November 18, 2021
For the gambling enthusiasts, 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 — with all Week 11 lines coming via Sidelines.io.
Patri*ts (-6.5) at Falcons: After getting out to a 2-4 start, the Patri*ts have outscored their opponents 150-50 in their last four games, all wins. They're also undefeated on the road this season. The Titans aside, the Patri*ts are maybe the hottest team in the NFL right now. I'm curious what new innovative cheating initiatives they've concocted.
Saints at Eagles (-1.5): This is a matchup of strength on strength, as the Eagles' red hot rushing attack will face the No. 1 rush defense in the NFL.
As we noted in our five matchups to watch, in the Eagles' win over the Saints in 2020, which also happened to be Jalen Hurts' first career start, the Eagles racked up 246 yards and 2 TDs on 36 carries (6.8 yards per carry) against a Saints run defense that finished fourth in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (93.9) and rushing yards allowed per attempt (3.9). Strip out that one bad performance against the Eagles last season, and the Saints would have finished second in rushing yards allowed per game (83.7) and first in yards per rushing attempt (3.5).
In taking a look at the Saints' schedule over the last two seasons, the only other teams that they have faced that employed quarterbacks considered to be running threats were the Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs (Week 15, 2020) and the Daniel Jones-led Giants (Week 4, 2021). They lost both of those games, like they did against the Hurts-led Eagles. In those three games against Mahomes, Jones, and Hurts, the Saints allowed an average of 169.3 rushing yards per game on 5.2 yards per carry. Will the Eagles rack up over 200 yards on the ground against this Saints defense again? No, probably not, but I do think they can run the ball effectively.
On the other side of the ball, this is not the explosive Saints offense you remember. They're led by JAG backup Trevor Siemian, whose top three wide receivers are Deonte Harris, Marquez Callaway, and Tre'Quan Smith.
The Eagles have the better team in this matchup, and should pick up their first home win of the season.
Colts at Bills (-7): Jonathan Taylor has been on an absolute tear for the Colts, and is by far the biggest reason for the Colts' recent success on offense. The Bills' defense ranks third both in rushing yards allowed per game (83.9) and rushing yards per carry allowed (3.8) this season, which makes them better equipped to slow Taylor down than other recent Colts opponents.
Texans at Titans (-10): When a team with the best record in the NFL is playing a 1-8 team that looks like it might be the worst in the NFL, the line is usually higher than 10 points. I'll just stay away.
Ravens (-5) at Bears: I'll take the sometimes good team over the bad team. #Analysis.
Lions at Browns (-11): Lol.
Poor Lions fans.
Packers (-2.5) at Vikings: One of the quarterbacks in this matchup suggested encasing himself in glass during positional meetings to circumvent COVID protocols for unvaccinated players.
The other thinks Joe Rogan is more knowledgeable than the world's smartest scientists and doctors. Maybe quarterbacks just aren't that smart?
Anyway, as we noted in the hierarchy this week, in their last three games, Green Bay has allowed 34 points total to Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes, and Russell Wilson. Those three quarterbacks were a combined 62 of 110 for 601 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs, and a 59.7 QB rating.
On the flipside, the Packer offense hasn't exactly been lighting up the scoreboard. They're 19th in the NFL with just 21.6 points per game, and they're averaging 18.8 points per game on the road.
The Vikings are my sleeper team this season, and I'll take them outright in the Personal Choice Bowl.
Dolphins (-3) at Jets: The Dolphins blitzed the crap out of Lamar Jackson last Thursday night in an upset win over the Baltimore Ravens. If you like defensive football, that was a fun game to watch. The Dolphins are nearly certain to dial up blitzes early and often on Sunday against Joe Flacco, who will start over the benched Mike White and the injured Zach Wilson.
Flacco faced Miami last season, and the Dolphins brought heat all day. The result was a Flacco performance that was probably the worst I saw from a quarterback all season in 2020. If Miami D/ST is available in your fantasy football league, pick 'em up.
Football Team at Panthers (-3.5): After a horrendous start to the season, the Football Team defense has played better in recent weeks. Their last three games:
I like the Football Team to win, and sure, I'll take some points.
49ers (-6.5) at Jaguars: The Niners are a fraud team, their win over the Rams Monday night was a fluke, and I'm calling their bluff. Take them in your survivor pool at your own peril.
Bengals (-1) at Raiders: After a loss to the trash Giants and a blowout home loss to the Chiefs, it feels like the off-field mess surrounding the Raiders has finally caught up. The Bengals haven't exactly played well lately either, but they're coming off a bye and had some time to make corrections.
Cowboys at Chiefs (-2.5): This is the marquee matchup on the NFL schedule, at least from a fan interest perspective. There's a belief that the Chiefs are back to their old dominant selves after a 41-14 blowout win over an extremely distracted Raiders team last Sunday. I'm going to need to see more than that to buy that the Chiefs are once again the elite force they've been the last couple of years.
The reality is that the Cowboys — one oddball game against the Broncos aside — have been the much more consistent team this season. If you're a Cowboys-hating Eagles fan, take the 2.5 points and if the Cowboys lose, then hey, at least the Cowboys lost.
Cardinals (-2) at Seahawks: This is a sneaky important game in the NFC. The Seahawks have made the playoffs in eight of the last nine years, but they're 3-6 (1-4 against NFC opponents), and their hopes for wildcard contention are hanging on by a thread. Another NFC loss and we're probably writing Seattle's obituary. It's a true "must win game" for them.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals have Super Bowl aspirations, and they have lost two of their last three games. They pretty badly need a win to hold serve over the Packers, Cowboys, Rams, and Buccaneers in the race for that ever-important 1 seed (and first-round bye).
The Cardinals are just better, and they'll very likely be getting Kyler Murray back. I feel like this line would be higher if that were a sure thing, so a bet here early in the week is a bet on Murray's return.
Steelers at Chargers (-5.5): The Chargers feel a little overrated to me, but I just can't trust any team led by Mason Rudolph.
Giants at Buccaneers (-10.5): If the Eagles hadn't tanked their Week 17 game last year against the Washington Football Team and won, thus giving the Giants an NFC East crown with a 6-10 record, the Giants would have faced the Buccaneers in the first round of the playoffs.
Yeah, the playoff game would have been in New Jersey if that had happened, but just for fun we'll still be pretending that this is that alternate universe game, right?
Byes: Broncos, Rams.
Week 1: Rams ✔
Week 2: Buccaneers ✔
Week 3: Broncos ✔
Week 4: Bills ✔
Week 5: Patri*ts ✔
Week 6: Colts ✔
Week 7: Cardinals ✔
Week 8: Bengals 💀
• Last 7 years, ATS: 274-230-13 (0.543)
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