Betting blockbusters will bookend NFL Week 11.
Marquee matchups occur Thursday, with the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Cincinnati Bengals at -4 (Best Live Odds: ) to open the slate.
On Monday, it’s a Super Bowl rematch between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles. In a battle of the league’s most heavily bet teams, Kansas City sits at between -2.5 with -120 juice and -3 at the standard -110.
The two Battle Royales have subplots.
The Bengals-Ravens is part of an all-AFC North shootout, with the Pittsburgh Steelers invading the Cleveland Browns in the other game.
In the Philly-Kansas City subplot, the Eagles are trying to protect a two-game lead over the Dallas Cowboys during their toughest stretch of the season. Philly must play Kansas City, the Buffalo Bills, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Cowboys over the next four weeks.
This is when Dallas can make its move.
Here’s a look at the early NFL betting trends for Week 11.
AFC North: Parity Personified
One loss separates all four teams. The whole division is above .500 and the 5-4 Bengals are last. Even the point spreads in the AFC North matchups, with both home teams at -4, reflect the tight competition.
Bettors are divided on the Baltimore-Cincinnati line. Cincinnati plays for its division life and is practically out of the running with a loss. But a Bengals win knocks the Ravens out of first place.
This will be a heavily-wagered game, far exceeding the Chicago Bears-Carolina Panthers matchup last Thursday.
“It will blow that one away in terms of handle,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told Gaming Today. “The Bears and Panthers did well enough because they were in that time slot, but the game did not mean a lot to those teams.
“This game means a lot for both teams and maybe everything for the Bengals in terms of making the playoffs. I think this game will do at least 25% more handle than that one did.”
Gamblers will study the Cincinnati pass-receiving situation. Tyler Boyd and Ja’Marr Chase had 18 targets between them last week, with Tee Higgins out. Higgins continues to nurse a hamstring injury and looks doubtful for Thursday, although that’s a game-time decision.
Boyd, Chase, and tight-end Tanner Hudson did the heavy lifting for Cincinnati in its 30-27 loss to the Houston Texans.
Baltimore, which let three different 14-point leads evaporate in a 33-31 loss to Cleveland, will try to sweep its season series against Cincinnati.
In the Pittsburgh-Cleveland game, the Browns’ impressive comeback last week propels bettors to favor them with 66% of the handle at -4 (Best Live Odds: ).
Eagles vs Chiefs Super Bowl 57 Rematch: Bettors Backing Kansas City
The Chiefs have 66% of the early handle. Avello predicts this will be the book’s largest Monday night volume of the season.
Bettors support the Over 45.5 (Best Live Odds: ) and will certainly pile on with prop bets and anytime scoring wagers with Jalen Hurts, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and AJ Brown, among others. Kelce has been the biggest prop magnet all season.
This is also one of the friendliest civil wars on the NFL planet. Chiefs coach Andy Reid was popular in Philadelphia. The Kelce brothers, Travis and his Philly counterpart Jason, have their own podcast. They were the first brothers ever to play in a Super Bowl against each other last year.
All told, bettors expect the offenses to shine. But the Kansas City defense always seems to make a special play when this team wins big games.
NFL Teams on the Cusp: Seahawks, Chargers & Bills
“The Seattle Seahawks are proving to be a better than average team, but don’t lay a significant amount of points with them,” Avello said. “They can’t win by a lot.”
The Seahawks are a deceiving 6-3 team. They gained a late half-point cover against the Cleveland Browns, absorbed a blowout from the Baltimore Ravens, and won a final-play, non-cover squeaker against the Washington Commanders. They allowed the covering touchdown on a late 3rd-and-10 pass.
Bettors don’t have to worry about a big number this week. The Seahawks are only laying 1 point (Best Live Odds: ) on the road to the Los Angeles Rams.
Avello noted that the Los Angeles Chargers play teams tough but can’t get over the top. Los Angeles had two definitive covers against the Chicago Bears and New York Jets but lost a final-play heartbreaker against the Detroit Lions. It was nonetheless one of the year’s top games.
The Chargers visit the Green Bay Packers this week. This is the type of game the Chargers of recent form should win.
And the Bills, who have failed to cover in six straight games, will get no class relief on the spread when they host the New York Jets, who beat them in Week 1. They are still a fat -7 (Best Live Odds: ).
Buffalo shot itself in the foot often enough to lose to the Denver Broncos, 24-22, on Monday night at -7.5. But the nature of the setback means the power rankings won’t shift down to make their point-spread job easier.
“They are a strange team to evaluate,” Avello noted. “If you look at the likes of Tampa Bay or Tennessee, it’s easy to roll back the power ratings on those teams when they lose. In fact, you can move them down fast.
“That’s not the case with the Bills. They are still a quality team. They make so many mistakes, so you can’t say they are not playing well. You can’t they are failing to move the football. You can’t say they have problems as an offensive group.
“These are dumb turnovers for the most part and you can’t use those in the power ratings of a team.”
NFL Teams Trending Higher: Vikings & Broncos
Conveniently, they face each other.
As mentioned early in the year, even mediocre teams launch one good run throughout the season. Bettors backing the Broncos have been rewarded, as Denver has three straight covers and a half-point loss. The team is playing its best ball of the season and sports back-to-back victories over the Chiefs and Bills. Who else can say that?
The 4-5 Broncos host the 6-4 Minnesota Vikings, authors of five straight wins and covers with a backup cast now headed by Joshua Dobbs.
This is the first time since very early in the season that Denver at -2 (Best Live Odds: ) is giving points.
NFL Week 11 Extra Points & Final Thoughts
The Texans are a red-hot 6-1 ATS. They face a revitalized Arizona Cardinals team that has Kyler Murray back.
As a sign of the low-scoring times, there are no point totals above 50 this week.