There are tons of resources available to help you make more informed decisions, including our suite of Betting Tools at Fantasy Life.

One of my favorite things to look at is the betting percentage splits.

You can see the breakdown of the number of tickets and money coming in on each side and the total, indicating where the sharp money is landing.

For example, if a team gets 50% of the spread bets but 80% of the dollars, the large wagers – which tend to come from professional bettors – are siding with them.

The public money typically comes in smaller increments, so the other side can have the same number of tickets at a significantly lower handle.

Essentially, this allows us to take a peak at the smart kid’s homework before the start of class.

Sharp bettors are respected for a reason: they win more than they lose. It would be foolish not to take their opinions into account.

The sharps bounced back with a 4-1 week in Week 10, going 2-1 on sides and 2-0 on totals listed in this article. That brings our overall record to 28-20-2 for the year, putting us comfortably in the black.

Let’s dive into five games the pros are taking a stand on for NFL Week 11.

New York Jets (+7.0) at Buffalo Bills (-110; BetMGM)

  • Opening Line: Jets +7.0
  • Target Range: Jets +7.0 or better

These are two teams that the public probably wants very little to do with at the moment. The Bills have failed to cover in six straight games, while the Jets have lost back-to-back games to the Raiders and Chargers. If not for an improbable comeback win vs. the Giants in Week 8, this team would be 3-7 and dead in the water.

On paper, the Bills are the superior team. The Jets are somehow still starting Zach Wilson at quarterback, while the Bills have an MVP-caliber player in Josh Allen. He’s not really in the MVP conversation this season, but he’s still second in EPA + CPOE composite and fourth in QBR. The Bills clearly have some issues, but Allen isn’t one of them.

That makes this matchup vs. the Jets very interesting. If the Bills can’t cover with Allen playing at a high level, what happens if he doesn’t? The Jets have had Allen’s number since the start of last year. He averaged just 4.62 adjusted yards per attempt in two matchups vs. the Jets last season, and he had four turnovers in his first matchup vs. the Jets in 2023.

The Jets have managed to win two of those three meetings, so they can go toe-to-toe with Buffalo.

Defensively, the Bills have not been the same team since losing Tre’Davious White and Matt Milano. Since Week 6 – their first game without both players – the Bills are DEAD LAST in defensive EPA. If you’re looking for a reason for the Bills’ struggles, there it is.

Don’t expect Wilson to suddenly turn into Aaron Rodgers, but he should be more successful than usual in this matchup. If the Jets' defense can continue to frustrate Allen, they should be able to cover the seven-point spread.

This number has flirted with 6.5 a few times this week, so locking this bet in at 7.0 is the right idea. Seven is one of the most important key numbers in football – second only to 3.0 – so you don’t want to risk losing it.

You can tail this at BetMGM, where you can get up to $1,500 paid back in bonus bets if your first bet does not win! Simply sign up below to start betting today:


Chicago Bears (+7.5) at Detroit Lions (-110; DraftKings)

  • Opening Line: Bears +8.5
  • Target Range: Bears +7.5 or better

This number has dropped like a rock. The Lions got as high as -10.5 earlier this week but are now down to -7.5 across the industry. The public unsurprisingly loves Detroit in this spot – they’ve received 73% of the spread bets (per the Action Network) – but the sharps are all over Chicago. They’ve received a clear edge in spread dollars, so the big money is siding with the Bears.

The big news for Chicago is that Justin Fields is expected to return to the lineup. Tyler Bagent did about as well as you could hope for as an undrafted rookie free agent, but Fields represents a clear upgrade. He’s averaged 7.1 adjusted yards per attempt as a passer, while Bagent has been at just 4.5. He also brings way more athleticism to the position, so it should be a significant improvement at the most important position in the league.

Fields

Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) passes against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports


Meanwhile, the Bears’ defense got much healthier in Fields’ absence, and they’ve been playing far better. They’re seventh in EPA/play defensively over the past four weeks, including first against the run by a mile.

If they can continue to play at that level with Fields back in the lineup, the Bears can be a sneaky-good squad down the stretch.

Meanwhile, the Lions are in a bit of a letdown spot after a huge win on the road vs. the Chargers last week. They also have some issues along the offensive line: Frank Ragnow is questionable, while Halapoulivaati Vaitai was recently placed on IR. With C.J. Gardner-Johnson also sidelined in the secondary, the team is far from 100%.

Chasing steam is rarely a good idea as a sports bettor, but I still think there’s some value with Chicago as long as this number is above seven. There’s minimal difference between 7.5 and 9.5, so we’re not sacrificing a ton by getting a worse number.

You can tail the Bears at DraftKings, where you can sign up below and place your initial $5 bet to get $200 in bonus bets:


Los Angeles Rams (+1.0) vs. Seattle Seahawks (-110; FanDuel)

  • Opening Line: Rams +3.0
  • Target Range: Rams pick’em or better

The Rams are another team expected to get their starting quarterback back in Week 11. Matthew Stafford missed the team’s last contest, which they unsurprisingly lost by 17 points. The team managed just 187 yards of total offense under Brett Rypien, so bettors will welcome Stafford back with open arms.

