It’s time to start separating the contenders and the pretenders in the NFL.
Six teams in the league enter Week 11 with winning streaks of at least four games or longer, as the playoff picture is coming into focus.
In the Westgate SuperContest, NESN.com’s Mike Cole and Ricky Doyle are still looking for their first winning streak of the season. The NESN duo went a respectable 3-2 last week, but they’re going to need more sustained success if they’re going to climb the Team OddsShark standings in the premier NFL handicapping contest.
Here are their Week 11 picks. (All times Eastern.)
Chicago Bears (+2.5) vs. Detroit Lions, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Soldier Field, Chicago
The weather is starting to get nasty in Chicago, and it looks like the Windy City will have plenty of, well, wind this Sunday. If the weather is an issue, the passing game figures to be affected most, and the Bears have the better running game. Like most dome quarterbacks, Matthew Stafford has better numbers indoors than outside, and the Lions as a team are 3-11 against the spread in their last 14 games on grass.
New York Giants (+10.5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 1 p.m.
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.Y.
You might have heard about Andy Reid’s post-bye week success: He’s 16-2 in his career after the bye. That’s fine, and the Chiefs should win this game, but consider this: Reid’s teams are just 2-7 ATS when favored by 10 points or more since the start of the 2009 season.
Los Angeles Chargers (-5.5) vs. Buffalo Bills, Sunday, 4:05 p.m.
StubHub Center, Carson, Calif.
We were leaning this way before the Bills made the move to Nathan Peterman at quarterback, and it probably won’t matter who’s under center behind that offensive line. Perhaps even more troubling for Buffalo, though, is its defense, which allowed 298 rushing yards at home last week to the New Orleans Saints.
Denver Broncos (-2.5) vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
Sports Authority Field, Denver
The Broncos never had a chance against the New England Patriots last Sunday, in large part due to special teams issues. If they’re able to clean that up, they’re looking at a much more level playing field against a far worse football team.
New England Patriots (-6.5) vs. Oakland Raiders, Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
Azteca Stadium, Mexico City
The Raiders’ secondary is atrocious, and Tom Brady still is the best quarterback in the NFL at the moment. The Patriots also shouldn’t have too much trouble with the Mexico City altitude after spending the last week in Colorado.