Beating the Spread: Week 11 Picks

A hearty thanks to my colleagues for covering this column while I was away. A quick look at the records in my absence and I think they may want me back on the road. The QB List team has been enjoying a bit of a hot streak. Through the first five weeks of picks, the gentlemen combined for a 39-36 record. A winning record, yes, but not enough to stay ahead of the vig. Over the last five weeks, the crew has compiled a combined 47-27-1 record. That’ll play in any format.

Can we keep this hot streak going? Let’s find out together as we dive into another week of beating the spread.

The following lines were captured on Tuesday. Betting lines can vary by site and move throughout the week so check yours to make sure that you have similar information.

Week 11 betting lines:

Away Team Home Team Line O/U
Pittsburgh Cleveland CLE -2.5 40
Dallas Detroit DAL -4.5 49
Jacksonville Indianapolis IND -3 44
Buffalo Miami BUF -5.5 40
Denver Minnesota MIN -10.5 39
New Orleans Tampa Bay NO -5.5 50.5
NY Jets Washington WAS -1 38
Atlanta Carolina CAR -5.5 50.5
Houston Baltimore BAL -4 50
Arizona San Francisco SF -11.5 46
Cincinnati Oakland OAK -10.5 48.5
New England Philadelphia NE -3.5 44.5
Chicago LA Rams LAR -7 41.5
Kansas City LA Chargers KC -3.5 52.5


Staff Picks

Analyst Jeff Berckes Erik Smith Tom Schweitzer
Pick #1 DAL -4.5 ARI +11.5 TB +5.5
Pick #2 CHI +7 KC -3.5 BUF -5.5
Pick #3 NE -3.5 BAL -4 BAL -4
Pick #4 NO-TB over 50.5 CHI-LAR under 41.5 ARI +11.5
Pick #5 BAL -4 DAL -4.5 NE -3.5
2019 Record 31-19 28-21-1 27-23

Analysis:

 

Jeff Berckes: Dallas on the road in Detroit would have given me pause if I felt confident in the health of Matthew Stafford. However, with Stafford’s 2019 in doubt and Dak Prescott on the cusp of the MVP conversation, I like Dallas to take care of business on the road. If they allow Prescott to control the game (and not force-feed Zeke), I think Dallas covers easily (DAL -4.5). I’ve avoided betting the Bears in this column for weeks as this season has obviously not gone according to plan, but I simply can’t help myself getting a full TD against the Rams on the road. The Matt Nagy era has seen only one blowout over his first two seasons and with Jared Goff struggling and the Bears defense still playing at a high level, I think they can at least keep it competitive (CHI +7). Both the Eagles and Patriots are coming out of their bye week and the last two times these teams squared off, the Eagles beat the Pats to win the Super Bowl. New England is in the driver’s seat for the #1 seed in the AFC while the Eagles are battling with the Cowboys for NFC East supremacy. It’s definitely one of the must-watch games of the week for me. Give me Belichick with the extra week as a bigger advantage (NE -3.5). I know the Saints offense laid an egg last week, but I can’t imagine that happening twice in a row. When the Saints hosted the Bucs a month ago, the two combined for 55. Since Week 3, Bucs games have a combined score of 63, 95, 55 (Saints), 63, 50, 74, and 57. Points, points, points (NO-TB over 50.5). Finally, I’ve got to pick a side in the game of the week – Ravens v Texans. I’m really excited about this one and sad that NBC didn’t flex it into the Sunday Night Football spot. The Ravens are absolutely on a roll right now after a big win against the Patriots and dismantling the Bengals last week. I have no doubt the Texans can hang close for a while, but with the Ravens at home, I think they’re able to put it away late (BAL -4).

 

Erik Smith: I expect a bit of a hangover from the 49ers after a physical, tough overtime loss against the Seahawks. They will be without offensive tackle Joe Staley, and potentially missing George Kittle, Emmanuel Sanders, and Matt Breida as well. This is too big of a spread for a divisional game, so I’ll take ARI +11.5. On a neutral field in Mexico, I like the Chiefs to get things back on track against the Chargers. Philip Rivers has really struggled as of late, and Patrick Mahomes looked all the way back from injury in last week’s funky loss to the Titans. I don’t see it happening again, so give me KC -3.5. The Ravens secondary is coming together, and Lamar Jackson is red hot. I don’t love the Texans’ offensive gameplan right now, as they have been a short passing offense that has focused on the tight ends and running backs. BAL -4 is the pick, as Lamar keeps his MVP campaign rolling. I feel like seven points are too many for this struggling Rams offense right now, but I’m too afraid to put even a $0 bet on the shoulders of Mitchell Trubisky. So I’ll take the next best thing, the under (41.5). Sit back, relax, and watch Jared Goff and Trubisky trade three and outs. Finally, it may be cheating to take the Cowboys here, as Matthew Stafford looks unlikely to play and the line has already moved to six. But we locked in the lines earlier in the week, and frankly, I would take the Cowboys favored by six as well. This matchup sets up perfectly for Ezekiel Elliott, and Dak Prescott has been hot. DAL -4.5 is my final pick of the week.

 

Tom Schweitzer: Everyone expects the Saints to rebound after their surprising loss to the Falcons, but I don’t think they’re that kind of team. Their struggles against Atlanta were more due to the offense being out of rhythm than a lack of motivation, and I think we could see their struggles continue. The Buccaneers (+5.5) continue to be a tough out that plays close games, so I’ll take them to cover. I’m going against the Dolphins for the 2nd week in a row, despite getting burned last week. Miami only managed to gain 229 yards on offense and benefited from some awful decisions by Brian Hoyer. If Josh Allen can play a decent game and limit turnovers, I think the Bills (-5.5) will cover pretty easily. The Ravens (-4) are playing like the best team in football right now and you’re getting them at a pretty cheap price this week. They’re better than the Texans on both sides of the ball, so don’t overthink it. The Cardinals (+11.5) nearly beat the 49ers when they played two weeks ago, and now the 49ers are expected to be without George Kittle and Emmanuel Sanders. The Cards seem to improve incrementally every week, and I think they can take another step forward here. I haven’t been impressed with the Eagles at all this year. With the Patriots coming off a bye, having had two weeks to think about their loss to the Ravens and a year and a half to think about their loss to the Eagles in the Super Bowl, I think the Patriots (-3.5) will deliver a beatdown.

 


 

What are your favorite picks of the week? Put in your comments below to play along. We’ll be updating our records all season!

 

Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Jeff Berckes

In addition to writing fantasy football content for QB List, I write Bears stuff for Windy City Gridiron and co-host the podcast Bears Over Beers. Follow me on Twitter @gridironborn

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