With more upsets taking place in Week 10, I think it’s safe to say we have no idea how the rest of the season is going to pan out! In a way, though, it’s that the fun of it all?
Today, let’s take a look at the Week 11 slate. Every week, I’ll be providing my projections on the outcome of each game, and then contextualizing what to do with that information: best bets, teasers, parlays, survivor picks, and much more!
These projections started with me using projected PFF grades to decipher the true talent of every team. From there, I utilized those projections to establish each team’s offense and defense rank, which allowed me to derive how talented each team is compared to the average team with a neutral field; as the season goes, I’ll be analyzing PFF data and other key metrics to continue to update each team’s offense and defense ranking. Adding in an adjustment for home field, and, what do you know, each game had a projection! The combination of the foundation of it starting objectively, and then the mixture of subjective analysis to make it less of a “blind” projection, will hopefully lead us to where we want to go. You can consider these, based on the subjective touch, predictions instead of pure projections, but, hey, it gets us in the same place!
Enough rambling; it’s time to get to the point of this article! Let’s completely preview Week 11 from a betting perspective!
All Stats via Pro Football Focus
Week 11 Personal Projections
BAL (-4.5) at CHI
We talked about the amount of upsets there have been in the introduction, and the Ravens aren’t an exception. Their 22-10 loss on Thursday Night Football to the Dolphins last week caught the football world by surprise, and they’ll be looking to respond in Chicago this week. In my opinion, I’m expecting a major rebound from them this week.
Despite last week’s poor performance, Lamar Jackson is still averaging a career-high 7.9 yards/pass attempt this season, in addition to being one of the league’s most dynamic rushing threats. The Ravens, despite having the fourth-worst third-down percentage, still rank 8th in yards/play, which is quite impressive; as the third-down luck regresses positively, the offense should be even more effective. It also helps that they’ll be facing the Bears, who no longer have the elite defense they once had. This season, they have the sixth-worst PFF coverage grade, and the third-worst PFF defense grade overall.
I’m a major fan of Justin Fields’ future in the NFL, but I think it’s safe to say the Ravens have a massive advantage here offensively. Plus, do you really expect one of the league’s better teams, with a sharp coaching staff, to not come out with a response after a very disappointing loss in primetime? The coaching mismatch and offensive mismatch lean with Baltimore, and they should be at least a touchdown favorite here.
BAL at CHI (Over 45)
You thought we were done with this game, didn’t you?
We’ve already talked about Baltimore’s offensive advantage over the Bears’ lackluster defense, and that should lead to a lot of points scored. However, the Bears are in a position to build on their recent offensive success. Here are Justin Fields’ PFF grades per week:
Week 3: 46.8
Week 4: 75.5
Week 5: 51.3
Week 6: 60.7
Week 7: 36.5
Week 8: 76.7
Week 9: 90.5
We can see a clear progression here over the past two weeks, and that came against two strong defenses in the 49ers and Steelers. Is it a coincidence that Chicago has scored a combined 49 points in that span? I don’t think so. Although they have a reputation as an elite defense, the Ravens rank 30th in yards/play, and are suffering from several injuries on the defensive side of the ball. It also helps that Baltimore is a bottom-ten team in sack rate, which has been Fields’ biggest issue this year.
Both of these defenses rank 21st or worst in yards/play, and don’t rate out well when it comes to the underlying metrics here. Additionally, both of these offenses rely on explosive plays, so it helps that both defenses rank in the bottom-ten in explosive play rate allowed. With the amount of chunk plays that should come from this game, a total of just 45 points seems remarkably low. It’s time to see Fields in a new light, and acknowledge that last week was likely a fluke for the Ravens. Take the “over” here, and don’t look back!
SF (-0.5) at JAX
BUF (-1) vs IND
When you can tease two notable favorites to essentially a pick-em, you have to do it. The 49ers rank in the top-ten in both yards/play and yards/play allowed, and should take care of business against a dysfunctional Jaguars team. Meanwhile, Carson Wentz is PFF’s 22nd graded quarterback among 29 qualifiers, and the mismatch between him and Josh Allen is substantial. I’ll side with Buffalo, who has the significantly more explosive passing attack, here.
Parlay (Four Games and Eight Games)
BAL (-5.5) at CHI
BAL at CHI (Over 45)
LAC (-5.5) vs PIT
ATL (+6.5) vs NE
TB (-11) vs NYG
ARI/SEA (Over 48.5)
MIA/NYJ (Under 45)
NE at ATL (Under 47.5)
I’m forcing myself to deliver an eight-game parlay, which is a worse option than the four-game parlay this week. There’s a lot to leverage from the Bears/Ravens game, and I was really close to making the Chargers a “best bet” of the week. Why? The significant quarterback mismatch between Justin Herbert and Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh will likely be without star defensive players Minkah Fitzpatrick and TJ Watt, so expect the Chargers offense to dominate on Sunday Night Football. Meanwhile, seven points seems like an overreaction for the way the Falcons and Patriots played in Week 10, and we should fully expect a rebound from Tom Brady and the Bucs on Monday Night Football. I’m also a major fan of the under in the Dolphins/Jets game between two of the worst offenses in the NFL, while 49 points is too little for Cardinals/Seahawks if Kyler Murray is healthy.
TB vs NYG
CLE vs DET
The Bucs and the Browns are the only two double-digit favorites of the week. This is the Bucs’ easiest matchup left, making this the time to use them if you haven’t already. If you have, look towards the Browns, who have a difficult remaining schedule, and might be facing Tim Boyle this week. Either way, you have two great options here
Parting Bold Predictions
Lamar Jackson and Justin Fields Combine For 50+ Fantasy Points
Lamar Jackson Scores Five Touchdowns
The Chargers Beat The Steelers By Three+ Scores
Remember, these are BOLD predictions! All of these align with my previous betting picks, but allow us to get a bit spicy here. Enjoy an exciting week of football, and please remember to bet responsibly!
Photos by: William Howard & Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx on Twitter)