A week after home teams dominated on the scoreboard and in the sports books, road teams regained control in Week 11. Road teams went 10-4 against the spread last week, and you can bump that up to 11-4 if you count the Chiefs victory over Los Angeles in Mexico City.
Road favorites of more than a field goal have been profitable this season. According to The Gold Sheet, road favorites laying more than a field goal are 22-14 against the spread this season after going 4-0 last week.
There are four road favorites in Week 12: Pittsburgh, Oakland, Detroit and Baltimore. In May, CG Technology released lines for every NFL game for the upcoming season through Week 16. Let’s take a closer look at those four road favorites and how this week’s lines stack up against what was posted over the summer.
Steelers -6.5 at Bengals: The Steelers opened -3 in CG’s opening lines, and that was with the assumption that Ben Roethlisberger would be the quarterback. They are now laying -6.5 with a backup quarterback and a depleted roster. The trip from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati is certainly an easy one, and there will be plenty of Steelers support in the stands. They are coming off a Thursday night game with extra rest, and Cincinnati is returning from a trip to the West Coast.
But have you seen the Steelers’ preliminary injury report? Wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson are in concussion protocol and starting running back James Conner is battling a shoulder injury. Maurkice Pouncey is awaiting the results of his suspension appeal. That’s a lot of points to be laying on a team with so many question marks.
Raiders -2.5 at Jets: The last time Oakland was a road favorite was Week 8 of last season where the Raiders closed -1.5 against a team from their same area, the 49ers. San Francisco won by 31. But this is a different Raiders squad. CG opened this line Jets -3 and the roles are now reversed.
Oakland will have to exorcise some MetLife Stadium demons. The Raiders are 0-7 in their last seven trips to the Meadowlands vs. the Jets and Giants.
Lions -3.5 at Redskins: After installing Washington as a home favorite last week against the Jets, every bookmaker in America said, “Yeah, we don’t want to do that again any time soon.” The Redskins are 3-7 against the spread this season, and all three of those covers came when Washington was a double-digit underdog. This is Detroit’s third game as a favorite this season and they are 0-2 against the spread in their first two. When CG made their initial lines, this game opened Washington -2.
Ravens -3 at Rams: Time for the always-popular, “What if the home teams were reversed?” exercise. The Ravens are laying three points in Los Angeles, which means that they would be laying more than a touchdown if this game was being played in Baltimore. The Ravens were only laying four points to the Texans last week. So are we saying that the Houston Texans are 3+ points better than the LA Rams right now? I don’t know about that one.
CG opened this game with Los Angeles -7.5 over the summer. When the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook released their look-ahead lines last week, this game was a pick’em. Did you see enough from Baltimore or Los Angeles to warrant an additional three-point move?
The Rams’ offense isn’t pretty right now, but there is nothing wrong with their defense. Since acquiring cornerback Jalen Ramsey, the Rams are allowing 11 points per game. Los Angeles is in the top-5 in both yards allowed per rushing attempt and pass attempt. After allowing 7.1 yards per pass attempt last season, the Rams are allowing just over five yards per pass attempt in Ramsey’s four games with the team.