NFL Week 11 Betting Picks & Preview
TNF Recap: The struggle is real. I identified that Steelers-Browns was a trap game (bettors lined up to take Pittsburgh and the points against a bad Cleveland team), but fell for it anyway. Why Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner decided that Thursday night was the perfect time to take the training wheels off quarterback Mason Rudolph I don’t know, but the second-year signal-caller clearly wasn’t ready for the responsibility. That game was there for the taking, especially when Pittsburgh’s defense forced a series of stops in the second half when the Steelers were trailing by only seven, but Rudolph struggled with turnovers. Credit the Browns for having better game plans for executing.
The loss drops my season record to 17-19 and I am now 5-9 over my last 14 selections. I won’t talk about rebounding because those words are just hollow at this point. That said, I’m in this for the long haul so let’s see if we can’t slowly right the ship, starting with Sunday.
- Spread: Falcons +4.5
- O/U: 49
- Time: 1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, November 17
For the first time all season, the Falcons found a pass rush in their shocking 26-9 victory over the Saints in Week 10. They harassed Drew Brees all game, sacking him six times and holding New Orleans to only 310 yards of total offense. Given how dominant Atlanta defensive tackle Grady Jarrett was, coupled with Carolina center Matt Paradis’ struggles in pass protection this season, I believe the Falcons can drum up a consistent pass rush on Sunday as well.
The other thing the Falcons rediscovered last week in New Orleans was their running game. That led to the Falcons owning a 33:46 to 26:14 advantage in time of possession and helped keep Brees and Co. on the sidelines. Devonta Freeman is unlikely to play against the Panthers because of a foot injury, but I’m not convinced Brian Hill isn’t the best back in Atlanta right now anyway (hot take!). In fact, Hill rushed eight times for 115 yards in the Falcons’ Week 16 win over the Panthers last year, outplaying current 49ers running back Tevin Coleman in the process.
Containing Christian McCaffrey will be a challenge for the Falcons, much like it’s a challenge for every team in the league. But Atlanta played with a renewed sense of passion last week and the talent discrepancy isn’t as wide between these two teams as the records would indicate.
NFL Week 11 Selection: Atlanta Falcons +4.5
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- Spread: Vikings -10
- O/U: 40
- Time: 1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, November 17
I don’t usually like laying double-digit points but I’ll make the exception this weekend in Minnesota. The Broncos posted a victory in Brandon Allen’s first career start two weeks ago, but that was a home game against a Browns team, that at the time, was starting to unravel. This time around, Allen will play on the road against a Minnesota team coming off a big victory last Sunday night in Dallas.
Granted, the Vikings are banged-up. Adam Thielen (hamstring) has a chance to play but hasn’t practiced this week. Defensive lineman Linval Joseph (knee) hasn’t practiced either, while safety Anthony Harris (groin) was downgraded to no practice on Thursday. Still, I don’t see how Allen consistently moves Denver’s struggling offense against Mike Zimmer’s defense. And if the Broncos can’t establish the run, the wheels will fall off quickly for Allen.
On the other side, the Broncos defense is underrated and might be able to hang for a half. However, the Vikings have too many weapons, even without Thielen, for what should be a tired Denver defense in the second half. This feels like a 27-10 final.
NFL Week 11 Selection: Minnesota Vikings -10
- Spread: Cardinals +10
- O/U: 45
- Time: 4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday, November 17
Let me start with this: I’m a big believer in the Niners. I don’t think their 8-0 start was merely a product of their schedule and had Jimmy Garoppolo displayed better ball protection on Monday night, San Francisco is probably 9-0 heading into Sunday’s second meeting with Arizona.
That said, the Niners were a different offense without George Kittle (who has already been ruled out for Sunday) and receiver Emmanuel Sanders (who missed practice again Thursday due to a ribs injury). The Cardinals have struggled all season defensively, but they should be able to duplicate what the Seahawks did defensively on Monday night and load the box in efforts to slow down the Niners’ running game. That forced Garoppolo to throw to rookie Deebo Samuel and Kendrick Bourne, who struggled mightily outside of his one touchdown grab.
The other factor that must be considered is that the 49ers played an extra quarter in their overtime loss to the Seahawks. That was a physical game and the Niners now have to turn around six days later and play the Cardinals. San Francisco had trouble chasing Kyler Murray down two weeks ago in Arizona when it was coming off a short week, now it must do it again—after going toe-to-toe with the Seahawks for five quarters. This is too many points to hand a Cardinals team that is 7-3 against the spread this season.
NFL Week 11 Selection: Arizona Cardinals +10
2019 NFL ATS Betting Record
- Week 1: 1-2
- Week 2: 1-2
- Week 3: 3-1
- Week 4: 3-1
- Week 5: 2-1
- Week 6: 1-2
- Week 7: 2-1
- Week 8: 1-3
- Week 9: 1-3
- Week 10: 2-2
- Week 11: 0-1
Season Total: 17-19 (49%)