NFL Picks Week #11



University Professor. PhD in stats. Proud dad of 2 boys.



Hello my friends, it’s good talking to you again, this is Professor MJ from Quebec City!

Our picks went 2-2 last week, so overall this season our record is 23-13-2, which corresponds to a 64% success rate. This week I’ve got 3 picks for you; let’s rock and roll!

PICK #1: Seattle Seahawks -2.5 vs Atlanta Falcons

At the time of this writing (Tuesday November 14), the line is either 2.5 or 3, depending on your bookie. 5Dimes is one of the sportsbooks that currently has 2.5, so I took it.

I’ve got plenty of reasons to go with Seattle in this one, but let me start with arguments that make me worry a little bit. First, the Seahawks are coming off a very physical game against the Cardinals, a game in which many players went down to injuries, including cornerback Richard Sherman who was lost for the rest of the year. Left tackle Duane Brown, who was just acquired from the Texans, went down in the first half and it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to suit up or not. However, the chances are good that Seattle will welcome free safety Earl Thomas back on the field.

I’m also worried about the recent progression shown by the Falcons. They were off to a very disappointing start to the season, but have shown signs of life over the past 3 games. First, they beat the Jets in New York, then lost 20-17 in a tough environment in Carolina and beat the Cowboys 27 to 7 last week.

Ok, let me now reveal why this pick is interesting from my point of view. You know how much I value the rest factor in the NFL; the Seahawks are benefiting from 3 additional days of rest after playing last Thursday night. Also, they will be looking to avenge a 36-20 road elimination loss in the playoffs last year. Please note that the Seahawks had previously beaten them 26-24 in Seattle.

I also like the fact that Atlanta will need to travel three time zones for this game. I’m aware that it’s not such a big deal when playing Monday night, but it’s still an adjustment for them.

As of now, 64% of spread bets and 75% of money line bets have gone on Atlanta, and yet the line has not moved, so perhaps we’ve got a little more sharp money backing Seattle.

PICK #2: Oakland Raiders +7 vs New England Patriots

I know, it’s always risky to fade the Patriots, but I’ll do it anyway. The Raiders are coming off their bye week, so they’ve had plenty of time to gameplan for this critical matchup. Meanwhile, the Pats are coming off an easy 41-16 win over the Broncos, but maybe that game was too easy and did not provide such a good preparation ahead of this Sunday’s game.

The betting public is literally pounding New England right now, with 87% of spread bets and 94% of money line bets going on Belichick’s squad. As a consequence, sportsbooks have moved the line from 5.5 to 7. I don’t believe it will go higher, so I recommend grabbing it now.

PICK #3: Minnesota Vikings -2 vs Los Angeles Rams

Who would have thought, prior to the start of the season, that this game would feature a couple of 7-2 teams? What a great matchup in perspective, and for the second week in a row I’m betting on the Vikings. Pinnacle and other bookies currently have a 2.5 spread, but Bovada and Sports Interaction are posting a line of 2.

This time, we’ve got a team that has to travel two time zones from West to East. With the game scheduled to start at 1pm Eastern Time, that’s the equivalent of 10am for people coming from Los Angeles.

My main argument concerns the Rams’ past three contests; they are coming off three easy wins over lousy clubs. On Week #7, they shutout the Cardinals 33-0 as Carson Palmer had to leave the game in the first half. They were on a bye the following week before hammering the Giants 51-17 in New York. Finally, they beat up on the Texans 33-7 last week, but do I need to remind you they were missing their all-star QB DeShaun Watson and perhaps the best defensive player in the league, J.J. Watt? They will face a much stiffer test this week, and I’m afraid they won’t be up to the task.

The Rams are 4-0 on the road this year, while the Vikings are 4-1 at home.

We are observing a small reverse line move on this game, as roughly 60% of the bets have gone on the Rams, while the line still went in favor of the Vikings from 2 to 2.5. I like it.


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Thanks a lot for taking the time to read this write-up, I hope you found it insightful and I wish you the best of luck on your sports investments. Cheers everyone!

Professor MJ