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Back-up quarterbacks control fate of underdogs in NFL week 11

Daniel Coyle, American Sports Correspondent | November 21, 2015

Denver Broncos @ Chicago Bears

Chiefs Broncos Football
Quarterback changes will be the focus in NFL Week 11, with no fewer than five teams starting backups under center, including Denver Broncos, who will go with Brock Osweiler in place of Peyton Manning when they visit the Chicago Bears as 1-point underdogs in NFL betting at Coral.

It has been a rough campaign for Manning, who has thrown a league-high 17 interceptions against just nine touchdowns and, compiling a 67.6 passer rating, ranked 31st in the NFL.

After tossing four picks and completing only five passes in last week’s 29-13 loss to Kansas City, Manning was sat down in favour of Osweiler, who will make his first career NFL start in Sunday’s Broncos v Bears match-up at Soldier Field.

Osweiler is charged with the huge task of igniting a Broncos offense that ranks 29th in the NFL in total yards, and has averaged just 22.8 points per game.

Denver’s defense (14/1 with Coral to help Broncos win the Super Bowl 50) continues to be their saving grace, ranked first in the league, allowing just 277.3 yards per game, while holding opposing pivots to 180.8 passing yards per game over their last five.

Therein lies the challenge for Bears, whose offense has been powered by quarterback Jay Cutler, who has thrown for five TDs in the last two weeks.

Bears Cutler Football

Cutler has led the Bears to a 4-2 SU record in their last six, covering the spread in five of those match-ups, scoring 28.25 points per game in their last four. Chicago has also had the upper hand in rare meetings with Broncos, posting SU wins in two of their last three, while going undefeated ATS in their last four.

St. Louis Rams @ Baltimore Ravens

Rams Ravens Football
Nick Foles will be on the bench on Sunday, replaced by Case Keenum, who will lead the St. Louis Rams against Baltimore Ravens as 2.5-point road underdogs.

The 27 year-old takes over the reigns after Foles struggled yet again in the Rams’ 37-13 loss to Bears two weeks ago, failing to find the end zone for the third time in four games, while completing a season-low 47.2 % of his passes.

Keenum makes his first start since leading Houston Texans to a 23-17 victory over Jacksonville in week 17 last season, marking just his second career win in 10 appearances.

The Ravens will try to shake off a bitter 22-20 loss to Jags last week, that dropped them to 2-7 SU on the season, 1-7-1 ATS. Baltimore has also surrendered almost 27 points per game at home this year.

In other American football betting action at Coral, Matt Hasselbeck will once again get the call in relief of injured starter Andrew Luck as Indianapolis Colts travel to Atlanta to tangle with Falcons as 5-point underdogs.

Blaine Gabbert makes his second straight start on Sunday, leading San Francisco into Seattle to meet the struggling Seahawks as 11.5-point underdogs, while Mark Sanchez is expected to take over the helm for the first time since last season, replacing the injured Sam Bradford as Philadelphia Eagles host Tampa Bay Buccaneers as 5-point favourites.

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