With a healthy Stafford this season, the Rams have been far better than their 3-6 record indicates. Four of their five losses with Stafford have been by single digits, with the only exception coming against the Cowboys. Overall, the Rams are 4-3-1 ATS with Stafford under center.

They’ve already beat the Seahawks once in 2023, and that game was played in Seattle. This contest will be played in Los Angeles, and while the Rams have minimal home-field advantage, it’s still a positive.

On the other side, the Seahawks stand out as an overvalued squad. Their record sits at 6-3, but their expected record is just 4.5-5.5. They rank 16th in scoring differential and 18th in yardage differential, so they’re really just an average football team.

With Stafford back in the fold, I don’t see much difference between these squads. I’m happy to play the Rams at anything better than a pick’em.

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Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Under 33.0 (-110; Caesars)

  • Opening Total: 38.0
  • Target Range: Under 32.5 or better

How low can this total go? This number opened at 38.0, but that was before DeShaun Watson was placed on the IR. With news that Dorian Thompson-Robinson will make his second career start at quarterback, this number continues to plummet.

DTR

Oct 1, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (17) throws a pass during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports


This is easily the lowest total we’ve seen so far this season. The last game with a total of 33.0 or lower came last year and also involved the Browns. They played against the Saints on Christmas Eve in a game with the lowest regular-season temperature in Cleveland history.

Before that, you have to go all the way back to 2012 to find a game with a comparable total.

Still, I wouldn’t let the low number scare you. That 2022 Browns game featured just 27 total points, and games with a total of 32.5 or less are 16-11-1 to the under since 2005. In other words, when teams are expected to struggle offensively, they tend to really struggle.

It’s hard to see how either of these teams will be successful on Sunday. The Browns were dreadful in their first game with DTR at quarterback, managing just three points and 166 yards of total offense vs. the Ravens. The Steelers’ D isn’t as good as the Ravens, but they’re still capable of generating stops.

On the other side, Kenny Pickett and company will have to square off with the best defense in football. The Browns have been an absolute juggernaut this season, and they held Pittsburgh to just 255 yards in their first matchup. They did score 26 points in that contest, but two of their three touchdowns were scored on defense. The other was a fluky 71-yard pass to George Pickens.

As long as DTR doesn’t hand multiple touchdowns to the Steelers, I don’t think either of these teams is a real threat to crack 20 points. Taking the under on such a low number is scary, but I think it’s the right move.

You can tail the under on Caesars AND get your first bet of up to $1,000 completely on the house when you sign up for Caesars Sportsbook below:


Las Vegas Raiders at Miami Dolphins Under 46.5 (-110; BetMGM)

  • Opening Total: 48.0
  • Target Range: Under 46.0 or better

The Dolphins have been one of the few teams that haven’t struggled offensively this season. They’re first in the league in points and yards per game and second in EPA/play. They’re expected to get back rookie sensation De’Von Achane after their Week 10 bye, so it should be all systems go for the Dolphins vs. the Raiders.

Still, the sharps see some value with the under in this spot.

They’ve already driven this line down 1.5 points, and 94% of the dollars are on the under.

So what are they seeing? For starters, the Dolphins’ offense isn’t nearly as scary as their numbers look on paper. They feasted on a soft schedule to start the year, racking up yards and points against cellar-dwellers like the Chargers, Broncos, Giants, and Panthers. Since then, they’ve looked much less explosive.

Getting Achane back should help, but the Raiders have quietly been a solid defensive team of late. They’ve held four of their past six opponents to 17 points or fewer, albeit against some lackluster competition. Still, the Raiders are up to 13th in points per game allowed and 14th in defensive EPA for the year.

Offensively, the Raiders will also try to slow this game to a crawl. They’ve played two games since Antonio Pierce took over as interim head coach, and they’ve had a -9.0% dropback over expectation (DBOE) in bothJosh Jacobs has an absurd 53 carries in those contests.

The Dolphins can be run on – they’re 29th in EPA/rush against – so expect another heavy dose of Jacobs in this matchup.

If the Raiders can move the ball on the ground, the clock will bleed and limit the possessions for both offenses. That’s a fantastic formula for an under, so under 46.5 makes a lot of sense in a year where scoring has been down.

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Matt LaMarca
Matt LaMarca
Matt LaMarca has worked full-time in the sports betting and DFS industry since 2018, with his work appearing on sites like The Action Network, DraftKings, Awesemo, and Props.com. He has a proven record as a bettor thanks to his analytic approach focused on line movement, public betting percentages, and trends. He specializes in the NFL and NBA sides, but he’s also had success in MLB, college football, and the player prop market. Matt is also an avid Mets fan who hopes to be alive for the team’s next World Series, whenever that may be.