The margin between winning and losing in sports betting is razor-thin. Two games featured in last week’s column finished within half a point of the Vegas point total, one winner and one loser apiece.
Results like those come with mixed feelings, but taking the good with the bad is the nature of this business.
We continue to track how underdogs and under bettors are doing this season, with underdogs covering nine of 14 games in Week 10 and the total finishing under in seven games for an even split. Underdogs extended their record to 83-63-4 while the full season standings for betting unders is 85-64-1 through 10 weeks of 2022.
For the third straight week, our NFL Best Bets won with a record of 2-1. This middle stretch of the season has been good to our season-long tally, which now rests at 18-15.
Winning 55% of the time makes us profitable, and we’re just shy of that mark as the season enters Week 11. We present another edition of NFL Best Bets in anticipation of continuing our winning month.
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Panthers @ Ravens: UNDER 42.5
Best Available Odds: -118 at FanDuel
Since allowing 458 total yards per game over the first three weeks, the Ravens’ defense has tightened the screws and held opponents to under 298 yards per game in the six games since.
Opponents have managed just 19.8 points per game on Mike McDonald’s defense during that span. That just goes to show how dominant Baltimore has been on that side of the ball.
Carolina has been more formidable on the defensive end than they get credit for, ranking 13th in opponent yards per play. Their problem has been that they are tied for the league lead in opponent plays run per game at 66.7.
With Baltimore’s offense being based on the rushing attack and using more clock, we’re confident in these teams staying under the total.
Eagles @ Colts: UNDER 44.5
Best Available Odds: -115 at FanDuel
Believe it or not, both of these teams rank in the top five in terms of yards per play allowed this season. Through 10 games, Indianapolis’ defense has allowed slightly more than 20 points per game.
The Colts are in the top half of the league in quarterback hurry and pressure rates in 2022 as well. We think Indy can make Jalen Hurts just uncomfortable enough to limit Philly’s offense.
Philadelphia’s defense needs no introduction, allowing 18.6 points per game this season and leading the NFL in takeaways. Against a sputtering Colts offense, they will continue their dominance.
Commanders @ Texans: UNDER 40.5
Best Available Odds: -109 at BetRivers
Washington and Houston both rank in the bottom 10 of NFL teams in scoring and yards per play. This is a letdown spot for the Commanders who will operate on a short week after their impressive outright win in Philadelphia on Monday night.
Washington ran the ball 49 times for 152 yards and two touchdowns as they dominated the Eagles’ top-rated offensive line en route to victory. We think the Commanders will pound the rock as much as possible in this game as well.
Houston’s offense has struggled all season, but what footing they have found has been on the ground. Washington allowed just 150 combined rushing yards to the Vikings and Eagles in back-to-back games, and their defensive line will make life difficult for the Texans too.
Denver Broncos -2.5 over Las Vegas Raiders
Best Available Odds: -115 at BetMGM
The Raiders, fresh off a tough loss to the Colts, have to hit the road and play a tough Denver defense in Week 11. Las Vegas is tied for 28th in yards per play in 2022, while Denver is neck and neck with Philadelphia for the league lead.
One crazy stat to illustrate just how great this Broncos defense has been: If Denver had scored exactly 20 points in every game this season, they’d be 8-1. Instead, they are 3-6 and facing the Raiders in what Bill Simmons would call a ‘loser leaves town’ game.
If there’s any opponent that they can get some offensive momentum going against, it needs to be Las Vegas this week. We’ll lay the short price with the Broncos!
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