Beating the Spread: Week 11 Picks

Our Week 11 Beat the Spread column is ready to go for your consideration as you put in your weekly bets!

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!

 

Week 11 Betting Lines
Away Home Line O/U
Jets Patriots Patriots -3.0 38.5
Eagles Colts Eagles -6.5 45.0
Rams Saints Saints -4.0 38.5
Bears Falcons Falcons -3.0 50.0
Commanders Texans Commanders -3.5 40.5
Lions Giants Giants -3.0 46.0
Panthers Ravens Ravens -12.5 43.5
Browns Bills Bills -8.5 43.0
Raiders Broncos Broncos -2.5 41.5
Bengals Steelers Bengals -4.5 41.0
Cowboys Vikings Cowboys -1.0 47.5
Chiefs Chargers Chiefs -6.5 50.0
49ers Cardinals 49ers -8.0 43.5

 

Staff Picks
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
Record 28-22 24-24-2 28-21-1

 

Analysis

 

Jake Roy

 

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

 

Brennan Rampe

 

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

The Eagles lost their first game to their divisional rival Commanders 32-21, which was a shocker. Most people thought their first loss would have been to the Titans or their second game against the Cowboys. They had multiple turnovers, barely had possession, and couldn’t stop the run game. Despite all of those things, they still had a chance to win. Philadelphia, unfortunately, lost tight end Dallas Goedert for a couple of weeks and placed him on IR. The run defense got a major upgrade as they signed defensive tackles Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh. Rookie defensive tackle Jordan Davis will return soon. They already had a talented defensive line, but it just got a lot better. The Colts won their first game under interim head coach Jeff Saturday. Matt Ryan got the start and will remain the starter, which is the right move. The Colts defeated the Raiders, which was a bit of a surprise to me. Despite being without Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller, Las Vegas should have won against a coach who had no college or NFL coaching experience. That tells you how awful of a coach Josh McDaniels is. I predict that the Eagles will make up for that disappointing loss and get the win on the road. Inside the Numbers: I’m going with my gut on this one. Nick Sirianni is the former offensive coordinator of the Colts so he has some familiarity with their personnel, and the Eagles are going to be playing angrily coming off a nationally televised loss. PHI -6.5
The Bears lost 31-30 to their divisional rival Lions. Justin Fields continues to show improvement every week. He has made progress as a passer, and he just might be more electric than Lamar Jackson when he runs. He has rushed for over 100 yards in consecutive games and they have also scored 30 points in consecutive games. However, they lost both of those games because of their defense. People expected Chicago’s defense to take a step back after trading Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith and that is exactly what happened. The Falcons started off 4-4 but have lost two straight games. Marcus Mariota had a decent start to the year but hasn’t been playing as well recently. He had a bad game against the Panthers last week. He threw one interception but he threw several passes that should have been picked. People were wondering if third-round pick Desmond Ridder would start so people could see what he can do, but that isn’t happening yet. The Bears’ defense provides the perfect opportunity for Mariota to get back on track. I don’t know who will win the game, but I think it will be a shootout. Inside the Numbers: The Bears have given up an average of 38.7 points over their last three games while the Falcons have given up 28.8 over their last four games. CHI/ATL O50.0 
The Vikings defeated the Bills 33-30 in overtime in what was immediately called the game of the year. Minnesota was trailing 27-10 but came back to win. Dalvin Cook had a long touchdown run, Patrick Peterson had two crucial interceptions, and Justin Jefferson had a career-best performance. He had the catch of the year on a 4th-and-18. It was a big win, and the Vikings have won seven straight games to improve to 8-1. The Cowboys lost in an upset to the Packers. Mike McCarthy’s return to Lambeau Field ended in disappointment as they blew a 28-14 lead in the fourth quarter and ultimately lost 31-28 in overtime. Dallas was undefeated in franchise history when leading by 14 points in the fourth quarter. The Vikings and Cowboys are two of the best teams in the NFC and they both have great offenses. This will be the third consecutive year that these two will play each other at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings lost a shootout to Andy Dalton in 2020 and then lost in a defensive game against Cooper Rush in 2021, who had his first career start. This time, they’re going up against Dak Prescott. This is going to be an intense game that should be high-scoring. I don’t know who will win, but it should be a shootout. Inside the Numbers: The Cowboys are averaging 34.7 points per game over their last three games, while the Vikings are averaging 29 points per game over their last three games. MIN/DAL O47.5
The Chiefs beat the Jaguars 27-10 to improve to 7-2. They are now the top seed in the AFC. Patrick Mahomes is playing at an MVP level without Tyreek Hill. The defense has been playing well the past two weeks without defensive end Frank Clark, who was suspended for two games. They are now getting him back just in time for their second meeting against the Chargers. Los Angeles is 5-4 somehow despite being decimated by injuries. They lost three of their defensive tackles for the year and didn’t bother to resign Linval Joseph or sign Ndamukong Suh, even though both of them were available. It’s unknown if wide receivers Keenan Allen or Mike Williams will play. Chiefs wide receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Mecole Hardman, and JuJu Smith-Schuster haven’t been practicing. Smith-Schuster suffered a concussion that looked really bad and probably won’t play. If none of them play and Mahomes just has Skyy Moore, Justin Watson, and Kadarius Toney as his top three wide receivers along with Travis Kelce, I think he could make it work. I predict that Kansas City will defeat their divisional rival for the third time in a row and cover while doing so. I also predict the Chiefs will win the AFC for the third time in four years. KC -6.5 Inside the Numbers: The Chiefs are 15-14-0 against the spread as an away favorite under Andy Reid.

Tyler Gentile

 

‘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)

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