NFL Week 11 Picks 2011: Parity has characterized the NFL for a number of seasons and it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Sure, there are the 'haves' and 'have nots' (see: Green Bay and Indianapolis), but there is not a great deal of difference between team eight and, say, team 21. And when teams 22 and 26 or teams 14 and 17 find themselves preparing for battle opposite one another, well, the odds makers have a difficult time finding a line. This week illustrates that fact quite well as no less than four games are listed between a Pick and one point.
Buffalo Bills vs Miami Dolphins (-1): The 5-4 Bills sit three games ahead of the Dolphins in the AFC East standings, but momentum sits behind 2-7 Miami. Tony Sparano's troops, which have played with the effort of a contender all season long, ride back-to-back wins into Sunday's game. Buffalo, meanwhile, has dropped back-to-back games in horrible fashion, losing 27-11 to the Jets and 44-7 to the Cowboys. So, why the one point spread? Why aren't the Dolphins giving three or more points? Because the betting public does not believe in Miami. If the odds maker opened with a three point spread in this game money would pour in on the Bills.
This game is striking similar, at least in terms of perception, to a week eight meeting between the Seahawks and Bengals in Seattle. Nobody trusted Cincinnati's 4-2 start, thus Marvin Lewis' squad was only favored by 1.5 points. The Bengals won the game 34-12, though, easily covering for those willing to back them. In the case of Buffalo/Miami two forces are at work against one another. Few people trust the Dolphins recent surge while at the same time some are doubting the Bills dip, making this, theoretically, one of the more dangerous games on the board. Nevertheless, those willing to trust their gut (i.e. Cincinnati is a lot better than Seattle) are often rewarded for their bold stance. So, don't let perception (Miami is unproven and the Bills are set for a rebound) ruin reality (Miami is the better team right now).
Seventeen games this season have featured a line between Pick and two points, but the average point differential in those games was a whopping 10.6 points. Of course, finding the right side is the chief objective, but sometimes finding the right side requires ditching perception.
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NFL Week 11 Picks 2011: Provided by SBG Global
Jets vs Broncos (+6/40)
Titans vs Falcons (-6/44)
Bills vs Dolphins (-1/43)
Bengals vs Ravens (-7/40.5)
Jaguars vs Browns (PK/34)
Raiders vs Vikings (PK/45.5)
Panthers vs Lions (-7/47)
Buccaneers vs Packers (-14/48)
Cowboys vs Redskins (+7.5/41.5)
Cardinals vs 49ers (-9.5/40.5)
Seahawks vs Rams (PK/39)
Chargers vs Bears (-3.5/45)
Eagles vs Giants (NA)
Chiefs vs Patriots (-14.5/46.5)