NFL Betting Odds: Week 11 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
OK, this is officially the last time I talk about Le'Veon Bell for the 2018 NFL season.
But Bell not reporting to the Steelers by Tuesday's deadline was the biggest news of the week, meaning he will forfeit $14.5 million or so plus some benefits, etc., in hopes of cashing in even bigger next season as a free agent. It's quite the gamble by Bell and his agent as really no player on the franchise tag has done this before. Steeles players reportedly raided Bell's locker this week, taking his cleats, etc. Good riddance, basically.
However, Bovada naturally came up with a prop on Bell's future. And make no mistake, there will be plenty of teams ready to make the 27-year-old potentially the highest-paid back in NFL history, a spot currently held by Todd Gurley. Bell does everything well, other than stay out of trouble and stay healthy. He has played all 16 regular-season games just once.
The site asks what Bell's next contract will be: "over/under" four years (over -165 favorite) and O/U $64.5 million (over -130 favorite). Gurley got a four-year, $57.5 million deal ($45 million guaranteed) this past summer, and he's three years younger - and now better.
The Jets are +285 favorites to be the team with which Bell plays his first 2019 game. This makes total sense because while Isaiah Crowell is a solid back, he's far from a No. 1. Money won't be an issue for the Jets as they are likely to have some $90 million of cap space. Add Bell to Sam Darnold and perhaps a receiver with New York's high 2019 first-round pick (Ole Miss' AJ Brown!?) and now you have something.
The Raiders (+450) have a screaming need at running back because Marshawn Lynch is likely done in the NFL and Doug Martin is right behind him. Oakland probably will suck for a few years, but I'm pretty sure Bell only cares about money. He also seems to be the type of guy who would rather enjoy living in Las Vegas. Philadelphia and Tampa Bay are each +650. The Eagles were interested in trading for Bell this year, and injured Jay Ajayi is set for free agency. Tampa Bay does have rookie Ronald Jones, but he hasn't shown much. Florida has no state taxes, so I'm sure Bell would be happy about that.
If Bell were to land with the Colts (+900), that offense could be crazy-good. He spends his free time in Miami (+1600), so why not just live there? Houston (+1200) could have one of the best triplets in the league in Deshaun Watson, Bell and DeAndre Hopkins. And, yes, the Steelers (+1600) are on here, but there's a less-than-zero chance Bell is in Pittsburgh. The other two options: Baltimore (+900; he can stick it to the Steelers twice a year) and San Francisco (+900). I would probably lean the Jets right now, but if Bell cares at all about winning he should go to Houston (no state taxes in Texas, either).
Pittsburgh opened at -3.5 in Jacksonville on Sunday but is now -5.5. Here are some line moves or potential game-changing injury notes for Week 11.
Raiders at Cardinals (-5, 40.5): How can I not address this monstrosity? Arizona opened at -4. With the Giants stupidly winning in San Francisco on Monday night in the final minute, Oakland (1-8) has the clear path to the top pick in the 2019 draft if it loses out. Arizona (2-7) would currently pick fourth and stupidly beat the 49ers twice. Bovada has a prop on the Raiders asking if they lose by 14 or more points this week and next. No is -800 and yes +425. Oakland is on a five-game skid and all are by at least 14 points. That includes at the lousy 49ers two weeks ago. Next week, the Raiders visit Baltimore. Derek Carr could be really short-handed in receivers in the desert as Martavis Bryant injured his knee in Week 10 and is out, and Jordy Nelson, a mega-bust, could miss Week 11 with his own knee problem.
Eagles at Saints (-8.5, 56): This opened with New Orleans at -7 and a total of 54. I do think this is a huge overreaction by the books. Yes, the Saints looked amazing last week in Cincinnati and are on an NFL-high eight-game winning streak. Alvin Kamara has been the second-best back in the league behind Gurley. Kamara has 1,019 yards from scrimmage and 14 total TDs, behind only Gurley. Should Kamara score two TDs here, he would reach 30 career in just 26 career games. That would tie for fourth fastest to 30 in league history with Jim Brown. Bears legend Gale Sayers and Philly's Steve Van Buren hold the record of 23 games to reach 30 TDs. This should be the Saints debut of Brandon Marshall. He was signed after Dez Bryant went down to injury before ever taking the field in a game. The Eagles looked bad Sunday night in a loss to Dallas. They also lost starting cornerback Ronald Darby to a torn ACL. On the bright side, fellow CB Sidney Jones is expected to play. He hasn't since Week 6. Drew Brees could have a big day, but I'm still taking the points.
Broncos at Chargers (-7, 46.5): With how good Patrick Mahomes and Brees have been, no one has been talking about Philip Rivers winning MVP (+1600 at Bovada), but he's having a huge season. Rivers is third in QB rating (115.4), fourth in TD passes (21) and has thrown just four picks. He's not putting up massive yardage because the Chargers are running the ball well with Melvin Gordon. Rivers has thrown at least two TD passes in every game and can become the sixth QB in league history to throw at least two in each of his team's first 10. All of the previous five are or will be Hall of Famers, and four of them won MVP. The last to do it was Aaron Rodgers at 13 straight in 2011. Peyton Manning also did 13 in 2004. Both won MVP. Gordon is attempting to become only the fifth player to have six consecutive games with at least 120 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in a single season. The record is seven by former Chief Larry Johnson in 2005. The Bolts got good and bad news on defense this week. Linebacker Denzel Perryman is done for the year, but stud pass-rusher Joey Bosa has been cleared to practice and might make his season debut.
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