Defending Super Bowl champion New England regained its winning form after a bye week that followed its first loss of the year. The Patriots (9-1 SU, 7-3 ATS) went off as 4.5-point favorites at Philadelphia and notched a 17-10 victory.
Dallas rebounded from a Week 10 home loss to Minnesota, though Jason Garrett’s troops got a stern test from a Detroit outfit missing Matthew Stafford. The Cowboys (6-4 SU and ATS) claimed a 35-27 win, narrowly cashing as 7.5-point road favorites.
“We opened Patriots -6.5 and are still there, despite taking a bet of $53,500 on New England already,” Murray said. “This will be one of the highest-handle games of the year to date.”
Like New England, San Francisco rebounded from its first setback of the season, though Jimmy Garoppolo and Co. got a fight from Arizona. The 49ers (9-1 SU, 5-4-1 ATS) won 36-26, returning a fumble for a touchdown on the game’s last play to push as 10-point home favorites.
Green Bay is coming off its bye week with an 8-2 SU mark, and it’s tied for the league lead at 7-3 ATS. In Week 9, the Packers topped Carolina 24-16 laying 5 points at home.
“The Sunday night game will also be a huge-handle game,” Murray said. “I’m expecting a lot of public support for the ‘dog. The 49ers are very banged up, and the Packers are coming in off their bye. I could see this number drifting closer to pick.”
Indeed, shortly after opening the Niners -4, the line tightened to 49ers -3 (even).
Indianapolis lost starting quarterback Andrew Luck to a surprise retirement two weeks before the season began. Yet through 11 weeks, the Colts (6-4 SU, 5-4-1 ATS) are tied atop the AFC South after rolling over Jacksonville 33-13 as 2.5-point home faves Sunday.
Houston gave up sole possession of first in the division with a dud of a Week 11 performance. The Texans (6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS) mustered only one score – a fourth-quarter TD after trailing 34-0 – in a 41-7 loss at Baltimore catching 4 points.
This battle for the division lead kicks off Week 12, as it's the Thursday night game.
“Our look-ahead line was Texans -5.5, but that was before the Texans got crushed by the Ravens and the Colts put together an impressive win over the Jaguars,” Murray said. “Houston has struggled in this home-favorite role in recent seasons.”
Drew Brees missed five games for New Orleans, but his team still owns a three-game lead in the NFC South. In Week 11, Brees and the Saints (8-2 SU, 7-3 ATS) dumped Tampa Bay 34-17 giving 5 points on the road.
Carolina made a 5-1 SU and ATS run to start turning heads, then dropped two in a row SU and ATS. The Panthers (5-5 SU and ATS) were 3.5-point home favorites Sunday against Atlanta and came up with a mere fourth-quarter field goal in a 29-3 beatdown.
“We opened Saints -9 and quickly moved up to -9.5,” Murray said. “New Orleans will be a very popular public side included in many parlays and moneyline parlays.”
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.