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NFL preview capsules — Week 11

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Browns (4-5) at Bengals (6-4)

Time: 1 p.m. today.

Line: Bengals by 5½.

The skinny: As quarterback Andy Dalton goes, so goes Cincinnati: In the past two losses, he has thrown six interceptions and two touchdowns. In the previous four games, all wins, he had just two interceptions to go with 11 touchdowns. But the Browns are 8-3-1 against the spread (ATS) in their past 12 games against AFC North foes, and the Bengals are 3-9-2 ATS in their past 14 AFC North games.

The pick: Browns.

Jets (5-4) at Bills (3-7)

Time: 1 p.m. today.

Line: Bills by 1.

The skinny: I was impressed by the Jets’ move to sign veteran safety Ed Reed. If nothing else, it lets the Jets players and fans know that their team is trying to make the playoffs and win. The Jets have covered four of their past five games in Buffalo, and are 6-2 against the spread in their past eight meetings overall.

The pick: Jets.

Redskins (3-6) at Eagles (5-5)

Time: 1 p.m. today.

Line: Eagles by 3½.

The skinny: When it comes to the Eagles at home, it’s almost baffling: Philadelphia has lost — and not covered — 10 games in a row at home dating back to Sept. 30, 2012. I think the Redskins (5-1 against the spread in their past six games in Philadelphia) are the more desperate team and will stay close enough.

The pick: Redskins.

Lions (6-3) at Steelers (3-6)

Time: 1 p.m. today.

Line: Lions by 2.

The skinny: The Steelers don’t always play the Lions, but when they do, they destroy them. The Steelers have won 12 of the past 14 meetings. In fact, Detroit’s last win in Pittsburgh came Nov. 13, 1955. I can’t see first-place Detroit having a letdown. They’re playing well on both sides of the ball.

The pick: Lions.

Ravens (4-5) at Bears (5-4)

Time: 1 p.m. today.

Line: Bears by 3.

The skinny: Chicago has struggled at home, going 1-9-1 against the spread in its past 11. The Ravens are 15-6-1 ATS in their past 22 against winning teams.

The pick: Ravens.

Cardinals (5-4) at Jaguars (1-8)

Time: 1 p.m. today.

Line: Cardinals by 7.

The skinny: If Jacksonville could keep playing Tennessee every week, it might be 16-0! The Jaguars’ last two wins — last Sunday and Nov. 25, 2012 — have come against the Titans. They’ll have to remember the Titans win for good times, because the Cards are 5-1 against the spread in their past six against losing teams.

The pick: Cardinals.

Raiders (3-6) at Texans (2-7)

Time: 1 p.m. today.

Line: Texans by 7.

The skinny: I would have never thought about taking Houston as a touchdown favorite a few weeks ago. But Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor is questionable with a sore right knee, and the Texans will get a lift from having Gary Kubiak back on the sidelines. Welcome back, coach!

The pick: Texans.

Falcons (2-7) at Buccaneers (1-8)

Time: 1 p.m. today.

Line: Falcons by 1.

The skinny: As great as the Chiefs-Broncos game should be this weekend, this game is the exact opposite. Yuck! I’ll go with the team that doesn’t stink as bad as the other team.

The pick: Falcons.

Chargers (4-5) at Dolphins (4-5)

Time: 4:05 p.m. today.

Line: Chargers by 1.

The skinny: Miami is 1-5 against the spread in its past six games; San Diego is 5-2-1 ATS in its past eight games on the road.

The pick: Chargers.

49ers (6-3) at Saints (7-2)

Time: 4:25 p.m. today.

Line: Saints by 3.

The skinny: The Saints look unstoppable at home — no wonder it’s called the Superdome. They’ve won and covered five games in a row there.

The pick: Saints.

Vikings (2-7) at Seahawks (9-1)

Time: 4:25 p.m. today.

Line: Seahawks by 12.

The skinny: Seattle is 2-3 against the spread in its past five at home. I think Adrian Peterson and the Vikings will keep it close.

The pick: Vikings.

Packers (5-4) at Giants (3-6)

Time: 4:25 p.m. today.

Line: Giants by 5.

The skinny: If I had told you a month ago that the spread would be 5, you’d have said, “Why aren’t the Packers favored by more?” We all know why, and without Aaron Rodgers playing, a win bolsters the Giants’ NFC East title hopes — yes, if I had told you that a month ago ... well, you know. Scott Tolzien isn’t in Mr. Rodgers’ neighborhood, but the Packers have enough offensive talent to keep it close.

The pick: Packers.

Chiefs (9-0) at Broncos (8-1)

Time: 8:30 p.m. today.

Line: Broncos by 8½.

The skinny: The game of the regular season — for now. The two teams play again at Arrowhead Stadium in two weeks. The combined win percentage of .944 (17-1) between the Chiefs and Broncos is the highest for a game this late in the season since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger (minimum nine games each). This game also features the NFL’s No. 1 scoring defense in Kansas City (12.3 points per game) vs. the No. 1 scoring offense in Denver (41.2 points per game). I’m concerned about the health of Peyton Manning. He looks like he’s one big Chiefs hit away from leaving with an injury. If the Chiefs are able to run the ball, control the clock and keep Manning on the sideline, they should keep this close enough.

The pick: Chiefs.

Patriots (7-2) at Panthers (6-3)

Time: 8:40 p.m. Monday.

Line: Panthers by 2½.

The skinny: Any guess on which team has the second-best scoring defense in the NFL? How about those Panthers, who allowed nine points last week in San Francisco. Carolina has won — and covered — five games in a row after. Normally, I’d go with them, but the Patriots are coming off a bye. Giving Bill Belichick two weeks to prepare for a game is like giving Usain Bolt a head start in the 100-meter dash.

The pick: Patriots.

Bye week: Dallas, St. Louis.

— John Boell, Newsday


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