NFL Week 11 Picks: Steelers, Jets and Chiefs are best bets while taking seven dogs in total

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LINE: Cleveland by 1

CHEWABLE: The Browns must be down a quart or two of emotional fluids after their come-from-behind win over Baltimore last week, but that’s also the least of their problems. With Deshaun Watson done for the season they are turning to Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who threw for 121 yards and three interceptions in his only other start. Browns will also be without their top two tackles if Dawand Jones joins Jedrick Wills Jr. on the sidelines. T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith are drooling … The quarterback news out of Cleveland caused a three-point dip in the line, as before Wednesday you could get the Steelers at +4 … Are the Steelers really 6-3 despite being out-gained in net yards and on average yards per play in all but two of their games? How do they do it? By saving their best for last is one way. In the past four games Pittsburgh has outscored opponents 38-3 in the fourth quarter … Other than one A.J. Dillon 40-yard burst, the Steelers held the Packers to 86 rushing yards on 23 carries last week. Meanwhile, their own line was opening holes for Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris, who led Pittsburgh’s ground attack of 205 yards on 36 carries … The Steelers have 39 wins and a tie to show for their last 48 meetings with the Browns. That becomes 40-of-49 on Sunday, as there’s no way this rookie QB beats Mike Tomlin.

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SCORE (O/U 33): Steelers 20, Browns 14


LINE: Buffalo by 7

CHEWABLE: When Jets coach Robert Saleh said earlier in the season that his defence has “embarrassed” all the quarterbacks it has faced this year, first on that list was Josh Allen, who threw for just 236 yards, with one TD pass and three picks in the season opening 22-16 OT loss to Gang Green. It was par for the course for Allen, who in 10 career games against the Jets is 6-4 with nine TD passes and 10 picks. … With three losses in their last four games, including a 24-22 flop at home on Monday, the Bills are officially in danger of missing the playoffs … James Cook is coming off his second triple-digit rushing game of the season on the heels of his 12-carry, 109-yard performance against the Broncos, and the Bills are sure to hand him many opportunities against the 31st-ranked run defence which has allowed an average of 138.4 ground yards per game … The Bills also struggle against the run, dropping down to 19th since losing LB Matt Milano, so Breece Hall should also have a day … Along with owning a 10-game lead in the all-time series, the Bills have won their last three home games against the Jets by an average of 11.2 points a game … While Buffalo’s chances of making the playoffs are slipping away, the Jets haven’t scored a touchdown since Hall went 50 after taking a Zach Wilson dump pass three games ago … The Jets are 4-2 ATS as a dog  and desperately want to stay in playoff spot contention for when Aaron Rodgers plans to make a miraculous mid-December return. But this one feels like the Bills’ season is on the line, and they must think so too, which would explain why they took the drastic step of firing OC Ken Dorsey this week.

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SCORE (O/U 40): Bills 21, Jets 20


LINE: Kansas City by 2.5 

CHEWABLE: Travis Kelce is going from Germany to Argentina to the spotlight on Monday Night Football, as he returns from the bye as the central figure in a rematch of last season’s Super Bowl. In his last two games Kelce has been very un-Kelce-like, catching three passes for 14 yards in the 21-14 victory over Miami in Frankfurt and a decent-for-most 6-for-58 in the 24-9 loss to the Broncos a week before that. Expect Taylor Swift’s big boy to shine in this spot. The Eagles have the best run defence in the NFL (which should negate Isiah Pacheco) but are 28th against the pass and are particularly weak against tight ends … While both offences are strong, the Chiefs defence gives them the edge, ranking fourth in yards allowed and fifth against the pass. So in picking Patrick Mahomes over Jalen Hurts it’s about more than just the talents of the two superstar QBs. It also has to do with what each is facing this week … The Chiefs have won the last four meetings, including a 38-35 victory in last February’s Super Bowl, and are 4-1 ATS as a favourite of six points or less. While both teams are coming off a bye, K.C.’s ace up the sleeve is former Eagles coach Andy Reid, who is 18-10 ATS with an extra week to prepare during the season.

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SCORE (O/U 45.5): Chiefs 26, Eagles 20



LINE: Houston by 5

CHEWABLE: For his first game in 11 months all Kyler Murray did was lead the Cardinals to a 25-23 win over the Falcons, completing 19 of 32 passes for 249 yards, but with no TD passes and one interception. But its Arizona’s leaky defence that’s a concern here. Cards are now facing C.J. Stroud, not Taylor Heinicke and Desmond Ridder, and in the rookie’s past two games he has thrown for 826 yards, six touchdowns and finally the second interception of the season. … The return of James Conner gave the Cards the running game they missed while he was injured, but he’ll be in tough against the Texans’ eighth-ranked run defence … Can’t see Stroud taking a step back against a bad defence, but the Texans are a young team under a rookie coach and could fall into the trap of thinking the Cards are only a little better with Murray and Conners.

