The Favorites Pick ’Em Contest: NFL Week 11 Tiebreaker Strategy
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: D’Andre Swift.
With the launch of The Favorites' NFL pick 'em contest, which is free to play, we decided on tiebreaker props to settle the winners of the $3,000 in weekly prizes.
Week 10 had another solo winner, with "Mokebrah" making the closest combined total passing yards prediction for Broncos vs. Bills on Monday night. As predicted, the Broncos covering correlated with less passing yards, and most guesses were well over the mark. Only five users guessed between 318 and 390, with all of them paid out.
For Week 11 (Eagles vs. Chiefs), we're back to rushing yards, which is much more tricky than passing yards. Philadelphia and Kansas City utilize a variety of backs, as well as get rushing production from its quarterbacks (and sometimes receivers) — making this an interesting one to unpack.
Important note: You can sign up for this contest at any point during the season.
Week 11 Tiebreaker: Total Rushing Yards — Eagles vs. Chiefs (Monday Night Football)
With rushing yards coming from a variety of sources, there are multiple ways to attack this prop.
We could look at team performance so far this season, but this deep into the year, there's plenty of noise with that method. Both teams have dealt with injuries and rotation changes that have impacted rushing production, so we'd be unwittingly baking in bad information.
It's a bit trickier to use Sean Koerner's projections because we introduce a lot more variance when considering all of the relevant players. For example, there's clearly inverse correlation between the rushing production of multiple backs on the same team. Still, that seems like the more accurate method this time around.
Koerner has the quarterbacks projected for a total of 59 rushing yards — 24 from Mahomes and 35 from Hurts. He has the Eagles backfield producing 80 yards while the Chiefs come in at 70. Adding them all together gives a total of 209 rushing yards — but it's worth noting Chiefs receivers project for another six yards, for a grand total of 215.
My Recommendation: Mid 200s
This recommendation is really more of a guess of where the field is likely to land than an attempt to outsmart the projections. Both teams (rightly) are known for their explosive passing attacks, which might lead the bulk of contestants to skew on the low end of rushing production.
There's far more of an edge to be gained by a unique guess than there is in "outprojecting" the field.
As always, this is another spot where the guess is very likely to correlate with the spread pick. The Eagles defense is strong against the run but weak against the pass, while the Chiefs offense is far better when throwing. On the other side, the Chiefs struggle to stop the run but have a top-three pass defense by DVOA.
That means games in which the Chiefs control the contest are likely to produce less total rushing. In those games, the better team on the ground, Philadelphia, will be throwing more, and vise versa. Conversely, if you're taking the Eagles spread, you could probably adjust even higher. If they're able to keep the game close or get out to a lead, they should be able to move the ball on the ground.
If picking the Chiefs spread, going somewhere in the mid 100s is an aggressive — yet plausible — option. When picking the Eagles, I'd shift my guess a bit higher to somewhere around 270 or so.
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