NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Vikings, Ravens, Saints, Bengals, More Spreads and Bets For Week 11
Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via Getty Images. Pictured: Dalvin Cook
NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions
I’ll be picking five NFL sides each week of the season for DraftKings‘ Pro Football Millionaire Pick’Em contest. Note that the spreads for this contest lock on Wednesdays, so some will be stale by the time you read this and thus not readily available outside of the contest. But you can check real-time NFL odds here.
I’ll also outline the rest of my betting card for the week below (click here to skip ahead).
NFL ATS Picks For Week 11
Here were the five sides for this week’s pick’em contest entry:
- Saints +1.5: 1 p.m. ET
- Vikings +2.5: 1 p.m. ET
- WFT +3.5: 1 p.m. ET
- Ravens -6.5: 1 p.m. ET
- Bengals -0.5: 4:05 p.m. ET
1. Saints +1.5 at Eagles
This is a bad matchup for the Eagles, who have built an identity around running the ball.
Over the past three weeks, they have the highest run-pass ratio in the NFL, running the ball on 58% of plays. They’ve found success with that rate against the Lions, Chargers and Broncos, but it’s worth noting those teams are ranked 29th, 32nd and 24th in Football Outsiders’ rush defense DVOA. The Saints, by comparison, are first in rush defense DVOA, giving up just 3.9 yards per carry with a 32.5% rushing success rate.
Don’t expect Boston Scott and Jordan Howard to run wild on Sunday.
This Eagles defense has gotten lit up by top-tier quarterbacks in Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Derek Carr and Justin Herbert while slowing down the likes of Teddy Bridgewater, Matt Ryan, Jared Goff and Jimmy Garoppolo. Although that might make one inclined to fade Trevor Siemian, there’s good reason not to.
The Saints run a similar offense as the Eagles, with a focus on running the ball while limiting mistakes from Siemian. Well, the Eagles’ defense is just 20th in rush DVOA and 24th in Rushing Success Rate (43.1%), which should allow plenty of opportunities for the Saints to find success with Mark Ingram.
If Siemian can play mistake-free football, he’s more than capable of getting the Saints a win. My model thinks the wrong team is favored, plus the Eagles are 0-4 at home this season. There’s no reason to fix what isn’t broken.
2. Vikings +2.5 vs. Packers
During last week’s broadcast, commentators noted that the Vikings are the only NFL team to have a lead of at least seven points in every one of their games this season. Despite this, they’re just 4-5 against the ninth-toughest schedule with losses to the Bengals, Cardinals, Browns, Cowboys and Ravens.
There’s clearly enough talent on the roster for the Vikings to compete for a playoff spot, provided they finish games. This week, they’ll matchup against Aaron Rodgers and the 8-2 Packers, who have a Pythagorean Expectation of only 6.1 wins.
On offense, Green Bay is dealing with the absences of running back Aaron Jones (knee) and tight end Robert Tonyan (ACL) while the depth of the already-thin receiving corps could be even thinner with Allen Lazard (shoulder) listed as doubtful and Malik Taylor (abdomen) ruled out. Jones’ absence alone is enough to downgrade this offense.
On the other side of the ball, Mike Zimmer’s conservative play could benefit the Vikings against a Packers defense that ranks 28th in Rushing Expected Points Added (EPA) and 30th in Rushing Success Rate (45.5%).
We should expect a big game from Dalvin Cook, who had 30 carries for 163 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground as well as two catches for 63 yards and a fourth touchdown through the air in last season’s 28-22 win at Lambeau Field.
With Cook in the backfield, it should open up the play-action game for Kirk Cousins to get the ball to Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. With the Packers missing linebackers Whitney Mercilus and potentially Rashan Gary, this is a thin unit defensively as they’re still dealing with the absence of Za’Darius Smith, who is on injured reserve. And Green Bay defense has already played above its head without cornerback Jaire Alexander and this feels like the week all their injuries come back to haunt the Packers.
My model makes this game closer to a pick’em, so I’ll back the Vikings.
3. WFT +3.5 at Panthers
This line is perplexing, in that it assumes that Cam Newton is significant enough to move the spread past the key number of +3. I’m not buying it considering what we saw from Newton last season.
