Welcome back to another week of Beating the Spread. As always, I’m Jake Roy and I’m joined by Brennan Rampe and Tyler Gentile. We’ll be here every Friday throughout the season, posting our picks along with some analysis.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to toot my own horn and point out the fact that I had the first perfect week of the season, hitting on all five of my picks. Tyler still leads thanks to a push though, and Brennan isn’t far behind at all. We’re getting into the thick of the season where teams are starting to make their final push to the playoffs and we make our push to finish the season above that -110 break-even mark.
You can play along in the comments or find us on Twitter (@Jake3Roy, @808Paperboi, @phdinnfl). Assuming -110 odds we need about 53% to break even, let’s see if we can hit that magic number for the season and come out with some profit. So, without further ado, here are the lines we’ll use for Week 11!
|Jake Roy (@Jake3Roy)||Brennan Rampe (@Phdinnfl)||Tyler Gentile (@808PaperBoi)|
|Pick #1||Colts +6.5||Patriots -3.0||Panthers +12.5|
|Pick #2||Eagles/Colts under 45.0||Eagles -6.5||Jets/Patriots under 38.5|
|Pick #3||Raiders/Broncos under 41.5||Bears/Falcons over 50.0||Raiders/Broncos under 41.5|
|Pick #4||Cowboys/Vikings over 47.5||Cowboys/Vikings over 47.5||Cowboys -1.0|
|Pick #5||Lions/Giants over 46.0||Chiefs -6.5||Chiefs/Chargers over 50.0|
Has the shine fallen off the Philadelphia Eagles? After a crushing loss on Monday night to the Washington Commanders, the Eagles travel to Indianapolis to face Jeff Saturday’s newly inherited Colts. While the Colts have been a bit of a circus this season, they are coming off a win in Saturday’s first game as head coach. Jonathan Taylor looked to be the Jonathan Taylor of old, Matt Ryan returned to the field to show off his wheels, and the Indy defense got stops when they needed to. The Eagles are banged up on defense, losing defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulto, a blow to the defensive line already missing Jordan Davis. I still think the Eagles win this game, but I think the Colts will have enough success on the ground to keep this one close and cover the 6.5. Ideally, I’d bet this at 7.0, but that’s not an option here. IND +6.5
On top of the reasons listed above, the Eagles are also down Dallas Goedert on offense. He injured his shoulder on Monday night which landed him on IR, keeping him out for the next several weeks. As someone with a history of shoulder injuries (one, 2019), I know that the entire team is likely to be less energetic going forward. The Colts, for all their struggles, have managed to stop the run this season. Jason Kelce was also banged up on Monday, he didn’t practice on Tuesday and is questionable for the weekend. If the Colts can stop the Eagles’ explosive passing game, this could turn into a real rock fight. PHI/IND U45.0
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Broncos continue to be inept on offense, scoring just over 14 points per game, last in the NFL. They lost K.J. Hamler on Sunday, and are likely to be without Jerry Jeudy, who suffered an ankle injury. They’re already struggling to move the ball, losing pass catchers won’t help. The defense remains solid, led by lockdown corner Patrick Surtain. Surtain will likely square off with Davante Adams all afternoon this week, the Raiders’ only real threat through the air without Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow available. Josh McDaniels will likely lean on the run game on Sunday, knowing he probably only needs 17 to 20 points to win this one. DEN/LV U41.5
Every game the Vikings play is somehow on crack. They have a knack for playing to the competition and pulling out a win. Say what you want about them being “frauds”, good teams find ways to win games, and the Vikings are winning games. Now, they square off against the Dallas Cowboys who need a win to stay in the NFC East Division race. Without breaking down any of the matchups, I can only assume that watching this game will be like doing drugs of some sort. The Vikings haven’t been great against the pass, but as I said, they find ways to stay in games. The ball will likely be flying up and down the field in Minnesota on Sunday until the Vikings somehow pull out yet another win, maybe even in overtime. DAL/MIN O47.5
Lastly, we have another team in the NFC North that likes to play entertaining football. The Detroit Lions love to put on a show. It’s not going to win an Emmy, but you might tell your friends to watch it because you enjoyed it enough. Your friends will probably question you and you’ll say something like “You gotta stay with it, it really picks up after the first few episodes”. Before you know it, you’re watching Dan Campbell crying in the locker room because somehow, Jared Goff threw the ball 57 times, scored 42 points, and the team still lost by four. I lost the TV show analogy somewhere along the way, but the point is, the Lions don’t play defense. They’re incapable of stopping the run. They also don’t really stop the pass. The Giants have Saquon Barkley. There’s a very real chance he scores several touchdowns. Just bet the over. DET/NYG O46.0
Both the Patriots and Jets were on their bye week, and they are going to meet for the second time this season in this important AFC East matchup. They met for the first time in Week 8 and New England won 22-17. Jet’s quarterback Zach Wilson threw three interceptions and it seems like he has no idea how to take care of the football when he goes up against Bill Belichick’s defense. Mac Jones did just enough to win. This Patriots team leans on the running game and their defense as they have a mediocre offense. They have won 13 straight games against the Jets, which is just crazy. I predict they will use the approach that has led them to wins this season, which is the running game and defense combination. Zach Wilson is likely to commit some turnovers, which should give New England opportunities to score points. They will probably end up winning 14 games in a row against their divisional rival. Inside the Numbers: The Patriots are 9-6-0 against the spread as a home favorite under Bill Belichick since 2020. NE -3.0
‘Twas a tough week 10, and week 11 looks even tougher in my eyes, but let’s get back on the winning side of things.
