After a 1-1 Week 10, I hoped to get back to my winnings ways in Week 11, but went 0-2 on the week with losses on the Under 51 in the Bengals and Saints game and Pittsburgh -7.
The high scoring affair I thought would come to fruition was a dud, and though the Steelers did beat the Titans, they only won by three points. Oh well, on to Week 12.
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans pk Total: 43.5
The 6-3-1 Bengals head into Houston to take on the Texans in a crucial game for both teams. While Cincinnati is mired in a tough AFC North, there are indeed still in the fight for the divisional crown. The Texans don’t have a shot at the division, but still have an outside shot at a playoff spot. A loss on Sunday could hurt their playoff chances tremendously.
After a tough start to the year, the Bengals seemed to right the ship with wins over the Jaguars and Raiders. They lost to the Browns badly in primetime before their bye but returned to beat up on the Saints 27-10 last week.
The Jekyll and Hyde ways of the Bengals seem to be a weekly thing at this point, but with A.J. Green back and in elite form – I like their chances in this matchup. The Texans struggle badly against elite receivers and with Ryan Mallet under center; they will have a hard time coming back from a deficit.
Cincinnati’s defense is awful but is much better against the pass rather than the run. Running back Arian Foster is questionable to play this week, and the Texans will go with rookie Alfred Blue if he can’t suit up.
Blue looked sharp in relief of Foster last week, but the Bengals rush defense did stuff Saints’ running back Mark Ingram last week. Blue may be for a rough outing if Foster is sidelined. Even if Foster goes, this matchup may not be the cupcake most are seeing from the outside.
I think Cincinnati beats Houston easily in this one and has their way with Mallet defensively.
My Pick: Bengals pk(-110)
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills -1 Total: 41.5
This game was originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon, but due to lake effect snow in Buffalo, it has been moved to Detroit’s Ford Field. Instead of freezing temperatures and snowfall, the change in venue is quite stark compared to the domed environment.
This game’s total has had some significant line movement based on the weather and then after the change in venue. The line opened at 41.5 but moved to 39.5 after the bad weather reports. However, it moved back to the opening number after the move was announced to the Motor City.
Neither the Jets nor the Bills are offensive powerhouses and are both active on defense, hence the small number. However, this game may have more offensive firepower than most are expecting.
While both teams boast top-five rush defenses, the secondary is where they are both vulnerable. Both New York and Buffalo sport awful an awful secondary. While Michael Vick and Kyle Orton are nothing special, the last meeting between these two teams in New York in Week 8 ended as a 43-23 Buffalo victory.
That was outside, in cold weather. Geno Smith was still the Jets QB, and it was Percy Harvin’s first game after coming over from Seattle. These two offenses are better than they were then, and the game is being played indoors.
There’s no doubt that this game looks like a low scoring slugfest on paper, but a closer look tells us there should be plenty of points to go around in this one.