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SCORE (O/U 49): Texans 27, Cardinals 24


LINE: L.A. Chargers by 3

CHEWABLE: The Packers have won one of their last six, and that was a 20-3 decision over a Rams team quarterbacked by Brett Rypien, so it shouldn’t even count. Aaron Jones appeared to be turning the corner in his recovery from a troublesome hamstring until he had just 35 yards on 13 carries in a loss to the Steelers last week, so the Packers will have to attack through the air against a Chargers team that has the 32nd-ranked pass defence. That will only work if Jordan Love has time to get rid of the ball before Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa get to him, and only if Love stops throwing so many interceptions. There have been 10 in his last seven games … The Packers are seventh against the pass but it appears their best corner, Jaire Alexander, will miss another game with a shoulder injury … The Chargers have more talent across the board and they scored 38 in their loss to the Lions last week. Justin Herbert should light it up against a QB who can’t keep up here.

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SCORE (O/U 44): Chargers 28, Packers 17


LINE: Washington by 9

CHEWABLE: The Giants have one victory in the last two months, a 14-7 triumph over Washington led by QB Tyrod Taylor. Now they’re riding Tommy DeVito, who also had a pair of (garbage time) TD passes in his first NFL start last week, but completed just 14 of 27 passes for 86 yards in the 49-17 whipping they took from the Cowboys … Despite trading away big chunks of their defence before the deadline, the Commanders continue to play hard for coach Ron Rivera, losing 29-26 in Seattle last week after scoring a three-point win against New England the week before. They have been thumped twice this season, but their other four losses have come by a combined 23 points. If you think I’m lining this up to say I’m backing the Commanders, you’re wrong. I’m on DeVito, who for the first time in three games will have time to find his receivers against Washington, which no longer has a pass rusher of note. The Commanders also have a soft secondary and struggle to contain mobile quarterbacks, and they shouldn’t be favoured by this much against anybody.

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SCORE (O/U 37): Commanders 23, Giants 21


LINE: Jacksonville by 7

CHEWABLE: The Jaguars went from being the hottest team in the NFL to one left battered and bloodied in a 34-3 beating by the Niners. It stands to reason that the Titans will pay for their pain. Coming off his worst game of the season, Trevor Lawrence is sure to shred the Titans’ anemic secondary that Baker Mayfield has his way last Sunday. Will Levis completed just 48.7% of his 39 passes while falling short of the 200-yard mark for the first time in his three-start career last week and now faces a Jags pass defence ranked 30th. They can’t expect much from Derrick Henry against a run defence that ranks fifth.

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SCORE (0/U 40): Jaguars 30, Titans 17


LINE: Detroit by 7.5

CHEWABLE: I’ve been a Bears fan for more than 50 years, but I care more about getting my picks right than I do about them winning in a season like this. Each loss means the better their draft position will be, but also could lead them to Justin Fields, which I think would be a mistake. I think starting with his return from a dislocated thumb, Fields is going to spend the next seven games showing everyone he wants to stay in Chicago … I also think the Lions are going to wind up as the top seed in the NFC, but I’m not going to taking them as a double-digit favourite in this divisional matchup against a Bears team that really isn’t as bad as the numbers would indicate. Chicago’s low defensive ranking (26) is because key members of the secondary were injured. Their run defence is second-best in the league, and with OG Nate Davis and possibly RB Khalil Herbert also expected to return this week, their offence will be the healthiest it has been all season … In three career games against the Lions, Fields has one win and more rushing yards (288) than against any other team, with an 11.08 yards per carry. Also, only the Chargers, Texans, Seahawks and Colts have allowed more fantasy points to quarterbacks than Lions.

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SCORE (O/U 47.5): Lions 33, Bears 30


LINE: Miami by 13.5

CHEWABLE: Tempted to grab a cigar and jump on the Raiders bandwagon being driven by Compton’s very own Antonio Pierce, who is 2-0 since taking over from Josh McDaniels, a man the players clearly quit on. Those two victories were against the Giants at their low point and the Jets, who have not scored a touchdown in 11 quarters. Coming off a bye week but still disappointed in their loss to Chiefs in Germany, the Dolphins might enter the end zone twice before the first 11 minutes. The Raiders pass defence, which is ranked a surprising eighth, will drop down the charts after Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle gets through with it, while Raheem Mostert and rookie De’Von Achane, who is possibly returning injury, will blow through the 29th-ranked run defence. The Raiders have averaged 33 carries and 149 rushing yards in the two games under Pierce, and the Dolphins run defence is averaging 106.2 rushing yards allowed per game, but Miami is 3-0 ATS at home and Vegas has been outscored 68-22 in its 1 p.m. ET kickoff times this season. I have zero faith that Raiders QB Aidan O’Connell will even come close to keeping up with the Dolphins No. 1 ranked attacked, and I had the Fish until the line jumped a couple of points. Now I’m calling my shot: Jimmy Garoppolo leading the Raiders to a back-door cover.

