NFL Predictions Week 11: Data-Driven Picks for De’Von Achane, James Conner, More
Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: De’Von Achane.
NFL Predictions Week 11: Data-Driven Picks
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our NFL betting staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NFL Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
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Steelers vs. Broncos
By Billy Ward
This one is a little tricky for me to price accurately – but that’s a good thing. Less points obviously helps the "no" side of this prop, and with an over/under of just 33 the total is lower than any game I have in my data set.
All games with a total under 40 are likelier than not for the "no" side to hit. The average total in that sample is 38.3, with this coming in a full five points lower.
Beyond that, the two-point spread is another positive sign. Absent any other information, I’d price a typical game with a two-point spread right around the +120 line at DraftKings.
This game features the Browns sans Deshaun Watson and Nick Chubb – as they will be all year. What they do have is the league’s best defense by DVOA, hence the extremely low total.
I wouldn’t be surprised if neither of these teams score three times total, much less consecutively.
Pick: Either Team to Record 3 Unanswered Scores — No (+120)
Chargers vs. Packers
By Nick Giffen
I don’t understand this one.
Herbert has been, by all accounts, right at league average in the metrics that matter, which are bad ball rate (BB%) and turnover-worthy play rate (TWP%). In fact, his 41 bad balls this year actually have him slightly worse than league average in BB% at 12.7% — his three-year average sits at 11.2%, perfectly in line with league average.
The 41 bad balls translate to an interception expectation of nearly eight, putting him almost three picks below expectation. Even accounting for the fact that Herbert routinely comes in under expectation, we still expect him to have six INTs at his traditional rate.
His TWP% of 3.2% is also in line with league average — now he faces a Packers defense that’s hovering near average as well. In terms of TWP%, they are slightly above league average while they sit slightly below average in BB%.
Using conservative estimates for Herbert and the Packers defense, I have fair value at +120, which is where I’d bet it to, but it probably should be closer to +110.
Pick: Justin Herbert Interception (+140)
Cardinals vs. Texans
By Nick Giffen
I’m not a big fan of counting stats, but it’s pretty glaring that Conner has had more than two targets just one time this year, and that came in Week 1 when he was targeted five times against the Commanders.
Since then, he’s had just five targets in five games, including none last week in his return from injury.
To date, the Cardinals have targeted running backs on just 11.3% of pass attempts, the lowest in the NFL. While Kyler Murray has traditionally been above that (around 18%), that was all while Kliff Kingsbury was at the helm.
Arizona claimed Michael Carter off waivers, and while his participation may be limited, he could be used in the two-minute offense like he was with the Jets, limiting the receiving opportunity for Conner in those situations.
This prop could hinge on whether Murray’s career rate of throwing to running backs wins out over the current Arizona offense that throws very little to the position. However, with a 0% target share to RBs in Murray’s debut, there’s at least a bit of evidence that this is just how the offense will operate.
Even with Arizona likely to play from behind, its pass rate over expectation is fifth lowest, meaning I only get to around two targets for Conner, yielding 1.7 receptions on average.
Getting plus money on this prop is just a bonus.
Pick: James Conner Under 2.5 Receptions (+120)
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Raiders vs. Dolphins
By Billy Ward
The Dolphins' electric rookie back is returning on Sunday after a four week stint on IR. Achane reportedly was pushing to play through his injury, which suggests it wasn’t especially serious and that he should be at full strength.
In his last three contests prior to the injury, Achane had rushing totals of 203, 151 and 103 yards. The 151-yard game came despite him leaving early with the knee injury that caused his IR stint.
That means at least one — but likely two — of his recent games would be enough to lead the slate in rushing yards. For some context, DraftKings has any player to run for 160 or more yards at +450 in Week 11.
He’s also taking on a Raiders team that has allowed the most yards before contact per rush since Week 6. The team that’s created the most yards before contact offensively? The Dolphins.
That’s the perfect recipe for a few long runs from Achane, even if he sees somewhat limited volume. His biggest threat for this prop might be teammate Raheem Mostert, depending on how the volume in Miami shakes out.
For that reason, the “rushing leader to run for at least 160 yards” prop is also interesting, as is “any player to run for 200 or more” at +1100 – all on DraftKings.
Pick: De'Von Achane Most Rushing Yards on Sunday (+1500)
Giants vs. Commanders
By Nick Giffen
The matchup here is perfect for Dotson as the Giants play man coverage at the second-highest rate in the NFL.
In his short career, Dotson has had a higher yards per route run in both seasons against man coverage than zone coverage. What’s more, that includes six touchdowns against man coverage to just one against zone.
Dotson has faced the Giants three times, scoring a touchdown in two games. The one game he didn’t was earlier this year when Sam Howell had one of the two worst games of his career.
Since then, Howell has bounced back, completing 68.8% of his passes for eight TDs to just two INTs in three games. He also hasn’t had a sack rate above 7% in any of those games, which are the only three games of his career in which he’s done so.
If Howell can have anywhere near a competent game, there should be plenty of value on Dotson at +280. I’d bet this down to +250.