November 14, 2019
For the gambling degenerates, here are my Week 11 NFL picks. To note, the team logos indicate who I think will win the game, not cover the spread. At the end of the picks, I'll note a few teams that I like based on the spread.
Steelers at Browns (-3): This Thursday "road trip" isn't much of a disadvantage for the Steelers, seeing as they haven't played a road game since Week 6, and it's only about a two-hour drive from Pittsburgh to Cleveland. As far as this (Browns -3) line goes, that's an indication that Vegas believes these two teams are equal. I'm not sure how anyone can look at the way the Steelers and Browns have played recently and see it that way. The Steelers' defense is playing at a very high level, and the Browns' bad offensive line is going to struggle blocking their pass rush.
Texans at Ravens (-4): Fun early game between Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson. This is a tough matchup for the Ravens, as the Texans do a very good job stopping the run, but I think they get it done at home.
Falcons at Panthers (-4.5): Now that I've gotten a decent enough look at Kyle Allen, I've landed on him becoming a good NFL backup, but the idea that he has taken Cam Newton's job, assuming Newton can come back healthy, is laughable. Anyway, the Panthers' "already over but let's pretend it's not" season should continue with a win over Atlanta.
Cowboys (-4.5) at Lions: A look at the Cowboys' losses this season:
Could they lose to the Lions without Matthew Stafford, if he doesn't play? Nah, probably not.
Jaguars at Colts (-3): I kinda feel like Nick Foles typically needs a game or two to get revved up whenever he has gone on hot streaks throughout his career. Meanwhile, Jacoby Brissett should be back for the Colts.
Bills (-5.5) at Dolphins: The Dolphins are winning their way right out of a franchise quarterback, while the Bills are losing their way out of a playoff berth. Buffalo's playoff odds will drop substantially if they lose this game. They must take care of business in Miami, and they should.
Broncos at Vikings (-10.5): I liked the idea of taking 10.5 points here, until I realized that the Vikings are 4-0 at home this year, with each margin of victory being at least 10 points:
I'll just stay away.
Saints (-5.5) at Buccaneers: After losing at home to the then 1-7 Falcons, this is an interesting follow-up "Are the Saints actually good" game.
Jets at Washington (-1.5): How exactly is Washington favored over anybody? At least the Jets have looked somewhat competent on occasion this season when Sam Darnold has played.
Cardinals at 49ers (-11.5): The Cardinals put a little bit of a scare into the Niners Week 9, when San Fran was able to hold on for a three-point win. I like the Cards' chances of at least keeping this game within two scores.
Patri*ts (-3.5) at Eagles: When the line for this game first came out, I was very surprised that it was only 3.5 points. Once I dug into the Patri*ts a bit, however, I came away far less impressed than I would have imagined for a team with a +172 point differential. They are obviously very good, but they are decidedly not some kind of juggernaut. There are holes.
The Eagles, in my view, have a significant advantage in the trenches on both sides of the ball, so I don't see this matchup becoming a blowout, like so many of the Patri*ts' other games this season. If the Birds can get their ground game going against the Patri*ts' suspect run defense, they can shorten the game, and help keep it out of the hands of their abysmal receiving corps.
Ultimately, it's going to be difficult for the Eagles to score points, especially if Alshon Jeffery (ankle) is out. Even if Jeffery hasn't been good this season, he at least might draw the assignment of Stephon Gilmore. Without Jeffery, or even if Jeffery plays but isn't 100 percent, the Pats will/should just deploy Gilmore elsewhere, perhaps on Zach Ertz.
I see a low scoring game, with the Patri*ts handing the Eagles a frustrating loss. The guess here is that T*m Brady won't skulk off the field without shaking hands like a crybaby this time, if so.
Bengals at Raiders (-10.5): With the Jets, Falcons, and Dolphins all winning on Sunday, the only team left within one game of the Bengals for the No. 1 overall pick is Washington.
Bears at Rams (-6.5): The Rams' offensive tackles are an absolute mess right now, and they're going to have a hell of a time dealing with Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd. I'll take the Rams to win, I guess, because the Bears' offense is just so bad, but I'll take those 6.5 points all day.
Chiefs (-3.5) at Chargers: When the schedule came out, the Monday Night Football folks probably did not expect these teams to have a combined 10-10 record heading into this matchup.
BYES: Packers, Titans, Giants, Seahawks.
There are three this week.
Easy calls this week. The panthers, jaguars, and bears would all easily handle their adversaries.
This survivor pool section will no longer appear going forward. It's been real.
• Picks against the spread: Steelers (+3), Jets (+1.5), Cardinals (+11.5), Bears (+6.5).
• Eagles picks: 4-5
• 2019 season, straight up: 81-67-1 (0.547) -- I went 3-10 last week, lol.
• 2019 season, ATS: 26-21-1 (0.552)
• 2018 season, straight up: 173-94-2 (0.647)
• 2018 season, ATS: 41-36-2 (0.532)
• 2017 season, straight up: 181-86 (0.678)
• 2017 season, ATS: 36-32-2 (0.529)
• 2016 season, straight up: 171-94-2 (0.644)
• 2016 season, ATS: 41-34 (0.547)
• 2015 season, straight up: 163-93 (0.637)
• 2015 season, ATS: 46-30-2 (0.605)
• Last 5 years, ATS: 190-153-6 (0.553)
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