5 not so long ago, and now, -5.5 is the shortest spread you can find, with -6 becoming more and more prevalent. There have been a couple of hiccups, as will always be the case when you’re led by both a rookie coach and quarterback, but by and large, the Texans are playing some awesome football-especially on offense.
Houston is simply in a different category than Arizona, as they rank 11th overall in DVOA, led by an air attack that ranks second in that metric on the strength of some great passing performances from CJ Stroud. He can go after a Cardinals defense that is considered by every measure to be one of the league’s worst, and should be able to lead his squad to a very comfortable home win.
Best Bet: Texans -5.5
Cowboys at Panthers
This is the one line a week where I wonder out loud how exactly it exists. Not only is the number set too high, but we get a significant football number and a half-point hook in the right direction- this one is an absolute no-brainer, and probably my favorite bet of the week.
The Cowboys defense hasn’t been discussed as much lately as it probably should be- there’s some fantastic defenses in this year’s NFL, and this is one of the best. They rank fourth in the league in DVOA and third in EPA; only the Browns and Ravens rank higher than them in both. Their average of 275.1 yards allowed per game is the third-best figure in the league, and their opponent scoring average of 18.3 is fourth.
Yes, they’ve done a lot of beating up on bad teams, but the Panthers are frankly another bad team- possibly the worst. Their offense is 31st in the league in DVOA as Bryce Young continues to struggle mightily in his rookie season. The Panthers recently managed just 13 points against each of the Bears and Colts, and 15 against the Texans.
The way the Panthers could get back into this one is with a big play, but the Cowboys really aren’t vulnerable to those, especially on the ground; they rank 11th in rushing defense EPA and eighth in rush defense DVOA despite placing 31st in success rate against the run. They give up small carries, but Carolina isn’t likely to find the big chunks they need to move down the field in this one, and their air game will certainly struggle against a Dallas pass defense that ranks top-five in most categories.
Best Bet: Panthers Team Total Under 14.5