Broadway Best Bets is a weekly NFL betting article selecting the five preferred NFL lines of each week. Note: Sports gambling advice is intended for recreational purposes only. All odds and lines are from William Hill US Sportsbook unless otherwise noted.
Well, you win some and you lose some. Last week was a tough week with a number of bad beats, from failed two-point conversions to red zone turnovers. But that’s football. You never know how that oblong ball will bounce, and last week it didn’t bounce our way.
Let’s get back on track with some best bets for Week 11…
Broadway 2020 Season Record: 21-24-5
Pittsburgh Steelers (-10.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Steelers on the road as a heavy favorite coming off a big win just feels like a classic letdown spot for Mike Tomlin’s team, and the numbers support it: Pittsburgh is 1-10 ATS when favored by 10 or more on the road since Tomlin took over. They’ve lost four of those games outright.
The Jaguars have played teams close and covered big spreads this season. Rookie Jake Luton is now 2-0 ATS in his two starts. Even if the Steelers win comfortably, Luton could lead a backdoor cover. Or the Steelers could sleepwalk into the game as they’ve been apt to do in these spots.
The Pick: Jacksonville +10.5
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-3.5)
This game is going to be very interesting with Taysom Hill reportedly set to start for New Orleans. This entire situation makes me nervous. I don’t think Hill is going to be effective as a dropback quarterback, and who knows how New Orleans plans to deploy him.
Atlanta is 3-1 ATS since Raheem Morris took over as interim head coach, including 2-0 as underdogs both ATS and straight up. Even if New Orleans does win, I don’t think it will be by more than a field goal.
The Pick: Atlanta +3.5
New York Jets at Los Angeles Chargers (-9.5)
The Chargers are favored by nearly double digits. The Chargers. I don’t care who the opponent is, the Chargers have only won two games this season. They should never be favored by this many points.
I know what I’ve said in the past about betting against Adam Gase, but that’s exactly what the oddsmakers want you to do. The Jets have covered the spread in two of their last three, and those two covers were on 9 and 9.5 point lines (the loss was 35-9 to Kansas City, who was favored by 19.5).
I hate picking the Jets because of Adam Gase, but Joe Flacco looked alright against the Patriots. The Chargers defense has struggled, and I kind of expect this game to be a bit of a shoot-out. If there’s one coach I’ll take the Jets against, it’s Anthony Lynn with 9.5 points.
The Pick: New York +9.5
Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4)
The Monday Night Rams vs Bucs game should be an exciting match. Two teams fighting for playoff seeding each with three losses, and both with good defenses playing at a high level.
I lean towards Los Angeles with the four points, as I think it will be a close game. I also think it will be a low-scoring, defensive battle. Six consecutive Rams games have gone under the total, and this match feels like it will have a playoff atmosphere. Those games are typically sluggish affairs. The last time Tom Brady played Jared Goff, the final score was 13-3. The Bucs offense is a bit more explosive, but I don’t think this game reaches its total.
The Pick: Under 48
Lock of the Week
Miami Dolphins (-3.5) at Denver Broncos
This line feels fishy, and I don’t mean that as some kind of Dolphins pun. Miami has been on a real hot streak, winners of five straight (including two on the road) by an average of 14 points. Denver is 3-6, including 1-3 in their last four, with the one win coming on a miraculous fourth-quarter comeback that included numerous defensive penalties on the final game-winning drive.
The line opened at Miami -2.5 and has moved to -3.5. According to Covers.com, 88 percent of spread bets and 97 percent of spread money has come in on the Dolphins.
So what’s fishy is… why isn’t Miami favored by more? Seems weird. I’m going with the chalk here, but I feel nervous, like there’s something we’re all missing. Still, if things go as expected, Miami should blow them out… right?
The Pick: Miami -3.5
How Betting Lines Work
A quick reminder for anyone unfamiliar with betting lines. “Favorites” are listed next to a negative number, which represents how many points they must win by to “cover the spread.” Titans -2.5, for example, means that Tennessee must beat the Broncos by 3 points or more for bettors to win. Gamblers can also bet on the game’s “total,” betting on whether or not the teams’ combined score in the game is over or under a pre-selected number of points.
“ML” or “moneyline” is not against the spread, just picking the winner of the game. Many people refer to the moneyline as “straight up,” but this can be confusing, because if you’re ever at a betting window in Vegas, a “straight bet” means you are betting on the point spread. Instead of saying “straight up,” you’d want to say “moneyline” when you mean to pick the winner of the game regardless of the point spread to avoid any possible confusion.