NFL Picks & Predictions: The 6 Spreads & Totals To Bet On Sunday
Rey Del Rio/Getty Images. Pictured: Jack Doyle
- NFL underdogs are 81-67 so far this season, meaning they're covering spreads at a 54.7% rate overall heading into Sunday.
- Our staff likes two short road dogs in Week 11. Find their favorite picks for the main slate below, complete with two total bets.
NFL Picks & Predictions
Eagles +3 at Browns
Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Odds
Stuckey: This is a very good matchup for the Eagles.
Baker Mayfield is easy to figure out. If you can get pressure on him, he struggles. Of the 35 quarterbacks with at least 100 dropbacks this season, only Drew Lock has a lower quarterback rating than Mayfield’s 30.8 mark. He’s thrown one touchdown and four interceptions when under pressure and has completed only 41% of his passes.
And the Eagles can get pressure — they rank fifth overall in Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate.
The strong aspect of the Browns’ offensive attack is a run game that ranks third in yards per attempt. They feature two of the best running backs in the business in Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb, who run behind a now-stellar offensive line.
But can the Eagles match up? They certainly can. They’ve been hurt a bit by wide receiver and quarterback runs (see: Daniel Jones and Lamar Jackson), but have been the second-best defense against running backs.
On the other side of the ball, the Browns won’t have Myles Garrett, who has made a huge game-swinging play in each of their six wins. His absence will be a massive loss. Meanwhile, the Eagles — who are as healthy as they’ve been all season — can exploit the Browns’ linebackers and safeties. Plus, some of their defensive numbers are inflated after two straight games in insanely windy conditions.
Over the past two seasons, the Eagles always seem to win these road games with their backs against the wall. Give me the Birds.
Ravens -6 vs. Titans
Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Odds
Mike Randle: The Ravens’ enter this matchup having lost two of their last three games, including a surprising 23-17 loss at New England on Sunday Night Football last week.
They now return home in a revenge spot against a Tennesse team that pulled out the 28-12 upset win over them in the 2019 AFC Divisional Round.
The Titans’ defense has been among the NFL’s worst all season. They’ve allowed the fifth-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, including a head-scratching 308 passing yards at home to Philip Rivers in Week 10. Their defensive line has generated only a 3.7% sack rate (second-worst in the league) and now Jadeveon Clowney (knee) has been placed on Injured Reserve.
The Ravens will have the full trio of running backs available, with Mark Ingram now fully recovered from his high-ankle sprain. Ingram returned last week, but was limited in the poor weather conditions. Along with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, Baltimore should find success against a Tennessee defense that’s allowed the sixth-most fantasy points and 13 combined touchdowns to running backs.
While the sample size is small, the Ravens have performed well in these spots under head coach John Harbaugh. In eight games in which the Ravens have returned home off a loss as up to a 7-point favorite, they’ve covered 71.4% of the time — and backing them in these situations would have yielded a 32.5% return on investment according to our Bet Labs database.
The Titans will need to rely heavily on Derrick Henry to generate offense, as the Ravens’ pass defense is among the NFL’s elite. They’ve allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and the fourth-fewest receiving yards. Drawing Jimmy Smith, A.J. Brown has another difficult matchup after an uninspiring performance (one reception for 21 yards) last week.
I’m betting on the revenge game narrative for a comfortable Ravens win. Henry will likely have a big rushing performance against a Baltimore run defense without both defensive tackle Brandon Williams and defensive end Calais Campbell. However, I expect Baltimore to score at will against Tennessee, forcing the Titans away from their preferred ball control offense.
As of Saturday, 62% of bets but only 48% of the money are on the Titans (find real-time public betting data here), indicating sharps are on the Ravens. I would bet this line up to Baltimore -6.5.
Steelers-Jaguars Over 46
Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET | More Odds
Brad Cunningham: The Jaguars are allowing a league-high 8.6 yards per pass attempt and will be facing arguably the most talented receiving corps they’ve seen all season long. Ben Roethlisberger has found the fountain of youth, throwing for 22 touchdowns to only four interceptions this season, and should be able to throw all over a Jaguars secondary that ranks 29th in defensive passing success and 27th in explosive passing allowed per Sharp Football Stats.
On the other side, the Jaguars have run the ball with a lot of success, averaging 4.5 yards per carry — and they’ll need to establish the run against the NFL’s best defense. Jake Luton has been fine through his first two starts, averaging 6.6 yards per attempt. But the Steelers are prone is giving up big plays in the passing game, averaging an explosive pass on 10% of passes, which ranks 25th in the NFL.
If the Jaguars are going to stay in this game, they’ll have to take shots down the field, which should happen considering they’re 10-point underdogs and have nothing to lose with their 1-8 record.
This total is way too low given how bad the Jaguars defense is and how prone the Steelers are to giving up the big play. I have it projected around 54 points, so there’s plenty of value on the over at 46.
