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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

NFL Week 11 [Full Edition]: Playing the Least Interesting Game of the Day

We published an early edition ahead of Thursday Night Football to recommend betting the Miami Dolphins to cover as four point favorites versus the Buffalo Bills. We thought that Miami would be able to muster, more-or-less, their average productivity, but that the inferior Buffalo offense might struggle to put up points against the strength of the Dolphin defense. We were mostly right, as the Dolphins posted 22 points -- in the ballpark of their 25 point average per game -- despite losing the turnover battle 0-2 (we expected Miami to force more turnovers than they committed). Buffalo could manage only three field goals, and ultimately fell by a margin of 13.

Thus we are off to a good start to week 11. For Sunday, one other contest strikes us as a worthy betting endeavor:

Washington Redskins -7 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10:00AM, Pacific)

The Redskins enter week 11 of the NFL season with a 3-6 record, both straight up and against the spread. Belying thier losing record though, the Washington offense is rather potent (by the numbers, at least), ranking 7th in total yards and 6th in passing yards.

On the other hand, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also 3-6 versus the number, but are 1-8 in terms of absolute wins and losses. The Bucs offense ranks in the bottom quintile in points scored, total yards and rushing yards. Further, their defense is even worse, ranking second-to-last in points allowed and passing yards given up.

As such, among these two teams, Washington is statistically superior on both sides of the ball. The numbers suggest the Skins should win outright, but does that translate to a cover? We think so.

The Don Best/Linemakers Power Ratings make Washington 5.5 points better than Tampa Bay on a neutral site, and ascribes a 2.5 point value to home field advantage. Also, The Redskins were off last week. Research has found that bye weeks are worth 2.6 points on average (we covered this topic in our week 6 note). All things considered, this approach hints that the Redskins should beat the Bucs by double-digits.

Massey-Peabody Power Rankings put even more distance between Washington and Tampa Bay. Their work has the Skins just better than an average team on a neutral field, while the Bucs are about 8.5 points worse under the same circumstances (or about a 9 point difference between the two squads). After accounting for home field advantage and the Redskins' bye week, these renowned handicappers see Washington coming out ahead by about 13 points.

CRIS lines, as reported by SportsInsights, have held steady since opening at 7. However, CappersMall reports that, of the 12 games scheduled for play on Sunday, this matchup has garnered the least amount of interest from the betting public, which might explain the lack of spread movement throughout the week.

Based on the number of bets against the spread, the public is leaning (a bit) toward the better team.

Elo Ratings give Washington a 5 point advantage -- implying that Tampa Bay should just cover, but as a reminder, Elo ratings do not consider extra rest.


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Happy betting!!

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