Week 11 of the 2016 NFL season kicks off tonight with a huge game in the NFC between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers. It is hard to believe but the NFL season is entering its final stretch of the season, so are the NFL picks and predictions.
It’s been a rough go for both teams so far in 2016, as they have failed to live up to the preseason expectations placed upon them. The Panthers are the defending NFC champions and were expected to be in the thick of the race again this season. In fact, when the 2016 Super Bowl odds were set, they were in the top five list as the favorites in many sports books.
So far things have not gone Carolina’s way in 2016.
According to a CBS Sports report, the Panthers are currently in last place in the NFC South, just behind the red hot Saints. New Orleans started the season 0-3, however they have bounced back nicely. Now 4-5, a win tonight could pull the Saints to within one game of the first place Atlanta Falcons. One thing is for sure, the winner of this game will definitely be alive and kicking for a postseason run.
While the Saints vs. Panthers matchup is truly a big game, the entire Week 11 NFL schedule is actually very intriguing in the fact that so many games will have a direct effect on the playoff race. Besides the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots who are leading their respective conferences, many teams that are log jammed at 5-4 or 4-5 are facing off this weekend.
The parity has risen in the NFL this season to a level almost like no other. Besides the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Chicago Bears, every single team is in the thick of either a divisional race or a wild-card spot.
Take the entire NFC conference for example.
The division races are so tight heading into Week 11 that a team in last place could be in first two weeks from now just by winning two games in a row. In the NFC North and South every team is still in the race, especially the top three teams in each of those divisions.
The NFC East is tight as well, but the Cowboys are the only team with a bit of breathing room in the division at 8-1. The Cowboys have a two-game lead over the 6-3 New York Giants heading into this weekend’s action. New York will host the Chicago Bears this Sunday, while the Cowboys welcome the Ravens to Big D.
The Detroit Lions are in first place in the NFC North and should stay there after Week 11 as they prepare to host the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday afternoon from Ford Field. Quarterback Matt Stafford has performed at an MVP level so far for the Lions. Stafford has tossed 18 touchdowns and only five interceptions this season, but more importantly he has been clutch in the fourth quarter.
If Detroit wants to win the North, this is a game they cannot afford to lose.
Here is a look at the entire NFL schedule, odds, TV start times and NFL picks for Week 11.
Nov. 17 — Thursday Night
- New Orleans at Carolina (-3) 8:25 pm — NBC (Over/Under 52)
Nov. 20 — Sunday
- Chicago at N.Y. Giants ( -7) — 1:00 pm – FOX — (Over/Under 45)
- Arizona at Minnesota (-1) 1:00 pm – FOX — (Over/Under 40.5)
- Baltimore at Dallas (-7) 1:00 pm — CBS — (Over/Under 45)
- Tennessee at Indianapolis (-3) — 1:00 pm – CBS — (Over/Under 52.5)
- Buffalo at Cincinnati (-3) — 1:00 pm — FOX — (Over/Under 47)
- Pittsburgh (-7.5) at Cleveland — 1:00 pm –CBS — (Over/Under 47)
- Jacksonville at Detroit (-6) – 1:00 pm — CBS — (Over/Under 46)
- Tampa Bay at Kansas City (-7) — 1:00 pm – FOX — (Over/Under 44)
- Miami at L.A. Rams (PICK) — 4:05 pm — FOX — (Over/Under 40)
- Philadelphia at Seattle (-6) — 4:25 pm — CBS — (Over/Under 44)
- New England (-13) at San Francisco — 4:25 pm — CBS — (Over/Under 52)
- Green Bay at Washington (-2) — 8:30 pm — NBC– (Over/Under 50)
Nov. 21 – Monday Night Football
- Houston at Oakland (-6) — 8:30 pm — ESPN — (Over/Under 46)
Picks – Indianapolis Colts -3, LA Rams PICK, Seattle -6, Detroit -6, NY Giants -7
[Featured Image by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images]