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SCORE (O/U 46.5): Dolphins 34, Raiders 24


LINE: Dallas by 10.5

CHEWABLE: As is the case with the Lions, the Cowboys will be lining up four days from now for a Thanksgiving Day game, and even though both will be facing an inferior team on Thursday, there has to be significant distraction with family and friends coming to town for the holiday. It’s only for both to look past Sunday’s games, if just enough that they fail to cover a big spread … Cowboys have a Top 3 defence that further adds to the misery of Bryce Young, while the Dak Prescott-CeeDee Lamb pairing has combined for 500 yards the last three games. The Panthers are good against aerial attacks, ranking sixth versus the pass, and they’ll be even stronger this week with the return of defensive end Brian Burns … Tony Pollard might burn the Panthers’ 26th-ranked run defence, but along with his failure to score since Week 1, he hasn’t rushed for more than 53 yards since Week 3.

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SCORE (O/U 42): Cowboys 27, Panthers 13


LINE: San Francisco by 11.5

CHEWABLE: Baker Mayfield and the Bucs did a number on the Titans last week in a 20-6 victory, but as you may know, the Niners aren’t the Titans. The Niners stopped the NFL’s hottest team in their 34-3 victory in Jacksonville last week. That victory ended a shocking three-game losing streak while also reminding the world what they can do when healthy, and Chase Young has been added to their already beefy defence. With a bye week to clear his head after a concussion, Brock Purdy threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns and now faces a pass defence that ranks 31st, with an average of 266.9 yards against per game … Five of the Niners’ six victories have been by at least 18 points … Tampa Bay has the second-worst run offence in the league, so don’t expect Rachaad White to keep the Niners defence off balance.

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SCORE (O/U 41.5): Niners 30, Buccaneers 14


LINE: Seattle by 1

CHEWABLE: You would think that even though he’s not the same Comeback Player of the Year he was last year, Geno Smith should be able to outgun a Matthew Stafford expected to play through a mending thumb injury on his throwing hand. But the Seahawks haven’t been very impressive the last two weeks – a 37-3 loss to the Ravens and a 29-26 victory over the Commanders that saw Sam Howell throw for 312 yards and three TDs – and the Rams, who have lost three in row, need to get turned around now if they want a shot at making the playoffs. The Rams won the season opener 30-13 in Seattle, but the Seahawks didn’t have outstanding first-round CB Devon Witherspoon dressed … Seattle does have trouble defending the slot, which means Cooper Kupp should get untracked after three games of 48 yards or less … Rams RBs should also have success against the 24th-ranked rush defence.

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SCORE (O/U 46.5): Rams 27, Seahawks 24


LINE: Denver by 2.5 

CHEWABLE: The Vikings are a great story with five wins in a row, including the last two with a quarterback who might not yet be able to name all his teammates, but now Joshua Dobbs, aka “The Passtronaut” has landed on the injury report with an ankle issue. He’s practising fully, but if the problem worsens they could be in deep trouble, as Jaren Hall is in concussion protocol and fourth (or fifth) stringer Nick Mullens (back) is just returning from IR. Elevated from the practice roster is Sean Mannion, who has appeared in just one game since 2019 and it was two years ago. Of course, the Vikings also thrive on adversity. You say Justin Jefferson could be returning this week from the IR? I say the Vikings are 5-0 without Jefferson, who arguably is the best receiver in football. The Vikings also improved greatly on the defensive side of the ball under DC Brian Flores, who has them Top 10 versus the run … The Broncos are also turning things around for Sean Payton with three wins in a row. Russell Wilson has thrown 12 TD passes and just two interceptions in his last six games while the Broncos have averaged 134.8 yards rushing over their past five … Denver’s defence is still ranked 32nd, but it has improved significantly since giving up 70 to Miami. In their 24-22 road win over the Bills on Monday, Stefon Diggs was held to just three catches for 34 yards … A month ago, you would have looked at this matchup and called it another Sunday night dud. Not now.


SCORE (O/U 42.5): Broncos 24, Vikings 21

NFL week 11 picks

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