If you're still betting moneyline parlays in the NFL, you're a wild person. We've seen massive favorites go down with regularity over the past few weeks. What makes it even tougher is that there seems to be no rhyme or reason to these results. Mike White throwing for 400 yards, Jacksonville holding Buffalo to six points and a P.J. Walker led Carolina team blitzing one of the league's best teams.
We'll go through all eight big favorites on the Week 11 slate. The hope is that by playing devil's advocate we can save you a losing leg of your parlay and perhaps convince you altogether that betting parlays is not a good idea, as Yahoo Sports' Frank Schwab eloquently laid out.
New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons
New England heads to Atlanta on Thursday night, where the Patriots are a -275 favorite over the Falcons on the moneyline. Public perception entering this prime-time game could not be more different. New England is coming off a 45-7 win against a decent team in Cleveland while the Falcons lost by 40 to the Cowboys their last time out. Inherently, you'd have to think that creates value on Atlanta. A key matchup in this game will be New England's rushing attack against the Falcons. Atlanta ranks 11th in terms of yards-per-rush allowed and New England has just the 21st most efficient rushing attack. If the Falcons could slow down the Patriots rushing attack, there's the volatility of putting the game in a rookie quarterback's hands on a short week. That could turn out well for the Falcons.
Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are -300 favorites when they host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. This is a rematch of a wild-card playoff game from last season where the Bills won but failed to cover the spread in a 27-24 victory. You'd have to expect that the Colts will attempt to implement a similar game plan as they did in January. The Colts had more yards, more first downs and more time of possession in that game but couldn't make the big play when it mattered. This game will come down to whether the third most efficient rushing attack in the Colts will be able to move the ball on the ground against the third-ranked rush defense. The hope here is that the Colts could once again slow this game down, keep the ball away from Josh Allen and come out with one big play to secure a victory.
Baltimore Ravens at Chicago Bears
After a disappointing loss last Thursday, Baltimore hits the road and heads to Chicago where the Ravens are -250 favorites over the Bears. Baltimore has been surviving most of the season and escaping trouble thanks largely to the talents of Lamar Jackson. When Jackson has a bad game like he did last week, the warts of this team are exposed. There's no real rushing attack from the running backs. The defense is no longer feared as it has been for the past few seasons. Did the Dolphins give teams a blueprint on how to slow down Lamar with cover-zero? It'll be interesting to see whether the Bears attempt a similar game plan and whether the Ravens' quarterback will be able to adjust. On the other side of the football, Justin Fields has been much better the past two games. David Montgomery has returned from injury and Allen Robinson even made an appearance last time out for Chicago.
Detroit Lions at Cleveland Browns
Coming off a 45-7 trouncing at the hands of the Patriots, the Cleveland Browns are -550 favorites over the Detroit Lions, who are on a one game undefeated streak. Things are not going well for the Browns. We know about the Odell Beckham Jr. situation. Now, Jarvis Landry has talked about not getting the ball very much. Veterans Myles Garrett and Joel Bitonio questioned the game plan after last week's blowout loss. Baker Mayfield is dealing with multiple shoulder injuries as well as knee and foot issues. The talent level between these teams is not particularly close, but this Browns' season feels like it's on the verge of potentially blowing up. This is not a team I'd be rushing to back right now.
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans
The Titans have the best record in the AFC and are tied for the bet record in the NFL. The Texans have lost eight straight games, being outscored 91-237 over that time. It's no surprise the Titans are -550 home favorites in this matchup. It's hard to make a logical argument against the Titans in this spot, but as we've seen in recent weeks, this league is far from logical. The experts always say watch out for David Culley and the Texans after their bye-week. He hasn't pulled out the "punt on third down" play since Week 2 and you have to think they've worked on that over the last week. Also, one of the Titans' two losses has been to the Jets. People don't forget.
San Francisco 49ers at Jacksonville Jaguars
Coming off a massive win against the Rams, there's once again hope restored for the 49ers. The 49ers are -275 favorites on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars. I feel like the football world as a whole is fed up with the Niners. They've shown they can be a dominant team and manhandled the Rams a week after they get blown out by Colt McCoy. They use high draft picks on players and then refuse to use them or put them in the coach's doghouse. I'm pretty much done trying to figure this team out. On the other side, Jacksonville isn't very good and Trevor Lawrence is definitely going through it, but they've been pretty competitive for most of this season. Even in games where the score seems lopsided, it often got away from Jacksonville late. Bet the 49ers as a road favorite at your own peril.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are -275 home favorites over the Steelers this week. The Chargers have been steamed this week as the line continues to grow. Ben Roethlisberger is still on the COVID-list and Minkah Fitzpatrick and T.J. Watt are questionable to play. It's hard to side with the Steelers here. On the other side, the Chargers have lost three of their last four games with the one win coming on a last-second field goal. Coach Brandon Staley has been far less aggressive than he was early in the season and for some reason, the Chargers aren't throwing the ball downfield with Justin Herbert. It's also worth noting that despite the fact that this game is in Los Angeles, I expect to see plenty of terrible towels in the stands.
New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The defending Super Bowl champions are on a two game losing streak, but the Buccaneers are still laying -550 on the moneyline against the Giants. It's been an ugly stretch for the Buccaneers as they've lost back-to-back games which have sandwiched a bye week. The offense hasn't been good, but that side of the ball is less concerning than the defense. I'm not worried about Tom Brady. Tampa Bay's defense is nowhere near the form it displayed during last year's Super Bowl run. On the other side, the Giants are coming off a bye week. These two teams played last season, and the Giants lost 25-23. They were a failed two-point conversion away from forcing overtime. We all know about Brady's history against the New York Giants. There's something about those blue uniforms that makes him shiver.
Below are my rankings of this week's favorites, ranked based on my confidence in their ability to win this week in descending order.