There wasn’t anything too surprising in Week 10 as almost everything went by the book. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions avoided disaster as big favorites while the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints continued to roll. The playoff races are wide open in both conferences right now as 6-3 is good enough to make the cut in the NFC and 5-4 is all it takes in the AFC.
Let’s take a closer look at Week 11:
Tennessee Titans @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Odds: Pittsburgh -7
Pittsburgh only narrowly avoided a potential trap game loss in Indianapolis on Sunday with a 20-17 win. The Steelers have now won four straight but they seem to be a very Jekyll and Hyde team. They have very narrow wins over Cleveland and Indianapolis, and lost to Chicago. At the same time, they have comfortable wins over division leaders like the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings. They tend to play to the level of their competition. If that’s the case, they should take care of business against the AFC South-leading Titans on Sunday.
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears
Odds: Detroit -3
Detroit remained in the NFC playoff race with a win over the Cleveland Browns. The Lions get another favorable matchup this week when they visit the Chicago Bears, who again lost a one-possession game. Only two of the Bears’ five losses have been by more than a score, so the Lions had better not assume anything in this spot.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New York Giants
Odds: Kansas City -11
Kansas City is 6-3 but its hot start feels like a distant memory now after dropping three of four. The good news is the Chiefs get to visit the hapless New York Giants this week. Anything short of a dominant win should have people in Kansas City concerned. However, fresh off a bye, this seems to be the type of “get right” game the Chiefs need.
Buffalo Bills @ Los Angeles Chargers
Odds: Los Angeles -4
Just when it seemed as though the Bills were destined to challenge for a playoff spot in the AFC, they went and lost back-to-back games to the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints. They’ve given up 81 points in the process while posting a turnover differential of -3. They were a +14 through their first seven games.
New England Patriots vs Oakland Raiders (in Mexico City)
Odds: New England -6.5
Following a slow start, New England has won five straight and is now 7-2. The Patriots have the weapons to score points in bunches and there is no reason to think they will slow down when they face Oakland in Mexico City this weekend. The Raiders have grinded out some close wins to get to 4-5. However, they have the league’s 26th-ranked defense and that figures to be a problem against New England.
Atlanta Falcons @ Seattle Seahawks
Odds: Seattle -3
Seattle suffered another substantial blow when it lost Richard Sherman for the season in its Thursday Night Football win over the Arizona Cardinals. Now the Seahawks will host an Atlanta Falcons team that seems to have righted the ship a little bit. The Falcons have won two of three and their defense has tightened up, giving up just 15.6 points per game.