Sunday, November 21, 2010

Paydirt: NFL Week 11

We stand at 19-14 entering Week 11 after going 2-3 last week. Let's take a look at where we're going to ring the register this week. Lots to like:

Baltimore -11.5 at Carolina:
A Five-Star Pick. Nothing this year will be better than the Steelers laying three at Tampa in Week 3, but we have a contender. It's really hard to love a team on the road when they are laying double digits, but it's equally hard to figure out how Vegas made this line. Carolina is starting Brian St. Pierre at quarterback. Pierre will be the Panthers fourth quarterback this season. He's a seven-year veteran who has played in two games, no starts, and thrown five passes in his career. He was signed as a street free agent November 12. Sixth round draft pick Tony Pike who has played in one game, throwing 12 passes, actually has more game experience but St. Pierre is getting the nod, leading to speculation of a mutiny by Coach John Fox. Mutiny or not, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are salivating. The line moved from 10 to 11.5 with the QB change but I think it should be at least 14 as the Panthers also put leading rusher DeAngelo Williams on the IR this week. If you like to play teases wheel the Ravens with everyone.

UPDATE (11:15 AM): I laid 10.5 when Carolina named St. Pierre the starter on Thursday. The line moved to 11 yesterday and 11.5 this morning. It is now 13. I would play it all the way to 14, but at these levels it is no longer a five-star pick.

Pittsburgh -7 vs. Oakland:
Fans are fickle, Vegas isn't. The Steelers looked terrible getting smoked by the Pats last week while the Raiders have won three in a row and looked good doing it. But Jason Campbell isn't Tom Brady and it's hard to imagine Darren McFadden, the NFL's leader in yards/game, is going to run wild against the Steelers defense. The memory of last year's loss to the Raiders at home and their national television embarrassment by New England means the Steelers will be focused today. Lay the points and another good one to throw in your tease.

Cleveland +2.5 at Jacksonville:
Josh Cribbs is out for the Browns. Five weeks ago that would be a crippling blow, but with the emergence of Colt McCoy and Peyton Hillis, it isn't going to shut down the Cleveland offense. Jacksonville is the luckiest team in the league and they really aren't that good. The Browns are 1-4 in games decided by less than seven points and Jax is 3-0. Look for that to be reversed this week. The Jags have cost me money this year. I'm going to get some back this week.

New England -4 vs. Indianapolis:
Watching last week was scary. The Pats offense was awesome and Tom Brady had one of the best games of his career. This is a great rivalry and I don't expect it to be easy as Indy is getting a little healthier, but New England is going to take care of business at home where Brady has won 24 straight.

San Francisco -3.5 vs. Tampa Bay:
The Niners have won three of four and are getting themselves back in the hunt. Tampa is not going to travel well going across the country. Lay 'em.

Other Picks: Atlanta -3 at St. Louis and Arizona +8 at Kansas City.

I'll have some more thoughts on the late games and the night game up around 3 today. Good luck.

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