NFL Picks for Week 11: Bet or Wait Using Our Luck Rankings Model
Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Fields.
Our Action Network NFL Luck Rankings can be used to bet on unlucky teams that meet one of two criteria:
- At least 24 places lower than their opponent in the Luck Rankings.
- At least 50% lower Luck% in the Luck Rankings.
Overall, these teams are 103-62-6 (62%) since the start of the 2018 season against the closing spread, which is how we grade them for consistency.
Last week, the Steelers covered against the Packers in a luck-based matchup. With the Packers as the unlucky team, that means unlucky teams meeting at least one criteria are now 7-8-2 ATS on the year. My personal record on luck-based sides, which you can see in the Action App, is now 6-5-1 for the season.
For Luck Totals, the thresholds are as follows:
- A Luck Total above 10 after Week 3.
- A Luck Total above 5 after Week 11.
- A Luck Total below -5 after Week 3.
Luck Totals below -5 went 2-0 to the under last week, are 22-11 (66.7%) to the under this year and 116-77-2 (60%) over the last six years. I went 2-0 last week, as tracked in the Action App, moving me to 6-4 this season on luck-based totals.
NFL Luck Rankings Week 11 Games
Bears vs. Lions (Total: 47.5)
The Luck Total of -6.2 is the lowest of Week 11, meaning there is a luck-based signal to the under.
This game opened on Sunday night at 45.5 and was steadily bet up to 47.5. The big news is that Justin Fields is expected to start for Chicago. That helps the over — the Bears in starts by Tyson Bagent had an offensive Expected Score a full two points lower than in Fields' starts despite facing a slightly easier defensive schedule in those Bagent starts.
With 55% of tickets to the over but 55% of money to the under, the money has balanced out to a point where I'm happy to back the under, especially because it moved past the number of 47, which is the key number between 44 and 51.
Verdict: Play under 47.5.
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Cowboys vs. Panthers (Total: 42)
A Luck Total of -5.9 is just enough to push past the -5 threshold, making this another Luck Under. The total opened on Sunday night at 41.5, then got bet down as low as 40.5, but has since rebounded up to 42 and even 42.5 in some spots.
The Panthers have been unable to stop the run, ranking 31st in defensive rush DVOA — but that's Dallas' weakness. The Cowboys rank just 21st on the ground offensively by DVOA.
Conversely, Dak Prescott has led the Cowboys to the 11th-best offense through the air — but that's where the Panthers are competent, sitting in the middle of the league (16th) in defensive pass DVOA.
There's a large discrepancy in where the money is headed with 79% of bets to the over but just 43% of the money going that way.
As this number has fluctuated, I don't see a real reason to rush to bet even as we're at the high point of where it sits so far. That's because 42 is the least key number between 40 and 44. If a 43 pops up, snipe it immediately.
I'd also worry if this falls to 41.5 closer to game time as I'd want the hook so we don't lose the key number of 41.
Verdict: Wait for 43. If none pop up, back the under at anything 41.5 or higher closer to game time.
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