NFL against the spread picks: Chiefs vs. Rams ... let there be points
Whether the Kansas City Chiefs or Los Angeles Rams win, we can probably count on a lot of points being scored in Monday night’s game.
The Westgate in Las Vegas set the over/under at 64 points, it has settled mostly at 63.5, and that’s historic. That’s the highest over/under for an NFL game since ESPN Stats and Info started tracking it in 1986.
Think of it this way: 50 combined points will be about two touchdowns under the total.
The Chiefs are averaging 36.8 points per game on the road and the Rams are averaging 34.4 per game at home, according to OddsShark. This should be a fun one.
It’s not just two great offenses on display, but two fantastic teams. Any ranking of NFL teams has the Saints, Chiefs and Rams in some order at the top.
The Rams haven’t been quite as dominant as the Chiefs when it comes to covering the spread. Surprisingly, the Rams have covered the spread just once since Week 2 against the Chargers. They’re 1-5-1 against the spread since then, according to OddsShark’s closing lines. That’s partially because the Rams started hot after a splashy offseason and sportsbooks adjusted the lines, but it’s worth noting (for comparison the Chiefs are 8-2 against the spread, though they have covered in only one of their past three). The Rams have been good lately but not quite dominating.
Everyone knows the Chiefs’ defensive issues, but the Rams’ defense has showed flaws lately. L.A. is allowing a lot of rushing yards. The Saints threw for a lot of yards in a win a couple weeks ago. The Rams are 9-1 and ultimately that’s all that matters, but there have been some close calls.
I’m taking the Chiefs as 3.5-point underdogs in the Westgate SuperContest and also as 3-point underdogs in the Yahoo Pro Football Pick’em. At very least it should be a great, close game. The Cooper Kupp season-ending injury is significant for the Rams, while the Chiefs are relatively healthy coming in. Mostly, there’s a reason I have the Chiefs as my No. 1 team.
On the whole they’ve been the best team in football this season, and they’re going to show why Monday night. Hopefully this one lives up to the billing.
Here are the against the spread picks for Week 11:
Redskins (+3) over Texans: Washington is 6-3, with a two-game lead in the NFC East. This is its 10th game. The Redskins have been underdogs seven times, and are 5-1 against the spread as a dog so far. For comparison, the 2-8 49ers have been underdogs only six times this season. This isn’t the 1991 Redskins or anything, but it’s not a bad football team. (The line is Redskins +2.5 in the Yahoo Pro Football Pick’em.)
Broncos (+7) over Chargers: I like the Chargers like everyone else; the Broncos aren’t too impressive. It’s still a team coming off a bye in a divisional game getting a touchdown. (The line is Broncos +7.5 in the Yahoo Pro Football Pick’em.)
Eagles (+8.5) over Saints: I’m not sure I can logically tell you how the Eagles’ banged-up defense slows down the Saints. But it’s the NFL, we see weird things each week. The 4-5 Eagles know their situation and you’re going to see their best effort here. I’m not sure that’ll even be enough to beat a very good Saints team, but it’ll be close. (The line is Eagles +9 in the Yahoo Pro Football Pick’em.)
Vikings (+2.5) over Bears: Here are the six teams the Bears have beat this season: Seahawks, Cardinals, Buccaneers, Jets, Bills and Lions. The best team in that group by far is the Seahawks, and they’re 5-5. I’m not saying the Bears aren’t worthy of any praise anyone wants to give them. They are having a good season. I just think the Vikings are the better team.
And the rest of the picks …
Packers (+2.5) over Seahawks (picked Thursday): Well, the Packers are officially a mess. Mike McCarthy had a really bad night. Aaron Rodgers didn’t have a good second half, other than one great throw to Davante Adams. The Packers scored three points in the second half, and while the Seahawks defense isn’t bad, this isn’t the “Legion of Boom.” The Packers are in a bad spot.
Falcons (-3) over Cowboys: This is a tough game to pick. The Cowboys were ripped up and down after losing to the Titans, but now everyone seems to think they have hope because they beat the Eagles. I’m not sure if it’s a team that put everything into one Eagles game to save their season, or one that is legitimately turning a corner. Even though the Falcons are coming off a bad loss at the Browns, I trust their offense more.
Panthers (-4) over Lions: The Panthers were embarrassed last Thursday night at Pittsburgh and had extra time to think about it. The Lions have been embarrassed for a few weeks now. And they won’t have Marvin Jones. Add on the Golden Tate trade and suddenly Matthew Stafford doesn’t have a whole lot to throw to.
Titans (+1) over Colts: This game suddenly has some big playoff implications. One of these teams might be able to make a run at the Texans in the AFC South. The Titans are hard to figure out, but they have played better lately.
Giants (-1) over Buccaneers: You really trust either of these teams?
Steelers (-6) over Jaguars: I’m finally done with my weekly “This is the week the Jaguars get their stuff together!” crusade. It’s not happening. You all knew that long ago. I’m just stubborn.
Ravens (off) over Bengals: No line on the Yahoo Pro Football Pick’em because of the Ravens’ quarterback uncertainty. I’ll take the Ravens because of all the units in this game I trust their defense the most.
Cardinals (-4.5) over Raiders: The Cardinals played the Chiefs hard. I’m not saying they played well or aren’t capable of a miserable game, but why would I pick the Raiders over anyone getting just 4.5?
Last week: 5-9
Season to date: 74-69-6
SuperContest: 1-4, 22-26-2
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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter!
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