NFL Week 11 tips: Cowboys aim to maintain NFC stranglehold against stringent Ravens’ defense
Simon Sinclair | 21 November 2016
NFL week 11 tips
NFL teams are facing the crucial point in their seasons in a dash for the playoffs, with struggling sides either have to make their surge now or forget about competing in January.
The AFC appears to have a strong class at the top of the Conference, with New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos all poised for post-season action.
Meanwhile, Dallas Cowboys are the dominant force in the entire league at the moment, reeling off their eighth-straight win by beating Pittsburgh Steelers in a thriller, securing the starting quarterback spot for rookie Dak Prescott.
The rest of the NFC has work to do to stop the road to Super Bowl XLI going through Dallas, starting in this weekend’s round of matches.
Baltimore Ravens @ Dallas Cowboys
Dallas were involved in arguably the match of the season last week against the Steelers, with the lead changing hands seven times over the course of the contest, including twice in the last minute.
Ezekiel Elliott’s late touchdown handed Jason Garrett’s men the win at Heinz Field, putting them in complete control of the top seed in the NFC by two clear games. However, they will face a tough test against the Ravens’ defense, who are the best side against the run in the league, allowing just 71.9 yards per match.
Elliott has been the driving force behind the Cowboys’ strong form, but should he struggle for the first time this term then Baltimore could snatch the win. John Harbaugh’s men are no stranger to shock victories and at 27/10 on the money line they are a good bet to halt Dallas’ charge for the post-season.
Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are in freefall and have surrendered the NFC North lead to Detroit Lions following their fourth loss on the spin.
Mike Zimmer’s men began the campaign 5-0, but their struggles on the offensive line are turning their season into a calamity, leaving them in dire need of a win to stop their slide and to get their playoff hopes back on track.
Arizona were able to get a vital win against San Francisco 49ers to keep themselves in the post-season hunt, although they’ve played nowhere near their peak.
Bruce Arians will be buoyed by that fact and a victory over the struggling Vikings could kickstart a late-season surge. As a result backing the Cardinals at 14/5 to snatch a 1-6 point victory is a prudent option.
Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts
The Titans will look back at their defeat to the Colts in week 7 with regret, missing the opportunity to put Chuck Pagano’s men out of contention in the AFC South, while leaving them behind Houston Texans at the top of the division.
Tennessee’s offense has begun to hit their stride, scoring 35 points or over in their last three contests. Marcus Mariota and DeMarco Murray are in prime form and will aim to put a weak Indianapolis defense to the sword at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Expect a fierce battle between both offenses in this clash as Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will also be able to capitalise on the Titans’ defense that has been porous at times this term.
However, the Titans will just have the edge on quality in this clash on the road, so a victory by a touchdown of 7-12 points at 11/2 could well be a winner come Sunday.
New England Patriots @ San Francisco 49ers
The Patriots were denied on the goalline by Seattle Seahawks in their narrow defeat at Gillette Stadium last week in a thrilling match.
Tom Brady lost for the first time since returning from his suspension in week 5, and he will be desperate to make amends when he goes back home to the Bay Area for the first time in his career.
New England will be without All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, but even without his presence they should have no issues racking up the points against the 49ers’ defense that has struggled mightily this season.
LeGarrette Blount has notched 12 touchdowns already this term and he will be in for a big afternoon, which could potentially drive his team to their biggest win of the campaign by a margin of 25-30 points at 10/1.
Houston Texans @ Oakland Raiders
Mexico City hosts its first NFL match since the 2005 season as the Raiders face off against the Texans in a Monday Night Football clash, with the ‘home side’ looking to solidify their push for a playoff place.
Oakland are coming into the game fresh of their bye week, but before had reeled off three wins on the spin, including an impressive 30-20 win over Denver.
Latavius Murray had a strong game running the ball, rushing for 114 yards and three touchdowns to ease the pressure on Derek Carr, who has quietly had a stellar season at the quarterback position.
That could not be said of Texans QB Brock Osweiler, whose side have won in spite of his play on the field in their past two matches. The 26-year-old has struggled immensely to manoeuvre the ball downfield and as a result running back Lamar Miller has been forced to pick up the slack.
The Raiders have an explosive offense, which Osweiler is not going to be able to keep up with, so backing Jack Del Rio’s men at 19/20 to cover the spread -6.0 is the sure bet to take.
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