Dolphins -3.5 at Broncos
Kickoff: 4:05 p.m. ET | More Odds
Brandon Anderson: A month ago, this looked like an irrelevant game between two teams going nowhere. That’s still true about the Broncos, but the Dolphins are relevant (and then some) now.
The Dolphins were supposed to be a season or two away — and they definitely looked the part after a 1–3 start. Then dominant wins over the banged-up 49ers and Jets heading into the bye week hardly seemed significant, and no one even raised much of an eyebrow when Tua Tagovailoa was inserted into the starting lineup. But the Fins still haven’t lost since, winning five straight to get right into the thick of the AFC playoff race.
Miami is winning with defense and special teams, more than anything else.
Brian Flores is looking a bit like his old mentor Bill Belichick, with the Dolphins confusing and stymieing opponents. All Tua has to do is take care of the ball and hit an open receiver occasionally — and they’re open, because Miami is scheming up that end of things, too.
The Dolphins probably aren’t quite as good as their five-win streak looks on paper, and against a more dangerous opponent, we would exercise some caution. Luckily, this is only the Broncos.
Denver started 1–3 like Miami, but after a decent middle month, the Broncos have fallen back off the map and are coming off their worst performance of the season, a 37–12 drubbing at the hands of the Raiders.
Denver is scoring just 20.7 points per game, good for bottom five in the NFL. The Broncos are now dead last in Football Outsiders’ offensive DVOA — yes, dead last, even after the New York Jets. The same New York Jets that Miami shut out 24–0 one month ago.
Drew Lock ain’t it for Denver. When you throw four interceptions against a shoddy Raiders defense, what will you do against a real scheme with pressure and blitzes and confusing coverages? Do you know who Denver’s backup quarterback is right now? Because we might be seeing him in the second half if Lock can’t get things right.
I liked this even more earlier in the week at -2.5 — on the right side of that key number — but I’m not afraid. Grab the Dolphins at -3.5, and feel free to play another point as needed. Miami is not going anywhere.
Packers +2 at Colts
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET | More Odds
Raheem Palmer: Nearly every advanced defensive metric tells us that the Colts have a top tier unit: They’re fourth in defensive efficiency as well as fourth against the pass and the run. They’re also fifth in expected points added per play, fifth in total success rate and seventh in early down success rate (per Sharp Football Stats).
This stingy Indianapolis defense is allowing a league-best 290.4 total yards and only 19.7 points per game, fourth behind Baltimore, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.
On the surface, it’s impressive. But upon digging into the schedule, it becomes immediately clear that the Colts haven’t played anyone. They’ve played just one quarterback within the top 10 of ESPN’s Total QBR in Ryan Tannehill, and it took a disastrous performance from a Titans special teams unit that handed the Colts the win on a silver platter.
The Colts have yet to prove they can beat good teams in 2020.
Despite starting the season 6-3, their six victories have come against teams that have a combined record of 21-33 with a point differential of -246: The Vikings, Jets, Bears, Bengals, Lions and Titans. Even removing the lowly Jets, from the equation, this still doesn’t look good.
Now the Colts face Aaron Rodgers, who is first in QBR (84.7) and quarterback rating (116.4), sixth in passing yards, as well as second in touchdown passes (26) and DVOA while leading a second-ranked Packers offense. His performance truly demonstrates why he has the third-best odds to win MVP.
Nevertheless, this game comes down to whether you think Old Man Rivers and the Colts can keep up offensively.
The Packers have been successful as underdogs in the Matt LaFleur era, going 5-1 straight up and against the spread over the past two seasons. Their only loss came at the hands of the eventual NFC champion 49ers, who had the Packers’ number last season.
Packers-Colts Under 51.5
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET | More Odds
Sean Koerner: The 7-2 Packers take on the 6-3 Colts in what should be a playoff-like atmosphere with both teams giving maximum effort. It’s a scenario that could lower this matchup’s scoring potential, especially considering it’s projected to be the fourth-slowest game of the week.
The Colts’ defense ranks fourth in DVOA against both the run and the pass. They should be able to slow down the Packers just enough to prevent a high-scoring game. Davante Adams is probable with an ankle injury, but if he’s playing at less than 100% it’ll help lower the scoring environment that much more.
On the other side of the ball, the Colts offense will likely take advantage of the Packers’ run-funnel defense (16th vs. pass and 22nd vs. run in DVOA).
The Colts’ running game has struggled this season, ranking 29th in success rate. I expect them to get going here and use their running game as a way to eat up the clock and keep Aaron Rodgers off the field.
The potential return of Jaire Alexander will help slow down the Colts passing offense that is starting to heat up with both T.Y. Hilton and Michael Pittman back in the lineup.
I have this matchup projected at 49.5. Both 50 and 51 are key numbers for a total, so I like locking this in before the market (correctly) bets this number down.