Week 11 NFL: Late Afternoon Games!
There's nothing juicy about these late afternoon games, but that doesn't mean we can't make some money. Let's dissect these matchups and make some picks that will cash in.
Late Afternoon Games
Los Angelas Chargers (-650) vs. New York Jets (+330)... Spread: Chargers (-9.5)
It's been a nightmarish season for the Chargers as they are currently 2-7 on the season.
Rookie QB Justin Herbert is off to a solid start in his NFL career and has put himself in a position to win the rookie of the year if he continues playing well. He has weapons on the outside with the Chargers' top 2 WR targets, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, who should have a field day against this Jets defense. Meanwhile, the Chargers backfield has been a revolving door this year with lots of injuries. Currently, the starting RB is Kalen Ballage who took the job away from rookie Joshua Kelley. Ballage has put up 186 yards from scrimmage and 1 TD over the past 2 games. Also, the defense took a hit last week with DE Joey Bosa out with an injury, but he's on track to return Sunday barring any setbacks.
I cannot foresee the Jets winning a game this year. Their starting QB Sam Darnold will be out again this week, so they will have to rely on QB Joe Flacco once again. The Jets are 0-9 on the season and they are hoping that the bye week is what they needed to recharge. Before the bye week, the Jets almost had their first win over the New England Patriots as they blew a 4th quarter lead and lost the game 30-27. Despite the loss, it was a promising effort for this Jets team who have been flat all year. Flacco looked good against the Patriots as he threw for 262 yards and 3 TD's. He will need to air it out again in this game if the Jets have any chance of keeping up with the Chargers explosive offense. With that being said, I think the Chargers are due for a big win and this is the time for it against the winless Jets. Let's take the Chargers to hammer the Jets at home.
Prediction: Chargers -9.5 (-110)
Denver Broncos (+180) vs. Miami Dolphins (-220)... Spread: Dolphins (-4)
Can the Dolphins reach 1st place in the AFC East? The Tua Tagovailoa era has started out 3-0 and everyone has forgotten about the existence of Ryan Fitzpatrick once again (until he somehow gets another starting QB job). In week 10, Tagovailoa put up modest numbers with 169 passing yards and 2 TDs. However, the story of the game was rookie RB Salvon Ahmen who has seemingly came out of nowhere and started in week 10 for the Dolphins. In week 10, Ahmen had 85 rushing yards on 21 carries and also scored 1 TD. He's in line to get the start in week 11, so look for him to capitalize on this opportunity once again. The Dolphins are 6-3 on the season and are making a serious push for 1st place in the AFC East and a win here would inch them closer to the top-seeded Bills.
As has been the case all season, the Broncos have had an abundance of injuries on both sides of the ball. Their offense is currently led by QB Drew Lock, who had a terrible game in week 11 against the Las Vegas Raiders. Lock threw for 257 yards and 1 TD but also had 4 INT's on the day. He was hurt in that game as well with a rib injury but is expected to start against the Dolphins. The Broncos will need more production from their 2 starting RB's Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay as they have only totaled 89 rushing yards in the past 2 games. Simply put, the Dolphins are trending up, and the Broncos are trending down. The pick here is to take the Dolphins at home with the -4 spread and continue their impressive 2020 season with another huge performance from their defense.
Prediction: Dolphins -4 (-110)
Minnesota Vikings (-320) vs. Dallas Cowboys (+260)... Spread: Vikings (-7)
What is there to say about the Cowboys right now? They are 2-7 on the season, but surprisingly still in the hunt in the worst division in football, the NFC East. With a win here, they can put themselves right back in the hunt and that should be enough motivation for this slumping Cowboys squad. Some positive news for them is that QB Andy Dalton is set to return from injury and hopefully help this offense and get their all-stars WR Amari Cooper and RB Ezekiel Elliot going. The Cowboys are coming off a bye week and are getting healthier on the defensive side of the ball. Their defense managed to hold the Steelers to only 24 points in week 9 and they will look to build on that for this week's crucial matchup.
For the Vikings, it's been the 'Dalvin Cook show'. They started out the season 1-5, but have picked up 3 straight wins and now have an opportunity to reach .500 and push for a playoff spot. Cook has been on a tear as of late as the Vikings offense is heavily relying on him to lead the way. In week 10, Cook had a whopping 30 carries and rushed for 96 yards on route to a close 19-13 win over the Chicago Bears. He will be relied on once again for a heavy workload this week in what could be a low scoring affair. The spread is quite wide in this game and I think it should be much closer with Dalton back and the Cowboys defense getting healthy. Let's take advantage of this and hammer the Cowboys at +7.
Prediction: Cowboys +7 (-110)
Indianapolis Colts (-120) vs. Green Bay Packers (+100)... Spread: Colts (-1)
The main event of the late afternoon games features a matchup between 2 veteran QB's that still have a lot left in the tank. When QB Philip Rivers signed with the Colts in the offseason he was all-in for making a Super Bowl run with one of the best defenses in the league. The Colts are 1st in the AFC South after a huge win against their division rivals, the Tennessee Titians, in week 10. They won that game convincingly 34-17 with a huge performance from Nyheim Hines. The Colts rookie RB Jonathon Taylor was supposed to burst onto the scene this year, but he has been very disappointing and continues to fall down the depth chart. Hines has taken full advantage of his opportunities as he showed in week 10 where he had 115 yards from scrimmage and 2 TD's. You know QB Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense will put up points, so it's up to Rivers and the rest of the offense to match their output.
The Packers are currently sitting in 1st in the NFC North at 7-2, but are coming off a lackluster game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 10 where they only won 24-20. Rodgers has had an MVP caliber season so far and is amongst the top in the league in passing TD's. His weapons on the outside will get an addition this week with the return of WR Allen Lazard as he will re-join WR's Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. In week 10, Valdes-Scantling had a breakout game with 149 receiving yards and 1 TD. The Packers' offense is lethal all-around with RB Aaron Jones in the backfield causing havoc on opposing defenses as well. The Packers are a slight underdog in this game on the road and I believe it's worth taking a shot on them in this spot. Their offense is getting healthy and when they are firing on all cylinders, it's nearly impossible to stop them. Smash the Packers Moneyline here.
Prediction: Packers Moneyline (+100)