The beauty of NFL odds and scores is how often expectations meet a different result.
That was never more apparent than in NFL Week 11, when four teams had moneyline wins, but no cover. No bread with the spread. The Denver Broncos capped that scenario with a 21-20 victory at -2.5 against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night.
The Broncos, who host the Cleveland Browns in Week 12, now own the NFL’s longest win streak at four.
The surprises involved lower-ranked teams coming up big.
The odds gave no clue that Tommy DeVito would outplay Sam Howell. And thus, the heavy-underdog New York Giants would thump the Washington Commanders and sweep the season series.
The odds did not indicate that the heavily favored Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins would fight through life-and-death games before surviving. They gained moneyline wins over the Chicago Bears and Las Vegas Raiders, but no covers as double-digit chalk.
Here’s an NFL Week 11 recap on what was expected to happen according to BetMGM lines and what did happen.
NFL Week 11 Scores
NY Giants 31, Washington 19
Spread: Commanders -9.5
Washington’s Sam Howell was a turnover machine, tossing three interceptions. The Commanders also lost three fumbles.
It was their sloppiest performance of the year and they were beaten twice by the Giants.
New York at +9.5 returned in the +310 neighborhood across the sportsbook landscape.
DeVito, the Giants’ third-string quarterback, had his first good game and his team will hit the ground running in Week 12 against the New England Patriots. DeVito was sacked five times in the first quarter, but hung tough and gathered momentum. The Patriots, by the way, are one of the worst NFL teams against the spread at 2-8.
Houston 21, Arizona 16
Spread: Texans -5.5
This looked like it would be a track meet before CJ Stroud fell to earth. The Texans phenom did connect for 336 yards and two touchdowns, but he also had three second-half picks. That kept the Texans from covering the new line of -5.5 against the Arizona Cardinals. But those who jumped on it early in the week at Houston -4.5.
The Texans did not score in the second half and it was the defense that kept Arizona from getting into the end zone.
The Texans, 6-4, face the Jacksonville Jaguars in a rematch of their Week 3, 37-17 triumph. The Jags steadied themselves with a 34-14 triumph over the Tennessee Titans.
Cleveland 13, Pittsburgh 10
Spread: Browns -2.5
Just as the line suggested, this came down to the final play, a Browns’ walk-off field goal. Browns bettors squirmed for a half-point cover.
Cleveland has the league’s best defense regarding yards allowed. It had yielded just 243 per game entering Sunday, the best in 15 years in the NFL. The Browns now visit the red-hot Broncos.
Dallas 33, Carolina 10
Spread: Cowboys -10.5
Carolina hung tough until a Dallas Pick 6 put a clamp on it.
The Cowboys host the Commanders on Thanksgiving. They are a very good November team.
Detroit 31, Chicago 26
Spread: Lions -8
Da Bears had this one in their grasp, 26-14, before two late TDs by the Lions changed the outcome. Detroit also got a safety with a fumble that rolled out of the end zone in the final seconds. Had it stayed in and been recovered by Detroit, it would have been an all-time miracle cover.
Detroit hosts the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving.
Green Bay 23, LA Chargers 20
Spread: Chargers -3
The Chargers simply refuse to win. In this game, Keenan Allen dropped a TD at the goal line and the Chargers fumbled at the Green Bay 5. This 4-6 team lacks red-zone discipline and now must face the Baltimore Ravens, who were 34-20 winners over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Miami 20, Las Vegas 13
Spread: Dolphins -14
The Dolphins, now 7-3, never could find the knockout punch against the rejuvenated Raiders. They scored no second-half touchdowns and Tua Tagovailoa was picked.
On the Vegas side, Aidan O’Connell played well and hit Davante Adams for a 48-yard touchdown. Bettors will keep an eye on that combo as the Raiders host the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Dolphins will play in the league’s first-ever Black Friday game Friday against the punchless New York Jets.
The Raiders, authors of three straight covers, host the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jacksonville 34, Tennessee 14
Spread: Jaguars -6.5
Trevor Lawrence helped Jacksonville get back on the right track, scoring two touchdowns and throwing for two more. The 7-3 Jags now visit the Texans.
Buffalo 32, New York 6
Spread: Bills -6.5
This became a gift for Buffalo, which notched its first cover in seven games. Not only did the Jets fumble on the opening play, but they were offensively inept.
Going into this debacle, the Jets had not scored in 36 consecutive drives. They only had one TD for the day.
When one sees its offensive nucleus and the passion of the defense, it’s easy to understand how the Jets thought the acquisition of Aaron Rodgers would make them an elite contender.
He was injured four plays into the season, and the Jets have been an offensive trainwreck. For the first time, we saw the defense worn down and perhaps discouraged over having to overachieve.
The Jets have their work cut out for them against the Dolphins.
The Bills visit Philadelphia to face the NFC East-leading Eagles.
San Francisco 27, Tampa Bay 14
Spread: 49ers -10.5
It’s hard to lay the big points, but bettors have felt comfortable doing it with San Francisco, which has regained its machine-like ways with everyone healthy.
The Niners have two straight covers before facing the Seattle Seahawks.
Rams 17, Seahawks 16
Spread: Rams -1.5 (Seahawks -1.5 earlier in the week)
If you took the Rams early in the week, you got that 1.5 and hung on.
If you took Seattle +1.5 on Sunday, you got that too.
The books were right on this. The result came down to a missed 55-yard field goal by Seattle on the final play.