These are two equally-matched teams, but the public is betting on the Panthers at a 70% clip after their 34-10 victory over the Cardinals, who were missing both Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins (find more public betting data here). That action is fascinating since the market isn’t accounting for the Football Team’s 29-19 win over Tom Brady and the Buccaneers last week.
Although Washington will come into this game missing both Chase Young and Montez Sweat, this is still a team that is getting healthier post-bye week with the return of All-Pro guard Brandon Scherff. We could also potentially see offensive tackle Sam Cosmi return to the lineup.
With wide receiver Terry McLaurin and running back Antonio Gibson getting healthier, this offense should positively regress after a string of unlucky performances against the Packers and Broncos that saw the Football Team repeatedly get into the red zone, only to struggle in actually scoring.
This is a numbers play for me, and at +3.5, Washington is a positive expected value proposition.
4. Ravens -6.5 at Bears
The Ravens are in a similar spot as the Cowboys and Bills were last week — Baltimore is a good team coming off an upset loss to a bad team, creating the perfect buy-low opportunity on a potential Super Bowl Contender.
Although Justin Fields has improved over the last two weeks, he has just a 35.3% passer rating when under pressure. If there’s anything Wink Martindale’s defenses do well, it’s blitz. We can expect them to throw everything but the kitchen sink at Fields and this Bears offense, which is scoring just 16.7 points per game.
The Bears have covered just once in five games as underdogs of six or more points. They’ve lost games to the Bucs, Browns, Packers and Rams by double digits, with the Bears’ only cover coming against the Steelers, who are downright anemic on offense.
I’m expecting Lamar Jackson to get back on track against a defense missing Khalil Mack (foot), Akiem Hicks (ankle) and Danny Trevathan (knee).
Overall, this is a good get right spot for the Ravens.
5. Bengals -0.5 at Raiders
The loss of Henry Ruggs has had a huge impact on this Raiders offense, which has scored just 14 and 16 points in its last two games against the Chiefs and Giants. Without Ruggs, defenses don’t have to worry about the threat of the deep ball. DeSean Jackson was brought in, but he isn’t an every-down receiver, which makes this a completely different offense.
The Bengals are coming off a 41-16 loss to the Browns in a game in which Cincinnati out-gained Cleveland total plays, first downs and passing yards but gave the game away with turnovers. I’m not sure that will happen here, and the Raiders could face similar issues that they faced last week against the Chiefs attempting to slow down Ja’Marr Chase.
I’ve never been into trends, but favorites coming off a bye have covered 56% of the time over the past 10 years while road favorites have covered 64%, per our Action Labs data. Overall, I have the Bengals power rated higher than the Raiders, so I’ll back Cincinnati in this spot.
More NFL Picks For Week 11
Cardinals-Seahawks 1H Under 24
We all saw Russell Wilson’s struggles in his return from his dislocated finger injury in the Seahawks’ shutout loss to the Packers, and it’s tough to imagine much will change in just one week. With Pete Carroll mentioning that he’d like the Seahawks to run the ball more, I think we can expect a more conservative approach to start the game on Sunday.
On the other side, Kyler Murray has missed nearly two-and-a-half weeks and is still a game-time decision. With this being a division matchup, I’m not expecting this score to get out of hand in the first half, so I’ll play the 1H under.
Texans +10.5 at Titans
The Titans have played a murderer’s row of opposing playoff-caliber teams over the past five weeks, defeating the Bills, Chiefs, Colts, Rams and Saints.
However, over the past two weeks since the loss of Derrick Henry, this team has been floating on thin ice. In Week 9, the Titans defeated the Rams 28-16 in a game that was misleading based on the box score — the Titans had just 194 yards of offense on 3.5 yards per play but were gifted 14 points off two Matthew Stafford interceptions.
Then last week against the Saints, the Titans were out-gained 373-264 and were bested in yards per play 6.1-4.6, first downs, passing yards and rushing yards. They also were the beneficiary of a roughing the passer call that turned a red-zone interception into a touchdown.
At some point, these things won’t continue to go the Titans’ way. And given the struggles of their defense, I expect Tyrod Taylor and this Texans offense to keep this close. This number looks inflated, so I’ll take the Texans in this spot.
2-Team, 6-Point Teaser: Cowboys +8.5/Vikings +8.5
See my Cowboys and Vikings explanations above.
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