LOS ANGELES, November 13, 2014 — The National Football League offers the greatest game on earth, but even the most beautiful sunshine can be temporarily blocked by severe ugliness. The Detroit game against Arizona is compelling, but this is a week of bad teams facing each other and racing to the bottom. Even the worst football game is better than all other sports, but some of these games put that to the test. Maybe bad teams will come together and play great, if not compelling, games. With that, here is the NFL 2014 Week 11 Preview and Bettor’s Guide with point spreads provided by FootballLocks.com and all times Eastern.
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (-5.5) is the Thursday night game. Both of these teams are touted as improving, but they are average. They both blew fourth quarter leads last week. These teams are dead even on paper, allowing for the slightest advantage for home field. Dolphins win, but fail to cover.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (-3) — These two teams are terrible, which means another game where the home field advantage is the only thing to go on. A loss at home could end the Marc Trestman era. Bears cover.
Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns (-3) — The Cleveland Browns are for real. Bryan Hoyer is a real leader. The defense is clamping down. They should tee off on the Houston offense. Browns cover.
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (-2) — Once again, the NFL offers a pair of bad teams. Once again, the home field is the only thing offering separation. Panthers cover.
Cincinnati Bengals at New Orleans Saints (-7) — The Bengals and Saints are underachieving, but they did lose to teams last week that appear to be on the upswing. Cincinnati has no road presence, while the Saints at home look to prove that last week was an aberration. It was. Saints cover.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington (-7) — Awful teams come together and sometimes play a great game. This is not that game. If the return of Robert Griffin III does not matter in this game, then his team is even worse than we thought. Washington wins, but fails to cover.
Denver Broncos (-9.5) at St. Louis Rams — The Rams have a defense, but Peyton Manning has been tearing up defenses. The Rams may get a garbage touchdown, but they are overmatched. Broncos win, but fail to cover.
San Francisco 49ers (-4) at New York Giants — In 1990, these teams played two of the greatest defensive slugfests in NFL history, including a riveting NFC Title Game. In 2012, they had another epic NFC Title Game. Now the Giants are just a bad team, while the 49ers may have saved their season. San Francisco is getting some missing pieces back, and the Giants’ offensive line woes have not been fixed. Niners win, but fail to cover.
Seattle Seahawks at Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5) — Seattle is not the same team away from home while the Chiefs gutted out a hard road win last week and are tough at home. Russell Wilson has not carried the team on his back. Chiefs cover.
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers (-10) — The Raiders got shredded at home by Peyton Manning, but Philip Rivers has not been as lights out as he was earlier in the season. The Chargers are the far better team but the Raiders have been competitive in recent weeks until last week. Chargers win, but fail to cover.
Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals (-2) — While losing Carson Palmer for the season could be a devastating blow for Arizona, Drew Stanton can play. Both of these teams have solid defenses, and the home crowd will rally around Stanton. Cardinals cover.
Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers (-5.5) — Mark Sanchez has been playing well, but Aaron Rodgers has been out of this world. At home, expect the Green Bay train to keep on rolling. Packers cover.
New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts (-3) is the Sunday night game. The Patriots are contenders and the Colts are pretenders. Indianapolis is a good team, but they have not shown they are an elite team. The Colts could win this at home, but betting against Tom Brady right now is not a great move. Upset special: Patriots win outright.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) at Tennessee Titans is the Monday night game. The Steelers stumbled badly in losing to a woeful Jets team, but they will not suffer twice. Tennessee is downright awful. Ben Roethlisberger should rebound and rip apart the Tennessee defense. Steelers win, but fail to cover.