It's week 11 of the NFL season and we're finally going to see some interesting divisional matchups with major playoff implications. The NFC East teams are playing one another and while the Eagles and Redskins don't figure to be in the playoff picture, they can have a major influence in who does win that division when they play the Giants and Cowboys respectively this weekend.
Then there's the AFC North. The Bengals have been the quiet surprise of the first half of the season, but they complied their their solid record without having to play the Steelers or Ravens once. That means they get the two best teams in the North four times over the second half. They failed the first test at home to the Steelers, but were at least competitive in that game. This weekend they're on the road against a Ravens team that was upset in Seattle last week and will be looking to take that frustration out on someone.
And then of course, there's the NFC West... They all play each other, but it's largely meaningless as the 49ers could find themselves within a game of clinching it already if they beat the Cardinals this weekend.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns (-1) - Games against two bad teams are always the toughest to forecast because they're so unpredictable. Case in point, in both similar historical games models, which involve 100 games... teams like these two are exactly 50-50. The similar spread model does lean toward Cleveland and taking the home team in these spots is always smart. Pick: Browns
Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions (-7) - It's too bad Carolina put up such a stinker last week, because this might have been shaping up to be a mildly interesting matchup. But really, Detroit has handled bad teams this season. They've not been great against other contenders, but Carolina certainly isn't that. Pick: Lions
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (-1) -The Bills looked awful last week in Dallas, while the Dolphins have been playing much better. The Bills are on the back end of back to back road games as well. Pick: Miami
Oakland Raiders at Minnesota Vikings (+1) - This is essentially a pick-em, so the rule of thumb is to go with the better team (the Raiders). The trends agree in this case. Teams like Oakland have won in 72% of games with this spread. Pick: Raiders
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (+7.5) - Given how inconsistent Dallas has been this year, they really don't see like a team that should be favored on the road by more than a TD, especially against a division rival. The trends here heavily favor Washington. Pick: Redskins
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-7) - One of the more interesting games on the schedule this week, especially considering how bad Baltimore was last week. That said, it was a tough spot for the Ravens. Coming off a win over a big rival, they go on the road for the second straight week, to the west coast, in Seattle... Everything was against them. The trends are very split on this game, but one does jump out. Baltimore has won 64% of the time in games with a 7 point spread. Pick: Ravens
Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams (-1) - This is sure to be an exciting one... Of course I kid. It will probably be an awful game, but it seems like a good one to pick. Teams like the Rams have covered in nearly 70% of games with similar spreads. Pick: Rams
San Diego Chargers at Chicago Bears (-3.5) - A matchup of two of the least likeable QBs in the NFL makes this a tough game to pick a rooting interest in, but not that tough to bet. Trends are heavily in Chicago's favor. Pick: Bears
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (-4.5) - The trends are interestingly split in this game. The similar games model says New York, while the similar historical games model leans toward the Eagles. Pick: Giants
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (-14.5) - This is one of those huge lines that should raise your alarm bells. The Pats played well last week, but they're still not a great play as a better than two TD favorite. Pick: KC