For the second week in a row, Jimmy McGinty secured two wins from three last week. The Browns won outright, Seattle covered but the Dolphins let him down ... Brock Osweiler to be more specific.
Now +2.2pts, Jimmy previews NFL Week 11 and advises a treble on the Steelers, Vikings and Chiefs.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-5pts) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Steelers have a history of below-average performances in road games where they are heavily favoured, especially early Sunday games. An immediate worry here. However they won and covered in their last two early Sunday road games this season (at Bengals & Ravens) so hopefully that’s a thing of the past. They certainly haven’t wrapped up the Division yet so should be giving full effort here in Jacksonville.
The strong home advantage Jacksonville enjoyed due to the September Miami heat is no more. Pittsburgh also enjoy an advantage of extra rest having played on Thursday last week.
Brandon Linder (out for the season with a knee injury) may not be a household name as he plays Guard for the Jags but he is in the top 5 of his position in the League and will be a massive loss to the Jags. Facing a strong pass-rush here, the Jags OL will be under severe pressure. Blake Bortles has not been playing well this season, so I find it impossible to see how he’ll move the ball with success here. The Steelers' defense has allowed an average of just 18pts over their past 5 games, including versus Atlanta and Carolina, both far better offenses than the Jags who are the 4th lowest scoring side in the League.
The Steelers aren’t as good as their blow-out victory over Carolina made them look but they are playing at a very high level. Against a poor side, take them to cover -5 points.
Minnesota Vikings (+2.5pts) at Chicago Bears
Mitch Trubisky has been extremely inconsistent. He was good against the Lions, Bucs and Dolphins but poor against Seattle, Arizona and New England. That’s a split of very bad and decent defences. Now he faces one of the best in the League – who are back to near full strength having lost Barr, Sendejo, Griffen and Rhodes for recent games. I’d be amazed if the Bears don’t turn over the ball and struggle to score regularly this Sunday.
In addition to the above defenders, offensive stars Cook and Diggs weren’t 100% in the weeks prior to the bye so, all in all, it came at a good time for the Vikings and they should now be ready to step it up a gear. They have a terrific roster.
The Bears have improved drastically this season but, now sitting at the top of the NFC North, I feel they’re becoming a touch overrated. Their three most recent victories came against the Bills, Jets and a terrible Lions side. Half the teams in the league would’ve went 3-0 in impressive fashion just as the Bears did. They come back down to earth against the Vikings on Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs (+3.5pts) at LA Rams
As the League’s two best offenses collide, this has shootout written all over it but I’m not so sure. The Chiefs' defense has been slowly improving over the past few weeks, averaging just 17pts since conceding a whopping 43 to Tom Brady and friends. Their offense, if they choose to, can have plenty of success running the ball which may lead to a lower than predicted scoring affair.
The Rams were shown to be well behind the Saints in Week 9 and failed to cover the spread in recent narrow victories over Seattle, Green Bay and Denver. They’re an overrated side, now missing a key player as well. Cooper Kupp tore his ACL last Sunday and his loss will be significant for the Rams' offense.
The Rams have been gutted by the run in recent games so expect the Chiefs to use Kareem Hunt regularly to control the possession. The Chiefs went into the cauldron that is Foxboro and nearly pulled it off losing to a last second field-goal. The Rams lack a significant home advantage, so the Chiefs can definitely go into LA and come away with more.