NFL Week 11 Lookahead Picks: Bets for Lions vs Giants, Rams vs Saints

NFL Week 11 Lookahead Picks: Bets for Lions vs Giants, Rams vs Saints article feature image

Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Saquon Barkley.

Welcome back to The Lookahead.

While everyone else is busy betting on this weekend's games, we continue to get out ahead of things with a pair of picks for next Sunday. It's all about locking in that sweet closing line value (CLV) and gobbling up easy line value before this week's results move next week's lines.

We continue to lock in important CLV ahead of the games every week, often crossing key numbers. Last week, we played a total with success, already adding a full field goal of value to our over, and that could rise further by kickoff. Today, we'll go back to the well with another total, plus one spread pick.

We've already got your Sunday picks covered, so let's look ahead and get some more CLV for those Week 11 games before the weekend.

Lions vs.


This is all about grabbing a number that should be on the rise by the end of the weekend.

Coming off their bye week, the Giants are big favorites against the terrible Texans in Week 10. New York is expected to win with ease and improve to 7-2. The Lions are underdogs against a suddenly hot Bears squad, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Justin Fields hang a big number.

If the Lions lose big in Chicago and drop to 2-7 before traveling to New York, you better believe this number will close much higher than -3.5. It feels like a game that could be -6 or even -7 once public perception of these teams recalibrates.

I can tell you right now that Action Network's Luck Rankings will be looking at this game — the Giants are one of the luckiest teams in the league (No. 2) while the Lions are the unluckiest (No. 32). Typically, that would suggest a bet on Detroit. But that bet would be on the closing line, fading public perception on a line that is too long. I'd rather grab the better team before that perception gets baked in.

Early on, the Giants were not the clearly better team. They may not have been better at all.

One month into the season, New York looked like a fraudulent 3-1 team, ranking 23rd in DVOA and relying on Saquon Barkley heroics and late-game luck. Detroit was only 1-3, but looked much better than its record, ranking 14th in DVOA and 3rd offensively, including the league's No. 1 rushing attack. The Lions would have been the sharp play against the Giants.

But over the last five weeks, these teams have looked the part of their win-loss records. New York went 3-1 during that stretch and ranked 11th in DVOA with an improving defense and a top-10 offense. Detroit went 1-3 and played like it, ranking 29th in DVOA and plummeting to 27th on offense.

Earlier this season, the Giants were overrated and the Lions were undervalued. Now that everyone has caught up to those misperceptions, the value has flipped. The Giants actually look good and should be even better out of the bye, while the Lions are just plain bad again and have also been much worse on the road.

Perception once again does not match reality, but it could be closer if results this weekend go as expected and this line rises.

THE PICK: Bet Giants -3.5.

Rams vs.

Saints(Under 42.5)

It wasn't that long ago that a Rams-Saints game was a marquee event. You'll forgive New Orleans fans for "Men in Black"-style deleting that one from their memories, but you may recall a no-call on Nickell Robey-Coleman near the end of the 2018 NFC Championship Game that allowed the Rams to tie in regulation and win in overtime to head to the Super Bowl.

Drew Brees and Jared Goff are long gone, but fans of both teams yearn for the days of 2019.

Instead, we're left with a less-than-marquee game between two teams that aren't particularly relevant in 2022.

Well, technically speaking, the Rams won the Super Bowl in 2022, but you'd never know it by the way they've played. Their defense has held up but lacks its usual aggressiveness, while the offense has been a tepid shell of itself. The Rams have scored 14 or fewer points in four of their last five games (and six of eight on the season). They can't block, run the ball and don't have anyone to throw to other than Cooper Kupp.

The Saints have been more inconsistent than lifeless, but frustrating either way. Andy Dalton is, well, Andy Dalton. Michael Thomas and most of the other receivers have been in the injury tent all year. The line is not what it once was. The defense has had its moments, notably a shutout of the Raiders, but at 3-6, the Saints are only still relevant because of their putrid division.

If that all sounds like an under to you, it does to me, too.

Rams unders are 6-2 on the season, and both of these teams could be in ugly, low-scoring affairs in Week 10 as well. The Saints-Steelers total has dropped from 41.5 to 40, while the Cardinals-Rams total has plummeted from 45 to 41.

On top of that, Matthew Stafford is in concussion protocol. He's not playing great ball, but he's certainly better than backup John Wolford. That's just one more reason to like the under.

Unders continue to smash this season, and unders when the road team is favored have been particularly deadly at 41-17 through Week 9, a 71% hit rate.

This under should drop (possibly by a lot), perhaps even into the 30s. Let's grab it right now and get the best number for two teams with talented defenses and struggling offenses.

THE PICK: Bet Under 42.5.

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