Oh god. Am I really doing this? Preaching the quire to take the freakin’ Carolina Panthers?! I guess so. It’s +13 in most places now…Truthfully there’s no statistical edge/breakdown to be given here other than no NFL team should be favored this heavily. Just look at what happened in that Eagles/Texans game (-13.5). An underdog cover! The dogs keep barking this year with a 58% hit rate. Dogs of 3 or more points are hitting at a 65% clip. The one good thing to say about Baker Mayfield starting is that he is familiar with the Ravens’ defense. Carolina’s defense isn’t all that bad either, allowing the t13th fewest yards per play, and there’s still a chance that Mark Andrews doesn’t suit up. The Panthers aren’t great by any means, but 13 is simply too many points for the Ravens to cover. If it were the Chiefs or Bills at full strength I’d say that sounds right, but I feel like this line should be closer to 10. Keep on barking dawgs! CAR +12.5
“I woke up feeling dangerous,” Baker Mayfield. How about another wild number to wager on with the lowest total on the board this week? The equation goes like this: two incapable quarterbacks + two elite defenses = no points allowed. I was in AP statistics my senior year of high school by the way. Got a C-. No big deal.
I don’t think I need to dive too deep into how bad Zach Wilson is, but it’s worth noting that Mac Jones is right there with him this year in terms of EPA per play. Maybe coming out of the bye will do these QBs some justice, or maybe the 3rd (NE) and 6th (NYJ) ranked defenses according to Football Outsiders DVOA continue to feast. Hold your nose and pray for no defensive TDs. b
You thought this card couldn’t get any stinkier? Think again because I’m here to talk about a game between the Broncos and Raiders. As Nathanial Hackett said, “Somebody’s gotta win this game,” so I hope it ends in a tie of 15-15. In all seriousness, the Broncos are the perfect under team as I have referred to time and time again in Beat the Spread. Their 8-1 under record is the best in the league thanks to that defense allowing the fewest yards per play, with the best red zone defense, ranking fourth in DVOA. It has been a historically good defense and if Russell Wilson and co. were able to score 18 points a game (in regulation) they would be 8-1. 8-1!!! What a joke. I refuse to talk about how bad this offense has been anymore, but it’s worth noting they are incredibly banged up now on the offensive line and pass-catching department. So, for as bad as the Raiders’ defense is, last in DVOA allowing the third most yards per play, they should be able to hold the Broncos’ offense in check. For the record, I do think the Broncos cover against this trash Raiders team who lost to Ted Lasso and the Colts last week. 16-13 final score prediction. LV/DEN U41.5
Alright, I’ve had enough of writing up wagers for bad games. Let’s dive into what should be the best game of the week. The luck has to run out for the Vikings eventually, right? They’re 6-0 in one-score games, have had an easy run with their scheduling, and if that Allen fumble/Jefferson catch doesn’t happen last week how is everyone viewing Minnesota? I’m sure the public is confused about how Dallas is a road favorite to the 8-1 Vikings after losing to the Packers, but the stats back it all up. For starters, Minnesota’s defense is not very good. They’re 19th in DVOA and have allowed the 3rd most yards per play. Look at who they’ve had to deal with too. Bills (LUCKY WIN) and Eagles aside, no one on their winning resume is a threat for the Super Bowl. They faced the Dolphins with Skylar Thompson starting. How convenient! The Cowboys are eighth in yards per play over their last three games since Dak returned to the field, and he traditionally plays better indoors.
When it comes to the Minnesota offense, they are 17th in DVOA, t16th in yards per play, and are going up against the second-best defense allowing the 6th fewest yards per play. Kirk Cousins has always folded under pressure in his career, and the Dallas line (second-highest pressure rate) should have him flustered all game. It’ll be mighty interesting to see who comes out on top of the NFC this year. I’m hoping it’s the 49ers who hit their stride come playoff time and cash a 5/1 ticket I punched last week… DAL -1.0
Let’s wrap it all up with the other banger of a game we got on SNF between two of the top offenses in the league. The offensive fireworks come out when these AFC West rivals meet. Since 2020 with Justin Herbert in the picture, they have met on five occasions. Those games have averaged 54 points per meeting with the total going over this mark in five of the six games. Neither of these defenses will be changing this trend either. The Chargers are 20th in DVOA allowing the sixth most yards per play, while the Chiefs are 22nd in DVOA. The Chargers should also get a couple of their biggest playmakers back in Mike Williams and Keenan Allen as well. This should be a back-and-forth battle as it usually is between these teams. KC/LAC O50.0
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)